This short study attempts to demonstrate the importance for Rabelais's thought and art of the "Platonic-Hermetic" current in antique and Renaissance intellectual history. The demonstration is weakened by the author's failure to sketch a history of this tradition, and one is left to gather from intermittent allusions and from footnotes whom he considers its principle spokesmen and what he considers its main tenets and spokesmen to be. According to Masters, Rabelais's writing is grounded in a Platonic dialectic which plays with (...) the tensions between reality and appearance, intellect and matter, soul and body, God and man. The presence of the divine in human affairs is manifested by such images as the androgyne and the pantagruelion. The recurrent Rabelaisian image of drinking can be understood on several levels. In its most literal sense, it points to the pleasure of festive conviviality. At a higher level, it involves the enlightened exchange of ideas, and at the highest, evoked in the episode of the Dive Bouteille, drinking suggests the acquisition of self-knowledge and, with self-knowledge, all other knowledge proper to the human mind. The Hermetic sciences can lead man in three directions: downward to the black arts; outward toward a salutary investigation of the world; or finally upward to an "intuitive dialectic" and a mystical union with the godhead. Although Masters' interpretations of specific images and episodes sometimes lack tact, his erudition should enhance the book's interest both for intellectual historians and Rabelaisian specialists.--T. M. G. (shrink)
An anthology of philosophical essays and abstracts ranging from Plato to C. D. Broad. The work includes specific discussions of the philosophy of science, religion, politics, and value, as well as discussions concerned with the more general issues of epistemology and metaphysics.--T. M. G.
This powerful, original, and tendentious book was written in 1940, published in Russia in 1965, and is now available in English. It suffers from many shortcomings--repetitiousness, oversimplification, the exclusion of material which fails to fit the author's thesis. It also inevitably reflects ignorance of scholarship since the thirties, which has tended to deny Rabelais' alleged agnosticism and nudged him closer to orthodoxy. But it represents nonetheless an important advance in the understanding of Rabelais' book, and defends provocatively an unfashionable theory (...) of the Renaissance. Bakhtin lays heaviest stress on his author's freedom to play with authorized symbols and solemn institutions in the spirit of the carnival, a spirit deriving from folk humor. The common folk of town and country delighted in improprieties, turned all serious values and structures upside down, dwelt subversively and coarsely on the "bodily lower stratum." Just as food enters the body and is eliminated, so all authorized solemnity enters Pantagruel and is turned into fun. This peasant laughter remains unafraid before age and death because it recognizes the simultaneous destruction and creation in all experience. The medieval hierarchical conception of the universe is replaced in Rabelais and in the entire Renaissance by a new horizontal perspective upon the individual in history. This new perspective fastens particularly upon the body and renders it good-humoredly grotesque. Bakhtin seriously underestimates the breadth of both Renaissance religious feeling and neo-Platonic speculation as well as the strength of medieval survivals. But specific readings of Rabelais' text are genuinely enlightening even when they distort or simplify his meaning.--T. M. G. (shrink)
A brief summary of ancient thinkers who contribute to a theory of the physical universe, ranging from Anaximander to Proclus, with a major emphasis on pre-Aristotelian thought. Included in the work are many well-chosen abstracts of primary sources, such as Hippocrates' "On the Sacred Disease" and Parmenides' "On Nature." De Santillana presents a lively account of his materials, together with helpful illustrations. There is a rather insensitive portrayal of Aristotle as a mere synopticist of earlier theories and as primarily concerned (...) with "a tidiness of words."--T. M. G. (shrink)
This book is primarily a survey of commonly accepted theories of memory. In the course of the book Locke attempts to show that the traditional theories of memory, that is the Representative and the Realist theories are inadequate because of certain mistaken assumptions adopted by the advocates of these views. For example, both of these theories’ proponents mistakenly assume that remembering is an occurrence, that this occurrence consists in a mental experience in the form of having mental images, and that (...) memory-knowledge is knowledge based on or derived from the memory-experience or the memory-image. These notions are mistaken, Locke claims, because memory consists in immediate knowledge of the past, not in the immediate experience of the past; and memory is a form of knowledge, not a form of quasi-perceptual awareness. The notion that memory is a form of knowledge is considered by Locke to be the standard contemporary account of the nature of memory. It is in these terms that he analyzes the different forms of memory: factual memory, which is defined as retained factual knowledge or knowledge we have possessed before and still possess; practical memory, which is defined as retained practical knowledge or knowledge that consists in possessing certain acquired abilities and skills; and personal memory, which is defined as memory of items that one has experienced for himself. The true test of the contemporary account, as Locke sees it, is whether it allows one to answer affirmatively the question "Is memory reliable?". In the final analysis, however, this seems to be impossible. Generally speaking, one believes that he is entitled to rely on something insofar as it can be established that what is relied upon is normally an accurate guide to the facts of the matter. Nevertheless, if one can never tell when memory is correct, it cannot be established that memory is a reliable guide to anything; thus, one can never be entitled to rely on memories. One solution to this dilemma seems to lie in the suggestion that even if one cannot demonstrate that memory is reliable, this is the simplest and possibly the only plausible assumption to make to explain the plain facts of the human situation. Moreover, one who rejects this pragmatic use of the reliability of memory is committed to saying that knowledge is impossible in any case. If there is no avenue to the past, then there is no assurance that anyone or anything has a past history at all. Without a past history, one has never acquired any information nor any reason for knowing anything, not even about the present. Memory-knowledge, then, is not a matter of simple utility, rather it is a matter of what presuppositions or assumptions have to be made if knowledge is to be possible at all. In effect, Locke sees this as simply a "transcendental argument" for the reliability of memory; that is, an argument that shows that a certain principle has to be accepted as true if a certain form of inquiry is to be possible.—T. L. M. (shrink)
The author--a Danish philosopher influenced by Moore, the later Wittgenstein, and C. I. Lewis--lays bare three fundamental rules of "informal logic" implicit in any description of empirical reality. They are: psychological expressions cannot be applied independently of the personal pronouns, personal pronouns cannot be applied independently of names of ordinary things, and names of ordinary things cannot be applied independently of words expressing possibility of action. A number of important consequences are drawn: in particular, that certain traditional philosophical problems--such as (...) the existence of the external world and the future validity of physical laws--cannot be properly formulated; and that the description of nature cannot afford any argument for psychological determinism. A stimulating book. --T. L. M. (shrink)
A concise, popular introduction to Buddhism, this book presents Buddha's teaching: avoid "desiring too much and avoid desiring too much stopping of such desiring." After a preliminary exposition, the author proceeds to examine the causes for various misinterpretations of Buddha's teaching and concludes with his own criticisms. Bahm's lack of sympathy, however, prevented him from seeing the relevance of Buddha's teaching to the problems confronting Western civilization. And in desiring too much to argue and to document, he interferes with the (...) natural persuasiveness of Buddhism. Nevertheless, the book is to be recommended as a useful introductory work on Buddhism.--T. L. M. (shrink)
Pucelle tries to show how the idea of personal liberty is central to Green's ethics. Green's criticisms of other philosophers and the historical context of his philosophy are especially well handled. --W. L. M.
Bhattacharyya, K. The Advaita concept of subjectivity.--Deutsch, E. Reflections on some aspects of the theory of rasa.--Nakamura, H. The dawn of modern thought in the East.--Organ, T. Causality, Indian and Greek.--Chatterjee, M. On types of classification.--Lacombe, O. Transcendental imagination.--Bahm, A. J. Standards for comparative philosophy.--Herring, H. Appearance, its significance and meaning in the history of philosophy.--Chang Chung-yuan. Pre-rational harmony in Heidegger's essential thinking and Chʼan thought.--Staal, J. F. Making sense of the Buddhist tetralemma.--Enomiya-Lassalle, H. M. The mysticism of Carl Albrecht (...) and Zen.--Parrinder, G. The nature of mysticism.--Cairns, G. E. Axiological contributions of East and West to the spiritual development of mankind.--Mayeda, S. Śaṇkara's view of ethics.--Mercier, A. On peace.--Barlingay, S. S. A discussion of some aspects of Gaudapāda's philosophy. (shrink)
The central idea of T. M. Scanlon’s “contractualism” has been well known to ethical theorists since Scanlon 1982. In What We Owe to Each Other it has grown into a comprehensive and impressively developed theory of the nature of right and wrong—or at least of what Scanlon regards as the most important of the “normative kinds” that go under the names of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. Rejecting aggregative consequentialism, Scanlon aims to articulate principles of right and wrong for individual action in (...) such a way that the interests of each affected person are taken fairly into account. (shrink)
Ronald Dworkin argues on the basis of a theory of well-being that critical paternalism is self-defeating. People must endorse their lives if they are to benefit. This is the endorsement constraint and this paper rejects it. For certain kinds of important mistakes that people can make in their lives, the endorsement constraint is either incredible or too narrow to rule out as much paternalism as Dworkin wants. The endorsement constraint cannot be interpreted to give sensible judgements when people change their (...) minds about the value of their lives. And the main argument for the endorsement constraint, which is based on the value of integrity, does not support Dworkin's anti-paternalism. (shrink)
This is a longer critical notice of T.M. Scanlon's book Moral Dimensions. The main crux of the article is to investigate how Scanlon's claims about the moral significance of intentions and reactive attitudes in this book fit with the earlier contractualist ethical theory which he presented in What We Owe to Each Other.
This paper is a short review of T.M. Scanlon's book What We Owe to Each Other. The book itself is already a philosophical classic. It defends a contractualist ethical theory but also has many interesting things to say about reasons, value, well-being, promises, relativism, and so on.
For close to forty years now T.M. Scanlon has been one of the most important contributors to moral and political philosophy in the Anglo-American world. Through both his writing and his teaching, he has played a central role in shaping the questions with which research in moral and political philosophy now grapples. Reasons and Recognition brings together fourteen new papers on an array of topics from the many areas to which Scanlon has made path-breaking contributions, each of which develops a (...) distinctive and independent position while critically engaging with central themes from Scanlon's own work in the area. Contributors include well-known senior figures in moral and political philosophy as well as important younger scholars whose work is just beginning to gain wider recognition. Taken together, these papers make evident the scope and lasting interest of Scanlon's contributions to moral and political philosophy while contributing to a deeper understanding of the issues addressed in his work. (shrink)
I present here a modal extension of T called KTLM which is, by several measures, the simplest modal extension of T yet presented. Its axiom uses only one sentence letter and has a modal depth of 2. Furthermore, KTLM can be realized as the logical union of two logics KM and KTL which each have the finite model property (f.m.p.), and so themselves are complete. Each of these two component logics has independent interest as well.
The die-hard viewpoint of an influential figure like President M.T. Steyn of the Republic of the Orange Free State led to the lengthening of the Anglo-Boer War by more than a year. The reasons for Steyn leading the Free State into this war, the reasons for his call not to surrender and the effect of the war on the Afrikaner, is discussed in this article. An ethical discussion of factors indicating a bitter end, is also on the cards. There was (...) a strong realisation among the representatives of the Republics of the Free State and the Transvaal in 1902 that this is the end of the war. (shrink)
In this work, the author presents the work of Allama M.T. Jafari, an Iranian, contemporary social thinker who worked within the parameters of Primordial School of Social Theory. This work is an attempt to enrich the existing literature on comparative sociology and social philosophy.