Kasm does not offer any concept of proof which is regulative for all metaphysics, for he is convinced that each metaphysical approach requires its own proper logic and methodology. Within this pluralistic framework he seeks to discern the structure of formal truth as expressed in the concept of proof inherent in various metaphysical approaches.--L. S. F.
This book contains twenty-seven essays prepared for a 1961 conference at Notre Dame, and also includes comments on several of the papers by participants of the conference. The essays trace the concept of matter from its origin in Greek and Medieval philosophy through its function in seventeenth-century science to its current scientific and philosophical status. The essays can stand by themselves, in some cases as useful historical surveys, in other cases as presentations of new ideas or defenses of current viewpoints. (...) However, they are also part of a larger whole; from the confrontation of a variety of philosophic approaches and specialties there emerges a surprisingly unified picture of the evolution of a concept. At the same time, the book is also a study in the different ways in which any explanatory concept can function. Inevitably, the confrontation is not wholly successful; some of the essays are so specialized that it is difficult to relate them to the rest of the book. However, the inclusion of comments and transcribed informal discussion from the conference helps to maintain a sense of dialogue, and the editor contributes a perceptive introduction in which he brings together some themes which run throughout the book.—P. F. L. (shrink)
Fürstenau systematically analyzes Heidegger's understanding of being, stressing the continuity between Sein und Zeit and his later writings. He also presents a survey of the history of philosophy as interpreted by Heidegger, summing up this discussion with an account of Heidegger's conception of Ursprünglichkeit and Verfall in philosophy. A work of explication and interpretation rather than criticism.--L. S. F.
Paperback reprint of a classic study first published forty years ago. Allen examines the practical dimensions of Paul's missionary activity and urges the contemporary relevance of these same methods.--L. S. F.
The editor has been quite successful in selecting experts to write the three-to-four-page articles in this handbook, and in most cases he has chosen advocates rather than critics to expound particular concepts: e.g., Nygren on Eros and Agape, Tillich on Kairos, Dinkler on demythologizing. Each article lists one or two important books on its subject.--L. S. F.
In an attempt to render the philosophical enterprise scientific by making it fully systematic, Lazowick elaborates seven exhaustive dimensions or categories which are applicable in every instance to each of the three dominant wholes: the personal self, cultural institutions, and God. The attempt is not enhanced by Lazowick's singularly barbarous style.--L. S. F.
This is the third and final volume of Dr. Wuest's expanded translation of the New Testament, a literal rendering of the Greek text with numerous bracketed insertions intended to clarify the meaning. Designed primarily as an auxiliary study aid for those who have not studied Greek, it lacks the gracefulness of the Revised Standard Version and the readability of J. B. Phillips' translation. Dr. Wuest is conservative and premillenialist in theological belief.--L. S. F.
Eleven essays devoted to contemporary perspectives on mysticism, mostly written in the tradition of religious liberalism. Several contributors stress the existentialist contribution to our understanding of mysticism, while N. A. Nikam examines "Some Aspects of Ontological and Ethical Mysticism in Indian Thought." Emerson is considered, along with two less conventional candidates, Whitehead and Wittgenstein, for their relevance to mystical thought. These studies are suggestive rather than definitive.--L. S. F.
Collins examines the main philosophical approaches, whether positive, negative, or skeptical, which have been taken towards God since Cusanus, showing the central and often decisive role which the theme of God's existence, nature, and relation to the world has played in this development. It is an ambitious undertaking, and Collins acquits himself well. His survey includes such diverse thinkers as Montaigne, Descartes, Hume and Rousseau, Pascal, Newman, Marx, Mill, and Whitehead. The concise introductory remarks to each chapter are particularly revealing, (...) and the bibliographical references are extensive and up-to-date.--L. S. F. (shrink)
Hennemann finds that the history of the natural sciences has usually been treated in a non-historical way, as a merely chronological sequence of discoveries and developments with little attention paid to the evolution of its historically conditioned presuppositions. Focusing chiefly on the 19th century, he uncovers many interconnections between the special sciences and the philosophy of nature. He is unsuccessful in his attempt to discern a basic structural relationship.--L. S. F.
In applying a sophisticated version of "ordinary language" analysis to comparative religion, Smart offers us a highly perceptive account of the inner logic and the principles of justification for religious doctrines. He distinguishes three fundamental doctrinal strands, the mystical, the numinous, and the incarnational, uncovering the demands that each imposes upon the others.--L. S. F.
Nineteen thoughtful essays devoted to the theoretical aspects of sociological investigation: the use of ideal types, the causal concept and the concept of social change, functional analysis, the formalization of theory, and the place of values in sociology. C. Wright Mill's "On Intellectual Craftsmanship" is an engaging and informal account of how one social scientist goes about his business, with a liberal sprinkling of criticisms against the tendency to divorce methodological inquiry from the scientific investigation itself. --L. S. F.
Thirty-two standard readings in philosophy grouped about four themes: nature of philosophy, epistemology and metaphysics, ethics, and the philosophy of religion. No attempt has been made to represent current existentialist or analytic trends, though Bergson, Kierkegaard, and F. R. Tennant are present. Leibniz' Monadology, freshly translated by Smullyan, is included in its entirety.--L. S. F.
Martin believes that "mathematic statements, scientific statements, and moral statements are not themselves in conceptual disorder, though philosophical accounts of them regularly are." In this book he sets out to show that most religious statements share this defect. Martin uses linguistic analysis, but his aim is primarily to criticize the content of religious statements, not to discover the logic of religious discourse. Much of his argument depends upon the contention that many assertions are meaningful only if their negation is logically (...) possible and that such assertions cannot be meaningfully transferred from the contingent realm to apply necessarily to God. Martin writes well, and uses dialogue to illustrate his point effectively and entertainingly.--L. S. F. (shrink)
A balanced proclamation of the salvation available in Jesus Christ. Theological complexity is avoided --perhaps necessarily in such a popular work--but the result is disappointing to the critical reader. --L. S. F.
E. F. J. Payne is the first to re-translate Schopenhauer's principal work since Haldane and Kemp's edition of 1883-6. It is a careful translation, staying very close perhaps too close--to Schopenhauer's style and punctuation, but avoiding the errors of literalistic translation. Payne also has the advantage of a far more critical German edition than was available to his predecessors.--L. S. F.
This group of essays concerns man, history, and culture--particularly the interdependence of the philosophical vocation and the supporting culture. Scheler's writing is engaging and lively, but unsystematic in presentation. The translation is good.--L. S. F.
Feibleman finds two diverse strands in Plato's philosophy: an idealism centered upon the Forms denying full ontological status to the realm of becoming, and a moderate realism granting actuality equal reality with Forms. For each strand Plato developed a conception of religion: a supernatural one derived from Orphism, and a naturalistic religion revering the traditional Olympian deities. Unfortunately, Feibleman's method of mere confrontation of conflicting statements in Plato detracts from his persuasiveness.--L. S. F.
Christian offers us a clear and detailed analysis of Whitehead's three primary types of entities: actual occasions, eternal objects, and God. He endeavours to show how Whitehead's account satisfies his own requirements of categoreal explanation and that these three types, together with creativity, require one another. The analysis is focused by a concern for the twin concepts of transcendence and immanence which, while shown to apply to all three types, are seen to be particularly relevant to Whitehead's revision of traditional (...) theology. Christian remains faithful to the text while strenuously probing its inner structure.--L. S. F. (shrink)
Gründer examines two basic concepts in Hamann's early thought as they appear in informal reading notes: God's condescension in creation and salvation, and the typological interpretation of Biblical history. Gründer also sketches the theological history of each concept, notes the historical context of its use by Hamann, and discusses its ontological implications in a very well documented account. A pioneer study. --L. S. F.
From the meagre fragments available, Sambursky has carefully reconstructed the basic physical concepts of the Stoa, emphasizing the continuum theory developed by Chrysippos and Poseidonios. Stoic physics, in contrast with Democritean atomism, has been largely neglected, in spite of its relevance to contemporary theories of continuity. Sambursky's contribution should overcome this omission to a great extent, and, together with Mates' and Lukasiewicz's work in Stoic logic, enable us to comprehend the non-ethical features of Stoic thought. Included is a 30 page (...) appendix giving English translations of the relevant classical fragments.--L. S. F. (shrink)
Few of these essays by the late Professor of English at Calvin College are either detailed or scholarly, but all reflect the wisdom of a liberally educated gentleman, steeped in the Reformed tradition. --L. S. F.
The compiler complains that the standard dictionaries of philosophy "attempt far too lengthy a discussion of too few terms to be of much value to the beginner." His attempt errs on the side of brevity and over-simplification. E.g., paradox is defined as "A statement or belief involving inconsistencies." The Kantian meanings for reason and understanding, representation and intuition, are ignored, and representation and understanding not even listed. --L. S. F.
In this essay on the archaic conception of historical being, Eliade has marshalled a wealth of archaeological and anthropological material. Eliade considers not only the more sophisticated versions of eternal return in great years and in cosmic cycles, but also its foundation in the annual cultic rites designed to overcome time. He catches the flavor of archaic ontology very nicely--the ontology which found its philosophical expression in Plato.--L. S. F.
Waterman argues that traditional Christianity has too often ignored its heritage of prophetic moral tradition. His study concentrates on Second Isaiah and the continuity of this moral criticism in John the Baptist and in Jesus. His approach is expository and informative, but little attention is paid to the details of Old Testament scholarship.--L. S. F.
A careful, descriptive history of belief, beginning in very broad terms with early Christian, Roman, and Greek beliefs and finally narrowing to beliefs held by the schoolmen in Paris during the high middle ages. The stress is on the latter period. Pickman wishes to do justice to the range of significant belief which these thinkers held rather than to exhibit their logical structure.--L. S. F.
This yearbook contains eleven articles in French and German, but unfortunately they are not grouped around a single theme, as some former yearbooks have been, e.g., the Schelling yearbook of 1954. Axelos and Bloch contribute good studies on time.--L. S. F.
This book is "not an 'ethics'," Mackinnon warns us, "but an attempt to study different styles of argument concerning the foundations of morality, by methods sometimes analytic and sometimes historical. It is informed by a desire to bring out some of the ways in which the problem of the possibility of metaphysics impinges on moral reflection." Among other things, he considers Utilitarianism, Kant, The Notion of Moral Freedom, and Butler.--L. S. F.
In this volume six Catholic social scientists and philosophers explore the relevance of value to the study of society. While granting the validity of its methodology for restricted scientific purposes, they perceive from their Thomistic standpoint the inadequacies of a purely positivistic approach which rejects all intelligible studies of value.--L. S. F.
A thorough theological and exegetical study of the New Testament view of baptism. Patristic, medieval, and Reformation views fall beyond the scope of this work, yet in chapter 16 the author considers and criticizes contemporary defenses of infant baptism. Chapter 15 is a useful summary of White's position. White's treatment is judicious and not overly polemical; his scholarship is extensive and up-to-date, but restricted to works appearing in English.--L. S. F.
Evelyn-White, Mair, and Brown all translated Hesiod into prose; Lattimore now offers us a very readable translation in blank verse. He writes, as Robert Lowell remarked, "the most accurate verse translations in the language." An attractive and refreshing volume.--L. S. F.
While a knowledge of Wordsworth's philosophical outlook would be quite helpful in understanding his poetry, it has proved difficult to re-construct this outlook from the fragmentary hints given in the poetry itself. Hirsch has found an adequate substitute in Schelling's early philosophy, notwithstanding the fact that neither was influenced by the other. The justification for linking Wordsworth with Schelling must be sought in the unity and inner coherence of the romantic perspective itself. Ignoring the vicissitudes in its development as extraneous (...) to his purpose, Hirsch presents a clear and vigorous outline accurately portraying the basic features of Schelling's philosophy up to 1806. The application of insights gleaned from this study of Schelling to the interpretation of specific poems is both instructive and convincing.--L. S. F. (shrink)
Through a series of brief but specific internal critiques of Spinoza's system, Sullivan seeks to show that Spinoza tried to be both a supernaturalist and a naturalist, an idealist and a realist.--L. S. F.
Abridged selections, with brief one page introductions, from sixteen authors influential in the development of Protestantism. In addition to such recognized theologicians as Luther, Calvin, Schleiermacher, and Ritschl, the editor has included a liberal sprinkling of American writers. Contemporary thought is represented by Barth.--L. S. F.
This informative and well-written account of gnosticism provides the English reader with his first access to much of this material, which was formerly restricted to specialized publications in French and German. Jonas describes the basic tenets and symbols of gnosticism, and then presents six specific systems for consideration, including Marcian, Valentinius, and Mani. The third section is perhaps the most interesting: in it Jonas demonstrates that gnosticism is more objectionable to the classic Greek than to the Christian.--L. S. F.
In this careful study, Woolf traces the international effort to make accurate observations of the transits of Venus across the face of the sun in 1761 and 1769. Precise measurement of these infrequent transits permitted the calculation of the distance from the earth to the sun, and enabled the eighteenth century to give fixed scalar dimensions to the Newtonian account of the solar system.--L. S. F.
In an effort to document the infiltration of rationalistic and essentialistic patterns of thought in nineteenth century scholasticism, Father Gurr has been patient and thorough enough to search through most of the Catholic manuals in use from 1750 to 1900, focusing on the single problem of the principle of sufficient reason. Whatever the ultimate origins of this principle, it received its classic formulation with Leibniz and Wolff. It is from these thinkers that the manual writers borrowed the concept, disengaging it (...) from its rationalistic implications with only varying degrees of success.--L. S. F. (shrink)