Attempting to elucidate the logical features of ethical language, Baier holds that moral judgments express somewhat complicated facts which, for anyone who has adopted the "moral point of view," serve as reasons for action. Clearly written and subtly argued, this book may well come to occupy an important place in the literature of contemporary analytic ethics.--A. C. P.
The author holds that the enduring achievement of the modern mind is the recognition of a sharp distinction between fact and value; this work is a history of that distinction. In separate sections devoted to the history of scientific method and the history of value theory, Hall covers the ground from the medieval period to the present. His conclusion strikes a pessimistic note; modernity, after distinguishing fact and value, has had marvelous success with the former but is in danger of (...) losing the latter altogether. Towards resolution of this difficulty, he suggests, with tantalizing brevity and obscurity, that though value statements may be emotive, we may perhaps regard emotion as a genuinely cognitive state somehow putting us in touch with real features of the world. While he writes with a pleasant down-to-earth directness, Hall never makes clear precisely what this basic cleavage between fact and value amounts to. And his history, though illuminating, is not always well-balanced; Kant as a value theorist, gets less space than either Locke or Machiavelli and only a third as much as Hobbes. Yet the book as a whole is stimulating, lively, and important.--A. C. P. (shrink)
A sober and careful formulation of a realistic--as opposed to a phenomenalistic--theory of knowledge. Chisholm's discussion of the "sense-datum fallacy" and of "empiricism" are especially enlightening, as is the way in which he calls attention to revealing analogies between problems in moral theory and problems in epistemology.--A. C. P.
An interesting and well-written attempt to direct the light of contemporary British linguistic analysis into the recesses of educational theory. Though such illumination may be needed there, the book will be of more interest to philosophers than to educators; O'Conner limits himself to an elementary account of recent philosophical developments in areas broadly relevant to educational theory such as the nature of moral discourse and the nature of explanations and hypotheses.--A. C. P.
Well chosen selections from the works of idealists from Berkeley to Blanshard. Four critical articles--including Moore's "refutation of Idealism"--give the other side of the story. Ewing contributes a balanced and illuminating introduction.--A. C. P.
An extended but fairly elementary argument for traditional theism. Distinguished neither for originality nor for analytical power, the book has an uncomplicated smoothness which ought to appeal to the beginner.--A.C.P.
The thesis of this essay in philosophical analysis is that ethical words are used referentially, that for the most part they have a single unitary sense, and that they refer to whatever is "happy-making" or satisfying. The author supports this conclusion by means of detailed refutations of some of the criticisms brought against naturalism, paying special attention to the "naturalistic fallacy" argument as developed by Moore, Ewing and the contemporary non-cognitivists. He concludes that philosophical analysis ought to reject the "method (...) of introspection" in favor of inductive inquiries into the ways in which as a matter of fact people use ethical words.--A. C. P. (shrink)
A lecture by an eminent biologist in which the crucial problem of contemporary biology and psychology is identified as the problem of the nature of mind. Sinnott's suggestion--that the solution lies in "a fundamental identification of life and mind"--is interesting and provocative, but he attempts a bit too much for the space at his disposal.--A. C. P.
Recognizing that contemporary attacks upon theology question the intelligibility rather than the truth of theological propositions, the author begins with comments upon the discussion between A. G. N. Flew, R. M. Hare, Basil Mitchell and others in New Essays in Philosophical Theology. After pointing out that contemporary objections to theological discourse are far from conclusive, he suggests that problems arising with respect to such discourse are to be resolved by a return to a theory of knowledge which holds that intellection (...) is intuitive as well as merely discursive. This suggestion raises problems of its own; yet the book is clear, often illuminating, and a genuine contribution to the philosophy of religion.--A. C. P. (shrink)
An essay in metaphysics together with an essay in metametaphysics. The latter repeats the familiar charge that metaphysical statements are literally meaningless; the former tells us what the author would hold "if metaphysics had a bearing on reality." Neither is impressive.--A. C. P.
A series of inspirational essays dictated to the author by a higher intelligence from the spirit world. Much of the advice seems fairly sound--e.g., "Be true to the best," Make room for important things," "Relax."--A.C.P.
A popular but intelligent and readable examination of Marxist communism. The author holds that communism can best be seen as a religious response to the problem of evil; the many analogies he finds between communist and Christian doctrine bear him out.--A. C. P.
This powerful study of freedom is the first volume of a new edition of Edwards' work under the general editorship of Perry Miller. The editors intend to publish the manuscript material as well as the printed works. This volume is handsome and well printed; Ramsey contributes a solid introduction outlining Edwards' argument and the relation of his thought to Locke, Berkeley, and Leibniz.--A. C. P.
A systematic statement and defence of an evangelical Christian ethics. Despite the length of the book, many crucial topics--e.g., contemporary alternatives to a theistic ethics--receive only superficial consideration--A. C. P.
A fairly popular examination of the modern "impasse" between religion and science. Smethurst holds that science and religion cannot ultimately conflict because modern science depends upon certain presuppositions which make sense only within a Christian Weltanschauung, and scientific knowledge, despite its indisputable power, is in an important sense, "abstract" and therefore limited. Though much of what the author has to say is stimulating, it is also oversimplified; the book attempts a great deal but is only partially successful.--A. C. P.
An unpleasantly dogmatic presentation of contemporary Marxist philosophy. Though his explanation of Marxism may be competent, some of the author's interpretations of other philosophies are merely amusing: e.g., the reason positivists hold a non-necessitarian view of causation is that "...then clearly socialism is not inevitable... a boon for an imperialism plunging dizzily toward its destruction."--A. C. P.
A collection of ten essays and addresses, all but one of which have been published previously. Among them is a fascinating essay showing that Jonathan Edwards consciously developed his homilectical methods in terms of Locke's psychology and epistemology. These pieces constitute "a rank of spotlights on the massive narrative of the movement of the European culture into the vacant wilderness of America"; each is prefaced by a newly written introduction indicating its relevance to the unifying theme of the volume, viz., (...) "the obsessive American drama: nature vs. civilization." It is this attempt to civilize nature that constitutes the "errand into the wilderness." The volume is dominated throughout by Miller's conviction that intellectual history is as crucial to the understanding of a nation or a culture as is social or economic history; and the illumination which the essays actually afford is compelling evidence for his conviction.--A. C. P. (shrink)
A collection of previously published essays and addresses on New Testament topics. Though these pieces are distinctly theological rather than philosophical, the studies of Bultmann and Dibelius should be of interest to some philosophers.--A. C. P.
A series of essays by a group of French Catholic teachers and scholars, roughly half of which deal with the history of Christian asceticism. The remainder are addressed to theological and sociological questions concerning ascetic practice.--A. C. P.
A judicious account of the discovery and significance of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Bruce presents careful documentation for his view that the discovery of these manuscripts "affects only incidental features of the story" of Christianity.--A. C. P.
A monumental work of scholarship, consisting of thorough and comprehensive treatments of four relatively distinct motifs in the thought of the early Church Fathers. Part One deals with the origin of the problem of faith and reason, together with the various solutions proposed; Part Two treats the Trinity, the Logos, and Platonic Ideas; Part Three examines the three Christian "mysteries"--the Trinity, the Incarnation, and the generation of the Logos; and Part Four details the rise of the heresies, particularly gnosticism. This (...) is a work of exposition rather than of philosophical evaluation, but its scope and detail make it an indispensable starting-point for any future effort to appraise the thought of the early Church Fathers.--A. C. P. (shrink)
Lectures in which Mr. Adler outlines the political thought of Louis Kelso, "the first clear and systematic statement of the idea of capitalism...." Kelso holds that a capitalistic revolution will herald the era of "pure capitalism" in which all men will have the leisure to follow liberal rather than servile pursuits.--A. C. P.
This book claims to be an attempt to present semantics to the general public. "Semantics," however, turns out to be a general rubric for some of the logical doctrines of recent ordinary language philosophy. Oversimplification leads Wilson to present as the discovery of modern "semantics" an extraordinarily naive linguistic subjectivism.--A. C. P.
Bultmann's "demythologizing," according to Mr. Davis, consists in stripping away the non-historical elements of the Bible in order to lay bare the kernel of "existential meaning" embedded in the events about which the myths arose. Mr. Davis is lucid about what Bultmann does not believe; his account of the "existential meaning" which is to replace "discredited mythology" is both sketchy and puzzling.-- A. C. P.
Six beautifully written essays dealing with the relation of society to self in the novels of Cervantes, nineteenth-century English writers, Proust, Sinclair Lewis and Joyce. Though there is a great deal of individual variety, the authors see the structure of the novel in terms of a tension between private vision and an unsatisfying public truth; it is the task of the novelist both to portray and to resolve this tension.--A. C. P.
A posthumous volume in which Parker offers a rich and variegated contribution to ethical theory. Parker identifies value with the assuagement of desire. And he resolutely acknowledges the implication of this definition: value judgments are "lyrical"-that is, expressive of the speaker's wishes, attitudes, etc. Although the book adds little to recent discussions of non-cognitivist ethics, Parker defends his position with a warmth and insight seldom found in more analytical treatments.--A. C. P.
This is a very readable theological attack on current religious journalism about "the death of God" and its moral consequences. Rightly chiding the "radical" theologians for their tendentious use of words like "new," Hamilton wrongly equates their talk of "the secular" with support of the profane and so sometimes misses the import of their groping for new ways of thinking and acting as Christians. Seen through his eyes, much of their thought is really nineteenth century liberal humanism repackaged for the (...) suburban market. Recognizing the incoherence of the Barth-Bonhoeffer concept of religion, he nevertheless uses it when accusing Bishop Robinson, van Buren, and the rest of replacing Christianity with religion, rather than inaugurating a "religionless Christianity," as they intend. The best part of the book is an analysis of what Bonhoeffer really meant by "religionless Christianity" and other such provocative phrases. Like those he criticizes, Hamilton is quite sure that the Bible supports only his version of Christianity. His unabashed neo-orthodoxy commits him to conceiving of God as an arbitrary dictator, but it also provides him with a keen critical vantage-point, by reference to which all philosophical theologies are damned as modernizing, hypothetical, Hegelian, and un-Christian at heart. His own preference for talk of "natural piety" instead of "secular Christianity" is too sketchily presented to be assessed.--C. P. S. (shrink)
A course of lectures delivered at Cambridge in the summer of 1953. They include pieces by Moore, Broad, and Ryle. Körner's "Some Types of Philosophical Thinking" and Ryle's "The Theory of Meaning" are especially stimulating; the book as a whole presents an absorbing picture of contemporary British philosophy.--A. C. P.
An extensive essay in philosophical anthropology. The author maintains that "...man is himself the absoluteness of being, and the entire world is his impression and his truth." He then tries to show that the history of philosophy and the history of religion confirm and illustrate this view. The historical and illustrative material predominates; as a result the author's central contentions receive less than adequate development and clarification.--A. C. P.
The first volume of a projected three volume series, this book is at once a history of ancient philosophy and an attempt to explore and defend the thesis that "what is called Greek ontology was not only a strictly logical, but also a religious, concern." The following two volumes of the series will deal with medieval and modern philosophy from the perspective of the relation between speculation and revelation. Kroner argues that speculative philosophy and revealed religion, although exhibiting ineradicable differences (...) of approach, fundamentally deal with the same problem, viz., the "apprehension of the Ultimate"; and that the history of philosophy is best understood in terms of the relations between these approaches. The argument is rich in insight and is developed with real power; but at crucial points there is a lack of clarity which detracts somewhat from the force of the book.--A. C. P. (shrink)
An attempt to forecast the course of the "coming world civilization" with special attention to the place of religion. Hocking sees modernity as a victim of split-mentality; on the one hand, there has been, since Descartes, a progressive "advance into Subjectivity" with its attendant dangers of relativism and psychologism, while on the other, modern science represents "an advance into Objectivity" which has seemed to threaten men's most cherished values. This split will be overcome, he thinks, principally through a reconstituted religion--a (...) Christianity universalized and stripped of its provincial Western accretions. The author develops these themes with virtuosity and insight.--A. C. P. (shrink)
Faruqi's book is more about Christian dogmatics than about ethics. Its interest stems from the fact that the author is a Muslim who knows recent Protestant thought well and is not afraid to call Karl Barth a bigot. After an interesting but unrelated introduction on methodology in the history of religions, the author settles down to some pet Muslim peeves concerning the doctrines of original sin and the divinity of Christ. Instead of the Jesus of history he presents us with (...) the Koranic Jesus, the universalizing reformer whose mission was to undo Jewish, racialist separatism. Faruqi's Sufi sympathies blind him to the real problems of historical, biblical criticism and his moralistic rationalism allows no place for significant differences amongst men in the coming great brotherhood. For him, Jesus' achievement was to develop an ethic of intent against pharisaic legalism. But this ethic needs to be supplemented by the Muslim emphasis on performance if it is to be transposed from the realm of ideals to the realities of contemporary political life. Considering the history of Christian interpretations of Islam, Faruqi is entitled to retaliate--and so he does, in an overburdened series of footnotes. He is much more tolerant of Arab expansionism than of Western imperialism, and completely insensitive to the psychological power of Judaism. Too often he substitutes derogatory labeling for constructive criticism and so fails to illumine the concepts of love, power, and justice on which any religious ethic must depend. Even so, his scholarly achievement is remarkable, and one learns more from his misunderstanding than from most of the religious apologetics being published today.--C. P. S. (shrink)
Describes the attempt of a medium "to bring the facts of other-world existence to the people of Mars." Giordano Bruno appears as one of a band of interplanetary spirits conducting the medium on her tour.--A. C. P.