In this monograph R. W. Beardsmore presents a lucid and readable presentation of what he takes moral reasoning to be and what he expects moral reasoning to accomplish. It is another in the long list of works which attempt to apply later-Wittgensteinian insights to the problems of ethics. The common moves run this way: Wittgenstein insists that to say that something is justified, or to say there are justifiable reasons for some position implies some fundamental agreement in our language game. (...) Moral argumentation can only take place within the context of a shared ethical language game. This moral viewpoint invests, what appear to be facts with value. According to Beardsmore the importance of shared moral viewpoints is missed by R. M. Hare with his dichotomizing of fact and value and his insistence on a decision of principle. Beardsmore also attacks the position of Phillipa Foot whom he sees on the opposite side of the issue from Hare. He sees Foot as insisting on the necessary dependence of values upon facts, which leads to her inability to account for changing moral viewpoints. Beardsmore tries to show that these views of Foot and Hare agree at least on one point, that there must be one specific way to give reasons for moral positions and hence solve moral disputes. Beardsmore has made a significant contribution by offering an illuminating application of Wittgenstein's insights to the problems of ethical theory. If they did nothing more, these insight's would be important in so far as they help to unlock the hold that the fact-value dichotomy has imposed on ethical theory for so long.--R. F. D. (shrink)
With his usual conciseness and lucidity, Körner attempts to show what philosophy is by looking at what it does, i.e., by investigating its problems, its branches and its history. Körner begins by setting out classic problems ranging from the problem of class-existence to the problem of freedom, and follows this by an investigation of various methodologies. After this introductory material the bulk of the book ranges over the central problems of most branches of philosophy and concludes with a brief sketch (...) of the history of philosophy. Of special note is Körner's treatment of metaphysics to which he gives an entire section of almost seventy pages. Those familiar with Körner's other work will find it a concise summary of his notion of metaphysics as exhibition and/or replacement-analysis of categorial frameworks. Also of note is his refreshing treatment of philosophy of mind. He sees the problem of intentionality as the chief consideration for that branch of philosophy. Although he makes mention of the linguistic approach to philosophy of mind his main thrust is to set the problems in Brentano's terms and show how the mind-body problem and theories of truth are handled from that framework. There are some drawbacks in the book. First: given the length of his treatment of metaphysics one could wish that somewhere Körner in his explication of metaphysics had given some recognition to the realistic alternatives to his transcendental metaphysics. Second: one must wonder to whom the book is addressed. The conciseness of Körner's style allows him to range over an unbelievably large area, but in such a pithy manner that it seems almost unimaginable that the educated layman will be able to follow the presentations and arguments, particularly those interspersed with logical notation. For example, how much value is there in condensing the logic of truth-functions, quantification and axiomatization into less than ten pages? For those in the field it is repetitive, for those not, it must be nearly unintelligible. One feels Körner really wanted to write a defense of metaphysics. This may have been a more efficacious project eliminating the need to write first for one audience then for another. The book is concise, lucid, and illuminating.--R. F. D. (shrink)
Written in the genre of Windleband's histories, this text is designed for use in a course in which the students have little or no access to primary sources, or as a reference work. The translation is rather less ponderous than the original, and its supplementary readings have been altered for American students.--R. F. T.
Windelband's History, the most popular of the manuals at the turn of the century, is reprinted in the Harper edition, while the Dover reprints the considerably expanded version of part of the History's first volume which appeared in Iwan Müller's Handbuch der klassischen Altertumswissenschaft. The Harper edition is more smoothly translated, and the pages are better designed, while the Dover is better bound and somewhat more detailed. Both are rather wooden, and the bibliographies are badly out of date, but on (...) the other hand they have never been really adequately replaced. --R. F. T. (shrink)
This spirited work is better Milton than ontology, cosmology and physics. Milton drew on many sources for the cosmic imagery of Paradise Lost, but he did not unite the traditions thoroughly. Curry is rather too kind to Milton, calling him syncretic when he is merely eclectic.--R.F.T.
One of Mr. Popper's earliest jousts with the historicists. In it, Popper says, "I have not hesitated to construct arguments in [historicism's] support which have not, to my knowledge, been brought forward by historicists themselves. I hope, that in this way, I have succeeded in building up a position worth attacking". It is difficult to see, however, that this sort of supplementation adds anything to the earlier books: The Open Society and Its Enemies was a dialogue ; The Poverty of (...) Historicism is a monologue.--R. F. T. (shrink)
"I...brought out my wife to see this silhouette... made on the clean concrete by the oil dropping out of the engine... and we all remarked that this was 'the Christ'." But when the newspapers took their pictures, Mr. Baillie remarked it was a pity that the picture had not been taken the day before, when it had been so perfect.--R. F. T.
While claiming merit primarily for pedagogical clarity and usefulness, this exposition of St. Thomas' opinions on knowledge and truth also tries to delineate the boundary between neo-scholastic, and Cartesian and Kantian epistemology.--R. F. T.
A text for an undergraduate problems course placing special emphasis on a wide selection of texts for students to evaluate: in a treatment of teleological ethics the authors include Nietzsche, R. B. Perry and G. E. Moore; the section on political philosophy presents a range of authors from Mill to Mussolini. Perhaps its chief virtue is that it relies almost exclusively on modern writers and yet manages not to be parochial.--R.F.T.
Its wisdom and sensitivity make Personal Knowledge required reading for epistemologists. By stressing the active components in scientific knowing--appraisal and commitment--Polanyi shows that knowledge is less "objective," more complex, and more widely distributed in nature than is tacitly supposed by most epistemologies. Knowing implies a foundation in skills, a confidence in one's ability to judge beyond the range of well-formulated rules, and a commitment to the existence of an answer to one's questions before the answer is in sight. Like a (...) Platonic dialogue, this book conveys more than it states, and the broad foundation of insight embodied in the examples would support more conceptual superstructure than Polanyi provides. But that serves to make it an instance of its thesis--that we know more than we can now say.--R. F. T. (shrink)
Although nominally concerned to rethink the pre-Aristotelian positions on space and time, this work actually pays little attention to the texts, striking out on its own line in the tradition of Heidegger.--R. F. T.
Burke and his predecessors seem to be most before the mind of the editor in his long introduction to this standard eighteenth-century work: he traces the growth of Burke's ideas on art and compares them with contemporary investigations. The sections examining the doctrines themselves are somewhat vague, and those tracing the philosophical reaction to Burke rather too short; however the study of Burke's influence on artists is fascinating reading. The text is done with care, and the footnotes include excerpts from (...) the reviews of the Enguiry's first edition where these seem to have guided Burke's revisions.--R. F. T. (shrink)
The Bahá'i faith, a savior religion incorporating beliefs of most of the world religions, was founded in Persia in the 19th century. Ferraby gives a clear and readable exposition of its tenets.--R. F. T.
A mathematical theory of society, built around a concept of quanta of human energy, and applied in support of a social order combining capitalist and feudal features. "For those impatient of minute analysis," the jacket assures us, "the first 80 pages or more can be read lightly..."; to those impatient for such analysis, this is good advice regarding the whole book. --R. F. T.
In this group of well-written essays Randall discusses explicitly the group of ideas which have been implicit in his earlier works in intellectual history. The first section, which deals with the philosophy of history, argues that particular things have particular histories, and that these histories belong to them on the basis of what they are taken to be and expected to become. The metaphysics of the second section is a pluralistic analysis of actual experience and its symbolic representation.--R. F. T.
Based largely on popular scientific, psychological, and anthropological material, this essay attempts to unify the facts of experience and morality in terms of an underlying spiritual medium. This medium is variously identified with God, pure consciousness, and Brahman.--R. F. T.
In this revised edition of his 1934 work, Kraft takes up the themes of authority and scientific method, concluding that the Geisteswissenschaften are not a homogeneous group and hence have no single method or principles.--R. F. T.
Three things make Father Ong's work on the sixteenth-century dialectician Peter Ramus an important contribution to the history of logic and letters. First, he has prudently avoided the temptation to make Ramus a hero or villain and to evaluate his work on its logical merits. His treatment is therefore balanced and well-directed, for Ramus was neither a great thinker nor a great man. Ramus's reforms appear here as epiphenomena of the humanistic reform of pedagogy, and the connection between logic and (...) the demands of the university curriculum thus receives much needed attention. Finally, this book marks one of the first important attempts to apply the contrast between the personal communication through dialogue with the objective, impersonal conveying of information by the written word to the history of philosophy and the interpretation of the Renaissance.--R. F. T. (shrink)
The manifest destiny of Israel runs through this uncritical, popular history like the manifest destiny of the sheriff through a Western movie, and the Israeli-Arab dispute is traced back ultimately to the characters of Jacob and Esau.--R. F. T.
The first volume of this French textbook series to appear in English. Gardeil's exposition is usually in the form of a paraphrase of Thomas' conclusions on questions raised by Aristotle's De Anima, but he also treats the more peculiarly thomistic problems of knowledge of individuals, the soul, and God. The Value of this work as an introduction to Thomas' psychology is enhanced by the inclusion of almost sixty pages of texts in an appendix.--R. F. T.
A warm portrait of Gilson as historian, educator, and Thomist drawn from his own writings and lectures. The selection is well made and includes several pieces previously unpublished in English; Pegis contributes an introduction in which he explores Gilson's attitude toward Christian philosophy and the Middle Ages.--R. F. T.
In this loosely organized study Hyma undertakes to correct almost every misstatement made about Luther in recent years. Although some of the individual items will be of interest to Luther specialists, the work as a whole makes no clear impression.--R. F. T.
Claudel's last work, J'aime la Bible is an appreciation of great feeling at its best and a kind of muddy carping with the Bible's detractors at its worst. The translation, by Wade Balkin, is idiomatic rather than poetic, and reads smoothly and easily.--R. F. T.
Sambursky, a physicist at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, sheds light on Greek thought from the perspective of modern science. Within its self-imposed limits, this is a first-rate exposition --clear, concise, and thorough. R. F. T.
In preparing this second edition of his commentary, Weldon has left the historical sections materially unaltered but has almost tripled the critical treatment. This leads to a far more valuable book, particularly since he has replaced long summary passages with systematic treatment of the issues Kant raises.--R. F. T.
Father Owens suggests the outlines of a renewed Thomist attack on the post-Cartesian metaphysical questions and positions which would take advantage of the "analogical," "Platonic" and "existentialist" interpretations of St. Thomas' thought.--R. F. T.
In examining Kant's Foundations for the Metaphysics of Morals, Duncan contrasts his own, Critical interpretation with the Ethical interpretation which is far more common. His principal contention is that the Foundations is not an exposition of Kant's ethical views but a "partial critique of practical reason"; Kant's object "is to understand the nature of morality and to state its principle, that is, the principle which describes what morality is." The net effect of this approach is to take the emphasis away (...) from the categorical imperative as a criterion of morality and to place it on parts of the Foundations which are inherently stronger, particularly on Sections I and III. At the same time it brings the Foundations closer to the first and second Critiques and makes it a sounder and more thoroughly Kantian work.--R. F. T. (shrink)
Taton's study is very poorly organized, aiming at no particular thesis. Nevertheless, the individual examples of reason and chance are intrinsically interesting, and many are made available for the first time in English.--R. F. T.
"Pure" capitalism is the remedy for the country's ills, Kelso holds. Its chief ingredients are distribution of the proceeds of labor according to ownership of the means of production, and a broadening of the ownership base.--R. F. T.
Bugbee's meditations remind one a great deal of Thoreau, with this difference, that the material which occupies his attention is not nature but philosophic thought experienced with unusual vividness. As contemplative writing, The Inward Morning deserves to be compared with the best, although often Bugbee's comments on the philosophers become so interesting that one's attention is taken from the point they were meant to illustrate. An appreciative introduction by Gabriel Marcel deals with the points of similarity between his and Bugbee's (...) thought and presents the themes of the book in essay form.--R. F. T. (shrink)
Commenting on the passage in Revelation which says that the people would have the Father's name written on their foreheads, Chapman writes, "The pineal gland, situated about the middle of the head is the 'spiritual gland,' the gland which connects the focalization of the outer, human consciousness with Father-Consciousness."--R. F. T.
Working within the framework of Ryle's "knowing how-knowing that" distinction, Hartland-Swann argues that all knowing involves a decision and that "knowing that" is a special case of "knowing how": knowing how to say what is the case.--R. F. T.
Why Christianity, with its conception of agapé was successful in winning the allegiance of the late Romans is the question which leads Ferguson to his examination of the Homeric virtues and the Stoic morality. He finds the classical virtues are incapable of "providing that basis for an universal morality for which people were seeking" because they were each linked to a vanished society or failed to reach to the heart of men's moral strivings. His analysis of the pagan virtues is (...) less than sympathetic, though thoughtful and based on considerable learning.--R. F. T. (shrink)
By dramatizing Spinoza's relations to the Jewish community in Amsterdam and filling in some of the historical background. Feuer has made the story of Spinoza's life a commentary on the situation of the liberal in modern America. As an appraisal of Spinoza's political philosophy, however, the work suffers from the extreme vagueness of categories such as Liberal Republican, Scientific Philosopher, and Mystic.--R. F. T.
Peter Martyr Vermigli served as a mediator between the Reformed Church on the Continent and the Anglicans under Edward VI. The value of this historical and systematic study of his sacramental theology is increased by an appendix comparing him with Calvin and Bucher, and by a bibliography of the scanty secondary material.--R. F. T.
A non-technical exposition of the proof and related questions in the foundations of mathematics is presented here. The work is built around the authors' study which appeared in Scientific American.--R. F. T.
The "first year" of the lectures making up Saint-Simon's Doctrine is here translated for the first time. The editor's introduction places the work in its context of nineteenth century French social theory and traces is connections to Comte and Durkheim. --R. F. T.