The Rhetoric of Berkeley's Philosophy

The Rhetoric of Berkeley's Philosophy

Whereas previous studies have made George Berkeley (1685-1753) the object of philosophical study, Peter Walmsley assesses Berkeley as a writer, offering rhetorical and literary analyses of Berkeley's four major philosophical texts, A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge, Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous, Alciphron, and Siris. Berkeley emerges from this study as an accomplished stylist who builds structures of affective imagery, creates dramatic voices in his texts, and masters the range of philosophical genres--the treatise, the dialogue, and the essay.


"...the reader can turn from Walmsley's work not only with fresh insights, but with new tools for approaching the works of Berkeley's contemporaries (especially Hume) and relating them to Berkeley's own works." Studies in English Literature

"The Rhetoric of Berkeley's Philosophy, particularly Walmsley's chapter on the character of the elenchus, can be strongly recommended to readers." Bob Robinson, South Atlantic Review

"Walmsley provides a very thorough account, showing how Berkeley's studied choice of language aids him in manipulating the reader. One comes away from this book filled with admiration both for Walmsley as an analyst and for Berkeley as a stylist." Margaret Atherton, Eighteenth-Century Studies