Though Joseph Nadler published the definitive, critical edition of Hamanns' complete works, the hermetic character of these texts warrants only too strongly a publication of at least the major texts with commentaries. The annotated edition is planned to comprise eight volumes. From the viewpoint of the history of ideas, Vol. IV is undoubtedly the most interesting, since it contains the important texts on the origin of language. These were directly provoked by Herder's famous Abhandlung über den Ursprung der Sprache; "the (...) Magician of the North" fights the spirit of the Aufklärung even when it is clothed in the more attractive, pre-romantic setting of Herder's prose. Besides a fantastic amount of notes and commentary, Miss Büchsel, the editor of Vol. IV, offers a comprehensive and penetrating introductory study. Especially important are the chapters on the "pre-history" of Hamanns' Herder-interpretation and its influence on the later development of German intellectual life from the early Goethe to the old Schelling Vol. V contains the so-called mystery-writings directly pertinent to the Christian doctrine of the revelation of the Incarnated Son of God. These texts are truly esoteric, and even the multitude of notes accompanying them cannot always fully overcome their terrible obscurity. And here arises the only objection against this edition. The notes and commentaries are a mine of detailed information, and they "unconceal" the meaning of every word. Yet perhaps their very abundance impedes their stated purpose. They do help in understanding the words, but they make sustained reading of the texts themselves impossible. The encyclopedical character of the notes is cause for both exasperation and for growth in knowledge and inspiration.—M. J. V. (shrink)
This is a monumental work. The author's aim is to follow the destiny of the self-explicitation [[sic]] of western thought from the concept of substance to that of structure. Authentic philosophical thinking has always been ontological, and structure, no less than substance is a form or species of being. System too is a species of being which leads from substance to structure. Structure is only an articulation and intensification of substance. The concept of structure is the central notion of contemporary (...) thought; it is at the focus of the natural as well as of the social sciences and it alone can bridge the gap between the "two cultures." It alone can pave the way for a new philosophical humanism which, without abandoning the claim to universality and "objectivity," retains the thinking man as its focus. The author's contention is that the concept of structure is far from being a newcomer on the scene but it has been rather ripening slowly throughout the great systems of the last six centuries. Without being in any way a treatise on the history of philosophy and on the history of science, the present book describes with great competence and persuasiveness the evolution of "structure" from Nicholas of Autrecourt via Cusanus and early modern science to Descartes. Next comes an extraordinarily rich and insightful analysis of the world of Pascal. Finally the conclusion is reached through a discussion of Leibniz and Kant. This is a difficult book, a long and complex one. It might well belong to those writings which reshape our understanding of the past, and through it, contribute to our expectations of the future.--M. J. V. (shrink)
This is the first good book on the early Schelling since Metzger's study in 1911. What is more, it is an entirely novel interpretation of this first and most productive decade of Schelling's philosophizing. The central thesis is that Schelling's fundamental intuition had always been that of the concrete and particular character of all reality. Reality is a whole and everything real is a whole: an actual closed totality. Even in this most Fichtean period, Schelling did not really accept the (...) transcendental position, and the philosophy of nature allowed him to expand his vision of the concrete into rich and complex constructions. This is a view which one occasionally encounters in other critical writings on Schelling, but it is usually overpowered by the accumulated Hegelian prejudice concerning Schelling's "dogmatism" and "abstract formalism." It is therefore heartening to see the author, without any polemics, challenging the Hegelians on their own favorite hunting-ground: the arid pastures of the philosophy of identity. Although the author does not fully document her findings, and although the System of Transcendental Idealism is almost totally neglected, the book is undoubtedly an important event. It may even signal the opening of new research into the early Schelling. It is immensely useful--and encouraging--for a number of scholars working on the Ages of the World and on the positive philosophy: it helps them to see the continuity in the six decades of Schelling's philosophizing.--M. J. V. (shrink)
At the beginning of the first version of the Ages of the World Schelling invoked Plato's protection against the criticism he was expecting from his contemporaries. More than forty years later, in his last system, Aristotle had become the most quoted of his predecessors. The way from Plato to Aristotle and the parallels drawn between "the philosopher" and Kant are among the best parts of the book. Hegel is almost as much studied by Oeser as Schelling. After all, the subtitle (...) announces a contribution to the critique of the Hegelian system. Unlike most scholars of the German idealism the author does not try to play out Hegel against Schelling or Schelling against Hegel. He is more interested in showing their similarities. However, in spite of this, Oeser's sympathies obviously lie with Schelling and in the last chapter he attempts to show how the final system of Schelling, that of the "purely rational philosophy" was not written only to give a new platform to the positive philosophy but also to lay the groundwork for a reconciliation between metaphysics and dialectical idealism in terms of transcendence and transcendentality.--M. J. V. (shrink)
Friedrich Schlegel is known above all as a man of letters and political interests, while his philosophical opus has received as yet a very limited interest and attention. Perhaps this new critical edition will enable him to carve a small niche for himself in forthcoming histories of philosophy. He was certainly not the most significant thinker; but his imagination, many-sidedness, sharpness, and his unmistakable speculative gift qualify him to be in the second rank of Romantic philosophers immediately after Schelling and (...) Baader. The young Friedrich Schlegel was thoroughly under the spell of Fichte, but his later development—notwithstanding personal antipathy—carried him close to Schelling. The ethical pathos of Fichte's doctrine could not make Schlegel overlook the injustice done to nature, art, and religion. Though his celebrated conversion to Catholicism in the Dom of Cologne did not take place until 1838, Schlegel read Jacob Boehme and was a close friend of Schleiermacher, and thus was absorbed by religious problems years before. Already in his Cologne lectures he goes beyond the vague idealistic concept of the "divinity" in favor of a personal and transcendent God. These two volumes of the critical edition contain the following texts: Transzendentalphilosophie, lectures in Jena from 1800-1801. The text is the one published by J. Körner in 1935. The Development of Philosophy in Twelve Books and Propedeutic and Logic. The texts in Propedeutic and Logic are of a general introductory character. But in The Development of Philosophy a tremendous effort is made to give, if not an entirely systematic, at least a quasi-all-embracing, encyclopedic sketch of philosophy and its history. Here again we read nothing substantially new. The editor follows the text published by Windischmann in 1836 but does complete it with variants from other manuscripts. Métaphysique. These lectures were delivered in French to Madame de Staël. In addition to an already known text published by J. Körner the editor makes use of a manuscript in the hand of Schlegel which was found only after the last war. The preface of J.-J. Anstett is ascetically short and even the commentary consists only of sober and learned notes at the end of the second volume.—M. J. V. (shrink)
This recent monograph on the famous head of the Protestant theological school of Tübingen is a mature and well-documented writing, despite a certain circularity and many repetitions in its argument. What Geiger tries to expound above all is Baur's speculative basis—or bias. Baur began with Schleiermacher, but the major and striking influence on Baur's thinking was exerted by Hegel. His books on the history of dogma are a theological counterpart of Hegel's phenomenology. But in his last writings, the speculative schemas (...) are quietly effaced, and we read suddenly that the essence of Christianity is the "pure moral conscience and the autonomy of the subject."—M. J. V. (shrink)
This book is a reprint of one of the pioneer works on German mysticism of the nineteenth century. It is a comprehensive account of the most fertile hundred years of German spiritual and mystical history in the Middle Ages. In contrast to Bach's and Lasson's books on Eckhart written in the same decade, Greith's viewpoint is one of narrow scholastic orthodoxy. However, the wealth of detail and the pleasant simplicity of style compensate for those rather irritating lamentations about the "errors" (...) of Meister Eckhart. Although this book was written before Denifle's discovery of Eckhart's Latin works, it remains of value today due to its systematic study of the doctrinal positions of the major mystical writers of the Rhineland. Included as well is an interesting analysis of mystical poetry centered around the works of the famous Sister Mechtild. The book ends with a lengthy and detailed description of the spirituality and spiritual theory developed in the scattered nunneries of the preaching orders.—M. J. V. (shrink)
In the mushrooming literature on the late Heidegger, Pugliese's book stands with the distinction of an immense and sometimes almost exasperating amount of learned notes and excurses [[sic]]. On the other hand, the speculative core of the work is a highly original one. It treats the famous "Kehre" in the continuity of Heidegger's thought and proves quite convincingly that it can be organically developed from the original thesis of "historicity" as it stands in Sein und Zeit. Making use of the (...) earliest texts as well as of a number of unpublished lecture-notes, Pugliese tries to back those interpretations which claim that the "Kehre" is indeed a turning-point in the history of metaphysics--even though it represents no break or revolution in Heidegger's own thought. This is a difficult book but fortunately devoid of the affected mannerism of so many Heidegger admirers, and a telling example of the frequent success of French and Spanish "translations" of German speculation.--M. J. V. (shrink)
This short comment on the Court of Protection decision in W v M draws attention to the primacy the judge gave to the preservation of life and discusses the relative lack of weight accorded to M's previously expressed views.
The case of W v M and Others, in which the court rejected an application to withdraw artificial nutrition and hydration from a woman in a minimally conscious state, raises a number of profoundly important medico-legal issues. This article questions whether the requirement to respect the autonomy of incompetent patients, under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, is being unjustifiably disregarded in order to prioritise the sanctity of life. When patients have made informal statements of wishes and views, which clearly—if not (...) precisely—apply to their present situation, judges should not feel free to usurp such expressions of autonomy unless there are compelling reasons for so doing. (shrink)
The famous Russian historian V. O. Kluchevsky had been constantly interested in literature. In this article, the author considers Kluchevsky’s observations on M. Yu. Lermontov’s creativity through the analyses of sadness motives in the article ‘Sadness‘ published in the journal ‘Russian Thought‘. Kluchevsky tried to understand how sadness motives were appeared in the Russian literature and how these motives influenced Lermontov’s self-reflection. Literary analyses is constructed on famous Lermontov’s lyrics, such as ‘Sail‘, ‘The golden cloud slept…‘, ‘Dream‘ and ‘July the (...) 11th of 1831‘. Analyzing the lyrics ‘I go out alone on the road…‘ the author of this article paying attention to ‘hidden sadness‘, which is expressed impressively in melodious Lermontov’s lyric without ‘arrangement for notes‘. Kluchevsky had expressed it on the 50th anniversary of Lermontov’s death. The position of the historian reflected in his comparison of sad Lermontov with meek and devout Russian tsar Alexey Mikhailovich. For this comparison, he was reproached by writer and literary critic N. M. Mikhailovsky, but Kluchevsky thoroughly considered sadness motives in poet’s creativity based on examples from the lyrics and disagreed literary critic’s reproaches. The origins of sadness motives studied in the historian’s article are in lesser degree connected with the biography of young Lermontov and rooted in the ‘moral history‘ of all Russian society. (shrink)
This book is for those searching for an ethics engine with enough philosophical power to drive healthcare reform toward a balance between medical technology and human compassion. Jos Welie's project is to This is an important goal that has eluded others. Jos Welie has more nearly succeeded in this book than any other author who has come to my attention.