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Evans, W.N. (1955). The Unconscious Origin of Berkeley's Philosophy: By John Oulton Wisdom. London: The Hogarth Press and the Institute of Psychoanalysis, 1953. 244 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 24:142-143.

(1955). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 24:142-143

The Unconscious Origin of Berkeley's Philosophy: By John Oulton Wisdom. London: The Hogarth Press and the Institute of Psychoanalysis, 1953. 244 pp.

Review by:
William N. Evans

Mr. Wisdom's aim is to interest psychoanalysts in philosophy and philosophers in psychoanalysis, a truly formidable task. Had he the persuasiveness and wit of a Bertrand Russell and the lucidity of a William James, he might have coaxed these ill-assorted bed-fellows to show more interest in each other. Unfortunately Mr. Wisdom's prose is more likely to cause the average analyst to take to his heels at the approach of a philosopher. When he is in top form he writes such a sentence as this: 'Theocentric Phenomenalism, according to which thing-ideas display a sensory-idea caused by God in appropriate circumstances, or the percipi posse part of it, certainly means that, in the basic sense in which a sensory-idea "exists", nothing "exists" when no human observer perceives it (a thing-idea "exists" only in the drivative sense that sensory-ideas can become existents in the basic sense); in other words, in this basic sense of "exist", there is intermittent existence of sensory-ideas'.

This, it seems, is the way philosophers write nowadays.

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