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Distributed for Center for the Study of Language and Information

Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous

Edited, with an Introduction by David Hilbert and John Perry
Deeply original, inspiring to some, abhorrent to others, George Berkeley’s philosophy of immaterialism is still influential three hundred years after the publication of his most widely read book, Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous.  Berkeley published the Dialogues because of the unenthusiastic reception of his Principles of Human Knowledge in 1710.  He hoped the use of the dialogue format would win a more favorable hearing, but unfortunately for Berkeley, the response was every bit as scathing as the reception of his previous work. In recent decades, Berkeley’s work has been recognized as an excellent introduction to the English philosophy of the eighteenth century, and to philosophy in general.  This edition of the dialogues is accessibly organized by David Hilbert and John Perry.

93 | 6 x 9 | © 1994

Philosophy: General Philosophy

Table of Contents


1. Why Study the Dialogues?

2.  Perception, Action, and the World

            2.1 Ideas vs Things

            2.2. Berkeley’s Concern with Skepticism

            2.3 The Move to Phenominalism

            2.4 Phenomenalism and Common Sense

3. Berkeley’s Alternatives

            3.1 Discontinuous Realism

            3.2 Continuous Realism

            3.3 Unsupported Phenomenalism

            3.4 Theistic Phenomenalism

            3.5 Interpreting Berkeley

4. Berkeley’s Life and Work

5. A Note on the Text

Selected Bibliography

The Dialogues


            The First Dialogue

            The Second Dialogue            The Third Dialogue

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