The title essay was originally presented as two lectures inaugurating the John Dewey lectures at Columbia. It is an important essay for understanding Quine's work for it brings together many themes at the center of his thinking since Word and Object. Quine quotes with approval Dewey's statement "meaning is primarily a property of behavior" and then goes on to consider a thesis which, according to Quine, is a consequence of such a behavioral theory of meaning, i.e., the thesis of the (...) indeterminacy of meaning and translation. Quine relates this indeterminacy thesis, which he has been defending for some time, to language learning, the foundations of mathematics, and to a general view of ontological relativity. Other essays in the volume concern natural kinds and the various paradoxes of confirmation, propositional objects, quantification and existence and the empirical basis of science. All the essays are post-1965 except the introductory essay which was Quine's Presidential Address to the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association in 1956. This address was something of an introduction to the ideas to appear in Word and Object and is placed at the beginning of this collection to emphasize that all the essays collected here expand on and defend some of the positions of Word and Object. Quine's fluid style is everywhere in evidence.--R. H. K. (shrink)
The virtue of this book is that it brings together in one volume discussions related to our ordinary conception of space and time on the one hand and discussions related to the conception of space and time in contemporary physical theory on the other. Thus we have discussion of the topology, metrical geometry, and tri-dimensionality of space; absolute vs. relative space; the order and direction of time in physical theory; the size and physical limits of the universe; and the beginning (...) and end of the universe in contemporary cosmological theory. But in addition there is discussion of the problems of identifying objects in space and time, including problems of personal identity, the notion of place and its relation to matter, the ordinary conception of past and future, and other topics. The author works through this maze by making use of a distinction between the necessary and contingent properties of space and time. His manner of drawing the line between the necessary and contingent is surely the most controversial aspect of his book. Certain cosmological theories, for example, are ruled out on logical grounds despite the fact that they may be compatible with general relativity. But the author's arguments are challenging and are backed up by an extensive knowledge of contemporary physical theory as well as of recent philosophical discussion of space and time in the English speaking world.--R. H. K. (shrink)
A book which attempts to introduce the reader to current problems in the philosophy of science, and at the same time to provide a new and significant treatment of some of these problems. The "modest empiricism" which Scheffler has espoused in a number of previous publications is given a detailed presentation in a study of historical attempts to provide meaning for three crucial concepts in the field: explanation, signification and confirmation.--R. H. K.
This book considers some of the problems of a logical nature about reference which have troubled contemporary philosophers--particularly problems about existence, identity, and definite descriptions. It deals with five philosophers who have been especially concerned with these logical problems: Meinong, Frege, Russell, Strawson, and Quine. The pivotal chapters concern Russell's theory of descriptions and Strawson's well-known critique of that theory in his paper "On Referring." According to Linsky, some of Strawson's criticisms of Russell hit their mark; but not all of (...) them do, because Russell and Strawson turn out to have "compatible views about different subjects". Strawson is concerned with certain uses of words, Russell with propositions of certain kinds. Linsky's arguments on these matters are challenging precisely because they turn some of Strawson's own assumptions against him. But Strawsonians would surely want to carry the argument beyond this book by demanding a more thorough defense of the usefulness of introducing propositions into philosophical analysis as Russell does. Other noteworthy discussions of the book concern the consequences of Frege's semantics, substitutivity and impure reference in the chapter on Quine, and a discussion of extensionality and descriptions.--R. H. K. (shrink)
This is a careful analytical study of some of the central concepts of contemporary political thought. In separate chapters the author deals with the concepts of liberty, loyalty, power, and tolerance, exposing in the process some of the contradictions and confusions of contemporary American liberal and conservative thought. In the first chapter, which takes its point of departure from J. S. Mill's writings on liberty and political economy, Wolff shows that conservatives and liberals in the U.S. often share common principles (...) but disagree over the relevant facts. Since he thinks liberals have usually been right about the facts they have come, in his opinion, to dominate political debates. But the principles themselves need questioning, according to Wolff, and he formulates his own alternative in a final chapter entitled "Community." His aim in this final chapter is to rehabilitate the notion of the general or public good as distinct from the sum of the private goods of individuals, without falling into the totalitarian mold of various theories of the general good during the past few centuries. His ideas are not fully worked out in this chapter but they are interesting and stimulating. The other chapters on loyalty, power, and tolerance exemplify the two virtues which the book as a whole possesses. On the one hand they contain a careful analysis of the concepts involved, and on the other hand they represent a successful attempt to relate the analysis to current political problems.--R. H. K. (shrink)
A highly technical theory of visual perception is developed in the first half of this psychological study with the aid of set-theoretical symbols and a complex array of variables ranging over states of the various sub-systems of the organism related to perception. In the later chapters the author describes several new and crucial experiments favoring the theory over other theories of perception, and discusses its philosophical implications for a behavioral account of mind. Those who wade through the welter of symbols (...) will find important material for a philosophy of perception in the theory and especially in the experiments, involving externally induced environmental changes which are corrected by the behavior of the organism over a period of time. --R. H. K. (shrink)
This is the second volume in the new monograph series sponsored by the American Philosophical Quarterly and judging by the high quality of most of the essays in this collection the idea for such a series seems to be a good one. A wide variety of topics in contemporary philosophical logic are discussed in seven essays, as suggested by the following brief account of their contents: Montgomery Furth's "Two Types of Denotation" is a careful study of Frege's views of denotation, (...) function, and object which manages to make some original suggestions as well as to clear up some confusing features of Frege's discussion. Jaako Hintikka's "Language Games for Quantifiers" develops interesting connections between the uses of quantifiers and various verbs related to seeking and finding and with these connections in mind offers a game theoretic interpretation of quantifiers. J. W. Cornman's admirably clear essay "Types, Categories and Nonsense" discusses the views of Ryle, Russell, Black, Pap, and Sommers on categories and types, formulating criteria of type difference close to that of Sommers. In "A Theory of Conditionals," R. C. Stalnaker takes some clues from the semantical analysis of modal logics in order to present an analysis of 'if... then...' statements and to deal with some epistemological problems about counterfactuals. In "Goodman's Nominalism," A. Hausman and C. Echelberger discuss certain facts which, in their view, no nominalist ontology, including Goodman's can deal with. Ted Honderlich's "Truth: Austin, Strawson, Warnock" is a discussion of Austin's views on truth and some of the confusions surrounding commentary on and criticism of it. Honderlich suggests his own definition of truth in the article. Finally, Colwyn Williamson in "Propositions andPropositions" discusses the various arguments which have been put forward to show that propositions are entities of a sort distinct from sentences. He rejects all such arguments as well as their conclusion.--R. H. K. (shrink)
Intended for students of Thomistic metaphysics, this is a companion to Smith's earlier work on Natural Theology. From the basic question of being, stated in terms of the one and the many, a consistent metaphysics is developed. Stress is put upon the questions of our knowledge and the cause of being, and the relations of metaphysics, epistemology, and theology in Thomistic philosophy. The treatments of analogy, possibility, abstraction, and the transcendentals are especially informative.--R. H. K.
Leibniz' General Investigations, a group of memoranda on logical and methodological matters, remained unpublished until Couturat published the original Latin manuscript in 1903. Only after 1960 was a German translation made by F. Schmidt and an English translation by G. H. R. Parkinson. The present translation provides extensive reference notes to Leibniz' other manuscripts, and a commentary and notes to the text. In these respects it has some advantages over previous translations. The translation is clear although the work itself is (...) sometimes difficult to follow and the notes are most welcome. An introduction discusses the place of the General Investigations within the context of Leibniz' thought. With the interest in Leibniz' logical writings very strong at present, this new translation and commentary is most welcome.--R. H. K. (shrink)
Reichenbach wrote this book just after taking the first course Einstein ever taught on the theory of relativity. His important and influential work The Philosophy of Space and Time was written several years later and relied in part on the axiomatization of the special and general theories of relativity already worked out in this book. For special relativity Reichenbach divides his axioms into two sets, the light axioms which relate light signals to the topology and metric of time and space, (...) and the matter axioms which do the same for rigid rods and clocks. Thus the axioms focus on the conventions uniting theory and observation and give more insight into the physical foundations of the theory than do most axiomatizations. Reichenbach's approach has been criticized by Weyl and others, but at least some of the criticism seems to rest on a misunderstanding of what Reichenbach was attempting to do. Now that this early work has been translated into English, there is hope that it will be more widely read. There is no doubt that students of the theory or of recent philosophical discussion of space and time will profit from a careful reading of this book.--R. H. K. (shrink)
The author tries to show that modern western science is coherent with past philosophical speculation, both western and eastern. Some of the book's 9 chapters have previously been published in American and Indian journals.--R. H.
The aim of this book is to introduce the reader to some new areas of contemporary logic which generally fall under the rubric of philosophical logic. It succeeds in this task to a degree, although the chapters are for the most part adaptations of journal articles published by Rescher over the last ten years and are more self-contained than they might have been. But the book should renew interest in the problems of philosophical logic. It contains many interesting discussions and (...) a great deal of useful information. Rescher begins with chapters on modal logic which include some discussion of intuitionistic logic and the causal modalities as well as the alethic modalities. He then discusses the notion of belief as a representative notion of epistemic logic. A long chapter is devoted to a history and survey of the main systems of many valued logics. Shorter, but still substantial, chapters are devoted to the logic of existence, non-standard quantification theory, chronological or tense logic, topological or positional logic, logic of assertion and logic of preference. Still shorter chapters are given to deontic logic, probability logic, a discussion of random individuals and self-reference. An interesting final chapter provides a new "discourse on method" for the philosophical or applied logician.--R. H. K. (shrink)
Peter Geach brings the same careful attention to logical detail to these studies in the philosophy of religion and philosophy of mind as he has brought to other philosophical works. Some of the topics discussed here, however, will surprise some readers of Geach's earlier works, e.g., reincarnation, immortality, creation, praying for things to happen, and worshipping the right God. There are separate chapters on these topics as well as chapters on thought, form and existence, and the moral law. It should (...) be noted for readers who may not share Geach's interest in some of these topics that each of the chapters makes important points about issues which go beyond the topics of immediate interest. For example, Geach's two chapters on reincarnation and immortality are very interesting commentaries on the problem of personal identity, and the chapter on praying for things to happen is an interesting essay on time. The chapters on existence and thought pick up themes from Geach's earlier writing on Aquinas and Frege and mental acts. The Aristotelian roots of Geach's thought are clear in these essays from his account of existence and thought to his denial of clear sense to the idea of an immortality of a separate soul or its reincarnation. There is a helpful analytical index.--R. H. K. (shrink)
The expressed aim of Alf Ross' study is to lay the philosophical foundations for deontic logic by explicating the concepts of directive and norm. But there is a wider significance to his task, for he makes clear throughout that the concepts of directive and norm are central to a wide variety of disciplines, including moral, legal, and social philosophy, linguistics and the other social sciences. Moreover, the test of adequacy of his explications include an appeal to the usefulness the concepts (...) have, not only to the logician, but for the moral and legal philosopher and especially in the case of his account of norms, for the social scientist. He begins with a discussion of speech acts, developing a distinction between indicative and directive speech. A "directive" is defined in terms of directive speech as an action-idea conceived as a pattern of behavior in directive speech and a variety of different sorts of directives are distinguished. A "norm" is then defined as a directive which stands in a certain kind of relation to social facts and the elements of norms are discussed. Finally, Ross offers an interpretation of deontic logic as a set of postulates defining directive speech. He discusses some of the problems of interpretation although he does not make contact with some of the more recent discussion of deontic paradoxes, e.g., the paradoxes engendered by contrary-to-duty imperatives. This is an informative and thought provoking study. The writing is very clear and the reader is guided throughout by a helpful analytical index.--R. H. K. (shrink)
An interesting book, offering a forceful criticism of some classical and modern traditions in philosophy, especially of speculative idealism, phenomenology, and existentialism. The argument is not so much an attack on the explicit theories of these traditions as it is a criticism of their underlying assumptions about the purpose and limits of philosophizing itself. For the author this purpose has been and must always be the clarification of "confusions," as against the discovery of ultimate truths about reality.--R. H.
This is a translation of Jacob Klein's study "Die Griechische Logistik und die Entstehung der Algebra" which appeared in 1934-1936. His principal thesis is that the Renaissance mathematicians of the sixteenth century did not simply continue the work of the Greek and Arab mathematicians but in the process of developing ancient mathematics introduced a radically new conception of number which has since guided modern mathematical thought. The central figure in this revolution is Vieta. Klein traces the influence of Vieta's ideas (...) upon Stevin, Descartes, Wallis, and other figures of the scientific revolution, after discussing the conception of number and arithmetic in Plato, Aristotle, and other Greek sources. Persons reading this book with a primary interest in the philosophical ideas involved will be frustrated by the mass of historical detail which often obscures rather than illuminates the philosophical issues. But the book deserves its reputation as an important historical study.--R. H. K. (shrink)
In this British Academy lecture, Popper argues for a reformulation of epistemological questions. In the past we have asked for the ultimate sources of knowledge and thus begged for authoritarian answers. He charges that this question of origins is relevant to the determination of meaning but not to the determination of truth. The historical sections are often interesting in their own right, especially those on the conspiracy theory of ignorance.--R. H. K.
Fr. Butler centers attention on Santayana's doctrine of essence, seen as the expression of a total outlook on life, as well as of a theory of knowledge. The basic criticism is that Santayana's scepticism and "essentialism" arise from a self-defeating doubt about the existence of knowledge.--R. H.
An independent attempt to discover the standards of judging goodness and right, based on a description of the ways in which such judgments arise in economics and law. The approach and outcome are generally Kantian, and the author concludes with an effort to reconcile the claims of causality and freedom.--R. H.
When in 1950, the distinguished psychologist, Jean Piaget, published a book on the relation of logic and psychology, the book was severely criticized in the journal Methodos by the logician E. V. Beth. Piaget asked to get together with Beth to discuss the issues involved. The result, over 15 years later, is the present book. Beth is the author of the first half in which he defends the complete autonomy of logic in relation to psychology by means of a partly (...) philosophical, partly historical treatment of logicist, formalist, and intuitionist philosophies of mathematics. Briefly put, Beth's thesis is the now familiar one in contemporary philosophy that logic and mathematics are normative sciences, psychology is a factual science. As a consequence, Beth argues that we must renounce all "psychologism" in logic and mathematics, and all "logicism" in psychology. Piaget has come to accept these main contentions of Beth and affirms them in the second half of the volume. But Piaget is impressed by the fact that a good deal of human conceptual development must go on before human beings recognize and state normative laws of logical thought. Piaget attempts to chart this conceptual development and explain how it takes place. He attempts to show that this genetic-psychological approach to the study of logical and mathematical thought is complementary to and fully compatible with the deductive approach of the formal logician, and hence compatible with Beth's thesis about the conceptual autonomy of logic and psychology. Logician and psychologist can thus deal with the same material although their approaches are conceptually autonomous. The book repays careful reading not only for the arguments defending these challenging claims but also for many other details in both parts.--R. H. K. (shrink)
Three short essays on the position of the philosopher and philosophy in modern society. Maritain illuminates the situation of the philosopher in a milieu of conflicting systems. The final essay, which deals with the relation of science and religion, shows evidence of a growing appreciation by Maritain of the aims of modern science.--R. H. K.
This collection contains twenty-three papers published by Suppes over the last eighteen years. For the most part they are foundational studies ranging over a wide variety of topics in the philosophy of science. The first two of four parts contain papers on methodological issues like models, measurement, probability and utility. There are two papers on models, an axiomatic treatment of extensive quantity and two papers on measurement. The six papers in Part II deal with probability theory and decision theory with (...) reference to theories of behavior, economics, and other topics. Part III contains studies in the axiomatic foundations of physics, one on relativistic kinematics and three on probability in quantum mechanics. The final and longest section contains eight papers on the foundations of psychology. Several of these deal with the psychological or behavioral bases of mathematics. Others deal with unpredictability in human behavior, finite automata, cognition and other topics. The book is nicely printed and those who have learned from Suppes work in the past will be grateful for this collection of his most important papers.--R. H. K. (shrink)
In this Eddington Memorial lecture, Von Wright distinguishes two points of view from which a logician may study time. The one focuses interest on the order of temporal events and the macro-aspect of time, its flow from an indefinitely remote past through the present to an indefinitely remote future. The other focuses attention on the micro-aspect of time, the nature of the time medium, on questions of whether time is discrete or infinitely divisible or the internal structure of limited time (...) intervals. Von Wright takes the second point of view and as a result his study of time is different in some respects than that of other contemporary tense logicians. Assuming a Tractatus type ontology of possible worlds which can be totally described by stating the existence or non-existence of all possible states of affairs, Von Wright constructs several logical systems, one of discrete time ordering, another of discrete time division. He shows the latter, which is the most important for his purposes, to be formally related to certain systems of modal logic. An interpretation of this system yields an interesting definition of continuity of change and time. The definition is interesting because of its relation to another result which he derives, namely that this definition of continuity implies that the world sometimes will have to be described as being in two contradictory states at one time, a conclusion which he relates to Hegel's philosophy. This is an original and thought provoking essay.--R. H. K. (shrink)
The fact that this study of Russian dialectical materialism originally appeared before the demotion of Stalin should not be allowed to obscure its value as a source book in the development of dialectical materialism in the U.S.S.R. The author notes its limitations in the preface to the second edition and remedies the situation somewhat in a second appendix with an account of significant developments from 1950 to 1958. Each of the two major parts of the main text, the first historical (...) the second systematic, is marked by the author's capacity for terse and pointed analysis of his material.—R. H. K. (shrink)
Many of the papers in this volume originated in a colloquium at the University of Western Ontario in 1967. These include a paper on the logic of norms by G. H. Von Wright, a paper on the logic of questions by L. Åqvist, a paper on the logic of belief by W. Sellars, and a paper on inductive logic by R. Ackermann. The commentaries by Anderson and Sosa have been revised for the volume and a further commentary to Ackermann's paper (...) by Wesley Salmon has been added. In addition to the colloquium papers a number of further papers are published here for the first time: J. Hintikka on the semantics of propositional attitudes, R. Hilpinen on relativized modalities, C. Harrison on the unanticipated examiner and H. Smokler and M. Rohr on confirmation and translation. The volume is completed by two papers published in Synthese and a well-known paper in modal logic by Lemmon, Meredith, Meredith, Prior, and Thomas published complete with a new postscript by Prior. Although the collection is somewhat haphazard and seems to have no unifying theme, philosophers interested in these topics in philosophical logic will be thankful for the availability of the papers, both old and new.--R. H. K. (shrink)
The translator has collected passages from the varied corpus of Schweitzer's writing and has pieced them together into a brief but impressive sketch of the man and the thinker. Some sections are autobiographical; others contain Schweitzer's thoughts on Africa, world peace, on Goethe and Bach among historical figures, and a few of his basic philosophical ideas. An index provides references to the original works.--R. H. K.
The first of these two volumes is a second edition of the first part of Jonas' comprehensive scholarly study of Gnosticism, first published in 1934. Except for minor corrections the first edition has been left unrevised. The second volume carries the study up to the third century A.D. A final volume completing the second part is promised for the near future.--R. H.
A comprehensive introduction to modal logic is long overdue and this one has many virtues. It is clearly written and should be accessible to any student who has at least one semester of basic logic and is willing to read carefully and think abstractly. The first part, on modal propositional logic, begins with a summary account of classical propositional logic, the axiomatization of Principia Mathematica being the basis for the development of modal logics throughout the book. The transition to modal (...) logic is nicely motivated by a clear presentation of intuitive notions of modality and the requirements to be included in a modal logic. Thereafter three standard systems of modal propositional logic are developed axiomatically, Feys' system T and Lewis' systems S4 and S5. The semantics for these systems is then developed in the manner of Kripke with some terminological modifications. The explanation of accessibility relations between possible worlds is made especially clear through a helpful analogy with certain sorts of games. Decision procedures and completeness proofs are then developed. A similar pattern of exposition is given to modal predicate logic in Part II, the difference being that Henkin-type methods are used in the completeness proofs. Because of the many philosophical problems raised by modal predicate logic, Part II contains more philosophical discussion than Part I. A discussion of identity and descriptions in modal predicate logic is also included. The third and final part is a survey of modal systems beginning with the Lewis' systems S1-S5 and going on to systems weaker and stronger than the Lewis' systems and others which are independent of them. Systems with alternative primitives and axiomatic bases are also discussed. A final chapter discusses the relation of Boolean algebras to modal logics and brief appendices deal with natural deduction systems of modal logic, systems of entailment, alternative notations and the semantics of Kripke and Hintikka among other topics. There are exercises at the end of each chapter. This summary suggests the merits of this introduction, its clear exposition and the enormous amount of material it brings together and summarizes.--R. H. K. (shrink)
As the author states, this book could be read as an introductory text on scientific explanation and related topics or as a monograph which introduces some new ideas and takes a stand on these topics. Part I is strictly a textbook treatment of explanations and laws. It is clearly written and is particularly good in the classification of sorts of explanations. Part II is less successful as introductory material, but it contains some novel ideas. The author develops an approach to (...) explanation, prediction, and retrodiction by considering discrete state systems. He shows that for any number of simple systems of this kind, deterministic and probabilistic explanation, prediction, and retrodiction may not work. The discussion is abstract and the results are not related to actual physical systems. But the possibility of such systems is surely important for any complete theory of explanation as the author suggests. Discussions are also included of teleological systems and of confirming evidence. Part III discusses philosophical issues about the nature of laws, causality, indeterminism, and the limits of explanation. Two appendices discuss problems of scientific explanation in history and the social sciences. There is a long and very useful bibliography.--R. H. K. (shrink)
A physicist searches for models with which to interpret the idea of atomicity in modern physical theory. He favors a notion of atomic connexions over traditional particle and wave interpretations. The implications of physical theory, it is argued, cannot be understood without a familiarity with the mathematical tools, and in particular the experimental procedures of physicists. This is not a crude operationalism but a simple statement of the thesis that much writing in the philosophy of science is of less value (...) than it could be were more attention given to matters of experimental practice.--R. H. K. (shrink)
A compact defense of Kant's ethics against a variety of recent criticisms. The critics are selected for the purpose of surveying and answering the major difficulties confronting a student of Kant's ethical theory as a whole. The defense stresses the primacy of practical reason and "the facticity of the absolute imperative of duty."--R. H.
In this very brief space the author summarizes in the form of a succession of theses, all but the purely historical sections of Osnovy Marksistskoj Filosofii, the 1958 text of Soviet Marxist Philosophy published by the Institute of Philosophy and the Academy of Sciences of the Soviet Union. For specialists, this synopsis cannot replace the original text, as yet untranslated into English, but it will provide for the general reader an excellent summary of what is currently, in the author's words, (...) "the heart of Soviet dogma." Philosophically significant theses are given in direct translation. The only complaint would be that the price of this slim volume is rather high.—R. H. K. (shrink)
A careful, often meticulous, analysis of Kant's key terms, method, and major doctrines in the Transcendental Aesthetic and Analytic. De Coninck argues that Kant's transcendental method is essentially analytic, assuming only a conception of human knowledge or "experience" and the principle of non-contradiction. A further volume is promised, in which the author will make his own evaluation of the Critical Philosophy.--R. H.
In this book the author develops his own systems of and semantics for presupposition free logic. He calls his systems logics without existence assumptions, by which he means logical systems which are sound and complete with respect to a semantic theory in which a universe of discourse can be empty but any term which denotes must denote something in the universe, all predicates including identity represent relations holding among members of the universe and the quantifiers range over just all the (...) members of the universe. In a brief introductory chapter the author reviews the motivations for constructing non-standard logics of this kind and briefly discusses what he takes to be the limitations of previous work done in the field. Persons interested in the philosophical problems and uses of such logics are likely to find this chapter interesting though disappointingly brief. Four of the eight chapters are devoted to the development of a natural deduction system N which is a logic without existence assumptions in the author's sense. The system N is shown to be sound and complete with respect to the author's semantics. An axiomatic system L is later developed and shown to be equivalent to N. The final chapter is devoted to discussing the relation of his work to many-valued logics, modal logics, intuitionistic logic and the theory of classes among other topics. The author believes that logics without existence assumptions "will in the long run displace the less natural and more narrow standard logics."--R. H. K. (shrink)
A systematic effort to state and answer the classical problems of moral philosophy, including that of the metaphysical foundations of morals. The outline of problems and the general position argued is reminiscent of Kant's Grundlegung; like Kant, Mr. Raphael locates the essence of morality in the recognition that human personality, including the ability to choose freely, is an "evil in itself." Even more than Kant, however, he is doubtful of demonstrating the force of this conception of morality by rational argument.--R. (...) H. (shrink)
The debate between hard and soft determinists is dealt with in this brief but interesting study. The author argues that there is no empirical dispute between hard and soft determinists. They draw different conclusions from the observed facts and these differences are the result of using different senses of the terms 'freedom' and 'moral responsibility'. Moritz Schlick's Problems of Ethics is the author's favored source for the soft determinist position and well-known articles by Paul Edwards and John Hospers the sources (...) for hard determinism. Other writers are quoted and briefly discussed. The treatment of many criticisms and countercriticisms is all too brief to do full justice to all the issues involved, but those topics which the author discusses are often illuminated. Interesting things are said about such topics as kleptomania, post-hypnotic suggestion, punishment, and excusable behavior. The book makes a convincing case, at least for the claim that a sophisticated version of the hard determinist position, such as appears in Hospers article, is only verbally different than many versions of soft determinism. Other versions of hard and soft determinism can and do come in substantive conflict with one another.--R. H. K. (shrink)
The author offers some interesting suggestions for the rewriting of the history of logic which modern developments in symbolic logic demand. He divides the history into two parts, the first dealing with what is called the Aristotelian core of logic and the improvements made on that core within a basically classical tradition, and the second, with the tradition of improvements inspired by Leibniz' idea of mathematical logic. The book is brief and much less of a comprehensive history than a prolegomena.--R. (...) H. K. (shrink)
In an introductory sketch of history of scholastic interest in aesthetics, the author notes the reawakening of Thomistic interest in this subject since the last century. He adds, with evidence drawn from nineteenth and twentieth century works, that this interest has been accompanied by methodological confusions and a misunderstanding of the theory of beauty of St. Thomas himself. He seeks to remedy this situation with a scholarly treatment of Aquinas' theory of beauty, divided into two parts; the first a genetic (...) investigation of the development of Thomas's ideas on beauty, the second a systematic account of the mature theory. A notable attempt to develop Aquinas' ideas on this subject from the entire corpus of his writings and not merely from the Summas and one or two other major works.--R. H. K. (shrink)
Contains a wide selection from writings on Medieval political theory during the period from the investiture struggle to the end of the 15th century. The text is organized in terms of eight basic topics of political theory and is about equally divided between the selections themselves and the interpretative essays which introduce each group.--R. H.
For a helpful presentation of the various views on probability and inductive logic as well as a thorough survey of the present literature on these topics, one could hardly do better than this work. Kyburg presents, in separate chapters, classical, frequency, logical, subjectivist and epistemological theories of probability, referring to major classical and contemporary works where each of these views is defended. He presents the common criticisms of each view as well as some criticisms of his own and brings out (...) what he takes to be of value in each view. These chapters are preceded by a brief but clear presentation of the probability calculus and a chapter on informal interpretations of probability in ordinary language. A descriptive bibliography follows each chapter in which Kyburg comments on the leading works in each area. The same format applies to his discussion of inductive logic in part II. Inductive inference is discussed in ordinary language and in formal contexts. Statistical inference, confirmation theories, acceptance theories, and demonstrative induction are discussed in separate chapters. There are also discussions of the role of simplicity in inductive inference and the problem of justifying induction. Exercises are added to each chapter and the work might serve well as a text in this field. A forty-eight page bibliography at the end of the book is another one of its assets.--R. H. K. (shrink)
A verbatim record of the first of five conferences on consciousness, held 1950-55, by the Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation. The participants in the conference chiefly represent two groups: research workers in medicine and physiology, and psychologists. The approach is thus primarily scientific, although some philosophic questions are discussed.--R. H.
A development of a constructive fragment of analysis: "constructive" in the strong sense that instead of, say, Cauchy sequences, it deals only with recursive sequences of rationals which can be recursively shown to converge. Analogues of classical subjects such as continuity and differentiability are explored in detail. The book presupposes familiarity with both classical analysis and the theory of recursive functions.—R. H. T.