It was in 1792 that Kant published the first Book of his most important single work on the philosophy of religion—Religion within the Limits of Reason Alone. But it was his very interesting treatment of the biblical material in the second Book that involved the philosopher in his one serious conflict with official authority. Greene and Hudson give a good account of this conflict and its effect on the work as a whole in the introduction to their translation of Religion (...) in the Harper Torchbook Series. (shrink)
It is now some years since Professor D. Daiches Raphael published his interesting book, The Paradox of Tragedy , which represented one of the first serious attempts made by a British philosopher to assess the significance of tragic drama for ethical, and indeed metaphysical theory. Since then we have had a variety of books touching on related topics: for instance, Dr George Steiner's Death of Tragedy and Mr Raymond Williams’ most recent, elusive and interesting essay, Modern Tragedy. To entitle an (...) essay Theology and Tragedy might be thought to invite needless trouble for oneself; to indulge to a dangerous degree the human intellectual obsession of supposing that ‘the meaning of a word is an object’. After all, if one confines one's regard to the Greeks, one has to recognise that between the treatments of their common theme of Electra , Sophocles and Euripides are in fact doing very different things. There is no gainsaying the significance for Euripides of the postponement of the murder of Clytemnestra till after that of Aegisthus, still less of his introduction into the play of the morally upright peasant, who has had the banished Electra in his keeping, and whose simple integrity contrasts both with the corruption of the court and the obsessive preoccupation with a dreadful, supposed duty of brother and sister. The element of propaganda is unmistakable; while in Sophocles’ Electra it is altogether absent, although Dr Victor Ehrenberg in his very interesting monograph on Sophocles and Pericles has argued strongly for an element of subtle political commentary in the treatment of Oedipus in the Oedipus Tyrannus , and of Pocreon in the Antigone. These remarks may serve to show that the title does not express a blind indifference to the multiple complexity of those works which we class together as tragedies. They are inherently complex, and various in emphasis; at best we can discern a family resemblance between them, and, in an essay like this, the author runs the risk not only of selecting examples tailor-made to his thesis, but also of imposing an appearance of similarity of conception where it is at least equally important to stress differences. (shrink)
In an article contributed to Mind in 1934, the young A. J. Ayer declared war on metaphysics, claiming that his destruction of the metaphysicians' arguments rested on the establishment of the sheerly non-sensical character of their statements. Their errors were syntactical; the combination of symbols in the sentences with which they expressed their propositions violated fundamental principles of significance.
It was in December 1868, a little less than fifteen years before his death, that T. H. Green entered into correspondence with the young Henry Scott Holland and R. L. Nettleship on the occasion of the latter's visit to the young Gerard Manley Hopkins, then on the threshold of entering the novitiate of the Society of Jesus. Part of this correspondence is preserved in Stephen Paget's memoir of Scott Holland, and no student of the interpretation of Christianity in the writings (...) and teachings of the British Idealists should neglect either this exchange of letters, or indeed the latter correspondence with Scott Holland in which the young Anglican, on the eve of his own ordination, sought to defend his commitment to his mentor. (shrink)