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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Was Berkeley a Skeptic About the External World? A History of Misinterpretation

An academic press in the UK has asked me to draw up a proposal for turning my paper "Was Berkeley a Subjective Idealist?" into a monograph. Now, ever since I was a kid and read that Sherlock Holmes had written a monograph entitled Upon the Distinction Between the Ashes of the Various Tobaccos, I have wanted to write a monograph. And since blogging is the best way to get me writing, I will try out my table of contents here.


Was Berkeley a Skeptic About the External World? A History of Misinterpretation

Introduction
Chapter I: Writing the History of Thought: Lessons from Collingwood and Cambridge
Chapter II: Berkeley's Setting: Galileo, Descartes, and Locke
Chapter III: Berkeley in Context
Chapter IV: Berkeley out of Context
Chapter V: Getting Berkeley Right
Conclusion

UPDATE: I am recasting the basic tension here to make clearer what Berkeley was asserting and what he was denying. Some people identify "subjective idealism" with subjectivism or solipsism, while others don't. Therefore, the change in terminology.

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