Moral theories which, like those of Plato, Aristotle and Aquinas, give a central place to the virtues, tend to assume that as traits of character the virtues are mutually compatible so that it is possible for one and the same person to possess them all. This assumption—let us call it the compatibility thesis—does not deny the existence of painful moral dilemmas: it allows that the virtues may conflict in particular situations when considerations associated with different virtues favour incompatible courses of (...) action, but holds that these conflicts occur only at the level of individual actions. Thus while it may not always be possible to do both what would be just and what would be kind or to act both loyally and honestly, it is possible to be both a kind and a just person and to have both the virtue of loyalty and the virtue of honesty. (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.
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.
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)
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 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.
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)
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.
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)
The physical origin of inertial forces is shown to be a consequence of the local interaction of Dirac's real covariant ether model(1) with accelerated microobjects, considered as real extended particlelike solitons, piloted by surrounding subluminal real wave fields packets.(2) Their explicit form results from the application of local inertial Lorentz transformations to the particles submitted to noninertial velocitydependent accelerations, i.e., constitute a natural extension of Lorentz's interpretation of restricted relativity.(3) Indeed Dirac's real physical covariant ether model implies inertial forces if (...) one considers the real accelerated noninertial motions of general relativity, defined within the absolute local inertial frames associated with the observed local isotropy of the 2.7° K background microwave radiation.(4) Inertia thus appears as a necessary consequence of the real particle motions described by the E.d.B.B. formalism of quantum mechanics. (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)