Important People in Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous

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Philonous

The main character of the Three Dialogues, Philonous is a stand-in for Berkeley who defends his theory of immaterialism. Like Berkeley, Philonous is an immaterialist who is scorned by the philosophical mainstream, but who sees his theory as more in line with common sense than materialism. A comparison between Philonous's comments on nature or God and Berkeley's introduction show that their styles and voices are also the same. As such, Philonous is not meant to be a cover or disguise for Berkeley, but only a literary avatar.

In comparison to Hylas, the text portrays Philonous as supremely wise as well as virtuous, and thereby presents immaterialism as the wiser philosophy. Not only does Philonous at all points have the dialectical upper hand, but the text portrays him as a great appreciator of beauty, a religious and devoted Christian, and a moral and upright person who is kind...

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This section contains 2,168 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous Study Guide
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