Bishop Berkeley

20 Mar, 2014 100 Philosophy

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the work of George Berkeley, an Anglican bishop who was one of the most important philosophers of the eighteenth century. Bishop Berkeley believed that objects only truly exist in the mind of somebody who perceives them - an idea he called immaterialism. His interests and writing ranged widely, from the science of optics to religion and the medicinal benefits of tar water. His work on the nature of perception was a spur to many later thinkers, including David Hume and Immanuel Kant. The clarity of Berkeley’s writing, and his ability to pose a profound problem in an easily understood form, has made him one of the most admired early modern thinkers.

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  • Peter Millican 5 episodes
    Gilbert Ryle Fellow and Professor of Philosophy at Hertford College, Oxford
  • Tom Stoneham No other episodes
    Professor of Philosophy at the University of York
  • Michela Massimi 4 episodes
    Senior Lecturer in Philosophy of Science at the University of Edinburgh

Reading list

  • Berkeley: Idealism and the Man
    David Berman (OUP, 1996) Google Books →
  • Essays on Berkeley: A Tercentennial Celebration
    J. Foster and H. Robinson (eds.) (Clarendon Press, 1985) Google Books →
  • Starting with Berkeley
    Nick Jones (Continuum, 2009) Google Books →
  • Berkeley's Principles of Human Knowledge: A Reader's Guide
    A. Richmond (Continuum Press, 2009) Google Books →
  • Berkeley's World
    Tom Stoneham (OUP, 2002) Google Books →
  • Berkeley: Critical and Interpretive Essays
    C. M. Turbayne (ed.) (University of Minnesota Press, 1982) Google Books →
  • Berkeley
    J. O. Urmson (OUP, 1982) Google Books →
  • The Cambridge Companion to Berkeley
    K. P. Winkler (ed.) (Cambridge University Press, 2005) Google Books →
  • The Empiricists
    R. S. Woolhouse (Oxford Paperbacks, 1988) Google Books →

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Auto-category: 100 (Philosophy)

Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello. In his life of Samuel Johnson, James Boswell recalls a conversation the two men had about the work of the philosopher George Berkeley, and his theory that objects do not really exist except as ideas in our minds.