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Berkeley’s Alciphron

Laurent Jaffro, Geneviève Brykman et Claire Schwartz (éds.)

Berkeley’s Alciphron Englist Texts and Essays in Interpretation

Paru en décembre 2009

Georg Olms Verlag - Europaea Memoria

Prix : 49,80 €

444 pages - 16 × 24 cm
ISBN 978-3-487-14274-6 - décembre 2009


It was on returning from America, where his missionary project had been brought to an end, that Berkeley published Alciphron : or, the Minute Philosopher. The seven dialogues of the work realise, on a theoretical level, what Berkeley had wanted to undertake in more practical terms : to spread Christianity and, above all, to fight the epidemic of free-thinking, it is essential to state basic principles for the training of educators. It is the task of these people to open the eyes and the spirits of human beings, which the seductive but reductive words of the free-thinkers and atheists tend to blind. The ’minute philosophers’are so named because they fix themselves on the sensory details of experience, reducing human nature to the animal level, and obscuring from view the sublime destiny promised to human beings by Christianity in terms of a virtuous life. Only the watching eye of a spectator capable of regarding at a distance the harmonious totality of natural laws disposed by the providence of God may counteract the frivolous pedantry of libertines fixed on their own egoistic interests. This is how Berkeley proposes to train educators, in order that they may, in their turn, enable others to know how to separate the wheat from the chaff; that is to say, to distinguish good from bad.
This publication presents the complete English text of Alciphron (in the 1732 second edition), and studies by European scholars.