In this issue, Ahmadi1 reports on the practice of hymenoplasty—a surgical intervention meant to restore a presumed physical marker of virginity prior to a woman's marriage. As Mehri and Sills2 have stated, these women ‘want to ensure that blood is spilled on their wedding night sheets.’ Although Ahmadi's research was carried out in Iran specifically, this surgery is becoming increasingly popular in a number of Western countries as well, especially among Muslim populations.3 What are the ethics of hymen restoration?Consider the (...) role of the physician. Two of the doctors interviewed by Ahmadi reported being in ‘a perpetual state of guilt because of the surgery's inherent aim at deceiving the groom’ and noted their ‘personal conflict’ at being involved in this deception. Yet: "None of the doctors believed that the surgery was unethical, arguing that the girl could be ‘abused’ and ‘can even die’ if she is discovered not … ". (shrink)
An examination of the contemporary Italian movement associated with M. P. Sciacca, and the serious application of dialectical and phenomenological methods to unveil the structure of "intentionality" or "spirit." An appraisal of Sciacca together with a sample critique of Dante follows a competent summary of the prevailing positions.--D. B. B.
In these lectures, given at Göttingen in 1904-1910, Husserl describes the phenomenological content of lived experiences of time, Zeiterlebnisse, and defines the differences between acts of consciousness. He carefully shows how inner time is constituted as a continuum through the retentional modifications of consciousness. Consciousness is not merely temporal; it is temporality and the basis for the constitution of objective time. The translation is crystal-clear, though this makes the doctrine no less difficult. This early work shows that Husserl practiced phenomenology (...) before he formulated its methodological principles in the Ideen.—A. B. D. (shrink)
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)
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.
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)
A scholarly, clearly written interpretation of the Oresteia, interweaving the aesthetic, moral, political and cosmic elements in the drama. The author gives a valuable assessment of Aeschylus' reaction to the then current ideas of Plato and Aristotle. In an excellent chapter on the meanings of catharsis, he shows how Aeschylus interpreted Aristotle's theory of tragedy.--A. B. D.
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.
A reprint of the book published in 1942, with the addition of an appendix and a new preface. Beginning with the concrete and conceptual aspects of the person and showing how the principles of logic are embodied in human experience, the author describes the ontological and logical connections between the world, man and God.--A. B. D.
Theories of immanence and botanical analogy dominated the work of the eighteenth-century naturalists. They believed, with little factual support, that electricity was the immanent principle of the universe and that plants and animals had truly analogical functions. When a science of biology finally came into being in the nineteenth century, the romantic poets decried the positivistic approach to nature; but it was often overlooked that their poetry voiced anew the concepts of the eighteenth-century speculation. The super-abundance of quotations makes for (...) laborious reading, although the author deftly threads his narrative through them.—A. B. D. (shrink)
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.
Directed to the non-philosopher, this is an attempt to sketch briefly a public philosophy for contemporary America. It attacks the "enfeebling naturalism" of Dewey and espouses the right of suffrage as the most fundamental right of man.--D. P. B.
Contrary to the English title's suggestion, Pieper does not distinguish belief from faith, but rather develops the interpersonal character of an assent to what another says. Philosophically and sensitively, Pieper delineates the facets of an act certain yet never secure, leaping beyond knowledge yet actively presupposing it. The act is completely free because directed more to the person than to what he says, and hence perfectly warranted only if God himself has spoken.--D. B. B.
Part of a series designed to present theology to college students in a relevant and incisive fashion, this particular monograph fails to come to grips with the crucial issues of soteriology raised by a philosophic study of man, and contents itself with a rehearsal of scriptural and doctrinal data. When theological reasoning occurs--as in the final chapter--it is seriously marred by its failure to deal with counterpositions.--D. B. B.
The author examines literary sources, takes poets as subjects, and allows their philosophical implications to emerge. Man is thought, but thought is figuring. Hence man is the figure who figures. And good figuring works. Sewell selects six modern figures for man: temple, labyrinth, gambler, laboratory, language, machine, showing the partiality of each, only to lead into a detailed examination of the cosmic figures: the universe itself, as pole of the I; suffering and effort, as capabilities of the I; love and (...) death, as man's absolute reach. Though the book as a whole may not work, its somewhat ragged character may well display the true state of our philosophical methods for coming to grips with man.—D. B. B. (shrink)
As a survey of positions on theological language, notably those of Aquinas, Barth and Tillich, this monograph is weighted toward Aquinas, but is generally adequate and up-to-date. Comparative it is: Aquinas wins-"the distinction between modus significandi and res significata is more satisfactory than Barth's... between form and content or Tillich's between literal and symbolic meaning". But critical it is not. The author does not question the modus/res distinction, though Aquinas himself did. Epistemological questions are blanketed by "vague intuition"; semantic and (...) logical issues are avoided.—D. B. B. (shrink)
A set of essays in which reason, moral fanaticism, conscience, duty, free responsibility and silent virtue are all shown to be insufficient to counteract the spiritual collapse of modern Europe. Only a concrete ethics based on and in the Christ will succeed where abstract principles or emancipated reason have failed. Some confusion arises concerning the notions of a "real" man, and of "nature" or "natural rights," but matters of definition or "analysis" are perhaps rightly subordinated to the "living truth" with (...) which this work is concerned.--D. B. (shrink)
A brief history of philosophy in western civilization, written primarily for the undergraduate. Not as systematic or as well-documented as Windelband's history, nor as polemic as Russell's, this work is explicitly designed to make philosophical ideas and traditions come alive for the student. Short and somewhat facile chapters on positivism and existentialism bring the volume up to date, but its chief merit lies in its easy digestibility.--D. B.
Intended as a college text, this presentation of Aquinas' teaching on God achieves an admirable clarity of exposition although it dismisses initial epistemological misgivings and contents itself with a systematic gloss of the questions Aquinas asked in the order he raised them. Documentation is ample and a bibliography of Thomistic works on God is appended. --D. B. B.
Along with a line by line translation and interpretation of the fragments, are four essays: "Parmenides' Concept of Being," "Aletheia and Doxa," "The World of Appearance Described in the Doxa," and "Parmenides in the Ancient Philosophical Tradition." Parmenides did not understand the logical connection between time and process: undifferentiated Being is without process but, curiously enough, possesses temporal duration. The philosophical tradition wrongly interpreted the Doxa as Parmenides' cosmogony. In short, this important book is a splendid example of painstaking scholarship. (...) The footnotes and references to other critical studies of Parmenides are comprehensive.—D. J. B. (shrink)
This book is a sort of junior search for the historical Jesus. The authoress throws in a dash of dialectic by interlarding the cursory text with questions for the reader. The presentation of complex exegetical and theological problems is so oversimplified that this book should prove equally embarrassing for both the liberals and the orthodox.—D. J. B.
This beautifully definitive edition of More's Utopia, the fourth volume in the Yale Edition of the complete works, appears on the four hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the original composition. The latin text used is the one of March 1518 ; but included is a complete list of variant readings from the 1516, 1517, and November 1518 editions. Using a lucid revision of G. C. Richards' translation, Hexter and Surtz provide a wealth of helpful details about the textual, linguistic, historical, (...) and cultural character of Utopia as well as a discussion of it as a work of literary art. The text is followed by a number of interesting illustrations and a lengthy, analytical commentary. More's work gave rise to a host of similar descriptions of imaginary lands but it is Utopia which is still commonly read today. Its relatively down-to-earth quality gives Utopia a certain modern appeal, and needless to say, it is an important work for anyone interested in the ordering of human society.—D. J. B. (shrink)
The ontological argument continues to draw the attention of philosophers of different persuasions. This is one of the latest works on the subject. In it the Anselmian proof as developed in the Proslogion is submitted to careful analysis and placed in relation to Anselm’s approach to God in the Monologion. Thus the title of the book seems to be justified, inasmuch as it is Anselm’s notion of God that is investigated from a rational viewpoint rather than the ontological argument alone. (...) Vuillemin divides his work into four parts, which are followed by a conclusion and seven appendices. In the first two parts he contends that the ontological argument as stated in the Proslogion is a rational proof based on rational data, even though faith may support those data, and that the proof therefore involves an illegitimate transition from the concept of God in our mind to his actual existence, a criticism that the author shares with Kant. The third and fourth parts of the book are Vuillemin’s personal contribution to the understanding of the argument and purport to show the epistemological and mathematical antinomies that result from the "negative" concept of a being than which nothing greater can be thought which is at the basis of the Anselmian proof. It is the author’s contention that reason can prove both the impossibility of conceiving the being in question and the inability of the human mind to argue to the existence of a transcendent being from concepts derived by abstraction from the beings of our experience. Thus Vuillemin would rule out not only the so-called argument a priori of the Proslogion but also the arguments a posteriori presented in the Monologion. To understand Anselm’s ontological argument correctly, it is necessary to view it in the light of Anselm’s belief and in the context of the ideological realism which he shared with the entire Augustinian school. By neglecting such considerations, Vuillemin, like many other interpreters before him, does not seem to have done justice to what has been called "one of the boldest creations of man’s reason and a credit not only to his inventor, but to human reason itself.".—B. M. B. (shrink)
H. B. D. Kettlewell's field experiments on industrial melanism in the peppered moth, Biston betularia, have become the best known demonstration of natural selection in action. I argue that textbook accounts routinely portray this research as an example of controlled experimentation, even though this is historically misleading. I examine how idealized accounts of Kettlewell's research have been used by professional biologists and biology teachers. I also respond to some criticisms of David Rudge to my earlier discussions of this case study, (...) and I question Rudge's claims about the importance of purely observational studies for the eventual acceptance and popularization of Kettlewell's explanation for the evolution of industrial melanism. (shrink)
H.B.D. Kettlewell is best known for his pioneering work on the phenomenon of industrial melanism, which began shortly after his appointment in 1951 as a Nuffield Foundation research worker in E.B. Ford's newly formed sub-department of genetics at the University of Oxford. In the years since, a legend has formed around these investigations, one that portrays them as a success story of the 'Oxford School of Ecological Genetics', emphasizes Ford's intellectual contribution, and minimizes reference to assistance provided by others. The (...) following essay reviews the important influence Ford, E.A. Cockayne, and P.M. Sheppard played in Kettlewell's research, leading up to his most famous experiments in 1953. It documents several reasons for doubting that Ford was as intellectually involved in the design of these investigations as he has previously been portrayed. It clarifies Kettlewell's intellectual contribution to the investigations for which he is famous, as well as the pivotal roles Cockayne and Sheppard played in the design, execution and interpretation of these investigations. (shrink)
Le traité (ou dialogue) « pythique » du platonicien Plutarque de Chéronée (Iier – IIe s. ap. J.-C.) intitulé Sur l’E de Delphes est consacré à l’élucidation de la signification de l’E (la cinquième lettre de l’alphabet grec) consacré à Apollon Pythien. Une des interprétations (d’inspiration pythagoricienne) est que cet E désigne le nombre cinq, le nombre de l’univers. Dans le cadre de l’exposé de cette interprétation est fait état de l’opinion « de certains » selon laquelle il existe une (...) correspondance entre les cinq sens et les cinq éléments. L’A. montre que les deux lignes où il est question de la vue (E 390b6-8) s’inspirent essentiellement de l’explication qu’en Timée 45b-d Platon donne du mécanisme de la vision en termes de mélange du feu pur émis par l’œil avec le feu pur extérieur qui produit la lumière du jour. L’extrême brièveté de ce résumé (empreint d’aristotélisme, l’élément associé à la vue étant ici l’éther considéré comme cinquième corps), d’un passage dans Platon offrant lui-même bon nombre de difficultés, explique que ces deux lignes énigmatiques n’aient jamais été bien comprises. Au passage, l’A. revient sur les notions d’homoiopatheia (d’homogénéité) et de summetria (de commensurabilité) en Timée 45b-d et 67c-e pour en proposer une interprétation qui souligne et éclaire d’un jour nouveau le caractère dynamique de l’explication platonicienne de la vision. Un Appendice donne un aperçu des différentes lectures d’E 390b6-8 depuis les premières éditions imprimées à la Renaissance jusqu’aux éditions critiques des 19e et 20e siècles. (shrink)
A History of Women Philosophers, Volume I: Ancient Women Philoophers, 600 B.C. - 500 A.D., edited by Mary Ellen Waithe, is an important but somewhat frustrating book. It is filled with tantalizing glimpses into the lives and thoughts of some of our earliest philosophical foremothers. Yet it lacks a clear unifying theme, and the abrupt transitions from one philosopher and period to the next are sometimes disconcerting. The overall effect is not unlike that of viewing an expansive landscape, illuminated only (...) by a few tiny spotlights. (shrink)
This article analyzes recent cases of company-sponsored online experiments with unsuspecting users and discusses the ethical aspects of such experimentation. These cases illustrate a new type of online research where companies modify their algorithms to intentionally misinform or mislead users. Unlike typical forms of A/B testing, where two versions of the same website are presented to different users to evaluate interface changes, algorithm modification is a deeper form of testing where changes in program code induce user deception. Thus, we propose (...) to call this new approach C/D experimentation to distinguish it from the surface-level website evaluation associated with A/B testing. Three aspects raise ethical concerns regarding C/D experimentation: the absence of user consent to participate in research, the presence of intentional deception, and the complete lack of protection for human subjects who partake in privately funded behavioral research. Three recommendations are proposed to address these issue... (shrink)