Although living conditions have improved throughout history, protest, at least in the last few decades, seems to have increased to the point of becoming a normal phenomenon in modern societies. Contributors to this volume examine how and why this is the case and argue that although problems such as poverty, hunger, and violations of democratic rights may have been reduced in advanced Western societies, a variety of other problems and opportunities have emerged and multiplied the reasons and possibilities for protest.
Rene Le Senne belongs to the classical tradition of French philosophy. Unlike Sartre and Merleau-Ponty who owe so much to German sources Le Senne draws his philosophical sustenance primarily from the French tradition of Descartes, Octave Hamelin, Maine de Biran, and Bergson. His thought is the primary form of "Neo-Cartesianism" in contemporary philosophy. He is most well known for the alliance he formed in 1934 with Louis Lavelle and which is known as the Philosophie de l'Esprit movement. This movement (...) subscribes to two principles: the primacy of the Cartesian experience of the thinking self, and the discoverability of God in the experience of the self. Obstacle and Value, Le Senne’s major work, was published in 1934. In this work he develops a concept of the "I" as the "unity of experience," the matrix of all particular experiences, of both ideal cognitions and concrete existential encounters. This "ideo-existential" complex is what he calls "spirit." Spirit develops in an opposition or tension with "obstacles" which resist it. Spirit overcomes these obstacles by subverting them to its own goals, thereby endowing them with "value." The experience of obstacles gives rise to the hope of an absolute value. The spirit and God exist in a reciprocal relationship. God is never something wholly other to the self; and the self is in its inner being divinized by its relationship to God. There is then a double cogito: the cogito as man and the cogito as God. All experience is dominated by this reciprocal relationship between the self and God. The concluding chapters of the book explain how man can have the experience of being independent of God, without God. There is a helpful introduction by translator Dauenhauer, a brief bibliography, and no index of any kind.—J.D.C. (shrink)
Edited by the author of The Lonely Labyrinth, this anthology is a superb collection of Kierkegaard studies. It begins with two general statements of Kierkegaard’s thought: Louis Mackey’s previously published and tightly packed essay "The Poetry of Inwardness," and a chapter from Prof. Thompson’s newest book on Kierkegaard entitled "The Master of Irony." There is also Sartre’s essay "The Singular Universal" from Kierkegaard Vivant and an interesting historical essay by Richard Popkin which situates Kierkegaard in the history of modern (...) skepticism and shows his affinities with Hume. If there is a common theme to this collection it is the notion that Kierkegaard has persistently separated himself from the statements of his pseudonymous authors and that what has come to be known as "Kierkegaard’s philosophy" is really the product of Kierkegaard’s irony. Otherwise Kierkegaard’s entire literary effort becomes self-contradictory. The essays by Thompson, Crites and Allison are especially relevant in this regard. Editor Thompson has also done us the splendid service of updating the 1962 Kierkegaard Bibliografi with a supplement which includes all the literature in English for the years 1956-70. There is also a most helpful index locurum of the works of Kierkegaard cited in this anthology.—J.D.C. (shrink)
This article examines the research of Louis J. Mordell on the Diophantine equation $$y^2-k=x^3$$ y 2 - k = x 3 as it appeared in one of his first papers, published in 1914. After presenting a number of elements relating to Mordell’s mathematical youth and his writing, we analyze the 1914 paper by following the three approaches he developed therein, respectively, based on the quadratic reciprocity law, on ideal numbers, and on binary cubic forms. This analysis allows us to (...) describe many of the difficulties in reading and understanding Mordell’s proofs, difficulties which we make explicit and comment on in depth. (shrink)