The first English translation of three essays on contemporary drama penned by Kierkegaard in the mid-1840's. The most substantial essay, "The Crisis and a Crisis in the Life of an Actress," takes as its point of departure Johanna Luise Heiberg's performance as Juliet in a production staged at the Royal Theatre on January 23, 1847. Some 19 years earlier Fru Heiberg had played the same role on the same stage as a girl of fifteen, and Kierkegaard's essay considers some of (...) the ironies and tensions of this juxtaposition. The 56 page introduction by Stephen Crites is perceptive and consistently illuminating as a portrait of the life situation out of which the essays grew. The translation is readable while preserving a thoroughly Kierkegaardian flavor, and the notes are revealing and to the point. Altogether, this volume might be taken as a model of how to present Kierkegaard's minor works in English.—J. T. (shrink)
In the preface to this book Stephen Toulmin recalls how Wittgenstein's later work appeared to his English students "as unique and extraordinary as the Tractatus had appeared to Moore." "Meanwhile," he recalls, "for our own part, we struck Wittgenstein as intolerably stupid, and he was sometimes in despair about getting us to grasp what he was talking about." Toulmin suggests that this "mutual incomprehension" was due to a "culture clash: the clash between a Viennese thinker whose whole mind had (...) been formed in a post-Kantian environment, and an audience of students who came to him with attitudes and preoccupations shaped by the neo-Humean empiricism of Moore, Russell and their associates." Engel's book is meant primarily to show that Wittgenstein's thought grows out of the Kantian philosophy, but not that it is simply derived from Kant. Rather, according to Engel, Wittgenstein was the first to see the full value of the insights of Kant and Schopenhauer. Engel bases his argument on the Blue Book. According to Engel the argument of the Blue Book comprehends two divergent theories of the origin of metaphysics. These two theories are represented in Engel's book by Ayer and Lazerowitz. For Ayer metaphysics is grounded in the inherently deceptive character of language; and the way to overcome metaphysics is but to be attentive to language. Lazerowitz, on the other hand, attempts to explain why it is that language is deceptive. Lazerowitz's argument as presented by Engel requires as a premise the proposition that the deceptions of language are not that intrinsically difficult to see through, or that metaphysical arguments are obviously "innovations." And therefore the origin of metaphysics must be sought outside of the structure of language. Lazerowitz locates the root of metaphysics in the passions, specifically, in fear--in the fear of change which is ultimately the fear of death. Engel sees each of these positions as in its way legitimate but essentially partial. Wittgenstein's thought is thus more profound than that which is derived from it. It is precisely this awareness of the necessity for both kinds of explanation that Wittgenstein, according to Engel, inherited from the tradition of Kantian metaphysics: in the first Critique's seeking both to account for the impossibility of metaphysics while, at the same time, arguing for the necessity of metaphysics as a natural disposition or arguing for the necessity of a "will to metaphysics." While Engel's argument is not as clear or thorough as it ought to be, his thesis, that Wittgenstein's work is not simply a "repudiation of our philosophical tradition, but rather is its proper twentieth-century continuation," is--in the main--convincing. The book is worth reading.--J. W. S. (shrink)
Panichas offers a straightforward introduction to the life and thought of Epicurus. Directed at the general reader, the book follows the traditional categories of Epicurus' system: atomism, cosmology, theology, happiness and friendship. Whenever the extant fragments fail to provide full information, the author relies heavily on Lucretius to fill the gaps. The author's particular field of competence reveals itself in the concluding chapter which includes a rather detailed discussion of Epicurean influence in English thought. The work has adequate footnotes, (...) bibliography, and index.--J. G. G. (shrink)
In this brief work of modest pretensions, the author brings together Islamic texts relevant to freedom from a great variety of sources. He ventures very little analysis or interpretation. Each chapter is copiously footnoted. Given its purely scholarly intentions and limitations, the work should provide a valuable aid for those interested in the study of this field.--J. M. W.
The author maintains that "man’s chief purpose in life consists in wanting to know the truth and to experience the real." But in the tradition of Kant and recent continental philosophy, he claims that one can know the real only as constituted by the mind, not as it is in itself. Rauche goes on to conclude, that all truths are perspectival and that the Truth can never be known—though it remains our highest aspiration. The perspectival character of truth is the (...) foundation upon which Rauche develops his position. He claims that truths, as perspectives, are in controversial relations to one another which state of affairs he calls a multiple of broken logos and which reveal a natural reference within the permanent state of crisis of human truth. Rauche puts it as follows: "... if man and his fellowman strive towards the Truth earnestly, they must accept each other’s truths as being complementary to each other." At this point men will become conscious of the fact that they are referred to one another. Thus the controversial relations of man’s truths are a permanent crisis which is the source both of individuality and of community. The experience of the permanent crisis of truths competing with one another is what Rauche means by "actuality." The positive acceptance of the permanent crisis of human truth is the empirical basis of the moral ought. Since human truths are complementary and refer to each other, it is "in their mutual willingness to respect each other’s claims and to see their existential needs and interests in the light of those of the other that [men] may be said to lead an ethical existence." The empirical ground of the moral ought is then seen to be the controversial relation existing between human truths. Rauche rejects in principle any attempt to constitute a theoretical ethics on a rationally conceived principle. Since the moral ought is grounded in the controversial relation existing between human truths, moral principles can be experienced only in our dealings with our fellow man, e.g., in the family and society—wherever the relationship of I-Thou is found. In effect, as in the case of truth, the moral ought appears in the field of actuality; and the crisis in truth is revealed as an ethical ground. The same permanent crisis which is the ground of truth and of the moral ought is regarded by Rauche as the basis of reality. Truth, moral existence, and reality are all conjoined in actuality. The permanent crisis of human truths is an empirical limit which has logical, epistemological, ethical and metaphysical significance. And, Rauche concludes, "... it becomes clear that man’s real existence can never be derived from a rationally conceived essence, but that essence is the way in which man realizes himself by projecting himself into his environment from the peculiar situation in which he happens to find himself, and which induces him to constitute the world in controversy with his fellowman." This is a tightly argued book and Rauche remains consistent with his assumptions throughout. One wishes, however, that the author would examine some of his assumptions. One looks in vain for a single argument which establishes that, e.g., the Truth which is unknowable and yet is the indispensable point to which men strive does in fact exist. If it does not, and Rauche has given us no reason to believe otherwise, then the basis of complementarity of conflicting human truths is lost.—J. J. F. (shrink)
Butchvarov is chairman of the department of philosophy at the University of Iowa. His book, a contribution to a new series, the Northwestern University Publications in Analytical Philosophy, deals with "the conceptual foundations of epistemology." It is divided into four main parts. The first undertakes an account of the general concept of knowledge. The second treats the objects of a priori knowledge; the third, the nature of primary a posteriori knowledge. The fourth part regards nondemonstrative inference and the nature of (...) derivative knowledge in general. The focus of the book is upon fundamental epistemic concepts rather than such particular issues as knowledge of the future, of bodies, of other minds, etc. Butchvarov urges that such specialized problems be treated only after the general conceptual framework has been investigated, lest one's common-sense opinions on the former unduly influence his philosophical conclusions as to the latter. For the inherent demands of the discipline itself must be respected: "In philosophy, as in any other purely theoretical discipline, it is better to be wrong as the result of inquiry and argument than to be right as the result of mere conviction." One of the author's central conclusions concerns evidential criteria. One unquestionable criterion of evidence is the impossibility of mistake, the "demonstrative" criterion. Is there, in addition, any "nondemonstrative" criterion of evidence, with the consequent possibility of nondemonstrative derivative knowledge or at least nondemonstrative rational belief? While not ruling out the possibility of such a criterion, Butchvarov judges that at least one has not yet been brought forth. Particular criteria proposed as nondemonstrative, such as inductive and behavioral, either presuppose the demonstrative criterion or else lack intelligible content. More generally, the nondemonstrative criterion either would or would not possess something in common with the demonstrative criterion, such that both could be understood as species of the same genus, "criterion of evidence." But no successful attempt has thus far been made in showing just what this shared trait might be; and the thesis that there can be multiple criteria of evidence without any generic commonality equivocates on the very notion of evidence. It follows, therefore, that knowledge and rational belief are much more restricted than one would ordinarily surmise. This book manifests both the scholar's mastery of his field and the teacher's concern for clear, well-structured presentation. It reads well, employs good examples, and includes the all-important index.--J. M. V. (shrink)
This is the second edition of a very imaginative collection of readings in aesthetics from Plato to the present. In this second edition, seven selections have been deleted and fifteen new selections have been added to greatly enhance its usefulness to beginning students in aesthetics. Additional readings on artistic creation and drama have been provided and a number of illustrations of works by Raphael, Giotto, Matisse, Dürer, Brancusi, Henry Moore, et al. have been included this time to illustrate relevant textual (...) materials. As in the first edition, the author's primary intention is to establish the field of aesthetics as having the same integrity and adventuresomeness as other areas of philosophical inquiry and debate. With this goal in view, he has organized the readings around "certain sets of basic problems that still seem worth debating and attempting to solve." Each section is centered around specific problems and issues in aesthetics, beginning with the broadest question, "What is Art?," and moving on to such issues as the nature of the various art forms, the nature of tragedy, the problem of response to art and, finally, the nature and goal of art criticism. Various readers and teachers in aesthetics no doubt, will find fault with or gaps in his selections of readings. But laying aside such parochial matters as ideology and personal taste, this volume puts in the hands of the student of aesthetics a compendium of essays on the major issues and areas of concern in aesthetics which can easily be supplemented by use of a xerox machine. The editor has included such scholarly aids as a brief introduction to each section, interpretative and cross-referential footnotes and a minimal bibliography.--J. B. L. (shrink)
An attempt to develop a method for the social sciences based upon a "field theory" of "logico-functional integration of elements" as opposed to older thoroughly monistic or pluralistic approaches. Professor Lins' emphasis upon the unity of the sciences, and his insistence that they use similar methods for the solution of similar problems, produce a rather artificial dialectic in his treatment of the social sciences, and allow him to draw rather trivial conclusions. --J. A. B.
This book is one of the more important works to appear in its field in the last ten years. Besides his well known abilities in Hegelian studies, Hartmann here demonstrates a wide and serious understanding of Marxism after Lenin. His references to the Frankfurt School, Althusseur, Lukacs, Merleau-Ponty, etc., are not only good presentations of their thought but often show critical insight into their works. Hartmann’s major concern is to examine Marx’s dialectical interpretation of history and in so doing (...) decide whether 1) it is consistent throughout his work and can be reconciled with his critique of political economy, and 2) whether the negative dialectic can become positive. Marx’s use of the anthropological model of man as species-being allows him to suggest, but not understand, what will be the result of the dialectic in communist man. His discussion of the present wherein man, owing to production activity, is not able to fully realize himself as species-being, while allowing for the important critique of the present and the explication of the immediate past, does not explain how or why alienated being will be liberated through the negative dialect which itself must be negated. The very concept of alienated labor remains in question throughout Marx’s work and is not sufficient to provide a necessary historical reconciliation with the negative social-economic process of alienation as a whole. The result is that Marx’s theory of practice lacks necessity and his theory of history is left in doubt. Marx’s critique of political economy is not able to systematically elucidate the concept of alienation he has provided in his anthropological model of man. Such an interpretation of Marx as Hartmann presents will almost certainly engender further work in the field.—J.B. (shrink)
Professor Frondizi's The Nature of the Self proposes to solve the problems involved in conceiving the self as a substance. The first section of the book is an historical study of the gradual disintegration, after Descartes, of the view that the self is a substance. The second section offers an account of the self that is presumably not contaminated by this "substantialist outlook." Frondizi's attempt to trace the disintegration of Descartes' concept of the self through Locke, Berkeley and Hume is (...) not remarkable. Rather than a detailed exegesis of the texts of these philosophers, Frondizi presents a polemical commentary, relying on selected letters and a few obvious and familiar texts. He intends to prove that the British philosophers were forced to opt either for the substantialist view of the self or no theory of the self at all. Frondizi excuses this simplistic and biased judgment on the grounds that he is attempting to chart a philosophical movement rather than follow the thought of a particular philosopher: "The history of philosophy has a certain sense of direction, even though there be no concrete goal; and in some periods it is easy to note the general direction in which ideas are developing. Such is the case with the period which extends from Locke to Hume." Such surveys, however, usually beget unwarranted generalizations; certainly Frondizi's has. His thesis that the British philosophers were forced to choose either "substantialism" or skepticism shows a shallow understanding of the empiricist view of the self. This misunderstanding is the basis upon which Frondizi builds his own account of the self. His task, as he sees it, is to preserve the permanence of the self while providing for changes in moods, attitudes, etc. The "functional" interpretation of the self that results from Frondizi's proposal is Gestalt psychology unadulterated. According to Frondizi the self is a "functional Gestalt," a "dynamic structure"; and this homeostatic character accounts for the permanence as well as the fluctuations in the self. In other words, Frondizi advocates a naïve version of Kurt Lewin's "field theory" of the self. Yet, philosophers both Continental and Anglo-American have cautioned against taking Gestalt theory as an unqualified solution to problems endemic of philosophy. Also, psychologists have raised serious objections to Lewin's theory. Moreover, even granted that Frondizi was not familiar with these authors, has Frondizi's naïve study answered Hume? To what extent does a "structure" change and what are the criteria for determining when a structure is dissolved? Hume is not refuted merely by identifying the self with the Whole. Frondizi himself must either claim "substantiality" for his "dynamic structure" or submit it to Hume's analysis. Frondizi advocates an uncritical Gestalttheorie of the self as a result of his uncritical reading of 18th Century British philosophy. As a consequence, Frondizi's book is another example of how not to combine philosophy with psychology.--J. J. F. (shrink)
Like his earlier study The Phenomenological Movement, Spiegelberg’s latest work is a comprehensive overview—not of the phenomenological movement itself —but of its influence on psychology and psychiatry. Its aim is to show that the presence of phenomenology in these disciplines has broadened the perspectives of these empirical sciences and has loosened the death-grip that positivism and naturalism, behaviorism and atomistic associationism, might otherwise have exerted upon them, Spiegelberg does this "concretely" by a wide ranging account of philosophers, psychologists and psychiatrists (...) which testifies again to his great erudition and incomparable familiarity with phenomenological literature. The index of authors studied covers six pages of double columns. Part One gives a "general orientation" to the field, discussing first the notion of phenomenological psychology and then the presence of phenomenology in psychology, in psychopathology and psychiatry, in psychoanalysis and in American psychology. The second half of the book is devoted to more concentrated studies of "leading figures" and devotes entire chapters to such thinkers as Jaspers, Binswagner, Minkowski, Buytendijk and Frankl. The American student of phenomenology is once again the beneficiary of Spiegelberg’s conscientious and incisive scholarship the beneficiary of Spiegelberg’s conscientious and incisive scholarship.—J. D. C. (shrink)
With the publication of these two volumes the ground has now been prepared for a long awaited event, the critical edition of the works of Henry of Ghent. Henry was one of the outstanding philosophizing-theologians at the University of Paris in the second half of the thirteenth century and, during the period between the death of Thomas Aquinas in 1274 and the ascendancy of John Duns Scotus near the beginning of the fourteenth century, no other Master surpassed him in terms (...) of influence or importance. During his tenure there as Master in the theology faculty, Henry conducted fifteen Quodlibetal disputes. His written versions of these, along with his Summa of ordinary Disputed Questions, constitute his most important surviving works. And of these, his Quodlibets rank first. Henry's philosophical and theological views were highly original and drew considerable reaction from other leading Masters of the time, especially from Giles of Rome, Godfrey of Fontaines, and somewhat later, from Duns Scotus. While his personal thought cannot be reduced to that of any earlier thinker or tradition, his views were heavily influenced by Augustine, by Avicenna, and by various other Neoplatonic currents. At the same time, while he was quite familiar with the texts and thought of Aristotle, he reacted strongly against the more radical form of Aristotelianism developed by Siger of Brabant, Boethius of Dacia, and other Masters in the Arts Faculty at Paris in the 1260s and 1270s. Aquinas's incorporation of many Aristotelian positions into his own thought was also suspect in Henry's eyes. Given this background, Henry himself may be regarded as an outstanding representative of the Neo-Augustinian philosophical current which surfaced at Paris around 1270, which triumphed with the condemnation of 219 propositions by Stephen Tempier, Bishop of Paris, in 1277, and which would continue to be a dominant philosophical force until the end of the century. The need for a critical edition of his Quodlibets and his Summa has long been recognized, since the only printed versions date from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In these first two volumes of Henry's Opera omnia Macken has prepared the way for the critical edition of Henry's works and especially of his Quodlibets. Here one finds a valuable catalog, based on first-hand inspection, of the widely scattered manuscripts of Henry's works. The catalog also contains expert codicological descriptions of the contents of these manuscripts, including works whose authenticity remains doubtful. Manuscripts are also considered which contain works that treat ex professo of Henry's doctrine. This is followed by an appendix which surveys ancient references to other manuscripts allegedly containing Henry's works, which manuscripts have not yet been found. Then there is a Répertoire, not of manuscripts but of Henry's works themselves, including certainly authentic works, works of doubtful authenticity, and finally, in another short appendix, works which have been falsely ascribed to him. A third part of this survey of Henry's works is devoted to manuscripts of other writers who discuss Henry's doctrine ex professo. The two volumes conclude with all the necessary indices. One must congratulate Macken for the care, the industry, and the meticulous scholarship with which he has prepared these two volumes. Not only are they of great value to anyone interested in the manuscript tradition of Henry's works and doctrine; they also include helpful descriptions of the writings of many other medieval authors which are contained in many of these same manuscripts. They will undoubtedly be carefully combed for decades to come by other scholars interested in these same authors and manuscripts. These volumes will be indispensable for libraries of institutions making any serious claim to expertise in the history of medieval philosophical and theological thought. One can only wish Macken and his international team of collaborators every success in their next immediate task, the actual edition of Henry's most important works, his fifteen Quodlibetal Questions.--J.F.W. (shrink)
In our target article, we took the position that tenure conveys many important benefits but that its original justification – fostering academic freedom – is not one of them. Here we respond to various criticisms of our study as well as to proposals to remedy the current state of affairs. Undoubtedly, more research is needed to confirm and extend our findings, but the most reasonable conclusion remains the one we offered – that the original rationale for tenure is poorly served (...) by the current system as practiced at top-ranked colleges and universities. (Published Online February 8 2007). (shrink)
In this commentary, we challenge the claim that Freud's thinking anticipated Bartlettian reconstructive theories of remembering. Erdelyi has ignored important divergences that demonstrate it is not the case that “The constructions and reconstructions of Freud and Bartlett are the same but for motive” (target article, sect. 5).
Disagreements about the success of any given argument often arise because the suppositions of the critic differ from the suppositions of the author of the argument. In maintaining the plausibility of a metaethical argument for theism against the objections articulated by Stephen J. Sullivan, I will probe our differing suppositions with regard to the relation of theological to naturalistic metaethical theories, the starting point for the metaethical argument for theism, and the relation of the qualities of God's will to (...) our obligation to obey God. (shrink)