This book of readings contains selections from Hospers, Stevenson, Black, Urmson, Hampshire and many others. Topics treated include the nature of art, aesthetic experience, creativity and art criticism.—S. A. E.
Dr. Littleton's book is valuable as a brief but stimulating introduction for the non-scientific layman to various physical data. However, the author's central purpose is to demonstrate that science and religion are compatible by using these data as proof that "science" recognizes the infinite. While some enlightening points are made, Dr. Littleton vitiates his main purpose by making highly problematic philosophical statements with no reasoned support at all.—S. A. S.
These essays do a rather thorough and sometimes exciting job of articulating the encounter between Christianity and contemporary philosophies of existence. Earle, representing the "opposition," puts the case for Nietzsche and Sartre quite convincingly. Edie's treatment of Heidegger might have been more subtle and suffers from the closeness with which Edie links Heidegger with Tillich. Wild's essays, without a doubt the most interesting but most perplexing in the collection, appear to be at once orthodox and revolutionary, with an overall Bultmannian (...) cast.—S. A. E. (shrink)
A clear, complete, and detailed account of the German theological influences on Bonhoeffer, as well as the stages in the movement of his own thinking toward the shattering and prophetic suggestions in the Letters and Papers from Prison. Unfortunately, the book devotes only sixty pages to the direct examination of these final suggestions, which have touched a live nerve in recent theological thought, and is disappointingly hesitant about investigating the possible ramifications of Bonhoeffer's ideas, which point in at least two (...) distinct directions. The Christian's life is said to be one of joining the suffering, powerless Jesus in the world, as well as one of participating in the presence of a beyond in our midst, a beyond which gives itself not in weakness but in strength and life, in "solved problems." Since Bonhoeffer himself recognized the newness of the "religionless" approaches which occurred to him in his last year, one wonders if Phillips' scholarly but unimaginative treatment of this highly admirable man does not obscure more than it illumines.--S. A. S. (shrink)
A popular reworking and extension of the works of Prescott Lecky, forerunner of the "third force" in American psychology, known variously as humanistic, perceptual, transactionist, existential. While the book is highly readable, full of good advice, and pointed in the right direction, it is not even remotely adequate to the difficulty of the subject matter. However, the treatment of coming-into-existence is sensitive.--S. A. S.
Mr. Wallace sees in the biblical tradition of Elijah and Elisha material of great relevance to men of today, and particularly when it is correlated with certain New Testament traditions. The argument presupposes a Christian reader.--A. S.
The choice of topics around which the readings are grouped is very good. Not only are the more technical and theoretical problems of ethics discussed, but classical sources are brought to bear on such concrete problems as capital punishment, birth control and divorce.—S. A. E.
The dream of graduate students: an excellent dissertation which developed into an excellent book--scholarly, complete, and unbiased. Sartre's central claims are that emotional response is intentional, signifying an object evaluated, and an emotional response is an act, a chosen response which attempts to "magically" transform a situation too difficult for ordinary instrumental solutions. Fell accepts Sartre's first thesis, but argues that the chosen action and self-deception of the second thesis are not definitive of all emotions, but are rather partially explanatory (...) of a range of self-consciously entertained emotions. In addition, Fell convincingly exposes the difficulty of explaining emotional phenomena solely by phenomenological means: Sartre's analysis of the context of consciousness solely as it appears to consciousness rules out any systematic role for inference or hypothesis, and thus eliminates a causal account, e.g., one attributing continuity, dispositions, or habits to consciousness. Perhaps Fell's most devastating criticism concerns Sartre's final failure to overcome the split between subject and object, between value and fact. For this split, while eliminated on the level of the immediate, unreflective and emotional, reappears even more insistently on the non-deceptive level of the reflective. Thus Fell succeeds in demonstrating the one-sidedness of Sartre's theory of the emotions, but is less illuminating in sketching an "Hegelian Aufhebung" of Sartre's perspective and that of the "processive-objective-naturalistic" approach. There is an excellent bibliography and index.--S. A. S. (shrink)
This selection includes Spinoza's interpretation and comments on Descartes writings, together with Spinoza's Thoughts on Metaphysics. The translation reads easily and the introduction is genuinely useful.—S. A. E.
A broad survey of the problem of aesthetics, founded on a dynamic and organismic conception of the work of art. The term "formativity" is coined to emphasize the primacy of the making process as against the implied stasis of "form," and what the author regards as the epiphenomenal nature of "expression." The definition, genesis, and internal economy of the work of art, and the problem of criticism are discussed. Contains little that is particularly new or original.--S. A. N.
Dr. Williams first focuses on human faith, the creative power which seeks to change possibilities into actualities, and then extrapolates "God," a limited, struggling, experimenting teleological force in the universe as a whole, a force which can be addressed either as "Thou" or "It." Faith is not something which men can consciously control, not mere fancy, but a quasi-objective force which can control a man if he allows it to do so. The comments on problems such as the place of (...) rites and ceremonies, immortality, development of moral character, and the relation of individual rights to social institutions, although not rigorously developed, reveal an honest and generous mind.—S. A. S. (shrink)
A concise look at the present "revolt" in both the Protestant and Catholic churches, a revolt hopefully leading to the radical re-structuring of the church so that it may serve today's "secular age," an age freed from thinking imposed "from above". Man in the secular age refuses to separate out a piece of life and call it sacred or religious, but instead sees Christ at work in "the events of our time," and struggles with him against destructive forces. Although he (...) emphasizes the positive aspects of secularization, Williams points to a danger in this process: the shrivelling of man's sense of life to the narrow limits of the here and now. The book is a brief, clear introduction to a number of contemporary theologians. Although it breaks no new ground and fails to show why "metaphysical" principles cannot be validly applied to temporal events, its message of revolt against outgrown ideas and institutions bears repeating.—S. A. S. (shrink)
Do the later Platonic dialogues abandon the earlier doctrine of forms? If not, do the forms, as the objects or contents of thought, have any relation to experienced things? Schipper, in this lucid and scholarly study of the Parmenides, Theaetetus, Sophist, Philebus, and Timaeus, maintains that Plato continues to assume the essentials of the earlier doctrine of forms, and that while he offers no complete and explicit answer to the second question, the later dialogues do provide clues which are consistent (...) with each other. In formulating this answer, Schipper suggests that sensible things can be considered in two aspects: as immediately sensed and as known by means of the forms; the two aspects are united by the perceiving and knowing mind. However, this seems to be merely a restatement of the problem. Her other, more provocative suggestion is that forms are not discovered by an intellectual perception, but are assumed or posited as demanded by logos or argument in order to explain and define experienced things. Thus the interrelated forms can apply to things without being immanent in them. Although the treatment of the dialogues is careful, the book is primarily a spiritless exegesis of the text, together with an account of what other scholars have said. It is bereft of an index.—S. A. S. (shrink)
A substantial group of forty-four articles focusing on biological, environmental, cognitive, and unconscious determinants of behavior. All the essays were published by Scientific American from 1948-1966. Such collections are indispensable background for anyone interested in problems of perception, emotion, language, learning, and social behavior. Among the entries are: "Opinions and Social Pressure", "Problem-Solving", "The Perception of Pain", "Cognitive Dissonance", "The Psychology of Imagination", and "Experimental Neuroses".--S. A. S.
A chatty introduction to the problems of philosophy of religion. The book covers such topics as the origin of religion, arguments for the existence of God, fundamentalism, and immortality. Summary questions are included which are designed to stimulate discussion of the text.--S. A. E.
In a lyrical style befitting the nature of his subject-matter, Harper focuses on two kinds of love--man's love for the human and natural, and man's love for God-and attempts to show that both loves, eros and agape, are required for a love which satisfies the deepest human longing. This position is not so much arrived at as it is unfolded in a book which demands to be read many times. Harper turns primarily to the Song of Songs, St. John of (...) the Cross, the letters of Heloise and Abelard, Wuthering Heights, and Alain-Fournier's The Wanderer in his attempt to understand the nature and the progression inherent in both contemplative and human love affairs. His approach is based on the conviction that the discursive method in philosophy and theology is inadequate to love because "too much is left out"; we learn more about love symbolically and analogically, from poets and novelists.--S. A. S. (shrink)
A well-edited compendium of some of the basic writings in the field. Included are passages from such thinkers as Augustine, Aquinas, Berkeley, Hume, Kant, Hegel, Royce, and Tennant, together with helpful philosophical introductions, bibliographical notes, and editorial footnotes designed especially for the student.--S. A. E.
This represents the first modern translation of any of the writings of von Humboldt and the only introduction to his works in English. Included are many of his reflections on history, religion and politics, the latter being of special interest. On the whole, the translation is readable and the problems discussed, though somewhat dated, are of interest to those concerned with the perennial problems of the philosophies of man and culture.—S. A E.
A useful exposition of the historical background and current disposition of problems involving religion and science both as separate and as related endeavors. Barbour combines the scientific knowledge of a physicist, the religious attitude of a liberal Protestant, and the philosophical approach of a Whiteheadian in attempting to present a "theology of nature." The book is repetitious, with the compensation that the chapters are thereby relatively independent units, with a summary at the end of each. The author, while not offering (...) a creative vision of his own, has produced an accurate and perceptive introduction to the problems of trying to relate religious and scientific experience.--S. A. S. (shrink)
A continuation of some of the lines of thought developed in his earlier work, Concerning Human Understanding. Here Banerjee tries to make out a case for metaphysics by showing philosophy as an independent discipline concerned with the analysis of the human situation. Of special interest is the author's effort to understand language in terms of the person and his concern with the nature of man as a being who is with others. Many insights of phenomenological philosophy are mirrored in this (...) work, though in a different terminology.—S. A. E. (shrink)
The underlying assumption of this book is that "speeding up the process of securing maximal contributions from ethical theory for solving moral problems involves the fullest self-conscious focusing on method." With clarity and insight the author explores various ethical theories and their relationships to one another, trying always to bring about an understanding of what is truly at stake in various theoretical controversies and to relate ethical theory to the business of morality itself.—S. A. E.
A simply written answer to the charges that religious statements are meaningless because they are non-verifiable or misuse language. Ping admits that the language of faith is not literally sensible and hence cannot be objectively established as true, nor is it a strict construction according to ordinary usage. However, he maintains that religious language is nonetheless meaningful when seen in its context of encounter and commitment so that verification occurs in the determination of life. The testing process is the adequacy (...) of religious statements to give meaning and direction to life. Ping is well aware that this use of language lacks clarity and precision. What he does not seem to be aware of is the enormity of problems which this position raises, such as the posited sharp distinctions between sensible experience and "life," between "experiential" and "experimental" verification. A helpful bibliography is included.—S. A. S. (shrink)
Crocker's book is a continuation of his study of French intellectual history of the enlightenment period. In an earlier volume he dealt primarily with theories of human nature, metaphysics and psychology. Here his concern is with moral experience and values. Crocker traces the advance of utilitarianism and nihilism as they undermined the traditional solutions to man's moral problems, viz., Christianity and Natural Law. He shows how the political theories of the France of the eighteenth century were shaped by metaphysical and (...) ethical considerations. The treatments of Voltaire and Rousseau are incisive.—S. A. E. (shrink)
A well-printed paperback edition of Mill's A System of Logic, Bk. 6, with an introduction by Magid and Appendices containing excerpts from other volumes of System of Logic referred to in the text, as well as biographical notes on individuals mentioned.—S. A. S.
The authors' intention is to explore themes of related interest to both psychological and ethical disciplines. Their treatment of the problems in the twilight zone between these disciplines is insightful. The underlying theme is that a psychology of personality fails to articulate its subject matter if it reduces the ought to the is but that a theory of the good must take cognizance of the manner in which the ought finds its roots in the is.—S. A. E.
Contains articles and excerpts from such writers as Urmson, Tomas, Stevenson, Ziff and Black, and offers an opportunity for the reader to assess the recent contributions of analysis to aesthetics.--S. A. E.
This latest volume of the Husserliana continues the process of making available to a wider philosophical public the treasure of Husserl's unpublished writings at Louvain, formerly accessible only to a limited circle. Much of the work of later phenomenological psychologists is foreshadowed in this volume. After acknowledging the contributions of Dilthey and Brentano, Husserl proceeds to apply the analytical method of transcendental phenomenology as formulated in the Ideen to the concrete constitution of the living subject in the world. The priority (...) of the subject's world of spontaneous experience over the "objective world" of science is stressed. From an investigation of this direct experience the activity of the ego and the structure of the world as a realm of possible knowledge and action are systematically developed. There are appended the sketches and original text for the Encyclopaedia Britannica article "Phenomenology," and many brief essays amplifying the discussion. An essential book for anyone concerned with a most vital and productive current in continental thought.--S. A. N. (shrink)
This volume is a reprint in paperback of the original hardcover edition. Critical reviews of the first printing appeared in Mind, v. 88, no. 351, July, 1979 and the Times Literary Supplement, January 6, 1978.
The main divisions of this collection are concerned with knowledge, rationalism and empiricism, truth, induction and perception. The selections tend toward the British tradition, though there are selections from such thinkers as Plato and Kant.—S. A. E.
A clear statement centering on the ramifications of the thought of Heidegger and Bultman [[sic]] for various theological problems. Macquarrie also discusses Teilhard de Chardin and Karl Rahner in a reasonably sympathetic way. While possibly of use as an accurate introduction to the subject-matter, the book fails to be philosophically or religiously illuminating.--S. A. S.