In a series of essays, Miss Rand expounds her "Objectivist Ethics." Man will discover, if he is sufficiently rational, those goals and values which are peculiar to him alone, i.e., those which will enable him to survive, and which require complex thought processes. The result of this search is that the moral man is he who achieves his maximum happiness; relationships, whether economic or emotional, are to be based on trade, and no interests conflict if they are viewed in a (...) properly wide context. The essays are quite readable, although not so arresting as Miss Rand's novels; however, the ethics collapses when it is applied to a populous society whose environment is either agriculturally poor or highly mechanized. Given these conditions, if a man views his interest from the limited standpoint of Objectivism, there is a necessary conflict of interests.—J. M. B. (shrink)
A comprehensive study of Plato's last and most difficult work. Professor Morrow's theme is that in the Laws Plato is applying his basic principles to the precise historical conditions of his time, out of consuming interest in the moral and political development of mankind. The concept of the "mixture" or "mean," as developed in the Politicus and Philebus, is treated as the key to the philosophical interpretation of the Laws, law itself being the "limit"; human nature, the natural environment, and (...) existing laws and customs, the "unlimited." Prof. Morrow places the weight of his interpretation on the latter, since a determination of the actual character of Greek institutions, as Plato knew, seems essential to a correct analysis of the "composite" institutions we find in the Laws.--. (shrink)
In this inaugural address, a professor of applied mathematics develops the theme that new concepts such as "entropy" introduced in the mathematical description of nature have an influence far beyond the mathematical sciences, extending to such diverse fields as biology, the social sciences, religion, philosophy, literary analysis, etc.--B. J. H.
This historico-critical analysis of the concept of mass is the third in Jammer's series of studies of fundamental physical concepts. His fascinating account traces its intricate historical evolution from early notions of matter and the medieval concept of mass as quantitas materiae to the dynamic conceptions of mass. The concept is followed through the three stages of conceptualization ; systematization ; and formalization. Jammer further treats mass in relation to the electromagnetic theories; special and general relativity; quantum mechanics and the (...) theory of elementary particles; and the modern "space-theories" of matter. He concludes that no final clarification of the concept has yet been attained, despite the efforts of both physicists and philosophers. This difficult material is handled with great scholarship and control, skillfully interpreted, and concisely presented --B. J. H. (shrink)
Twenty-four scientists and philosophers contribute to this volume, which constitutes the proceedings of the 1959 meetings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Six symposia deal with theory construction; empirical and conventional elements in physical theory; induction, probability and simplicity; the logic of variables and constants; philosophical issues of quantum theory; and the methodology of psychology and the social sciences. Many of the contributions are excellent; most deal with controversial issues, and generate considerable life in the discussions and (...) commentaries.--B. J. H. (shrink)
This is a book in "theoretical chronometry," a study of the time-concept in its widest scope. It includes discussions of the physiological, psycho logical, and sociological aspects of time. While the treatment of large philosophical issues is sometimes too easy, the author has incorporated an enormous body of material.--B. J. H.
An attempt to develop a method for the social sciences based upon a "field theory" of "logico-functional integration of elements" as opposed to older thoroughly monistic or pluralistic approaches. Professor Lins' emphasis upon the unity of the sciences, and his insistence that they use similar methods for the solution of similar problems, produce a rather artificial dialectic in his treatment of the social sciences, and allow him to draw rather trivial conclusions. --J. A. B.
A series of five lectures delivered at Yale University, this book discusses the historical and technological roots of natural science, its present organization, and its probable future in our scientific civilization. A particularly good chapter on the "Diseases of Science" discusses some of the problems of science's internal economy--its increasing specialization, the exponential growth rate of scientific publications, and the consequent difficulties for scientific education and research. A fascinating and well-written account.--B. J. H.
Primarily a source book for introductory courses in epistemology, this book presents a good selection of most of the essential readings in basic epistemology. Critical notes are offered mainly from an Aristotelian-Thomistic standpoint.--D. P. B.
The second in the series from the Philosophy of Science Institute at St. John's University, this volume contains four essays by guest lecturers at the Institute, and provides "a summary introduction to the leading Thomistic philosophies of science in vogue today among those who believe that the philosophy of nature has an autonomy of its own, and is not applied metaphysics." The papers include an essay on Maritain's philosophy of science; a discussion of the Bohr atom; and examinations of scientific (...) method, and the subject-matter of the philosophy of nature.--B. J. H. (shrink)
The essays included are somewhat uneven in value; some advance interpretations and criticisms, others are mainly expositional. Various aspects of Whitehead's later thought are discussed: the doctrine of feelings, actual occasions, causal efficacy, symbolic reference, mathematics, and the philosophy of history. Hartshorne's philosophy is examined in a seventh essay by Andrew Reck.--B. J. H.
The greater part of this book consists of a series of general expositions of the works of de Saussure, Ogden and Richards, Whorf, Weisgerber, Mauthner and Wittgenstein. Moore and Russell, Carnap and the Vienna Circle, the Oxford school and other contemporary movements come in for only passing attention. A sizable bibliography provides useful references to German philosophers little known in this country.--J. B. B.
An edition based upon the Elwes translation, consisting of selections from Parts III, IV, and V of the original. The text has been prepared in such a way that the mathematical method of Spinoza has been obscured by a more literary arrangement.--J. E. B.