Bishop Berkeley

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the work of George Berkeley, an Anglican bishop who was one of the most important philosophers of the eighteenth century. Bishop Berkeley believed that objects only truly exist in the mind of somebody who perceives them - an idea he called immaterialism. His interests and writing ranged widely, from the science of optics to religion and the medicinal benefits of tar water. His work on the nature of perception was a spur to many later thinkers, including David Hume and Immanuel Kant. The clarity of Berkeley's writing, and his ability to pose a profound problem in an easily understood form, has made him one of the most admired early modern thinkers.


Peter Millican
Gilbert Ryle Fellow and Professor of Philosophy at Hertford College, Oxford

Tom Stoneham
Professor of Philosophy at the University of York

Michela Massimi
Senior Lecturer in Philosophy of Science at the University of Edinburgh.

Producer: Thomas Morris.

Release date:

Available now

43 minutes

Last on

Thu 20 Mar 2014 21:30

Related topics


Peter Millican at the University of Oxford


Tom Stoneham at the University of York


Michela Massimi at the University of Edinburgh


George Berkeley - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy


George Berkeley - Wikipedia





David Berman, Berkeley: Idealism and the Man (OUP, 1996)


J. Foster and H. Robinson (eds.), Essays on Berkeley: A Tercentennial Celebration (Clarendon Press, 1985)


Nick Jones, Starting with Berkeley (Continuum, 2009)


A. Richmond, Berkeley’s Principles of Human Knowledge: A Reader’s Guide (Continuum Press, 2009)


Tom Stoneham, Berkeley’s World (OUP, 2002)


C. M. Turbayne (ed.), Berkeley: Critical and Interpretive Essays (University of Minnesota Press, 1982), especially ‘Locke, Berkeley, and Corpuscular Scepticism’ by D. Garber


J. O. Urmson, Berkeley (OUP, 1982)


K. P. Winkler (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Berkeley, (Cambridge University Press, 2005)


R. S. Woolhouse, The Empiricists (Oxford Paperbacks, 1988)



Role Contributor
PresenterMelvyn Bragg
Interviewed GuestPeter Millican
Interviewed GuestMichela Massimi
Interviewed GuestTom Stoneham
ProducerThomas Morris

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