In Kenneth Winkler (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Berkeley. Cambridge University Press. pp. 230--265 (2005)

Lisa Downing
Ohio State University
Although George Berkeley himself made no major scientific discoveries, nor formulated any novel theories, he was nonetheless actively concerned with the rapidly evolving science of the early eighteenth century. Berkeley's works display his keen interest in natural philosophy and mathematics from his earliest writings (Arithmetica, 1707) to his latest (Siris, 1744). Moreover, much of his philosophy is fundamentally shaped by his engagement with the science of his time. In Berkeley's best-known philosophical works, the Principles and Dialogues, he sets up his idealistic system in opposition to the materialist mechanism he finds in Descartes and Locke. In De Motu, Berkeley refines and extends his philosophy of science in the context of a critique of the dynamic accounts of motion offered by Newton and Leibniz. And in Siris, Berkeley's flirtation with neo-Platonism draws inspiration from the fire theory of Boerhaave as well as Newton's aetherial speculations in the Queries of the Optics. In examining Berkeley's critical engagement with the natural philosophy of his time, we will thus improve our understanding of not just his philosophy of science, but of his philosophical corpus as a whole.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Force (God) in Descartes' Physics.Gary C. Hatfield - 1979 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 10 (2):113-140.
Siris and the Scope of Berkeley's Instrumentalism.Lisa J. Downing - 1995 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 3 (2):279 – 300.
Locke, Berkeley, and Corpuscular Scepticism.Daniel Garber - 1982 - In Colin Murray Turbayne (ed.), Berkeley: Critical and Interpretive Essays. University of Minnesota Press.
Berkeley's Philosophy of Science.W. H. Newton-Smith - 1985 - In John Foster & Howard Robinson (eds.), Essays on Berkeley: A Tercentennial Celebration. Oxford University Press.
De Motu.George Berkeley & Mariapaola Fimiani - 1991 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 181 (1):119-119.

View all 8 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

George Berkeley.Lisa Downing - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
530 ( #10,550 of 2,348,302 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
41 ( #16,623 of 2,348,302 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes