This paper explores the relationships between Christianity, Englishness, and ideas about the southern English landscape in the writings of the 1930s and 1940s rural commentator, H.J. Massingham. The paper begins by looking in general terms at the conjunction of religious and national identities in the context of national landscapes before moving on to consider in more detail one particular instance of this in the writing of H.J. Massingham. Massingham's understanding of a divine natural order, his construction of a kind of (...) 'divine Englishness' and the way in which he relates this to particular English landscapes is explored. In particular, the paper investigates the natural, social and political power relationships which are embedded in Massingham's work, and suggests that his writing provides an interesting example of one way in which theological reasoning can reflect and reinforce concepts of a naturally ordered national identity. (shrink)
J. H. Hexter, an American historian of early seventeenth-century history, terms himself whiggish and claims whiggishness is returning after the misguided popularity of Marxism. The distinction "whiggish" is more elusive than his claim suggests, and the accuracy of its application to Hexter's claim is unclear. Three characteristics commonly assigned to whig interpretation by its critics can be seen as reflections of broader, unresolved historical issues. These are: attention to political and constitutional issues; a tendency to refer to the present in (...) interpreting the past; and a belief in inevitability. It is difficult to ascertain whether Hexter's attention to political matters is a result of his view of them as intrinsically important to historical inquiry or as particularly relevant to historical accounts of Stuart England. The charge of presentism cannot confidently be made against him, as he is not guilty of anything as crude as anachronism, and subtle presentism is neither avoidable nor necessarily reprehensible. Inevitabilism is not only difficult to define, it is not displayed by Hexter. If he displays the weaknesses of whiggishness it is only through implication, in the body of ideas underlying his text. (shrink)
J. H. van 't Hoff's 1874 Dutch pamphlet, in which he proposed the spatial arrangement of atoms in a molecule, is one of the most significant documents in the history of chemistry. This essay presents a new narrative of Van 't Hoff's early life and places the appearance of the pamphlet within the context of the 'second golden age' of Dutch science. We argue that the combination of the reformed educational system in The Netherlands, the emergence of graphical molecular modelling (...) within the theoretical and practical culture of chemistry during the 1860s and 1870s, as well as Van 't Hoff's own personal research trajectory, formed the background to his unprecedented attribution of spatial meaning to the traditional concept of atomic 'arrangement'. We also present a new English translation of the pamphlet, for we have found that the existing translation, published by G. M. Richardson in 1901, contains many errors, changes and omissions. The new version offers a more accurate rendition in English of Van 't Hoff's style and argument. (shrink)
Straipsnyje aptariamos vokieèiø filosofo J. H. Abichto , Kanto sekëjo, dirbusio Vilniaus universitete, pagrindinio veikalo „Neues System eines aus der Menschheit entwickelten Naturrechts“ idëjos.Reikðminiai þodþiai: J. H. Abichtas, Kantas, Chr. Wolffas, asmuo, teisë.
J. H. Lambert proved important results of what we now think of as non-Euclidean geometries, and gave examples of surfaces satisfying their theorems. I use his philosophical views to explain why he did not think the certainty of Euclidean geometry was threatened by the development of what we regard as alternatives to it. Lambert holds that theories other than Euclid's fall prey to skeptical doubt. So despite their satisfiability, for him these theories are not equal to Euclid's in justification. Contrary (...) to recent interpretations, then, Lambert does not conceive of mathematical justification as semantic. According to Lambert, Euclid overcomes doubt by means of postulates. Euclid's theory thus owes its justification not to the existence of the surfaces that satisfy it, but to the postulates according to which these "models" are constructed. To understand Lambert's view of postulates and the doubt they answer, I examine his criticism of Christian Wolff's views. I argue that Lambert's view reflects insight into traditional mathematical practice and has value as a foil for contemporary, model-theoretic, views of justification. (shrink)
My object in this paper is to suggest a few reflections on some themes in Bentham's work which others as well as I have noted, without perhaps developing them as fully as might with advantage be done. There will be nothing like full development in the limited compass of what is said here, but what is said may at least indicate possible directions for further exploration. The greater part of the paper will be concerned with the notion of natural authority; (...) but I want to begin by taking a broader, though no doubt rather superficial, view of the role in Bentham's thinking of the concepts of ‘nature’ and ‘the natural’. (shrink)
According to familiar accounts, Rousseau held that humans are actuated by two distinct kinds of self love: amour de soi, a benign concern for one's self-preservation and well-being; and amour-propre, a malign concern to stand above other people, delighting in their despite. I argue that although amour-propre can (and often does) assume this malign form, this is not intrinsic to its character. The first and best rank among men that amour-propre directs us to claim for ourselves is that of occupying (...) 'man's estate'. This does not require, indeed it precludes, subjection of others. Amour-propre does not need suppression or circumscription if we are to live good lives; it rather requires direction to its proper end, not a delusive one. (shrink)
The Belgian author J.-H. Rosny aîné is a relative unknown. A contemporary of Jules Verne and H. G. Wells, he wrote a number of science fiction stories, as well as naturalistic ones, all in French. Despite being something of a celebrity in his day, he has received scant attention from the anglophone world—a smattering of translations and a couple of Ph.D. dissertations that "tend to dismiss Rosny's 'scientific' novels and disparage SF". With this new volume, Chatelain and Slusser aim to (...) set a foundation for, and secure an interest in, Rosny as a subject of study and to argue for his import in the history of sf. The work contains a lengthy introduction, copious notes, and a useful... (shrink)
Principal editor of the great Encyclopedia , novelist and prose writer of genius, contributor to the development of scientific thought and method, to the theory of the bourgeois drama and to the practice of art criticism, Diderot perhaps embodies the rich variety of the Enlightenment spirit more than any other man. His only real rival is surely Voltaire. Rousseau, whose influence was greater than Diderot's, would not thank us for classing him among the philosophes . The more profound philosophers - (...) a Hume or a Kant - not only lack his range, but are less unquestionably ‘Enlightenment men’. (shrink)
By the death, last summer, of Jack Robson, the world of utilitarian studies and a wider world of scholarship on both sides of the Atlantic lost one of their most distinguished figures. It would not be appropriate here, even if it were possible now, to attempt a full and measured assessment of his work. Writing only a few months after the news of his death, while the sense of loss is still so sharp for all his many friends, two things (...) are possible. Something can and should be said to acknowledge and celebrate Robson's achievement as a scholar; and to this can be added some personal recollections of one whose human qualities were as outstanding as his scholarship. (shrink)
This lecture is divided, roughly, into three parts. First, there is a general and perhaps rather simple-minded discussion of what are the ‘facts’ that social anthropologists study; is there anything special about these ‘facts’ which makes them different from other kinds of facts? It will be useful to start with the common-sense distinction between two kinds or, better, aspects of social facts; first—though neither is analytically prior to the other—and putting it very crudely, ‘what people do’, the aspect of social (...) interaction, and second, ‘what—and how—people think’, the conceptual, classifying, cognitive component of human culture. Now in reality, of course , these two aspects are inextricably intertwined. But it is essential to distinguish them analytically, because each aspect gives rise to quite different kinds of problems of understanding for the social anthropologist. We shall see that the problem of how to be ‘objective’, and so to avoid ethnographic error, arises in both contexts, but in rather different forms in each. (shrink)
The object of this article is to examine, with the work of Jeremy Bentham as the principal example, one strand in the complex pattern of European social theory during the second half of the eighteenth century. This was of course the period not only of the American and French revolutions, but of the culmination of the movements of thought constituting what we know as the Enlightenment. Like all great historical episodes, the Enlightenment was both the fulfilment of long-established processes and (...) the inauguration of new processes of which the fulfilment lay in the future. Thus the seminal ideas of seventeenth-century rationalism realized and perhaps exhausted their potentialities in the eighteenth-century Enlightenment. The ideas with which this article is concerned, however—conveniently grouped and labelled as the ideas of utilitarianism—only began to achieve systematic development in these later decades of the eighteenth century. Within that period—during the first half and more of Bentham's long life—attempts to apply those ideas to the solution of social problems met largely with failure and frustration. Yet unrealized potentialities remained, the realization of which was reserved for a time when the world of the philosophes no longer existed. The movements for social and political reform which have played so large a part in modern history since the French Revolution may be judged in widely differing ways; but whatever the verdict, these movements surely cannot be understood without due consideration of that part of their origins which lies in eighteenth-century utilitarianism. (shrink)
The full range of Bentham's engagement with Blackstone's view of law is beyond the scope of a single article. Yet it is important to recognize at the outset, even in a more restricted enquiry into the matter, that the engagement, begun when Bentham, not quite sixteen years of age, started to attend Blackstone's Oxford lectures, was indeed a lifelong affair. Whatever Bentham had in mind when, at the age of eighty, in 1828, he began to write a work entitled ‘A (...) familar view of Blackstone: or say Blackstone familiarized’, the manuscripts at least suffice to prove that ‘Our Author’ was still in the forefront of his mind at that octogenarian but still indefatigably active stage of his career. Every aspect of Bentham's multifarious intellectual activity over the intervening decades had been touched in some measure by his response to Blackstone's ideas. It still seems true to say what was said a dozen years ago: It would be an exaggeration to say that Bentham elaborated his own conception of law by way of a constant and conscious dialectic with the views of Blackstone. But it would be an exaggeration for which the evidence would afford some excuse. (shrink)
In the essay an attempt is made to investigate the processes of construction and reconstruction of meaning in the later books of the Cambridge poet J.H. Prynne. It has been argued that his poetry disturbs the act of meaning-making in a ceaseless experimental reconnection of words taken from multifarious discourses, ranging from economics to theology. Yet, what appears striking in this poetry is the fact that these lyrics take their force from figurative meaning with which the words are endowed in (...) the process of a poem’s unfolding. Prynne appears to compose his lyrics by juxtaposing words that in themselves do yield a meaning but together exude an aura of unintelligibility. We may see this process as aiming at the destruction of what might be posited as the centre of signification of the modern language by constantly dispersing the meaning to the fringes of understanding. The poems force the reader to look to the margins of their meaning in the sense that the signification of the entire lyric is an unstable composite of figurative meanings of this lyric’s individual words and phrases. To approach this poetry a need arises to read along the lines of what is here termed “fleeting assertion”; it is not that Prynne’s poems debar centre in favour of, for instance, Derridean freeplay but rather that they seek to ever attempt to erect a centre through the influx from the margins of signification. Therefore they call for strong interpretive assertions without which they veer close to an absurdity of incomprehension; however, those assertions must always be geared to accepting disparate significatory influxes. Indeed, interpretation becomes a desperate chase after “seeing anew” with language but, at the same time, a chase that must a priori come to terms with the fact that this new vision will forever remain in the making. (shrink)
In the spring of 1780 there appeared a short work by J. H. de Magellan, published in London but written in French, which contained the first table of specific heats to appear in print. Magellan attributed the table to Richard Kirwan, but in none of his published works does Kirwan refer to it, so that the circumstances of its compilation are obscure. Kirwan's correspondence, however, provides evidence both of his association with Magellan and of his long concern with theories of (...) heat. In a series of letters concerned principally with his forthcoming publication, written to James Watt at the beginning of 1780, Magellan attacked Joseph Black for his failure to publish his own work on heat. (shrink)
The Eton Latin Grammar, For Use in the Higher Forms. By Francis Hay Rawlins, M.A., and William Ralph Inge. London: Murray, 1888. 6s.The Revised Latin Primer. By Benjamin Hall Kennedy, D.D. Longmans, 1888. 2s. 6d.The New Latin Primer. Edited by J. P. Postgate, M.A., and C. H. Vince, M.A. Cassell, 1888. 2s. 6d.The Shorter Latin Primer, by Dr. Kennedy. Longmans, 1888. 1s.