We consider the implications of trends in the number of U.S. farmers and food imports on the question of what role U.S. farmers have in an increasingly global agrifood system. Our discussion stems from the argument some scholars have made that American consumers can import their food more cheaply from other countries than it can produce it. We consider the distinction between U.S. farmers and agriculture and the effect of the U.S. food footprint on developing nations to argue there might (...) be an important role for U.S. farmers, even if it appears Americans don’t need them. For instance, we may need to protect U.S. farmland and, by implication, U.S. farmers, for future food security needs both domestic and international. We also explore the role of U.S. farmers by considering the question of whether food is a privilege or a right. Although Americans seem to accept that food is a privilege, many scholars and commentators argue that, at least on a global scale, food is a right, particularly for the world’s poor and hungry. If this is the case, then U.S. farmers might have a role in meeting the associated obligation to ensure that the poor of the world have enough food to eat. We look at the consequences of determining that food is a right versus a privilege and the implications of that decision for agricultural subsidies as well as U.S. agriculture and nutrition policies. (shrink)
The Unifying Moment provides a fine comparative study of Whitehead and James. Eisendrath expresses the presupposition of his effort in noting "a fruitful complementarity" between his subjects: "Whitehead is highly abstract and needs the exemplification which reference to James can provide. Conversely, Whitehead can be used to show the full sweep of general application implicit in James’s ideas." The core of Eisendrath’s analysis lies in creativity and in the ‘aesthetic’ bias shared by Whitehead and James; experience (...) is feeling, appetition and advance into novelty. There are indeed problems in the analogy between personality and atomic concrescence, since from a Whiteheadian perspective personality is a complex ’society', not a simple concrescence. Yet the analogy works, because Eisendrath is aware of the disparity, and because it serves to illuminate the anthropomorphic tendency in Whitehead. The book is at its strongest in dealing directly with issues of epistemology and psychology, where Eisendrath also displays a firm grasp of the early history of psychology. Less satisfying are some of the approaches to larger issues, such as the discussions of God and civilization. Throughout, there is the stylistic flaw, perhaps inevitable in a comparative study, of lengthy textual citation and explication; while thus documenting his position, Eisendrath at times lets the documentation obscure his argument. The notes and index are both extensive and helpful.—D. F. D. (shrink)
This book is designed for an introductory course in logic on the freshman-sophomore level. The approach to logic through set theory is justified by the fundamental importance of set theory in mathematics, and by the fact that most students entering college are acquainted with set theory. The author begins by explaining the basic notions and laws of set theory, and shows how the four standard types of propositions are translated into the notation of set theory. Propositional logic is introduced and (...) related to set theory by interpreting truth-tables in terms of sets and subsets. A simplified first order functional calculus is developed without quantifiers by using an unconventional notation resembling that of set theory as closely as possible. The nature and techniques of deductive proof are treated at length. Beyond these formal topics there are interesting discussions of the application of logical laws in ordinary language arguments, in probability theory, and in circuit theory. The material is organized in units suitable for fifty minute classes with excellent exercises at the end of each unit. Answers are provided to half the questions in the exercises to allow the student to test himself. The book ends with a brief note on scientific discovery and axiomatics.--T. D. Z. (shrink)
The author's thesis is that a formal system of plausible noncertain reasoning is possible. Its basic patterns of inference are: A implies B; B is true; therefore A is more credible, and non-A is more credible is equivalent to A is less credible. From these all other patterns of plausible reasoning are derivable. Such a calculus is to be employed within contexts of alternative hypotheses to pick out the strongest hypothesis. Unfortunately, no measure for credibility is provided. The author tries (...) to relate his system of plausible reasoning to a logic of discovery, but fails to make the relation clear. Sometimes he feels that the former implies the latter, and at other times that the former may be possible without the latter being possible. A "logic" of plausible reasoning, if it were possible, would go a long way in explaining why scientists consider seriously only very few of a great number of possible hypotheses.--T. D. Z. (shrink)
This book is a broad introduction for the general reader to the study of language. Only the first half of the book deals with linguistics proper: phonetics, phonemics, morphology and syntax, problems of meaning, linguistic change, and the classification of languages. The author aims to present only the basic and universally accepted results in each of these areas, and avoids controversial matters as much as possible. Where differences among linguists do exist, he indicates them without elaborating them. The second part (...) of the book is concerned with peripheral matters; such as the place of language in daily life, the problems of learning and translating languages, the employment of mechanical devices in phonetics, translation and recording, the structure of symbolic systems and their application in communications. Each topic is treated concisely, but with clarity, liveliness, and humor. The reader acquires not only a large body of basic information, but also a sense of the importance of language and the study of language.--T. D. Z. (shrink)
This book spans roughly a century, 1860-1960, of Russian thought on the subject of God, and focuses on ten thinkers who formulated distinctive and extreme views on the subject. The connections and similarities among these highly original thinkers are admirably traced, and give an unexpected unity to the book. Bakunin, the "political anarchist," and Tolstoy, the "cultural anarchist" rejected the State, Church, and God to free men either from oppression by others or from the fear of death and oppression of (...) others. Their critique of religion had a powerful influence on the Russian Marxists. Leontyev and Rozanov, the "religious neo-conservatives" reacted against European humanism and Tolstoy's "tyranny of ethics." Both turned to the Old Testament for inspiration and support. Leontyev discovered there a faith based on the fear of God the Judge. Rozanov found a religion of joy based on the mystery of procreation and God as the loving Father. Reversing Bakunin's "if God exists, then man is a slave" the "religious existentialists," Shestov and Berdyaev, held that "if man is free, then God exists." They attempted to give a religious foundation for human freedom and values by attacking the supremacy of reason and its necessary truths. Gorky and Lunacharsky, the left wing of the Bolshevik faction, replaced God with a future mankind which is to be perfected gradually in history by the combined efforts of men. These "God-builders" were quickly silenced by Lenin. While Plekhanov remained faithful to Marx in treating religion as a historically determined illusion which will simply wither away in the socialist society, Lenin saw it as a sinister tool in the class struggle, and proclaimed total war on religion. The last chapter investigates the policies of the Soviet government toward the churches and sects, and recent interest in religious ideas among Soviet writers. Each of the mentioned thinkers receives a special section. Although some important thinkers, such as Solovyov, Dostoevsky, Fyodorov, do not get full attention, their influence is made clear. The author's style has a lucidity and simplicity which are a mark of complete mastery of subject matter.--T. D. Z. (shrink)
These remarkable memoirs were published first in Russian in 1953 and were translated into French in 1964. At last they are available in English in a very readable translation. The author was on friendly terms with Lenin in Geneva from January to June 1904, a period of great stress in Lenin's life when he was writing One Step Forward, Two Steps Back. The human, all too human, side of the great historical figure is vividly and sympathetically portrayed. Lenin was fascinated (...) with violence, but always kept himself at a safe distance from it. His vanity and pride made him incapable of frankness. His ignorance of Shakespeare, Byron, Molière, Schiller, and his enthusiasm for Chernyshevsky's What is to be Done? reflect his intellectual narrowness. He was incapable of grasping a fresh idea, or of respecting any person who disagreed with his convictions. No tactics were too low in settling personal scores. Among his more appealing characteristics one might mention his firm faith in the Russian Revolution, his energy and dedication to his work, his love of music, nature, and physical activity. But the book contains much more than a new and clear-headed insight into Lenin's intellectual development and personality. There are vivid descriptions of many leaders of the Revolution, of the oppressive atmosphere of life in exile, of the discrepancy between hopes and reality. The personality of the author, his fairness, sincerity, and honesty, are stamped on the whole book making it an entertaining and rewarding experience.--T. D. Z. (shrink)
This book is an excellent general introduction to existentialist thought. It organizes the subject-matter under traditional philosophic disciplines beginning with an account of the method and proceeding to ontology, epistemology, ethics, social and religious thought. The author concentrates on the writings of the leading figures in the movement--Kierkegaard, Heidegger, Marcel, Sartre, Jaspers--and delineates the areas of agreement and disagreement among them. The arrangement of materials around traditional problems facilitates the detection of changes in approach, emphasis, and formulation. The most important (...) aspect of the book lies in the attempt to view the movement as a part of the philosophical tradition, to explain the methods and doctrines against which the Existentialists react as well as their heroes in the tradition. The achievements of the movement are measured against its claims, and its major deficiencies are pointed out in the last chapter. Throughout the book the author manages to preserve a clarity and economy that are a welcome contrast to the style of existentialist writings.--T. D. Z. (shrink)
The author's aim is to show that Leontev's ideas are not disconnected, as many critics have held, but form a system that is both logically consistent and interconnected by the "inner logic" of a powerful emotion. To uncover the emotional sources of Leontev's philosophy, half the book is devoted to Leontev's life, and especially his relation to his mother. Since childhood, he feared and loved her, and associated her with religion, refinement, and absolutism. Leontev's first formulation of his doctrine of (...) aestheticism when he returned from the Crimean War probably coincided with his first suspicions of his homosexuality. His unexpected marriage to his former mistress was an attempt to overcome his guilt and weakness. His first ideological work, Byzantism and Slavdom was written under the double strain of his mother's death, and his own experience of fear of death during an illness. Leontev's doctrine of aestheticism when applied to the individual, yields "a poetry of life" beyond good and evil. One's personal life must be maximally original, complex, and unified at whatever cost in happiness to oneself or others. Religious faith is needed to reconcile one with suffering and death. Yet, religion dictates an ethics which conflicts with the aesthetics of life. The constant struggle between the two principles enriches personality and heightens creativity, and must finally end in a heroic total rejection of aesthetics. Applied to society and history, aestheticism demands a society stratified into unequal and hostile classes and unified by ruthless despotism. Such a society was to be most conducive to the development of original personalities. The egalitarian, happiness-orientated West was in decline and sacrificed beauty to banality. Without much confidence in its realization, Leontev advocated "freeze up Russia" to avoid infection from the West.--T. D. Z. (shrink)
This book is designed as an introduction to several basic philosophic problems for high school students and college freshmen. The discussion of the uses of language, meaning and reference, truth and verification are clear, simple, and brief. Their purpose is to stimulate questions and further research rather than to provide solutions. This purpose is admirably achieved.--T. D. Z.
From the point of view of dialectical materialism, philosophy lies somewhere between the extremes of speculative metaphysics and logical analysis. It has a real object--the most general laws of nature, society, and thought; it attains this object, however, not independently of the special sciences, but only through a logical analysis of its results. Since philosophy studies reality only indirectly, through the sciences, it should be called philosophy of science rather than philosophy of nature. The first task of the philosopher is (...) to analyze the basic concepts of science: space, time, motion, cause. Most of the book is devoted to this task. Space is given a historical survey consisting of short accounts of what various people have said about it, and attributes to Lenin a curious concept of pseudo-absolute space. The discussion of time is organized differently, i.e., by type: absolute, relative, relativistic, biological, and Lenin's pseudo-absolute. Problems of simultaneity and direction of time are touched upon. Causality as a necessary, asymmetrical relation between two coexisting events is defended. The final part of the book is devoted to problems of measurement, relativity, and observation. The aim of the chapter on relativity is to show that this theory supports Lenin's doctrine that "the absolute is in the relative." Observability as the criterion of reality is rejected. Observation is important only as the beginning of knowledge and is transcended in the discovery of general laws. As a whole the book is disappointing because it sacrifices depth to breadth.--T. D. Z. (shrink)
The author presents an ethical theory which, as he admits, has much in common with the theories of M. Cohen, R. Sellars, H. Feigl, C. Lamont, and G. Williams. His first task is to define the scientific world view on which his ethical conclusions will be based. It comprises the following suppositions, logically derived from and justified by scientific practice: there is a real world independent of the knower, natural events are uniform, every event is related to some other events, (...) everything is in constant change, all changes are orderly, causes are efficient not final. Before the good life can be defined, science must define human nature, i.e., man's basic and universal needs, which are: physical health, recognition, love, excitement and novelty, knowledge. The good life must satisfy all these needs, but since this may be done improperly, a condition must be added: that satisfaction must come from a real adjustment to the environment in the long run. Moral rules must be both happiness-producing and life-promoting. This framework allows for diversity in moral codes. Determinism does not conflict with morality, for the only freedom that morality presupposes is the absence of external or irrational causes. An act is free to the extent that it is determined by the agent's self-knowledge. The book ends with a brief discussion of the problems of overpopulation, pollution, and world-scale planning.--T. D. Z. (shrink)
Quentin Smith contends that modern science provides enough evidence ‘to justify the belief that the universe began to exist without being caused to do so.’ There was a time when such a claim would have been dismissed because it conflicts with a principle absolutely fundamental to all human thought, including science itself. As Thomas Reid expressed the matter: That neither existence, nor any mode of existence, can begin without an efficient cause is a principle that appears very early in the (...) mind of man; and it is so universal, and so firmly rooted in human nature, that the most determined scepticism cannot eradicate it. (shrink)
Can there be a moral philosophy which combines Christianity and consequentialism? John Stuart Mill himself claimed that these positions were, at the least, not mutually exclusive, and quite possibly even congenial to one another; and some recent work by Christian philosophers in America has resurrected this claim. But there is a simple argument to show that consequentialism and orthodox Christianity are not so much as jointly assertible.
In 2010, historian Susan Reverby made public her discovery of the now notorious U.S.–Guatemalan S.T.D. experiments. More than 1300 Guatemalans had been intentionally exposed to syphilis, gonorrhea, and/or canchroid in nonconsensual experiments funded by Johns Hopkins, the Rockefeller Foundation, Bristol Myers-Squibb, and Mead Johnson and carried out by the U.S.P.H.S and Guatemalan health officials in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organization in 1946–48. The purpose of the experiments was to help develop more effective means of preventing and diagnosing STDs. (...) Subjects included prisoners, sex workers, military personnel, and psychiatric patients. The experiments included exposure to STDs through... (shrink)
Hans-Georg GADAMER, Hermeneutische Entwürfe. Vorträge und Aufsätze ; Pascal MICHON, Poétique d’une anti-anthropologie: l’herméneutique deGadamer ; Robert J. DOSTAL, The Cambridge Companion to Gadamer ; Denis SERON, Le problème de la métaphysique. Recherches sur l’interprétation heideggerienne de Platon et d’Aristote ; Henry MALDINEY, Ouvrir le rien. L’art nu ; Dominique JANICAUD, Heidegger en France, I. Récit; II. Entretiens ; Maurice MERLEAU-PONTY, Fenomenologia percepţiei ; Trish GLAZEBROOK, Heidegger’s Philosophy of Science ; Richard WOLIN, Heidegger’s Children. Hannah Arendt, Karl Löwith, Hans Jonas (...) and Herbert Marcuse ; Ivo DEGENNARO, Logos – Heidegger liest Heraklit ; O. K. WIEGAND, R. J. DOSTAL, L. EMBREE, J. KOCKELMANS and J. N. MOHANTY, Phenomenology on Kant, German Idealism, Hermeneutics and Logic ; James FAULCONER and Mark WRATHALL, Appropriating Heidegger. (shrink)