The Rhetoric of Berkeley's Philosophy

The Rhetoric of Berkeley's Philosophy

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The works of George Berkeley (1685a€“1753) have been the object of much philosophical analysis; but philosophers are writers as well as thinkers, and Berkeley was himself positively interested in the functions of language and style. He recognized that words are used not just to convey ideas, but to stir the emotions and influence the behaviour of the hearer or reader. The Rhetoric of Berkeley's Philosophy, first published in 1990, offers rhetorical and literary analyses of his four major philosophical texts, A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge, Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous, Alciphron and Siris. The Berkeley that emerges from this study is an accomplished stylist, one who builds structures of affective imagery, who creates dramatic voices in his texts, and who masters the range of philosophical genres - the treatise, the dialogue and the essay. Above all, Berkeley's awareness of the rhetorical functions of language is everywhere evident in his own style. His texts persuade as well as prove, enacting a process of inquiry so that the reader may, in the end, grasp Berkeley's truths as his own.Lockea#39;s Essay, for example, cited Scripture in the most tentative fashion, and chose texts which suggest Scripturea#39;s inability to ... Berkeleya#39;s specific application of this text in a context in Metaphor and the evidence of things not seen 53.

Title:The Rhetoric of Berkeley's Philosophy
Author:Peter Walmsley
Publisher:Cambridge University Press - 2006-11-02


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