Oesterle's translation of Aquinas's commentary on Aristotle's Peri Hermeneias should fill a great need by presenting an excellent and painstakingly accurate English version of that classic. She has gone to the additional trouble of providing an independent translation of Aristotle's Greek text, taking care that it renders the original accurately as well as complements Aquinas's commentary. Of especial interest are the sections on modal propositions, their negation and the inferences valid from them.--W. G. E.
Cooper’s book criticizes the traditional "absolutist" Christian doctrine of God, as exemplified in Aquinas, and concludes with a constructive chapter on "Redemption and Process Theism." His critique is chiefly Hartshornean, not Whiteheadian in character. Cooper, adding nothing of substance to Hartshorne’s extant critique, instead scrutinizes the Thomistic texts to show just how and where the difficulties noted by Hartshorne arise. The final chapter, which leans heavily on Whitehead is chiefly a summary of the usual charges against process theism, together with (...) most of the standard process replies. The deepest difficulty, as the author sees it, lies in showing that Whitehead’s God can guarantee ultimate security or redemption in the face of ineradicable pain and evil; to show this requires reconceiving nature and redemption as well as God. Here Cooper is perhaps open to charges of occasional misinterpretation: For example, is it true that for Whitehead the fact of divine existence is "an ultimate irrationality,... an everlasting given"? And can actuality be separated from concreteness? (shrink)
Without wishing to suggest that professional philosophers would regard the book as philosophy, I can report that this book is definitely philosophical. Most of the book pertains to mathematical invention, but not just the psychology thereof, with many examples of the way in which mathematical advances move from two different and incompatible ways of viewing something to a higher viewpoint on it that makes better sense and better mathematics. A simple example of this is the invention of zero, where the (...) two incompatible viewpoints are that numbers are for counting and that there is nothing to count. The number one exemplified almost the same degree of blockage for the ancient Greeks, for whom the least number was two. It is perhaps unfortunate that the word that the author chose to represent the presence of such resolvable cognitive difficulties is ‘ambiguity’. As ambiguity is severely shunned by mathematicians and as there is none of it—as the word is normally used—in such situations as are described either before, when there are the two viewpoints, or later when there is a higher one, the use of ‘ambiguity’ would be misleading if it were not so adequately explained not to mean ambiguity. The excuse for using the word is claimed to be the genuine ambiguity of one of the simplest examples discussed, 3 + 4, with indifferently the meanings ‘add four to three’ and …. (shrink)
This impressive volume presents the results of a symposium on the structure of scientific theories held at the University of Illinois, Urbana, on March 26-29, 1969; lest this create the wrong impression, let it be noted at the outset that the volume is much more than a collection of papers. Indeed, when one takes into account Frederick Suppe’s book-length introduction, the editing of the critical comments, the extensive bibliography, and the fine index, the work must be seen as the best (...) account of scientific theory now available, one that surely commends itself to every philosopher of science with the slightest interest in metaphysics. The thrust of the symposium was to examine the view of scientific theories that has enjoyed great vogue among logical positivists, who have seen such theories as "axiomatic calculi in which theoretical terms and statements are given a partial observational interpretation by means of correspondence rules." Suppe refers to this as the "Received View," although it has been increasingly questioned in recent years, particularly by philosophers who have some proficiency in the history of science and by scientists who question its fidelity to actual scientific practice. One of the major aims of the symposium was to subject the Received View to analysis and debate by its proponents and by its critics, to assess its present status, and to see if any consensus has begun to develop on this topic—which plays such a key role in the philosophy of science. Suppe performs the analytic function in his critical introduction, and Stephen Toulmin adds a postscript that attempts to chart a course for future research. The message seems to be that the Received View has run its course and has proved to be more a hindrance than a help to philosophizing about science; what will take its place, however, does not emerge with any clarity. Participants in the symposium include all the luminaries in the philosophy of science movement: Carl Hempel, Patrick Suppes, David Bohm, Hilary Putnam, Thomas Kuhn, and Dudley Shapere, among others. Especially noteworthy are Suppe’s account of the development of the Received View and the criticisms that have been lodged against it, viz., its reliance on the analytic-synthetic distinction; the tenability of the observational-theoretical distinction; the notion of partial interpretation; its failure to include models as integral components; its analysis of correspondence rules; and its reliance on axiomatization. Suppe also details some of the proposed alternatives to the Received View, giving in the process lucid expositions of the thought of Toulmin, Kuhn, Hanson, Popper, and Feyerabend—all of which he treats under the rubric of "Weltanshauungen [[sic]] Analyses." Those interested in the relationships between history of science and philosophy of science will find the interchange between I. Bernard Cohen and Peter Achinstein stimulating as well as illuminating. Kuhn takes this occasion to offer his "Second Thoughts on Paradigms," and Shapere continues his criticism of both Kuhn and logical positivism—now more constructively than heretofore—with a penetrating essay entitled "Scientific Theories and their Domains." About the only thing that is lacking is a treatment of recent developments in England, particularly the work of Rom Harré at Oxford and related thinkers, who likewise reject the Received View and offer interesting alternatives to it that have yet to be appreciated and critiqued in the U.S.—W.A.W. (shrink)
The author believes that it is impossible to resolve the crucial theological issues of our time without an appreciation of the historical roots of the development of theology itself. Congar does not attempt in this volume a systematic analysis of the content of theology, as it is expressed in history. He limits himself to the meaning of the discipline of theology as it expresses itself in six periods in the life of the church, The Patristic Age and St. Augustine, From (...) the Sixth Century to the Twelfth Century, The Renaissance of the Twelfth Century, The Golden Age of Scholasticism, The Reformation and the Counter-Reformation, From the Seventeenth Century to the Present. The work begins with a definition of the word 'theology' from its early pre-Christian usage to its adoption by the Greek and Latin Christians. 'Theology', according to Congar, in its Christian and catholic sense, means a reasoned account about God; it is a "body of knowledge which rationally interprets, elaborates, and ordains the truths of revelation." Unlike the pagan philosophers who thought of theology in a speculative sense, the Christians who had received a revelation, conceived of God in concrete terms, as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. But the discipline of theology took many forms and shapes over the years of Christian history. The twelfth century seems to be a critical century, at least for the author, because it is in St. Thomas Aquinas' Summa that theology becomes "a defined discipline exposing a rational explanation of revelation." Theology in the sixteenth century is characterized by the growth of intellectual problems and new intellectual needs, the collapse of the synthesis and unity of the Middle Ages, the birth of new forms of intellectual activity and research. Luther's theological position is then characterized as "an enraged Augustinianism shorn of its Catholic ties." Luther interprets Christian theology as salvation, i.e., man's conversion to God through Christ. Luther is anti-ecclesiastical and anti-institutional, anti-scholastic, and anti-rational. But what permits Congar such a simplistic reductionism is that he begins the theological task at the wrong place. I do not think it is an adequate notion of the theological enterprise to ask the theologian what he considers to be the task of theology. Rather I think the theologian looks at the whole of the Christian faith and attempts some rapprochement between it and modern categories of thought. The theological enterprise is the dogmatic enterprise, but it is dogmatic as theology responds to the thought-forms of the modern world. Congar is too restrictive in his understanding of what theology ought to be doing--and what it actually does. This error becomes clear when we observe again and again a parodying of various theological positions.--W. A. J. (shrink)
Seemingly, every mental act has a content or subject-matter. When I think, imagine, or hear, there appears to be a content or subject-matter of my thinking, imagining, or hearing. Now, what the difference is between this kind of content and the content of nonmental containers or containings, is a question which has beguiled even those thinkers, such as Ryle in England and physicalists in America, who are disinclined to recognize the mental as a separate ontic domain. When the problem of (...) isolating the nature of mental content or subject-matter was revived in the 19th century, Franz Brentano followed the Scholastics in calling these contents "intentions." The editor of the present volume, while noting that the concept of "intentionality has played a very central role in such philosophical movements as phenomenology, existentialism, and neo-Scholasticism," brings out the fact that this concept also, in recent years, was taken up by "philosophers in the analytical tradition as a powerful conceptual tool...." Seminal writings on the nature of intentionality by Frege, Russell, Carnap, Hempel, Ryle, Quine, Chisholm, Wilfrid Sellars, Thomas Nagel, Aune, Linsky, Hintikka, and others are brought together in this well-organized anthology, along with an introduction, a supplement containing unpublished Sellars correspondence with David M. Rosenthal, a bibliographical essay, and an index.—W. G. (shrink)
With each of our three criminal-law topics—defining offenses, apprehending suspects, and establishing punishments—we feel, I believe, strong moral resistance to the idea that our practices should be settled by a prospective-participant perspective. This becomes quite clear when we look at how the “reforms” suggested by institutional viewing might combine once we consider all three topics together: imagine a more extensive and swifter use of the death penalty in homicide cases coupled with somewhat lower standards of evidence; or think of backing (...) a strict-liability criminal statute with the death penalty. Of course, such “reforms” would increase the execution of innocents; but, their proponents will tell us, any penal system involves the punishment of some innocents, and, if it provides for the death penalty, the execution of some innocents. Moreover, why is it worse for innocents to be punished than for innocents to suffer an equivalent harm in some other way? Formulated from a prospective-participant perspective: Why not run a small risk of being innocently executed in exchange for reducing, much more significantly, the risk of dying prematurely in other ways? (shrink)
The question of what constitutes human flourishing elicits an extraordinary variety of responses, which suggests that there are not merely differences of opinion at work, but also different understandings of the question itself. So it may help to introduce some clarity into the question before starting work on one answer to it.
Difficult moral issues in economic life, such as evaluating the impact of hostile takeovers and plant relocations or determining the obligations of business to the environment, constitute the raison d'etre of business ethics. Yet, while the ultimate resolution of such issues clearly requires detailed, normative analysis, a shortcoming of business ethics is that to date it has failed to develop an adequate normative theory. 1 The failing is especially acute when it results in an inability to provide a basis for (...) fine-grained analyses of issues. Both general moral theories and stakeholder theory seem incapable of expressing the moral complexity necessary to provide practical normative guidance for many business ethics contexts. (shrink)
Celia Wolf‐Devine: Descartes on Seeing: Epistemology and Visual Perception. Carbondale and Edwardsville: Southern Illinois University Press, 1993, pp. viii + 121. ISBN 0–8093–1838–5. Thomas Hobbes: Leviathan with selected variants front the Latin edition of 1668. Edited, with Introduction and Notes by Edwin Curley. Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., Indianapolis/cambridge 1994, pp. lxxx‐584. ISBN 0–87220–178–3, £27.95, 0–87220–177–5, £6.95. Allison Coudert: Leibniz and the Kabbalah. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1995, pp. 218. £68.00. ISBN 0–7923–3114–1. Richard Price: The Correspondence. [Edited by D. O. (...)Thomas and W. Bernard Peach]. Vol. III. February 1786‐February 1791. Edited by W. Bernard Peach.. ISBN 0–8223–1327–8. Henry Allison: Idealism and Freedom: Essays on Kant's Theoretical and Practical Philosophy. Cambridge University Press, 1996. xxi + 217 pp. £30, £10.95. ISBN 0–521–48295‐X, 0–521–48337–9. Terry Pinkard: Hegel's Phenomenology: The Sociality of Reason. Cambridge University Press, 1994. 4451 pp. £40.00 hb. ISBN 0–521–45300–3. Mary Anne Perkins: Coleridge's Philosophy, The Logos as Unifying Principle. pp. 310. £30.00. ISBN 0–19–824075–9. Elzbieta Ettinger: Hannah Arendt ‐ Martin Heidegger £10.95 ISBN 0–300–06407–1 Dana R. Villa: Arendt and Heidegger ‐ The Fate of the Political ISBN 0–691–04400–7. (shrink)