Man is the Measure [Book Review]

Review of Metaphysics 30 (2):335-335 (1976)

A clearly written book by an accomplished teacher. Though obviously published as a textbook, it contains a kind of learning which can only be possessed by a mature philosopher, and perhaps appreciated in full only by a peer. The book is an introduction to philosophy, philosophy broadly and classically conceived, encompassing metaphysics, a theory of knowledge, and philosophical reflections on science, man, nature, and art. The ten chapters devoted to knowledge present to the beginner, simply and lucidly, a review of some of the best work published in the fields of epistemology and the philosophy of science in recent decades. Abel’s approach is both systematic and historical. He allows philosophers to speak to each other across the ages where they have addressed common problems, but the focus is on the problems. His own viewpoint has obviously been shaped by the naturalism of Dewey and Woodbridge, but the book has the merit of being temperate and fair to other fundamentally different metaphysical positions. Throughout his presentation, the philosophical enterprise is seen, not as a critical one of tearing down, but as a collaborative effort in which the best minds of the past, through their various insights, have contributed to the solution of ancient problems relating to man and knowledge. In effect, the book is a refreshing synthesis, and is apt to be far more valuable as a teaching instrument than the usual heterogeneous anthology published for the same purpose.—J.P.D.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0034-6632
DOI revmetaph1976302170
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