At the outset of this study, I suggested that a re-appraisal of early Berkeley criticism had become necessary when scholarly labors in the twentieth century uncovered a positive Berkeleian philosophy that seemed, at least on the surface, virtually to have been ignored by earlier commentators. It proved a difficult task, in the face of the limerick tradition, to suggest that Berkeleianism is not Christian Science, nor pantheism, nor panpsychism — nor idealism. Over a long period of years Luce and Jessop have been encouraging us to re-examine our interpretations of Berkeley and to re-read his texts. To the first end they have suggested that Berkeleianism is Immaterialism — that Berkeley rejected matter as metaphysical poppycock in favor of a common sense view which makes the real world the sensed world and which sees the role accorded God as both central and fundamental. To the second end, they have jointly prepared an excellent edition of the Works — and among other things, have tried to defend the Philosophical Commentaries (Luce’s edition corrects Fraser’s misordering of the note-books) as an aid in interpreting the Principles.


Eighteenth Century Early Commentator Idealist Label Active Spirit Common Sense View 
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  1. 1.
    Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, transl. N. Kemp Smith, (London: 1950), p.89.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, Netherlands 1965

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harry M. Bracken

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