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Radical immaterialism

The consolations of George Berkeley
by
July 2021, no. 433
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George Berkeley: A philosophical life by Tom Jones

Princeton University Press, US$35 hb, 643 pp

Radical immaterialism

The consolations of George Berkeley
by
July 2021, no. 433
Bishop George Berkeley, painted by John Smibert (photograph via Google Art Project)
Bishop George Berkeley, painted by John Smibert (photograph via Google Art Project)

George Berkeley (1685–1753) proposed a radical solution to the conundrums of modern philosophy. By denying the existence of matter, he dismissed the problem of how we can know a world outside our minds. Only minds and their ideas are real. The problem of understanding how mind and matter interact is dissolved by Berkeley’s immaterialism, and so is the difficulty of explaining how causation works. The source of all that we perceive, he believed, is God. Few philosophers have ever accepted this position. But the brilliance of his arguments for it earned him a place in the Western philosophical canon.

Janna Thompson reviews 'George Berkeley: A philosophical life' by Tom Jones

George Berkeley: A philosophical life

by Tom Jones

Princeton University Press, US$35 hb, 643 pp

Buy this book

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