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George Berkeley
(1685- 1753)


Irish philosopher (idealist) and bishop. Educated at Trinity College, Dublin where he became a fellow in 1707. He stayed at Trinity for five years serving the college in different capacities. Berkeley then moved to London and spent much time travelling in France and Italy for the next ten years. (The fact that he was in London in 1715 disproves the story that Malebranche died of a fit of apoplexy, brought on by arguing with Berkeley.) In 1724, promised a sum of 20,000 pounds by parliament, he entered a project with enthusiasm for founding a college in Bermuda for Christian education. He arrived and settled, with his new wife, in Rhode Island in 1728. While there he corresponded with with the American philosopher Samuel Johnson. Unfortunately the promise of funds, where never fulfilled. Disappointed he went back to England in 1732, and was made bishop of Cloyne in 1734. The next 20 years he spent raising his family "in a remote corner of Inokelly". 1752 he moved to Oxford to be with his son.


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Last modified September 4, 1995.