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BOOK REVIEWS 353 reading; indeed, much of the book seems to merit the title "Berkeley made difficult." Readers may also wonder whether some of Pitcher's fine distinctions and dissections are worth the fuss and the typographical disruption (see pp. 10-11, 26, 95-96). But Pitcher's chief weakness is his speculative and cavalier way of doing history of philosophy. His self-evident axiom is that "Locke is the Philosopher for Berkeley . . . [indeed] the Enemy [sic]" (p. 90). Time and again we learn that Berkeley is "attacking" Locke on matter. For example: "Berkeley seeks to rectify the faults he finds in Locke's system..." (p. 92), "Berkeley bluntly contends, against Locke, that our ideas of sense cannot possibly resemble Lockean material objects..." (p. 115), "The second of Berkeley 's two parting shots against Locke is aimed..." (p. 122). But Berkeley mentions Locke neither directly nor indirectly in his published statements on matter and sense perception. (Locke's views on language are, of course, openly attacked in the introduction to the Principles.) When Berkeley names his materialistic opponents, as he does in the Principles, section 93, and in the second of the Three dialogues, it is Hobbes, Spinoza, and Vanini (and more generally the Hobbists and Epicureans) that he mentions. Hence Pitcher's expressions like "the hated Lockean dualism" (p. 169) are little better than historical romance. Most of his Locke-Berkeley discussions are only barely based on fact, such as when he sees Berkeley objecting to Locke's philosophy on account of its (1) atheism and irreligion, (2) opposition to common sense, and (3) skepticism (pp. 91-92, 134, and 142). But what of (1) Hobbes, Spinoza, (2) Malebranche, and (3) Bayle? There is surely "an air of unreality"--to use Pitcher's own phrase-- when Locke is commissioned to be Berkeley's irreligious and uncommonsensicaltarget in preference to Hobbes or Spinoza. Unfortunately , Pitcher's historical prize-ring is large enough for only two contestants. I do not wish to claim, however, that Pitcher is the worst sinner in this respect, or that his discussions in Chapters 6 through 11 are fundamentally vitiated by the fictitious links he forges between Locke and Berkeley. But by artificially restricting Berkeley's targets, he does oversimplify and distort Berkeley 's complex critique of materialism, which is not, as the title of Chapter 7 indicates, an "attack against Lockean matter." Rather, it is a many-sided attack against conceptions of matter drawn from the ancient materialists, the Schoolmen, Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza, Malebranche, and, probably, also from Locke. Pitcher's highhanded history of philosophy is in marked contrast, happily, to his careful and precise analysis of Berkeley's arguments in the classic works published between 1709 and 1713. Here he is illuminating;although on some topics--numerical identity (pp. 144-49) being one I think he overstates and hence misrepresents Berkeley's position. Pitcher's concentration on the earlier works is understandable, but it sometimes leads to the omission of relevant evidence. Thus in his interesting discussion of Berkeley's concept of mind, (pp. 212-22), he should certainly have examined Berkeley's assertion in De motu, section 21, that we know our soul "by a certain internal consciousness" (also see sec. 29). Pitcher's account of mind and time is also, I think, weakened by his failure to see the theological aims of Berkeley, whose subjective theory of time is hardly a "desperate effort" against "the spectre of scepticism" (p. 223). It is, in fact, at the heart of his novel proof for the immortality of the soul, which is for him an item of rational and not (p. 244) pragmatic theology. DAVIDBERMAN Trinity College, Dublin Ramon M. Lemos. Rousseau's Political Philosophy: An Exposition and Interpretation. Athens, Ga.: The University of Georgia Press, 1977. Pp. x + 262. $14.50. This is a rather thorough study of Rousseau's political philosophy. Concentrating upon the Discourse on the Origin and Foundation of lnequahty Among Men, the Dtscourse on Political Economy, and The Social Contract, Lemos covers in detail the major aspects of Rousseau's vision 354 HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY of political and moral life and presents us with a viable interpretation of his view...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
pp. 353-355
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-01
Open Access
No
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