This page features a collection of the best resources on George Berkeley. Just to be clear, there is no single best resource on Berkeley. The best one will depend on your preferred learning style and the amount of time you want to spend learning about him.
To get started, simply choose one of the links below:
If you want an academic overview of Berkeley:
- Read the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article on George Berkeley. However, you should keep in mind that the Stanford Encyclopedia in often quite technical and this article may be difficult for beginners. It’s also quite long at around 9500 words. Here’s a short excerpt that introduces Berkeley:
“George Berkeley, Bishop of Cloyne, was one of the great philosophers of the early modern period. He was a brilliant critic of his predecessors, particularly Descartes, Malebranche, and Locke. He was a talented metaphysician famous for defending idealism, that is, the view that reality consists exclusively of minds and their ideas. Berkeley’s system, while it strikes many as counter-intuitive, is strong and flexible enough to counter most objections. His most-studied works, the Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge (Principles, for short) and Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous (Dialogues), are beautifully written and dense with the sort of arguments that delight contemporary philosophers. He was also a wide-ranging thinker with interests in religion (which were fundamental to his philosophical motivations), the psychology of vision, mathematics, physics, morals, economics, and medicine. Although many of Berkeley’s first readers greeted him with incomprehension, he influenced both Hume and Kant, and is much read (if little followed) in our own day. . . .”
If you’re looking for a somewhat shorter and more engaging introduction:
If you’d prefer a video introduction:
If you prefer audio and podcasts:
Unfortunately, there’s only so much you can learn by using free online resources. If you want to learn more, check out this list of the best books on George Berkeley.
For more introductory philosophy resources and reading lists check out this collection of Resources and Reading Lists.