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Recovering Bishop Berkeley: Virtue and Society in the Anglo-Irish Context by Scott Breuninger (review)

Recovering Bishop Berkeley: Virtue and Society in the Anglo-Irish Context by Scott Breuninger... derstood as a vital task by those who stand within that tradition and are attempting to do it. It reminds those who stand outside that Dissent is not obliged only to look forward to becoming ``radicalism''; it can also seek to reconnect with the sources of its tradition. Andrew Starkie Manchester, England SCOTT BREUNINGER, Recovering Bishop Berkeley: Virtue and Society in the AngloIrish Context. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. Pp. 243. $89. Berkeley knew a problem when he saw one. When this ambitious clergyman squared off against the deists and free thinkers of his day--against the writings and influence of John Toland and Anthony Collins, in particular--he saw at once that they had a linguistic advantage, as the words ``free'' and ``free-thinker'' bore undeniably positive connotations. So he did what any savvy political rhetorician would do: he rejected their terms and rebranded them ``minute philosophers.'' Borrowing the phrase from Cicero (no slouch when it came to political rhetoric), Berkeley countered the attractiveness of ``free'' with words chosen to frame the freethinkers as narrow and quibbling. Here, as in everything he wrote--from the pre-1713 philosophical tracts to the sharply interrogative Querist (1735­1737), the wildly expansive Siris (1744), the avuncular http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Scriblerian and the Kit-Cats The Scriblerian and the Kit-Cats

Recovering Bishop Berkeley: Virtue and Society in the Anglo-Irish Context by Scott Breuninger (review)

The Scriblerian and the Kit-Cats , Volume 45 (2)

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The Scriblerian and the Kit-Cats
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Copyright © Roy S. Wolper, W. B. Gerard, and Derek Taylor
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2165-0624
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Abstract

derstood as a vital task by those who stand within that tradition and are attempting to do it. It reminds those who stand outside that Dissent is not obliged only to look forward to becoming ``radicalism''; it can also seek to reconnect with the sources of its tradition. Andrew Starkie Manchester, England SCOTT BREUNINGER, Recovering Bishop Berkeley: Virtue and Society in the AngloIrish Context. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. Pp. 243. $89. Berkeley knew a problem when he saw one. When this ambitious clergyman squared off against the deists and free thinkers of his day--against the writings and influence of John Toland and Anthony Collins, in particular--he saw at once that they had a linguistic advantage, as the words ``free'' and ``free-thinker'' bore undeniably positive connotations. So he did what any savvy political rhetorician would do: he rejected their terms and rebranded them ``minute philosophers.'' Borrowing the phrase from Cicero (no slouch when it came to political rhetoric), Berkeley countered the attractiveness of ``free'' with words chosen to frame the freethinkers as narrow and quibbling. Here, as in everything he wrote--from the pre-1713 philosophical tracts to the sharply interrogative Querist (1735­1737), the wildly expansive Siris (1744), the avuncular

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