Francesco Petrarca, translated by H. Nachod: Introduction. A self-portrait. The ascent of Mont Ventoux. On his own ignorance and that of many others. A disapproval of an unreasonable use of the discipline of dialectic. An Averroist visits Petrarca. Petraca's aversion to Arab science. A request to take up the fight against Averroes.--Lorenzo Valla, translated by C.E. Trinkaus, Jr.: Introduction by C.E. Trinkaus, Jr. Dialogue on free will.--Marsilio Ficino, translated by J.L. Burroughs: Introduction, by J.L. Burroughs. Five questions concerning the mind.-- (...) Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, translated by E.L. Forbes Introduction, by P.O. Kristeller. Oration on the dignity of man.--Pietro Pomponazzi, translated by W.H. Hay. Introduction, by J.H. Randall. On the immortality of the soul.--Juan Luis Vives, translated by N. Lenkeith: Introduction, by N. Lenkeith. A fable about man.--Selective bibliography (p. 397-400). (shrink)
This book's fourteen short essays are neither very technical nor definitive, as Schaff warns in his forward. They do, however, reveal the struggle of a sincere philosopher, who happens also to be a high official of the Polish Communist Party, against the absolutes that plague him—absolute determinism, total party discipline, the definitive revolution. Schaff here continues his debate with the existentialists, notably Sartre, and contributes some clarification to the problem of "Marxist ethics."—W. L. M.
In the_ _small world of the _Meno_,_ _one of the early Platonic Dialogues, often criticized for being ambiguous or inconclusive, or for being a lame and needless concession to popular morals, two distinguished philosophers find a perspective on much of twentieth-century philosophy. According to Sternfeld and Zyskind, the key to the _Meno_’_s _appeal is in its philosophy of man as acquisitive—in the dialogue’s notion of thought and action as a process of acquiring. The_ _means of acquiring values and cognitions (...) provides the context in which the mind has most direct contact with them, which grounds common sense generally and ties the dialogue technically to the emphasis on the immediacies of the mind—language, experience, and process—in much of recent philosophy. Sternfeld and Zyskind proffer Plato’s 2,000-year-old philosophy as valid still in competition with other, and more modern, modes of thought, and suggest the need for a major turn in philosophy which can take us beyond its minimal philosophy without distorting the basic values on which the _Meno _shows man’s world to rest, however, precariously, even today. (shrink)
The paperbound edition of a unique and useful volume of selections, with critical introductions, from philosophical works of Petrarca, Valla, Ficino, Pico, Pomponazzi, and Juan Luis Vives. The original appeared in 1948.--V. C. C.
The aim of philosophy, abstractly formulated, is to understand how things in the broadest possible sense of the term hang together in the broadest possible sense of the term. Under 'things in the broadest possible sense' I include such radically different items as not only 'cabbages and kings', but numbers and duties, possibilities and finger snaps, aesthetic experience and death. To achieve success in philosophy would be, to use a contemporary turn of phrase, to 'know one's way around' (...) with respect to all these things, not in that unreflective way in which the centipede of the story knew its way around before it faced the question, 'how do I walk?', but in that reflective way which means that no intellectual holds are barred. (shrink)
Historians of the Victorian period have begun to re-evaluate the general background and impact of Darwin's theory of the origin of species by means of natural selection. An emerging picture suggests that the Darwinian theory of evolution was only one aspect of a more general change in intellectual positions. It is possible to summarize two correlated developments in the second half of the nineteenth century: the seculariszation of majors areas of thought, and the increasing breakdown of a common intellectual milieu. (...) Studies in linguistics, historical criticism, socio-political theory, theologys, and anthropology, besides evolutionary theory, contributed to these developments. It has also been argued that the background of evolutionary thought lay within a relatively unified early Victorian intellectual context with shared religious, moral, and scientific concepts. Evolutionary theory contributed to the disintegration of this shared context, but it did not intrinsically assume a clear demarcation between value-laden ideas and scientific ideas. On the one hand, in the later Victorian period, religious and scientific intellectuals found it increasingly hard to share common ground. On the other hand, they did sometimes share an enthusiasm for applying biological models to social and ethical theory. It is necessary to look closely before ascribing any increased differentiation of positions to the impact of evolutionary biology. (shrink)
Marxist writings on the history of philosophy have always approached Feuerbach's philosophy of man as the connecting link between the philosophy of Hegel and the materialist understanding of history developed in the works of Marx and Engels.
A classic of 18th-century thought, Schiller’s treatise on the role of art in society ranks among German philosophy’s most profound works. An important contribution to the history of ideas, it employs a political analysis of contemporary society—and of the French Revolution, in particular—to define the relationship between beauty and art. Schiller’s proposal of art as fundamental to the development of society and the individual remains an influential concept, and this volume offers his philosophy’s clearest, most relevant expression. Translated (...) and with an introduction by Reginald Snell. (shrink)
Despite our admiration for Renaissance achievement in the arts and sciences, in literature and classical learning, the rich and diversified philosophical thought of the period remains largely unknown. This volume illuminates three major currents of thought dominant in the earlier Italian Renaissance: classical humanism, Platonism, and Aristotelianism. A short and elegant work of the Spaniard Vives is included to exhibit the diffusion of the ideas of humanism and Platonism outside Italy. Now made easily accessible, these texts recover for the English (...) reader a significant facet of Renaissance learning. (shrink)