An Essay Towards a New Theory of Vision

Cosimo, Inc.
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Forming a triangle of British empiricism with Locke and Hume, George Berkeley's direct influence on modern thought cannot be overstated. From the American Founding Fathers, who looked to him as the pioneer of their idealism, to the reality-questioning motives of quantum physics, Berkeley's odd yet profound view of the nature of human awareness, a sense he trusted implicitly, has in turn shaped our perception of the universe at large. His 1709 "Essay Towards a New Theory of Vision" reads like the ramblings of a madman-and he was, in fact, dismissed as such in his time-but his discussion of perception, distance, parallelism, magnitude, and other elements of vision, presented as 160 suppositions, is now recognized as a foundational work on the theory of optics. This strange work will intrigue readers of philosophy and scientific theory. Irish scientist, philosopher, and writer GEORGE BERKELEY (1685-1753) also wrote A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge (1710) and Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous (1713).
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About the author

Born and reared in Ireland, George Berkeley studied at Trinity College, Dublin, and then taught as a fellow there, eventually becoming Dean of Derry (1724) and Bishop of Cloyne (1734) in the Irish branch of the Anglican church. His primary philosophical interests included metaphysics and epistemology, the psychology of perception, philosophy of science, and natural theology. But he is best known for his defense of metaphysical idealism and denial of the existence of matter. Berkeley's best-known writings were produced relatively early in his life, between the ages of 24 and 28: They included Essay Towards a New Theory of Vision (1709), Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge (1710), and Three Dialogues (1713). In 1728 Berkeley made a voyage to the United States in an unsuccessful attempt to found a college in Bermuda. He lived for two years at Newport, Rhode Island, and had a significant influence on American education, chiefly through his association with and donation of books to Yale University and his correspondence with Samuel Johnson, the first president of what is now Columbia University.

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Cosimo, Inc.
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Published on
Dec 31, 2008
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Philosophy / History & Surveys / General
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The eighteenth century Irish philosopher George Berkeley is best known for his empiricist and idealist philosophy, which argues that reality consists only of minds and their ideas. He is also known for his critique of abstraction, an important premise in his argument for immaterialism. His chief philosophical work, ‘A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge’ (1710), largely seeks to refute the claims made by Berkeley's contemporary John Locke about the nature of human perception. This eBook presents Berkeley’s complete works, with numerous illustrations, rare texts appearing in digital print for the first time, informative introductions and the usual Delphi bonus material. (Version 1)

* Beautifully illustrated with images relating to Berkeley’s life and works

* Concise introductions to the major works

* All of the treatises, with individual contents tables

* Features rare works appearing for the first time in digital publishing, including ‘Siris’ and ‘The Theory of Vision’

* Rare translations of Berkeley’s two Latin works: ‘Arithmetica’ and ‘Miscellanea Mathematica’, available for the first time in digital print

* Images of how the books were first published, giving your eReader a taste of the original texts

* Excellent formatting of the texts

* Special criticism section, with essays evaluating Berkeley’s contribution to philosophy

* Features two bonus biographies – discover Berkeley’s intriguing life

* Scholarly ordering of texts into chronological order and genres

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The Books

Arithmetica (1707)

Miscellanea Mathematica (1707)

Common-Place Book (1709)

An Essay towards a New Theory of Vision (1709)

A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge (1710)

A Discourse on Passive Obedience (1712)

Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous (1713)

An Essay towards Preventing the Ruin of Great Britain (1721)

De Motu (1721)

A Proposal for Better Supplying Churches in our Foreign Plantations (1725)

A Sermon Preached before the Incorporated Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (1732)

Alciphron (1732)

The Theory of Vision (1733)

The Analyst (1734)

A Defence of Free-thinking in Mathematics (1735)

Reasons for Not Replying to Mr. Walton’s Full Answer (1735)

The Querist (1737)

A Discourse addressed to Magistrates and Men of Authority (1736)

Siris (1744)

A Word to the Wise (1749)

Farther Thoughts on Tar-Water (1752)

Miscellaneous Works

The Criticism

Extract from ‘A Treatise of Human Nature’ by David Hume

Berkeley by Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

Extract from ‘The World as Will and Idea’ by Arthur Schopenhauer

Extract from ‘The Principles of Psychology’ by William James

The Biographies

George Berkeley by A. Campbell Fraser

George Berkeley by Robert Adamson

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