In his foreword, Brand Blanshard provides the suitable justification for publishing yet one more book on Berkeley: Berkeley is "curiously modern," and philosophically acute. Twelve competent essays, contributed by as many scholars, testify to the accuracy of Blanshard's judgment. These twelve scholars, all of whom rely on the Luce-Jessop definitive edition, touch upon the major issues of Berkeley's philosophy: perception, substance, spirit, and God. Differences in interpretation are everywhere evident, but Berkeley is nowhere given facile treatment or quick dismissal. Of (...) the many good essays, Ian T. Ramsey's on "Berkeley and the Possibility of an Empirical Metaphysics" deserves close attention. Ramsey argues that Berkeley's doctrine of will, soul, mind, etc., should be viewed as forms of personal activity and not on the analogy of Locke's ideas. T. E. Jessop contributes a useful bibliography as well as an essay on "Berkeley as Religious Apologist." The only, very minor, flaw in this distinguished volume is that the editor's own essay, the twelfth, "Berkeley and his Modern Critics" might have been better placed immediately following the foreward.--D. J. M. B. (shrink)
Using the principles and sometimes the conclusions of his teacher Adolf Stöhr, Cleve insists that he is giving a philosophical interpretation and not simply a philological reconstruction of these Pre-Socratics. The philosophers have been divided into 1) "Religious Reformers", 2) "Philosophers of Nature", 3) "Champions of Culture Politics"—"The Glossomorphics". There will certainly be disagreement on some of Cleve's interpretations but it must be said that Cleve carries through his philosophical reconstruction with admirable lucidity and consistency though, occasionally, some of his (...) criticisms of the "philologists" are rather waspish. Nevertheless, this is a splendid and important study which is a tribute to the author's erudition and insight.—D. J. B. (shrink)
This is a splendid study for anyone interested in the minutiae of the authorship and sources of John's Gospel. Bultmann argued for five sources: 1) revelation discourses used in the prologue and elsewhere; 2) a semeia or sign source for the miracle stories; 3) a source underlying the Johannine passion narrative but also incorporating elements of the resurrection tradition; 4) the ecclesiastical redactor who added material and gave the gospel its traditional order; 5) the work of the evangelist himself. Smith (...) scrupulously develops Bultmann's own position and summarizes all of the scholarly reaction and controversy on each point. Smith concludes that while Bultmann's contentions are brilliant and important, they are highly debatable and often relatively untenable. Smith, in contrast, weakly suggests that John's Gospel may have "been left to us in an unfinished state" and ends by wondering whether Bultmann has not overstepped the genuine theological mark by so much rearranging.—D. J. B. (shrink)
This work provides an interesting, though sometimes rather sweeping, demonstration that the metaphysical problem of the same and the other is also the central problem of literature and literary criticism. The author defends the analogical imagination as the symbolic counterpart of participation in Platonic metaphysics.--D. C. B.
This book is of little interest except to those tracing back the neo-scholastic sources of such figures as Maréchal, Coreth, Rahner, et al. The introductory essay by G. Isaye, supposedly designed to give a summary description of Scheurer's method, is a masterpiece of obscure writing even for those acquainted with neoscholastic jargon. The rest of the volume consists of twelve very desultory essays by Scheurer. In these essays Scheurer struggles to pour the philosophy of the ego à la Kant and (...) his successors into scholastic molds. This synthesis is done in the name of the transcendental method, but what results is historically dubious and philosophically tortured. Though ambiguities abound, Scheurer was ahead of most of his scholastic contemporaries in that he tried to come to grips with Kant and to see in Kant someone more than the malin genie of modern philosophy. Unfortunately, the editor does not date Scheurer's essays and one, therefore, cannot determine whether Scheurer first influenced Maréchal or vice-versa--D. J. M. B. (shrink)
Arguing from a sort of reasonable Protestant ethic, Henry offers a worthwhile and sometimes quite practical analysis of a Christian social ideal. In Henry's approach, no "prattling about love" can take the place of justice when the latter is what is needed.—D. J. B.
Marsh borrows Richard McKeon's methodological notion of the "problematic" approach to intellectual history. Concentrating on their dialectical character, English criticism from 1650-1800 is explored in the writings of the third Earl of Shaftesbury, Mark Akenside, David Hartley, and James Harris.—D. J. B.