The Works of George Berkeley - Vol. 1

By George Berkeley; Alexander Campbell Fraser | Go to book overview

PREFACE

MORE than thirty years ago I was honoured by a request to prepare a complete edition of the Works of Bishop Berkeley, with Notes, for the Clarendon Press, Oxford. That edition, which contains many of his writings previously unpublished, appeared in 1871. It was followed in 1874 by a volume of annotated Selections from his philosophical works; and in 1881 I prepared a small volume on 'Berkeley' for Blackwood 'Philosophical Classics.'

The 1871 edition of the Works originated, I believe, in an essay on "'The Real World of Berkeley,'" which I gave to Macmillan's Magazine in 1862, followed by another in 1864, in the North British Review. These essays suggested advantages to contemporary thought which might be gained by a consideration of final questions about man and the universe, in the form in which they are presented by a philosopher who has suffered more from misunderstanding than almost any other modern thinker. During a part of his lifetime, he was the foremost metaphysician in Europe in an unmetaphysical generation. And in this country, after a revival of philosophy in the later part of the eighteenth century, idea, matter, substance, cause, and other terms which play an important part in his writings, had lost the meaning that he in-

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