The Works of George Berkeley - Vol. 2

The Works of George Berkeley - Vol. 2

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The Works of George Berkeley - Vol. 2

The Works of George Berkeley - Vol. 2

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Excerpt

Alciphron, or, the Minute Philosopher, published in 1732, is the largest, and probably the most popular, of Berkeley’s works. the narrowness of the philosophy of those who then claimed for themselves exclusively intellectual strength and comprehensiveness, under the name of ‘free-thinkers,’ is signified by its title. Alciphron, or the ‘strong man’ in his own conceit, is presented as a ‘minute philosopher,’ whose horizon is confined to data of sense, excluding from his universe of reality the spiritual or moral world and God, shown to be in reason the chief realities of all. the atheism of so-called freethinkers is attributed to their confined intellectual vision; and its inconsistency with their claim to be the apostles of philanthropy is argued, on the ground that atheism withdraws the strongest motive to promote the common good, which is man’s chief end as a reasonable being.

In these Dialogues we find ourselves in an atmosphere different from the earlier philosophical works of Berkeley. Here social idealism, latent in the earlier works, takes the place of the physical and metaphysical idealism . . .

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