The Works of George Berkeley - Vol. 1

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

EDITOR'S PREFACE TO THE COMMONPLACE BOOK

BERKELEYS juvenile Commonplace Book is a small quarto volume, in his handwriting, found among the Berkeley manuscripts in possession of the late Archdeacon Rose. It was first published in 1871, in my edition of Berkeley's Works. It consists of occasional thoughts, mathematical, physical, ethical, and metaphysical, set down in miscellaneous fashion, for private use, as they arose in the course of his studies at Trinity College, Dublin. They are full of the fervid enthusiasm that was natural to him, and of sanguine expectations of the issue of the prospective authorship for which they record preparations. On the title-page is written, 'G. B. Trin. Dub. alum.,' with the date 1705, when he was twenty years of age. The entries are the gradual accumulation of the next three years, in one of which the Arithmetica and the Miscellanea Mathematica made their appearance. The New Theory of Vision, given to the world in 1709, was evidently much in his mind, as well as the sublime conception of the material world in its necessary subordination to the spiritual world, of which he delivered himself in his book of Principles, in 1710.

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