The Notebooks of George Berkeley, Bishop of Cloyne. 1685-1753 (review)
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448 JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY ~5:3 JULY 1987 The Notebooks of George Berkeley, Bishop of Cloyne. i685-,753. Tercentenary Facsimile Edition. Edited and with a Postscript by D~siree Park. Oxford: The Alden Press, 1984. Pp. xx + 36o. s 3o. This "Tercentenary Facsimile Edition" of Berkeley's Philosophical Commentaries, edited by Professor D~siree Park, is nicely printed. In addition to the black and white photographs reproduced from the British Library microfilm (232 plates, numbered by folio) and "Acknowledgments," the volume includes a "Note to the Reader," a "Postcript," a "Selected List of Printed Texts of Berkeley's Notebooks," and a "Note." The editor has transcribed a few words below the plates on some of the pages, presumably those words that she found difficult to read. Here she makes frequent mistakes? I know from my own experience how difficult it is to produce a good transcription of a manuscript. But one mistake every twenty-fifth word is excessive. On one of the most important editorial questions Park writes: "Apart from Berkeley 's son's signature, the whole of the MS is, I believe, in Berkeley's hand. As to the occasional pencilled words; these were added later, have been studiously passed over by Luce and indeed are superfluous. A large and fair sample of them appears in the photographs, and it is clear that they are naive at best and may safely be disregarded" (p. xii, my emphasis). It is hard to know exactly what this is supposed to mean. But given the first sentence, I take it that, however "naive" or "superfluous" they may be, ' Thus we read "a parte vis[i]" instead of "a parte rei" in entry 282, "etc" instead of "&" (477), "active" instead of "action" (623). In these cases, George Thomas' edition (Alliance, Ohio, 1976) is correct. Sometimes both A. A. Luce (London, t944) and Thomas are right, whereas Park is wrong, as when she has "those" instead of "than" (2o6), "though" instead of "thus" (475), "Word" instead of "Words" (546a). It is necessary to be pedantic when presenting a manuscript such as Berkeley's Notebooks, particularly as there are important arguments in the literature which are based on orthographical details in the Notebooks.Luce, for instance, who has "Our mind" in 477a, argues that the initial capital of "Our" is quite conclusive: Berkeley stresses our mind because emphasizing the "distinction between the divine mind and the human" (41o). Park, however, has "our Mind", whereas the correct reading is "Our Mind" as in Thomas' edition. There are also other arguments based on Berkeley's use of initial capital letters. It is therefore to be regretted that Park has a capital, instead of a lower case, initialletter in the following cases: "Then" (5:6), "W~(529, 576a)---and a lower case instead of a capital in these cases: "word" (576a), "our" (576a), "effect" (576), "perceptions" (580, "writing" (6o7), "unthinking" (622), "volition" (63o), "chief" (642), "understanding" (643), "mind" (692), "meaning" (7oo), "actus" (7oo), "voluntas" (7o9), "w"" (72o), "naming" and "names" (76a), "other" (840, "words" (867), and "v/d."instead of "Vid:" in 887. As a careful study of orthographical details, moreover, may provide us with information about the chronology of Berkeley's early writings, it is unfortunate not only that the following details are erroneous: "tis" instead of " 'tis" (491), "that" instead of "y~"(567), "proposd" and "puzzled" instead of "propos'd" and "puzzl'd" (378a and 59l, resp.), and "etc" and "and" instead of "&c" and "&" (622 and 651, resp.)---but also that there are mistakes in the spelling of particular words such as these: "intrinsical" and "extrinsical" instead of Berkeley's "intrinsecal" and "extrinsecar' in 192a, the curious "objectn'' instead of "objection" (795), "contenance" instead of "countenance" (827), and "Prescience" instead of "Praescience" (875)- It is also possible to criticize the punctuation in these entries: 256, 296a, 354a, 475, 64o, 688, 7oo, 748, 755, 827, 831,847, 852, 858, 876, 886. BOOK REVIEWS 449 the notes in pencil are "in Berkeley's hand," according to the editor. (Sometimes a page has been reproduced for no other reason than to show a note in pencil written on it.) There is a curious note in this pencil hand (which...