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A Metaphysics for the Mob: The Philosophy of George Berkeley and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

A Metaphysics for the Mob: The Philosophy of George Berkeley

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ISBN-13: 978-0195313932
ISBN-10: 0195313933
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Editorial Reviews


"Little gem of a book, brimming with original insights yet written with clarity and elegance. Its pleasing style belies the difficulty of the material and complexity of his argument. For the praciticing philosopher, it is destined to become a standard reference concerning Berkeley scholarship and the early modern period." --Philosophical Review

"Roberts's book is a model of sound scholarship and insightful elucidation of Berkeley's philosophy.... Readers will find, in almost every chapter, insightful points of both contrast and agreement with the concerns and conclusions of early modern philosophy, and those of recent analytic philosophy. Excellent bibliography and indes. Highly recommended."--J. White, CHOICE

"The book will, I believe, become a central work in Berkeley scholarship and in the area of early modern philosophy. It is a pleasure to read. It is written in a clear, non-stuffy, often elegant, and sometimes even witty style. It shows an extraordinary grasp of both the primary and secondary literature of early modern philosophy."--Robert J. Fogelin, Dartmouth College

About the Author

John Russell Roberts is Assistant Professor at Florida State University.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (May 18, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195313933
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195313932
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 1 x 6.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,655,799 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By C. Turner on December 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover
John Roberts' exposition and discussion of George Berkeley's philosophy is thorough and eminently-readable (with occasional and welcome wry humor). I thought I knew Berkeley pretty well, but Roberts reveals much more than I expected.

In the introduction, Roberts contends that "...there is a meaningful, sensible connection between metaphysics and common sense. My central aim is to make this connection clear." He does so admirably.

I'm no fan of long reviews by folks who think they know more than the author. That said, I applaud Roberts' withering attack on the catchphrase that for most people defines Berkeley: "esse is percipi" -- to exist is to be perceived. Roberts makes it emphatically clear that Berkeley did not say it quite that way -- he was referring to the existence/perception of sensible things only, not the mind or spirit -- and the difference is profound. That elucidation alone is sufficient to recommend this book, but it's only one among many gold nuggets of understanding that Roberts sows along the path to knowledge.

This book should be a priority-read for any serious student of this towering figure of early-modern philosophy.
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A Metaphysics for the Mob: The Philosophy of George Berkeley
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