Many scholars blur the rejection of material substance (immaterialism) with the claim that only minds and things dependent upon minds exist (idealism). However Flage shows how, by distinguishing idealism from immaterialism and arguing that Berkeley’s account of what there is (metaphysics) is dependent upon what is known (epistemology), a careful and plausible philosophy emerges.
The author sets out the implications of this valuable insight for Berkeley’s moral and economic works, showing how they are a natural outgrowth of his metaphysics, casting new light on the appreciation of these and other lesser-known areas of Berkeley’s thought.
Daniel E. Flage’s Berkeley presents the student and general reader with a clear and eminently readable introduction to Berkeley’s works which also challenges standard interpretations of Berkeley’s philosophy.
The essays in Volume 1 investigate what linguistic meaning is; how the meaning of a sentence is related to the use we make of it; what we should expect from empirical theories of the meaning of the languages we speak; and how a sound theoretical grasp of the intricate relationship between meaning and use can improve the interpretation of legal texts.
The essays in Volume 2 illustrate the significance of linguistic concerns for a broad range of philosophical topics--including the relationship between language and thought; the objects of belief, assertion, and other propositional attitudes; the distinction between metaphysical and epistemic possibility; the nature of necessity, actuality, and possible worlds; the necessary a posteriori and the contingent a priori; truth, vagueness, and partial definition; and skepticism about meaning and mind.
The two volumes of Philosophical Essays are essential for anyone working on the philosophy of language.