The Other Bishop Berkeley: An Exercise in Reenchantment

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Costica Bradatan proposes a new way of looking at the influential 18th-century Anglo-Irish empiricist and idealist philosopher. He approaches Berkeley's thought from the standpoint of its roots, rather than from how it has come to be viewed since his time. This book will interest scholars working in a wide variety of fields, from philosophy and the history of ideas to comparative literature, utopian studies, religious and medieval studies, and critical theory.

This other Berkeley read and wrote alchemical books, daydreamed of Happy Islands and the Earthly Paradise and depicted them carefully, designed utopian projects and spent years trying to put them into practice. Bradatan discovers a thinker deeply rooted in Platonic, mystical, and sometimes esoteric traditions, who saw salvation as philosophy and practiced philosophy as a way of life. This book uncovers a richer Berkeley, a more profound and spectacular one, and, it is hoped, a more truthful one.


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Page 24 - When I deny sensible things an existence out of the mind, I do not mean my mind in particular, but all minds. Now, it is plain they have an existence exterior to my mind; since I find them by experience to be independent of it.
Page 23 - To me it is evident, for the reasons you allow of, that sensible things cannot exist otherwise than in a mind or spirit. Whence I conclude, not that they have no real existence, but that, seeing they depend not on my thought, and have an existence distinct from being perceived by me, there must be some other mind wherein they exist.
Page 26 - Men commonly believe that all things are known or perceived by God, because they believe the being of a God; whereas I, on the other side, immediately and necessarily conclude the being of a God, because all sensible things must be perceived by Him.

About the author (2006)

Costica Bradatan teaches philosophy at Texas Tech University and is Senior Editor of Janus Head: A Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature, Continental Philosophy, Phenomenological Psychology, and the Arts.

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