Download Alciphron: in Focus by George Berkeley PDF

By George Berkeley

Alciphron, or the Minute thinker (1732) is Berkeley's major paintings of philosophical theology and an important resource of his perspectives on which means and language. This version comprises the 4 most vital dialogues and a range of severe essays and commentaries reflecting the reaction of such writers as Hutcheson, Mill and Antony Flew. the single unmarried version presently in print, it argues that Alciphron has a extra very important position either within the Berkeley canon and in early smooth philosophy than is usually concept.

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Sample text

Right, said Euphranor, Alciphron hath touched our true defect. It was always my opinion that as soon as we had provided subsistence for the body our next care should be to improve the mind. But the desire of wealth steps between, and engrosseth men’s thoughts. 2. Alciphron. Thought is that which we are told distinguished man from beast; and freedom of thought makes as great a difference between man and man. It is to the noble assertors of this privilege and perfection of humankind, the free-thinkers I mean, who have sprung up and multiplied of late years, that we are indebted for all those important discoveries, that ocean of light, which hath broke in and made its way, in spite of slavery and superstition.

Euph. It seems, then, you have authors among you. Lys. That we have, several, and those very great men, who have obliged the world with many useful and profound discoveries. Cri. Moschon, for instance, hath proved that man and beast are really of the same nature: that consequently a man need only indulge his senses and appetites to be as happy as a brute. Gorgias hath gone further, demonstrating man to be a piece of clock-work or machine; and that thought or reason is the same thing as the impulse of one ball against another.

Euph. By your account there must be many minute philosophers among the men of rank and fortune. 41 ALCIPHRON Alc. Take my word for it, not a few; and they do much contribute to the spreading our notions. For, he who knows the world must observe that fashions constantly descend. It is therefore the right way to propagate an opinion from the upper end. Not to say that the patronage of such men is an encouragement to our authors. Euph. It seems, then, you have authors among you. Lys. That we have, several, and those very great men, who have obliged the world with many useful and profound discoveries.

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