University of Notre Dame


Hesburgh Libraries

Rare Books & Special Collections

The George Berkeley Collection

George Berkeley (1685-1753)

Arthur Aston Luce (1882-1977) was the biographer and editor of the Irish philosopher, George Berkeley (1685-1753). Through his writings such as New Theory of Vision and Principles of Human Knowledge, Berkeley became known for his theory that material objects exist only as they are perceived by the human mind.

This collection of over 290 volumes includes Luce's personal library of early editions of Berkeley's works (see library catalog records) and of other writers such as Bacon, Descartes, King, Locke, and Smith. Many of them contain Luce's penciled notes.

The collection was acquired by purchase in 1993.

Early Editions of the Works of George Berkeley

Philosophical Commentaries, Generally Called the Commonplace Book ... edited by A. A. Luce. London: Nelson, 1944. 4to. buckram. 12/400 copies.
Luce's own copy, with some annotations and marginalia. Although unpublished until Fraser's edition of The Works (1871), Berkeley's Commonplace Book comes first in the chronological order of his opus. It is a remarkable autobiographical document, which provides a detailed record of the progress of his mind towards his conclusions.
An Essay towards a New Theory of Vision.
Luce was apparently unable to find a copy of either of the Dublin issues of 1709, and contented himself with the revised text, which Berkeley appended to Alciphron (London, 1732). The second volume of that work is here found without its companion. A very good copy, with page 60 misnumbered as usual.
The Theory of Vision, or Visual Language, Shewing the Immediate Presence and Providence of a Deity, Vindicated and Explained. By the author of Alciphron. London, for J. Tonson 1733. First edition. 8vo. (bound in pamphlets 3). (Keynes 4).
A very good copy of this rarity. During the century after his death, few Berkeley readers were even aware of its existence. Joseph Stock, who edited the Collected Works (1784) omitted it, and it was not until Fraser's edition of The Works (1871), that it was reprinted.
A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge. Part I, [all published]. Dublin, by A. Phames for J. Pepyat 1710. Large 8vo. contemporary calf, with label. First edition. (Keynes 5).
A splendid copy of the key book in any collection of Berkeley's work. On publication The Principles was the subject of ridicule, particularly by those who had not read it, but Berkeley was undeterred by this reception, and proceeded to develop his ideas in his next book, which he wrote in the form of Socratic dialogues.
A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge ... to which are added Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonus, in opposition to Sceptics and Atheists. London, for Jacob Tonson 1734. 8vo. contemporary calf. First London Edition. (Keynes 6).
A very good copy.
Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonus. The design of which is plainly to demonstrate the Reality and Perfection of Humane Knowledge, the Incorporeal Nature of the Soul, and the Immediate Providence of a Diety: in opposition to Sceptics and Atheists. Also to open a method for rendering the sciences more easy, useful and compendious. London, by G. James for H. Clements 1713. 8vo. modern calf by Zaehnsdorf. First edition. (Keynes 9).
The Three Dialogues is regarded as a major literary work of art, being written with all Berkeley's grace and clarity. In it he sought to propogate the same doctrine which he had taught in The Principles, but in a form which would be more easily understood by the general reader.
Three Dialogues. London, n.p. 1766. 8vo. contemporary sheep, rebacked. Second London edition. (Keynes 11).
A very good copy with the terminal blank.
Alciphron: or the Minute Philosopher. In seven dialogues. Containing an Apology for the Christian religion, against those who are called Free Thinkers ... the second edition. London, for J. Tonson 1731. 2 volumes, 8vo. contemporary panelled calf. (Keynes 17).
A fine copy. Leaf A4 cancelled, as usual, but leaving such a wide stub that it is obvious that the cancelled leaf was not in fact blank, but had at least a headpiece. Berkeley wrote these dialogues in the years 1729-1731, while he was enjoying a rest from more worldly affairs in the pleasant surroundings of Newport, Rhode Island.
Alciphron, or the Minute Philosopher. Dublin, for G. Risk, G. Ewing and W. Smith 1732. 2 volumes in 1, 8vo. contemporary calf. (Keynes 16).
First Dublin edition, long thought to precede the London publication, although modern scholarship has discontinued this hypothesis.
Alciphron, or the Minute Philosopher. Dublin, for W. Williamson 1757. 8vo. contemporary calf. (Keynes 24).
Third Dublin edition.
For, A Letter Dion (Keynes 29)
...see under Mandeville.
The Querist, containing Several Queries, proposed to the Consideration of the Public. The Forth (sic) edition, with Additions. Dublin, G. Faulkner 1750. 12mo. nineteenth century calf, spine gilt. (Keynes 57).
The Querist, with A Word to the Wise. Glasgow, reprinted for R. Urie 1760. 12 mo. contemporary calf, rebacked. (Keynes 61).
[Siris] — Philosophical Reflections and Inquiries Concerning the Virtues of Tar Water. London, for C. Hitch & C. Davis 1744. 8vo. (bound in pamphlets 1). (Keynes 65).
Keynes notes that, "It is possible that in some copies of this issue, the title-page may be a cancel leaf, but no evidence of this has been found in any of the copies examined." The Luce copy, clearly proves this point. "...more than a Christian apologetic; it is a work on mathematics for Mathematicians...." –Luce.
The Analyst; or a Discourse Addressed to an Infidel Mathematician. London for J. Tonson 1734. 8vo. nineteenth century half calf. First edition. (Keynes 32).
A good copy, complete with the errata leaf. An early hand has inserted the word "Evidence" in the margin of page 85. Bound with, Watson: An Essay on Chemistry — see Watson.
Siris: A Chain of Philosophical Reflections and Inquiries concerning the Virtues of Tar Water ... second edition, improved and corrected by the author. London, reprinted for W. Innys al. 1744. 8vo. modern half calf. (Keynes 67).
Siris: A New Edition with Additions and Amendations. London, reprinted for W. Innys inter al. 1744. 8vo. modern half calf. (Keynes 68).
Very good copy of the issue with the Letter to Prior on the verso of the title-page.
The Guardian, 1713-1714. London, J. & R. Tonson [c.1760]. 2 volumes, 12 mo. contemporary calf, spines gilt.
A particularly pretty copy. See (Keynes 114), for a list of Berkeley's contributions.
A Proposal for the Better Supplying of Churches in Our Foreign Plantations, and for Converting the Savage Americans to Christianity. London, by H. Woodfall 1725. 8vo. (in fours), modern boards. (Keynes 119).
Lightly waterstained, but a good copy of this rarity. The issue with the two paragraphs criticizing the Jesuit colleges in Italy deleted, and the paragraphs comparing the generosity of the Christian world, with the savagery of the Indians employed on the Plantations, added.
A Word to the Wise ... the third edition. Budlin, by G. Faulkner 1749. 8 leaves disbound. (Keynes 134).
With the leaves mounted, but including an interesting mid-nineteenth century letter, from an American, regarding the Bermuda scheme.
A Miscellany, containing Several Tracts on Various Subjects. Dublin, for G. Faulkner 1752. 12 mo. contemporary calf. First edition, the issue with the revised text on pp. 55-84. (Keynes 140).
Contains the first printing of the revised version of Verses on the Prospect of Planting Arts and Learning in America.
A Miscellany. London, for J. & R. Tonson and S. Draper 1752. 8vo. contemporary calf, neatly rebacked. (Keynes 141).
A fine copy, with the cancelled A3.
A Miscellany.
Another copy of the last, bound in nineteenth century half calf, scuffed. An interesting copy, with A3 apparently not a cancel, although it does carry the revised text of the poem. Furthermore Luce has pencilled some marginalia into De Motu.
The Works ... to which is added an account of his life. [By Joseph Stock]. Dublin, by John Exshaw 1784. 2 volumes, 4to. original boards. (Keynes 142).
First collected edition. Backstrip of the first volume, neatly repaired, otherwise a fine untrimmed copy, with the portrait.
The Works. London 1837, 8vo. original cloth (479 pp.).
A very good copy of this uncommon edition – no editor named.
The Works, edited by Rev. G. N. Wright. London, 1843. 2 volumes, 8vo. diced calf.
The Works, edited by A. C. Fraser, in four volumes, [with] Berkeley's life and letters. Oxford 1871. 5 volumes, 8vo. original cloth.
With substantial manuscript annotations by Luce to The Theory of Vision Vindicated (in Vol. 1).
The Works, edited by George Sampson. London, Bohn Library 1898. 3 volumes, 8vo. cloth.
Some Unpublished Letters ... edited by A. A. Luce ... PRIA 41 c 4. Dublin, Royal Irish Academy 1933. Large 8vo. printed wrappers.