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Fine Literature
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George Berkeley

Picture of Berkeley Irish bishop and philosopher. Made a Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin, 1707, he was strongly influenced by the philosophical writings of Descartes, Newton and Locke. In 1709 his New Theory of Vision appeared, and in 1710 his great work, The Principles of Human Knowledge, was published. In 1712 he visited England and the following year was presented at court by Dean Swift, shortly before the publication of his most popular work, The Dialogues of Hylas and Philonous. Berkeley's literary fame rests upon this latter work, which has been described as "among the finest philosophical writings in the English language" on the basis of its "exquisite facility of style." In 1728 he emigrated to America, where he lived in Rhode Island for three years, hoping for a government grant of funds for the establishment of a college in Bermuda. His hopes disappointed, he returned to Ireland and shortly afterward was raised to the bishopric of Cloyne. In 1752 he moved with his family to Oxford, where he died suddenly in January of the following year, and was buried in Christ Church.

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