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-------------------------------------------- -------- -----------------------198 THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO QUARTERLY BERKELEY* RoBERT McRAE The urgen·t need for a new edition of the works of Berkeley is fortunately to be supplied now. by Professors Luce and Jessop in Nelson's projected library of British philosophers. The first volume to appear contains the Philosophical Commentaries, or Commonplace Book, as they were called by Fraser, the Essay towards a New Theory of Vision) and the Theory of Vision Vindicated. Since Fraser's editions of 1871· and 1901, the corpus of Berkeley's writings has been altered and enlarged. The most important changes have occurred in the Commonplace Book. As the new editors point out, this "has had to be so drastically re-handled that it is virtually a new document to-day.'' The two note-books which received this title from Fraser have been renamed Philosophical Commentaries by Professor Luce, and the order in which they were originally bound together has been reversed. "The structure of the volume," Professor Luce says, "was not understood in Fraser's day, and reading the notes in the wrong order, he could make little or nothing of them, and he took the volume to be a literary scrap-book. Hence his misleading name for it. The note-books, however, are not a CommDnplace Book; they are commentaries on the arguments for immaterialism which Berkeley had in his mind, and probably on paper also, before he began to make the entries." Professor Luce has added an immensely useful set of notes on the entries, taken from the larger set which he supplied for his editio diplomatica of 1944. In the Commentaries students of Berkeley can observe the progress of his thought and the scrupulous enumeration of difficulties through which he worked his way to the doctrine as it is given finally in the New Theory and the Principles. To take one example, we find Berkeley beginning with a n1odi:fied Lockean correspondence theory of ideas and powers, the ideas in our minds corresponding to powers outside our minds-the difference from Locke's theory being that the powers exist in God rather than in matter (entry 41). This theory undergoes transformation until we read in one of the late entries, "Not to mention the Combinations of Powers but to say the things the effec.ts themselves to really exist even wn not actually perceiv'd but still with relation to perception" (entry 802). The correspondence *The Works of George Berkeley, edited by T. E. JEssoP and A. A. LucE. Volume I, edited by A. A. LucE. Edinburgh and Toronto:-Nelson. 1948. Pp. 279. ($5.50) Life of George Berkeley. By A. A. LucE. Edinburgh and Toronto: Nelson. 1949. Pp. 272. ($6.25) Vol. II of The Works of George Berkeley, edited hy T. E. Jessop, 1949, was not received until too late for the present number. It will be reviewed later. REVIEWS 199 theory thus vanishes. Similarly it is instructive to follow the stages in Berkeley's treatment of the self. There is a prevalent theory that Hume took over where Berkeley left off, applying the arguments which Berkeley had used against material substance to spiritual substance. Readers of the Commentaries will find, however, that Berkeley had anticipated just the sort of thing which Hume was to say (entries 576-82). We have today Part I of the Principles. There were to have been a Part II on psychology and ethics and a Part III on natural philosophy . At least a portion of Part II was written but lost in Italy, and Berkeley never completed it. Our clues to what he would have said in these remaining par-ts are to be found in the CommentaTies. Not the least interesting are the ethical entries, which show sensation to have had the same importance in his moral theory as in the rest of his philosophy. There is one striking entry which reads: "Sensual Pleasure is the Summum Bonum. This is the Great Principle of Morality...." (Entry 769.) But whether Part II would have been so great an achievement as Part I may perhaps be decided from the fact that Berkeley showed a disinclination to bother with it again after it was lost1...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 198-200
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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