Berkeley's New Theory of Vision: Science of Metaphysics?

In Timo Airaksinen & Bertil` Belfrage (eds.), Berkeley's Lasting Legacy: 300 Years Later. Cambridge Scholars Press (2011)

Bertil Belfrage has recently given a "new interpretation" of Berkeley's Theory of Vision. He opposes the view that it is a contribution to metaphysics; it is, he argues, a scientific theory comparable with physics and mechanics. I shall argue that both alternatives are mistaken: Berkeley does not present any definite theory at all in his essay on vision; it is not a contribution either to science or metaphysics but an essay towards a theory that would include both scientific and metaphysical aspects. Even if the Theory of Vision is not a treatise on ontology or theology, and it is no doubt an empirical work, it is not a contribution exclusively to empirical psychology. Berkeley wanted to show the need for a new theory of vision. This explains why he seems to deal with both scientific and metaphysical themes at the same time.
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