An attempt to discover what is characteristically human in order to establish what is good. In the end, it turns out that to be human is just to be good. Comments on the nature of mathematics, government, evolution, and time are also offered. --E. H.
According to the subtitle of this anthology, the essays are intended to discuss and explore "the cohesive and disjunctive forces" existing between C. P. Snow's infamous "two cultures" of science and the humanities. As in all the colloquia on this subject, there tends to be a mishmash of problems in definition, with Snow's relatively simple and straightforward contrast lost in the shuffle of terms. The fact that in this volume no one agrees upon what science is tends to limit its (...) ability to solve Snow's problem, but, on the other hand, it offers many ruminations on the various meanings of science. Gyorgy Kepes, for instance, thinks of science mainly as a set of technologically sophisticated instruments and advocates that technicians and visual artists collaborate on the design of "light shows" and other flashy works of modern art, especially the design and execution of environmental art. Harry Levin, the well-known scholar of comparative literature, thinks that the division of intellectual activities into "scientific" and "cultural" might be better replaced with dividing scholars into "generalists" and "specialists," arguing that the human community needs a balanced representation of both camps. Talcott Parsons advocates the incorporation of scientific methods into traditionally humanistic considerations, proposing that social science is the logical amalgam of the two cultures. Parsons, by the way, is more commendable for practicing what he preaches than some of his colleagues in the social sciences, particularly Oscar Handlin, also represented in this volume. Altogether, sixteen points of view are included in the symposium, most filled with sonorous language and unsupported generalizations about matters of historical and current fact, but all of them literate and filled with challenging philosophical puzzles.—E. H. W. (shrink)
Kneller's main concern is that, "If we are to understand the problems, policies, and concepts of education, we must first examine carefully the language of educational discourse." This book is a sober and readable review of several problems in modern philosophy, in which are revealed some of the strategies used by the giants of language philosophy to analyze difficult philosophical propositions and paradoxes. Each chapter of historical exposition is paralleled with a chapter of applications to problems in educational philosophy. The (...) early part of the book is a review of John Dewey's central theses, plus a few words on research methodology in general, both of which are related to the conduct of classroom lessons; the second part of the book, which Kneller calls "Formal Analysis," is an exceedingly competent precis of work in the philosophy of science, especially Wittgenstein's and Carnap's, followed by a series of important caveats to educational researchers, reminding them of some of the serious problems of inference and generalization in the behavioral sciences; the third section, featuring Ryle, Austin, and Strawson, is called "Informal Analysis," and is principally a discussion of "ordinary language" philosophy, with applications to the familiar clichés and slogans of school administrators and politicians. Kneller favors this last group, since he feels that informal analysis is more "practical and humane," and his feelings are supported by some current conflicts between hard and soft educational research. The basic exhortation of this book, though, is that people who talk and think about education should be more philosophically competent about it, even if their philosophical blunders have not yet affected their ability to teach and make policy. He maintains that educational philosophy will not add anything new to the educational universe, but rather, clarify what is already there.—E. H. W. (shrink)
The title of this work is a somewhat saucy overstatement of its thesis—that perceivers seek in works of art experiences of "discontinuity" and "disorientation," as a kind of "rehearsal" for "real life" situations in which they must negotiate intellectual tensions, resulting from a disparity between what they expect and what actually happens. Art-perceiving, the author asserts, is a "biological, adaptive" mechanism characteristic of the human organism. Peckham, like most thoughtful readers of art history, is irritated by the preposterous assertions that (...) man's perceptions are a mad, disorderly blizzard of phenomena, and the artist alone can bring "order" to the mess. Of course, it is obvious that neither of these notions is very sensible, but the unfortunate truth about the lay psychology of most criticism is that Dr. Peckham's assertions in this connection will probably be regarded as controversial in many departments of literature and fine arts. The author is at his best when barbedly [[sic]] criticizing his colleagues; he is at less than his best, however, when he assumes the mantle of philosophical psychology in order to bring authority to his arguments. Intent upon finding confirmation in both the fashionable and passe schools of behavioral science and philosophy, he masses gluts of aphorisms from Gestalt psychology, Husserl, Heidegger, Susanne Langer, and Paul Ziff (the last pair being very indiscreetly aligned to form notions which are no less intuitive than those of the various art-historians he is admonishing. In the area of psychology, Peckham ignores all of the current approaches, and in the area of philosophy he refers to linguistic analysis or philosophy of science as though each were substantively and methodologically unified, and possessed clear-cut views about the universe. Peckham's central thesis, moreover, leaves one unable to distinguish a work of creative physics from a novel.—E. H. W. (shrink)
Zink supports views similar to those of Moore; e.g., value is a directly perceived, objective property of situations, and our sole moral obligation is to maximize the valuable. Free-will, intentions, and the making of decisions are discussed. He presents some of the positions opposed to his in such a way that they are clearly false, but equally clearly not the views of the authors in question; others he sets forth accurately by giving quotations, but attacks with irrelevant arguments. Most of (...) the ground covered by this book is already well trodden.--E. H. (shrink)
This volume is a collection of papers from the Third Consultation on Hermeneutics at Drew University. The goal of this conference was, in Hopper's words, to "question what kind of language, or thinking, is appropriate to a fundamental ontology, to a language that does not commit objectification, or reification, upon its subject matter in the very mode of its utterance." The first essay in the volume was not read at the conference, but is reprinted from a 1961 Harper's magazine, namely, (...) Norman O. Brown's "Apocalypse: the Place of Mystery in the Life of the Mind." It is unfortunate that Brown is given the place of honor in this collection, since his essay is somewhat offensive and irresponsible. Consider, for example: "Truth is what any fool can see. This is what is meant by so-called scientific method. So-called science is that attempt to democratize knowledge—the attempt to substitute method for insight, mediocrity for genius, by getting a standard operating procedure," or "Vacancy is not the worst condition of mind." Of the remaining papers in this book, the high-points are Kenneth Burke's "Theory of Terminology," a reader's key to his many fine writings on figurative language, Beda Allemann's "Metaphor and Antimetaphor," an interesting analysis of Kafka's prose style, and Owen Barfield's "Imagination and Inspiration," an essay on the difficulties of talking about spiritual experiences in understandable language. In fact, Barfield levels the most relevant criticism at this symposium when he cautions that "very different considerations apply to the exercise of the imagination on the one hand, and, on the other, any attempt to investigate its nature."—E. H. W. (shrink)
Funke has taken upon himself the task of refining and answering the question "What is philosophy?" His answer results in the proof that all philosophy in order to be philosophy must not neglect the question as to the transcendental determination and form of its own consciousness. As such, philosophy is, according to Funke, neither merely stating facts nor describing qualities. Rather philosophy wants to know why something is the way it is, that is, why something occurs as a phenomenon in (...) exactly the way it does and not otherwise. Consequently, philosophy is a critical transcendental phenomenology that has to understand the object regressively as the correlate of a subjective achievement. Being a universal transcendental philosophy, pure phenomenology has the task of not merely seeking for the constitutive conditions of the phenomena in their peculiarity but also that of proving the validity of its own undertaking. Phenomenology as reflective consciousness has to turn back to the conditions of its own possibility. This demand leads back to an iterative regress in which each proposition about transcendentals must be justified transcendentally. The chapter on "The Reflective Consciousness and the Iterating Regress of the Conditions of Possibility" exhibits this problem while the chapter on "The Topical Consciousness and the Utopical Regress to the Ultimate Experiences of the Life-World" provides an answer and demonstrates why the phenomenological regress of reflection can and must never be completed. Interpreting Husserl, Funke explains that the transcendental reduction in Husserl does not lead back to an ego, a transcendental subjectivity as intersubjectivity, as generally assumed. Rather, as Funke attempts to prove, the state of awareness of subjectivity and the context of meaning of objectivity belong to one another correlatively and universally. According to Funke, phenomenology is essentially the method which in critical reflection makes reason advance further in its process of self-enlightenment. This book is written in an interesting and lively way and Funke does not fail to anticipate and address possible critical objections to his own position. At the same time he involves himself in an apologetic discussion with the philosophical literature on this issue.—H. E. M. H. (shrink)
There are two main meanings of "Dasein" in Jaspers' Philosophie : the "that" of whatever can be encountered empirically, and the immediateness, the "there" of subjects. The author attempts to show the ultimate connection between these two meanings of "Dasein," and how, for Jaspers, "Dasein" is the basis for the realization of being. The book displays an excellent command of Jaspers' works and of the philosophical problematics for which Jaspers is significant.--L. H. E.
A collection of articles, mainly by members of the faculty of St. John's University, on the concept of freedom as now held and taught by Roman Catholic philosophers. After discussions of the epistemological, metaphysical and psychological aspects of freedom, its relevance in individual acts and in various social contexts is described. The book is of considerable interest, and deserves the special prize it received from the Freedoms Foundation.--L. H. E.
The author's treatment of western philosophers depends on their relevance to his interpretation of the character of western thought. Ancient qualitative rationalism conflicts and becomes reconciled with the biblical tradition in medieval philosophy. The subsequent split between the quantitative rationalism of the Cartesians and the experimental rationalism of the English thinkers leads to Kant. The ferment of the nineteenth century then raises the question of the possibility of an equilibrium between science, philosophy and moral value.--L. H. E.
Twenty-five excerpts from books and articles, arranged under four headings: The Human Person, Man and Political Society, The Gospel and Human Society, and The New Socio-temporal Order. The selections have been chosen to represent their author's standpoint concerning the validity of the Christian "ought" in the reality of worldly affairs.--L. H. E.
As denominadas filosofias do _hen kai pan_tiveram um papel determinante no pensamento alemão do século XVIII e XIX, em boa parte devido ao tratamento que lhes foi dado por F. H. Jacobi em _Sobre a doutrina de Espinosa em cartas ao senhor Moses Mendelssohn _. Espinosa e Giordano Bruno são os grandes representantes desse modo de pensar, e suas filosofias inauguram uma nova articulação entre causa e razão, mundo e Deus. Jacobi identifica em ambos o modelo da máxima coerência intelectual (...) que uma filosofia pode alcançar, um monismo imanente cuja consistência lógica não pode ser combatida no interior do sistema com as armas da metafísica pura. Por outro lado, é no princípio indeterminado, comum a essas doutrinas, que Jacobi verá a confirmação de uma danosa tendência da história da filosofia que culmina no idealismo de Fichte e na filosofia do jovem Schelling, isto é, na união entre natureza naturada e naturante no eu. (shrink)
Justin Smith's book, a sophisticated history of the scientific and philosophical debates on nature, human nature, and human difference in the last centuries, is an important contribution to the pressing task of understanding and remedying our seemingly intractable color prejudice, that "curious kink" of the "human mind," as W. E. B. DuBois put it in a passage Smith uses as an epigraph to his book. It reveals how kinds of people, notably races that appear to be natural kinds, "carved out (...) within nature," in fact only come into being "in the course of human history as a result of the way human beings conceptualize the world around them". It also reveals how the gradual emergence of the race concept was facilitated... (shrink)
O presente trabalho trata da definição de fenômenos naturais. tais como o trovão que é usada como paradigma na definição das substâncias perceptíveis em Metafísica, Z17. Procura-se mostrar como a definição do trovão implica necessariamente uma referência à substância, assim como a definição das substâncias perceptíveis parte necessariamente de um acidente, que justamente funciona como matéria. Entende-se assim trazer à tona algumas questões embaraçosas para Aristóteles, que dizem respeito ao “hiato” existente entre percepção e intelecção e ao caráter não assertivo (...) da “predicação da forma". (shrink)
The paper aims at drawing the main lines of a reflection about architectonic space, starting from the comparison between two hypothesis, as much as ever different: Theodor Lipps’ spatial aesthetics and Hans van der Laan’s elemental theory. The emphasis given by both authors to the intersection between directions and way, but also to the mutual subordination between thing and space, allows to rewrite the obituary of architecture as a spatial art, according to which the Modern Style has turned the spatiality (...) into its specular visibility, into the spaciousness, into the indefinite continuity of the Bigness. (shrink)