The Unconscious Origin of Berkeley's Philosophy

The Unconscious Origin of Berkeley's Philosophy

The Unconscious Origin of Berkeley's Philosophy

The Unconscious Origin of Berkeley's Philosophy

Excerpt

This book has complementary aims. It is concerned both to interest psycho-analysts in philosophy, which is perhaps the strangest of all the creations of the human mind, and to interest philosophers in psycho-analysis, which they may find illuminating in their own field. For I attempt not only to analyse Berkeley the man, but also his philosophy and philosophical conceptions. To throw light on philosophy in this way is the chief aim.

The book has also a further philosophical aim. There is no full exposition of Berkeley's metaphysic that utilises the results of recent scholarship. This is a serious gap and I have made a serious attempt to fill it.

The researches of Dr. A. A. Luce and also of Professor T. E. Jessop make it reasonably certain what Berkeley's philosophy actually was. Part I contains a detailed account of this, together with some critical discussion. Dr. Luce's work has also cleared up many points about Berkeley's life, various aspects of which are considered in Part II. It is highly necessary to dwell closely on Berkeley's life and philosophy, especially on his philosophy; otherwise it would be impossible to give the detailed psychoanalytical interpretation of his philosophical conceptions presented in Part III.

There has been some spasmodic writing on the relations between philosophy and psycho-analysis. On the Continent the first work of this kind appeared in 1913, written by Hitschmann and by von Winterstein; they were followed by a few other analysts. In this country a few philosophers have quite recently turned their attention to the subject. I can find no writing in this field here earlier than 1936, when I attempted, in a paper on ethics, to use psycho-analytical considerations in dealing with a philosophical problem. The first draft of the present analysis was written in 1937. The idea of psychoanalysing the writings of a philosopher arose, not from the work done on the Continent, of which I was then unaware, but from a theory I had formed about the nature of metaphysics . . .

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