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Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous Hardcover – August 18, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: BiblioLife (August 18, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0554354225
  • ISBN-13: 978-0554354224
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,421,042 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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From the Publisher

Library of Liberal Arts title. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

George Berkeley, also known as Bishop Berkeley, was an influential Irish clergyman and philosopher. He was chiefly reputed as the originator of the modern school of idealism. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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2.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By John S. Ryan on June 7, 2000
Format: Paperback
This Oxford Philosophical Texts student edition of George Berkeley's best known work features a helpful introduction, glossary, and notes by philosopher Jonathan Dancy (author of _Berkeley: An Introduction_ and editor of the Oxford Philosophical Texts edition of Berkeley's _Treatise concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge_). The forty-page introduction includes a short biography of Berkeley, a synopsis of the _Dialogues_, a summary and analysis of Berkeley's philosophy including critical discussion of his main arguments, and an exposition of the relation between the _Dialogues_ and the _Principles_. Also featured: a bibliography and an analytical table of contents for the dialogues.
As for Berkeley himself, he probably needs no introduction from me. Arguably the most judicious commentary on his thought is that of T.H. Green, who in his great _Introduction_ to Locke and Hume remarked as follows:
"His [Berkeley's] purpose was the maintenance of Theism, and a true instinct told him that pure Theism, as distinct from nature-worship and daemonism, has no philosophical foundation, unless it can be shown that there is nothing real apart from thought. But in the hurry of theological advocacy, and under the influence of a misleading terminology, he failed to distinguish this true proposition -- there is nothing real apart from thought -- from this false one, its virtual contradictory -- that there is nothing other than feeling. The confusion was covered, if not caused, by the ambiguity, often noticed, in the use of the term 'idea.' This to Berkeley's generation stood alike for feeling proper . . . and for conception, or an object thought of under relations. . . .
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tony on May 16, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not my cup of tea. Some good reflective points, but in all I found the translation and wording to be too laborious.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rlotz on January 16, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful little book. However clever Kant may have been, prose style took a turn for the worse in his systematic treatment. Berkeley, by contrast, is a great writer, and these dialogues brim with wit and charm.

Many of the arguments that Berkeley puts forward in these dialogues will seem very strange to a modern reader who is used to the discoveries of the natural sciences; and it is certainly true that many of Berkeley’s arguments against materialism are fallacious. Nonetheless, Berkeley’s thinking was a giant leap forward from Locke’s (whose position is represented by Hylas), and is in many ways strikingly modern.

Here is the best way I can frame it for the philosophical debuttante. Philosophers have long had the nasty habit of positing unknowable metaphysical entities to account for the world. In Aristotelian and Cartesian conceptions, this was simply ‘substance’; in Leibniz, it was the ‘monads’; in Locke—Berkeley’s main opponent—it was ‘primary qualities’; and in Kant, it was ‘noumena’. These entities are, as it were, conjured up by the philosopher’s magic wand to account for the existence of matter, as an underlying substratum that is forever unknowable to us puny mortals.

Berkeley pulls this position to pieces, and for good reason. Why conjure up a mysterious ‘substance’ or ‘primary quality’ with no discernible characteristics? It is only a name we give to the unknown. Instead, Berkeley argues, we should concentrate on what we can access with our senses. ‘Matter’ is not some ghost-like thing without extension of weight, but is instead what we normally take for granted as matter—something with weight, extension, that exists in space and time.
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9 of 17 people found the following review helpful By SymposiumRaver on March 14, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Dear Kindle translator,
How do you do it? You take seemingly mundane texts like "Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonus" and turn them into hilarious works of absurdity. Before, I had never understood Hylas's objection to Philonus's Pain/Pleasure argument. His sentence structure was just TOO coherent--I think the fault was in my translation. But after reading your version I finally get it! Particularly when he says "Hold, Philonus, I now see what it was delude time. You asked whether heat and cold, sweetness at were not particular sorts of pleasure and pain; to which simply, that they were." (verbatim quote, Location 188) This is one of literally hundreds of quirky changes you made that make the text so much easier to understand! Even on the first page your original interpretation shines through with every sentence! Unfortunately, I don't have time to pinpoint every little gem of genius you put into this book, but any reader who wants to should download this book and see for themselves what this text has to offer. I can't ever imagine why it's free!
Sincerely,
A person who understands the English language
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