This is Quine's most ambitious semantical undertaking in which concessions to the material object language accompany a stimulus-behavioral account of verbal meaning. He further shores up favorite theses of the past, including difficulties in the way of synonomy claims and the advantages for scientific communication of formalizing ordinary discourse. --E. S.
This is an exceptionally clear study of the time-theories of Bergson, St. Augustine, Heidegger, Buber, Schelling and Franz v. Baader, as well as an attempt to show the relationship between time, freedom and consciousness. Following Schelling and v. Baader, Kümmel views past, present and future as "powers" which only freeze into explicitly temporal dimensions upon reflection. Kümmel agrees with Heidegger that our attitude toward time is a revelation of our being-in-the-world, but he puts more emphasis on our relation to the (...) past than Heidegger ever did.—E. S. C. (shrink)
In the latest volume in the Arguments of the Philosophers series, George Pitcher discusses selected topics in Berkeley’s philosophy. With the exception of a biographical sketch and a closing chapter on Berkeley’s ethical views, the book is devoted exclusively to an examination of issues in the Essay towards A New Theory of Vision and the Principles of Human Knowledge and Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous. Although the jacket blurb implies that Pitcher will show the development of Berkeley’s views as (...) a reaction to Locke, and Pitcher himself states that "Locke is the Philosopher for Berkeley", the main concern of the book is neither Berkeley’s place in the history of philosophy, nor his relationship to Locke, but a critical examination of Berkeley’s principles and positions. Pitcher’s typical technique is to extract a principle or position from Berkeley’s writings and carefully to seek to determine its meaning and to discover how, if at all, it can be defended. In particular cases, this leads him beyond the works already mentioned to, for example, a consideration of Berkeley’s early notebooks, the Philosophical Commentaries, and the genesis of Berkeley’s views. (shrink)
A continuation of some of the lines of thought developed in his earlier work, Concerning Human Understanding. Here Banerjee tries to make out a case for metaphysics by showing philosophy as an independent discipline concerned with the analysis of the human situation. Of special interest is the author's effort to understand language in terms of the person and his concern with the nature of man as a being who is with others. Many insights of phenomenological philosophy are mirrored in this (...) work, though in a different terminology.—S. A. E. (shrink)
A trenchantly-argued account of factors such as motives, desires, and volitions, as they enter into human action. Wittgensteinian in orientation and tone, the essay shows that such factors cannot be construed as private inner episodes or Humean causes, but only as logically connected with action in the interpersonal sphere. Thus the ordinary belief in free action which is also rational and moral is vindicated, though the question of precisely what kind of freedom is here involved is not explored.--E. S. C.
This is a brief study which emphasizes Jasper's relations with other philosophers, especially Kant. It approaches Jasper's own philosophy from a perilously theistic angle, seeing many parallels in Bradley and Whitehead. Jasper's continuity with, rather than his break from, the Western rationalist tradition in philosophy is abundantly documented.—E. S. C.
Pole neatly characterizes Wittgenstein's philosophical method in the Investigations and Remarks on the Foundations of Mathematics, and, in an epilogue, Wisdom's procedure in Other Minds and Philosophy and Psycho-Analysis. Although he criticizes both for their emphasis on ordinary usage to the exclusion of creative philosophizing, his work is sympathetic and will be useful both to those who know Wittgenstein's works well and to those who do not.--E. S.
A blend of acute historical analysis with ethical theory. The themes of "approbativeness", self-esteem, and emulation are distinguished and shown to be a wellspring of seventeenth and eighteenth century political and ethical thought. Drawing most heavily on Hume and Adam Smith, Lovejoy develops these key ideas into a penetrating description of ethical phenomena.--E. S. C.
This collection of papers exhibits the various directions in which the problem of conformity and deviation is being approached by social psychology. Of interest to philosophers is the evidence offered of the still unresolved conflict between behavioristic and Gestalt explanations of human behavior-a conflict analogous to the current philosophical struggle between linguistic analysis and metaphysics. --E. S. C.
Brodtkorb's "phenomenological reading" discusses the conceptually resistant realities, "World," "Body," "Others," and "Time," as they are interpreted in Moby Dick, and are focused by Melville in the inscrutable meaning of the white whale. "Mediation" is the key to interpretation, and, thus, the hero of the novel is Ishmael, who understands that the whale's meaning is constituted anew by each perceiver; Ishmael's mental life is a succession of attitudes—a series of "incantations"—which matches existence as process. From this phenomenological point of view, (...) Ahab's rigid interpretation of the whale as an allegory of divine malevolence is doomed, since allegory is a static mediated category, untrue to process. Yet this processional epistemology is itself in doubt if, as Brodtkorb admits, the uncertainty of the inscrutable is itself in question; and this doubt allows for the potential correctness of even Ahab's reductive allegorization. Thus, while Brodtkorb's phenomenology is a very sensitive instrument for indicating the shifting meanings of Melville's world, the final relation of potentially correct and incantatory concepts to this world is weakly conceived, due to the weakness of the instrument itself.—E. S. T. (shrink)
A richly perceptive and highly readable essay, which develops the thesis that the most successful approach to the history of art is the notion of a sequence of forms, beginning with a "prime work" and being extended through replications. This concise yet far-ranging book illustrates the effectiveness of the sequential form of analysis by its reference to a wide array of examples drawn mostly from the history of painting and architecture. Along the way, many insights are suggested concerning the nature (...) of history, time, change, and duration.--E. S. C. (shrink)
This volume should prove of value to the instructor who desires to stimulate ethical discussion among undergraduates. Its concern is the perennial debate between deontologists and teleologists over what is right and what is wrong in particular cases. A straightforward introduction by the editor defines the problem and summarizes the positions taken in the readings. The selections are intelligent and well-arranged. From the extremes of Kant and Sidgwick, the reader proceeds to twentieth century efforts at compromise. There is a section (...) from Ross on prima facie obligations. Rule-utilitarianism is advocated by J. Harrison and attacked by J. J. C. Smart. A provocative piece by C. Strange offers a possible answer to Smart. The final selection is R. Brandt's "Toward a Credible Form of Utilitarianism" with its attempted reduction of rule-to act-utilitarianism. A good, short bibliographic essay completes this volume.--E. S. P. (shrink)
A clarification of ambiguities in the notion of free decision. Concentrating on ordinary English usage, Ofstad distinguishes six senses of free decision. One of these, freedom as power, is exhaustively treated. A skillful attempt is made to relate the analyses of free decision, which form the bulk of the book, to the concepts of duty, responsibility, and the author's own ethical position. One helpful appendix lists and indexes all propositions concerning freedom of decision as it is analysed throughout the book. (...) --E. S. C. (shrink)
The 'Great Mirror' is the logic of Russell and Wittgenstein. Feibleman accuses positivists and analysts of looking at the mirror but not at the world of things and ideas which Russell and Wittgenstein saw in it; they therefore ignore the presuppositions of logical inquiry while inconsistently using this inquiry to scourge metaphysics. This thesis is made unconvincing by the fact that Feibleman does not try to restore transcendental metaphysics but looks to those analysts who have shown increasing interest in metaphysical (...) discourse as the hope of metaphysics.--E. S. (shrink)
In this brilliant and baffling essay, Merleau-Ponty reaps a harvest of insights upon the basis of his previous penetrating studies of perception and language. Again we find massively argued denials of neat Cartesian distinctions, such as those supposed to hold between space, depth and color. Inspired by the author's intimate acquaintance with the modern art movement, and quoting frequently from its masters, the essay gives back to painting its own voice and autonomy. Much like the body itself, painting is held (...) to be our most direct and revealing access to the lived world—that is, to Being itself.—E. S. C. (shrink)
These commemorative papers on different aspects of Dewey's philosophy vary in quality. The essay by Paul Henle on "Dewey's Views on Truth and Verification" is excellent; and Gardner Murphy's reflections on Dewey's psychology are noteworthy. --E. S. C.
This early study is a key work, along with several other preliminary essays, for understanding the genesis of Sartre's Being and Nothingness. Well translated and with an excellent introduction and notes, the book contains the critical thesis that former theories of the imagination confused perception with imagination, and that imagination was properly recognized first by Husserl and was subsequently further clarified by Sartre in his notion of the nihilating consciousness. --E. S. C.
An overview of trends in present Continental philosophy and science. Husserl's writings are shown to prefigure the notion of a stratified structure as a model for scientific inquiry. Recent work in economics, sociology, and civil law is seen to presuppose something like Jasper's theory of the creative existential encounter. Heidegger's speculations on the nature of temporality and being-in-the-world are paralleled by several current versions of psychoanalysis. Though the influence of philosophy upon contemporary scientific movements is not claimed to be direct (...) in each instance, a convincing case is made out that those two fields are equally indicative of and contributive to a new humanistic Weltanschauung.--E. S. C. (shrink)
An examination of Sartre's literary style through an analysis of events, things, thoughts, and persons as these are realized in the major novels and plays. Jameson shows that Sartre's literary activity is not a mere front for his philosophy but constitutes a serious effort at evolving techniques capable of rendering an aesthetic whole out of the elements of the radically dualistic Sartrian universe. Jameson's own style, unfortunately, is somewhat opaque. --E. S. C.