The paper illustrates how organic chemists dramatically altered their practices in the middle part of the twentieth century through the adoption of analytical instrumentation - such as ultraviolet and infrared absorption spectroscopy and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy - through which the difficult process of structure determination for small molecules became routine. Changes in practice were manifested in two ways: in the use of these instruments in the development of 'rule-based' theories; and in an increased focus on synthesis, at the expense (...) of chemical analysis. These rule-based theories took the form of generalizations relating structure to chemical and physical properties, as measured by instrumentation. This 'Instrumental Revolution' in organic chemistry was two-fold: encompassing an embrace of new tools that provided unprecedented access to structures, and a new way of thinking about molecules and their reactivity in terms of shape and structure. These practices suggest the possibility of a change in the ontological status of chemical structures, brought about by the regular use of instruments. The career of Robert Burns Woodward (1917-1979) provides the central historical examples for the paper. Woodward was an organic chemist at Harvard from 1937 until the time of his death. In 1965, he won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. (shrink)
This badly written book has many marks of quackery--it is jargonic, repetitious, sometimes weird. But there are a few traces of a kernel of significant critique of philosophical method from a viewpoint combining elements of extreme operationalism and psychoanalysis. Philosophy is viewed as an activity which could have considerable therapeutic value--i.e., lead to growth in "awareness," released creativity, and increased emotional and intellectual maturity--if it is conducted under the guidance of the author's precepts.--L. K. B.
Another beginners' text, emphasizing the problem of the relation between ordinary language and formal logic. From an exceedingly simplified introduction to semiotics, it moves through an analysis of conventions of ordinary English discourse to a presentation of an elementary non-standard symbolic propositional, class and modal logic. A matrix method is used throughout, facilitating the use of the same symbols for class and propositional relations. Chapters are included on probability, Mill's inductive methods, and logic and scientific method. Abundant, typically dull exercises (...) are provided.--L. K. B. (shrink)
The report of a special commission engaged by the National Book Committee, Inc. to make an inquiry into the theory of censorship and the freedom to read. It presents 1. a philosophical, sociological, and legal analysis of the grounds and implications of censorship, 2. recommendations concerning the needed systematic empirical investigation into the effects of books, the formation of reading taste, etc., and 3. suggestions as to immediate action.--L. K. B.
An examination of four types of logico-mathematical formalisms, conceived as attempts to avoid paradoxes, leads to the conclusion that there can be no general, formal criterion of nonsense. Crahay holds that formal systems must be treated as dynamic, as the not-fully-formalizable becoming formal, the "conceptual" becoming "notional." Though technically competent and based on a vast amount of material, the treatment is too diffuse and sketchy to be more than suggestive.--L. K. B.
A remarkably condensed statement of the main features of Ortega's philosophy, organized "biographically" around three stages of his intellectual development, termed "objectivism," "perspectivism," and "ratio-vitalism," with chief attention given to the last. The presentation is marked by a soberness unusual in writers on Ortega. As a result, a certain fairness and balance are achieved, yet not at the cost of any adequacy to the vitality of Ortega's own thought.--L. K. B.
A disciple's exposition of the semi-mystical system of Msgr. Mario Sturzo, drawing solely on the latter's La Filosofia dell' Avvenire. Supposedly a critical re-thinking of the system, the author proposes with an air of daring to alter some of Sturzo's verbal formulas. --L. K. B.
The first volume of a projected two-volume treatise which will provide for the first time a systematic and comprehensive exposition of an important branch of mathematical logic. Previously published research is integrated and revised in the light of later results, and much new material is presented. Highly technical and, even in introductory sections, extraordinarily dense in style, this is a work for specialists. An important contribution.--L. K. B.
A technical but lucid and relatively elementary discussion of the development of the physical concepts of space and time and the bearing of the parity hypothesis of Lee and Yang on the future course of this development.--L. K. B.
A sympathetic exposition, carefully documented, of the meaning and function of aesthetic concepts in the Enneads. The Plotinian dialectic is compared to the artistic process. Aesthetic experience is found analogous to the mystical, and artistic intuition similar to ecstasy.--L.K.B.
In a critical study of the factor-analytical theory of knowledge of the psychologist C. E. Spearman, the author tries to show that many so-called discoveries of modern psychology are mere elementary and unconscious repetitions of the older but much clearer Thomistic concepts.--L. K. B.
Begins with a critique of traditional metaphysics and of modern natural science, disclosing a common root in the more basic fact of creative symbolic expression, which is held to be the key to a radical and rectifying refounding of metaphysics. Expression and symbolization, are held to be essentially constitutive of human existence, of knowledge and of the known, and to be historical communal and creative. The merit of the work is in facing the question of the import for metaphysics of (...) the recent insights into the nature and importance of symbolization. The claims are sometimes too strong, but the discussions, though repetitious, are generally built on sound insights and wide learning, and are often illuminating. --L. K. B. (shrink)
By confining themselves to elementary principles, the authors manage to cover with an appropriate balance of simplicity and rigor a wider range of materials than is common in so readable an introduction. There is an emphasis on logic as a syntax for language. Though not a text book, the work meets very well the authors' aim of "presenting to Spanish speaking readers, in a succinct, clear, and rigorous manner, the fundamental themes of the discipline."--L. K. B.
To the task undertaken here of articulating the common values and goals which should be ours as heirs of Western culture, Greene brings a scholarly grasp of the history of ideas, a sensitive insight into the actual ideals of our nation, and a responsible concern for an honest and critical national self-understanding. The result is not novel; but it does offer a well expressed and compelling Christian, liberal social philosophy, stressing reverence for God, respect for man, and rich participation in (...) all areas of human activity. --L. K. B. (shrink)
On the basis of a re-examination of the status of laws, evidence, confirmation, prediction and explanation in sciences, social as well as physical, in which the reasoning processes are not fully formalized-this informative, pioneering monograph sketches a new epistemological orientation. It emphasizes the development of specifically predictive instrumentalities, regarding which new possibilities are explored and further areas of research suggested.--L. K. B.
This first volume of a projected two volume work deals with "science in general," which is understood to include theology and philosophy. The first two chapters analyze the concept of a science and issue in a descriptive definition which is then developed in subsequent chapters; among the topics of this development are abstraction as an intellectual operation, the necessity of scientific statements, induction and deduction, hypothesis and theory. The book presents neither an investigation of particular sciences nor epistemological arguments in (...) the modern mode, but rather a finished doctrine, not original in conception, but competent in development, frankly building upon an assumed realist-hylomorphist base a scheme of deliberate abstractness and rigid formality.--L. K. B. (shrink)
Any hopes roused by an informed philosopher's undertaking a task of such importance as this title indicates are quickly reduced to perplexity. Professor Reiser's "Scientific Humanism" turns out to be a sort of "philosophy-fiction" picture of the universe, woven out of concepts from an astounding variety of fields--semantics, logic, philosophy of mathematics, topology, cybernetics, relativity theory, social engineering, quantum mechanics, parapsychology, etc.--L. K. B.
This textbook, oriented toward non-majors in philosophy, aims to provide an understanding not merely of forms of valid and invalid inference but also of the cognitive situation, of the methods of successful "problem-solving thought" and of the role of language therein. Great emphasis is thus placed on semiotics, which is integrated with the material from methodology and logic by considerations from general theory of knowledge. The whole presentation is marked by innovations, both pedagogical and theoretical. Most of the material of (...) the usual course in elementary formal logic is crowded into the last part. The author has attempted, with some success, to develop a reformed "traditional" approach to logic in the light of the recent technical advances in semiotic and symbolic logic, without reducing it to a narrow and fragmentary formal exposition of these sciences. --L. K. B. (shrink)
A thoughtful inventor-businessman's statement of the simple truth about the world: All is energy, with causal order everywhere, and with such forces dominating as to justify optimistic trust in the necessary course of events.--L. K. B.
A collection of thirty essays and reviews published previously over the past twenty-five years, marked by Nagel's characteristic ease and clarity of style. Submitted as on the whole expressing a consistent philosophical outlook, as illustrating a sound method of philosophical analysis, and as outlining "the essential rationale for the logic of contextualistic naturalism," these essays and reviews provide a historical perspective on the development of American naturalism and analytic philosophy.--L. K. B.
Part I aims at the constructive establishment of a concept of the self to undergird the theologically indispensable concept of the soul. It begins with a judgment theory of cognition, from which a "substantival" subject is extracted. Having a creative power constituting it a free and responsible agent, this subject is related through moral consciousness and will to an objective moral order. Part II, concerned with the problem of God and the objective validity of religious belief, begins in religion as (...) such, where theism is held to recommend itself strongly under a symbolic interpretation, then develops a metaphysical support for the central tenets of this creed. The guiding methodological convictions are revealed in a major emphasis on introspection, a firm rejection of the sensationalist conception of experience, and an insistence on the primacy of thought over words. Professor Campbell has here carried on the tradition of British Idealism and Rationalism with insight and ingenuity, in dignified and deliberate defiance of the prevailing empiricist and linguistic dogmas. Despite its high rank among similar efforts, however, this work does not represent a real advance beyond the recent impasses, nor a resolution of the genuine epistemological and methodological enigmas plaguing contemporary philosophy. --L. K. B. (shrink)
A timely and competently argued case for a broadened conception of rationality, this book attacks the currently orthodox dogma that rational justification must proceed according to the model either of logico-mathematical deduction or "piecemeal inductive engineering," and tries positively to clarify the concept of such justification in important cases where these models are inadequate. The use of reason is considered first in the context of political theory, then in ethics, finally in terms of generalized philosophical methodology. The traditional modes of (...) rational justification are found at best adequate only for propositions, whereas an adequate world view must involve non-propositional modes of understanding, "decisions in action," which infect not just ethics but every sphere of theoretical activity, and which require their own appropriate modes of justification. -- L. K. B. (shrink)
This volume brings together flux essays by an eminent scholar on the origins, development, and import of Kant's philosophy, chiefly in its metaphysical aspects. Four of these were separately published between 1924 and 1926, but until now have been difficult to obtain, despite great demand. Their appearance here will be welcomed. The thesis emerging from these studies is that the critical philosophy originates in metaphysical probings concerning the nature and presuppositions of being, and issues in doctrines which, despite psychological, epistemological, (...) and ethical presentation, are intended to have definite ontological import. --L. K. B. (shrink)
Not a philosophical analysis or explication, this compact, lyrical study remains deliberately within the "organic" categories of biblical speech--which it is part of its purpose to exemplify--and with considerable success communicates the Christian conception of ethical life as man's response to God's self-revealing activity in history, to be understood only in terms of "the living continuity between man-in-God and man-in-man."--L. K. B.
A collection of essays on various aspects of philosophy of science, written around the turn of the century by a perceptive historian of science and methodologist who, under the influence of Peirce, Mach and Peano, anticipated many basic doctrines of the later semantically oriented analytic philosophy. The short introduction discusses Vailati's viewpoint in connection with his chief contemporaries; a brief biography and bibliography are provided. --L. K. B.
Five previously published articles dealing with various topics in philosophy of history. They center on the problem of a metaphysics adequate to a radical emphasis on history over against nature and to a conception of values as emergent through history.--L. K. B.
This well-translated and slightly revised edition of El Hombre en la Encrucijada approaches the problem of social crisis and creative integration of conflicting strains into higher "forms of material and spiritual life" with Spanish intimacy and terseness and with wide erudition in unusual combination with a sense of reality. Part II treats the modern period as a series of crises, roughly describable as the inception, spread, and ultimate failure of secular, scientific intellectualism. This work combines the usual "cultural heritage" and (...) "crisis" themes with striking success.--L. K. B. (shrink)
A rewritten version, following the same plan and theme, of the author's earlier work of the same title. New chapters are added on Unamuno's ideas of fiction and of reality. The bibliographical appendix, with brief comments, is brought up-to-date. The unifying stress is on the "incessant fluctuation" between opposites, such as reason and the irrational, as the source of Unamuno's originality. Sympathetically expository rather than critical, this brief sketch deliberately sacrifices precision and analysis for the sake of "interiorizacion"--probably the most (...) profitable introductory approach to such a thinker.--L. K. B. (shrink)
The needs of both metaphysics and art criticism for an understanding of creativity are approached here as a single task. The author illustrates his ontological principles in a study of D. H. Lawrence's conception of creative spontaneity. An unusual mixture of rigor, cryptic phrases, parapsychological fact-citing, and fanciful speculation.--L. K. B.
The chief of these five essays is the effort of a composer and conductor, deeply attached to Kant and widely read in mathematics and popularized physics, to disclose in "music's innate design" a key to the nature of "subliminal" reality, the "Ever Present." Result: both the order of music and the order of subliminal reality are elliptical. The accompanying essays, of chiefly biographical interest, present a philosophical critique of the new mathematics and geometry by a doctrinaire young Kantian. -- L. (...) K. B. (shrink)
Part of a series on Spanish philosophy, this work presents medieval Islamic philosophy from an unusual and consciously restricted perspective. This is most evident in the distribution of emphasis: Al-Kindi, Al-Zarabi, Algazel, even Avicenna are considered in the brief introductory discussion of "Oriental" Islamic philosophy, while the system of Averroes is treated in great detail as the culmination of a distinctly Spanish tradition. Not a definitive history of the subject, but a "scientific manual" of the present state of historical-philosophical knowledge, (...) based on available bibliographies and edited texts, this work will nevertheless serve many as a valuable and authoritative reference source on a neglected chapter in the history of ideas.--L. K. B. (shrink)