Eleven essays, on a variety of topics, most of them first given as lectures or published in periodicals and Festschriften. This is "late" Heidegger --alternately brilliant and mystifying, provocative and exasperating, at least to the uninitiated. Perhaps the best pieces in the book are the three which discuss passages in pre-Socratic philosophers--here, familiar texts are given fresh, if unorthodox, interpretations, and are made to suggest philosophical conclusions of remarkable subtlety and scope. --V. C. C.
A reprint, in two paper-bound volumes, of a standard student text, first published in 1934. The new edition is both cheaper and easier to handle than the original, and thus is even better suited to student use.--V. C. C.
Reprints a useful, non-technical statement of Reichenbach's mature thought, combining an unconvincing survey of speculative philosophy and its "failure," with a concise account of the results of a philosophy carried out "scientifically." The original appeared in 1951.--V. C. C.
A reprint, intended for student use. Despite the repudiation by some of the contributors of their articles after editing, the work as a whole has some value, and some of the pieces are distinguished.--V. C. C.
An English version of a work which has attracted wide attention since its publication in France some 15 years ago. It represents an effort to face and to resolve a problem implicit in much so-called "existential" thinking and writing, the problem of suicide: does not the existential recognition of the absurdity of life compel one to leave it? M. Camus' argument is often hard to follow, but his answer is plain: suicide is not justified, even though absurdity is inevitable; the (...) proper response to absurdity, indeed, is just the affirmation of life. We must, like Sisyphus, continue to struggle, even though the struggle nought availeth; "One must," concludes M. Camus, "imagine Sisyphus happy." The five short pieces which accompany the title essay in this volume include some examples of what M. Camus probably does best--intense evocations of the North African landscape and mood.--V. C. C. (shrink)
Alberti's Della pittura was the first, and in many ways the most important, of the Renaissance treatises on painting, elaborating as it does the theoretical backgrounds of the influential new art of 15th-century Florence. This edition presents the work with distinction. The translation--the first in English since 1755--is based upon the known manuscript sources, and has been provided with a helpful introduction and notes. Diagrams serve to clarify Alberti's accounts of perspective. --V. C. C.
A new collection of philosophical journal articles in the contemporary Oxford manner, at least the sixth such collection to appear in the last few years. The twelve papers in the present volume deal with subjects comprised by the Oxford "logic" examinations--e.g., meaning, explanation, validity, probability, and time. All are clear, calm, and careful, and all are illuminating, even if only over a small area. The collection's title is particularly apt; "conceptual analysis" surely better describes what the Oxford philosophers have actually (...) been doing than the imprecise and often misleading "analysis of language."--V. C. C. (shrink)
The original French edition of this book has won a number of literary prizes, and been extravagantly praised. Its theme is man's changing conceptions of, and attitudes towards, time and the experience of time in its various aspects, as revealed in the writings of French poets, essayists, dramatists, and novelists from Montaigne to Proust. M. Poulet's analyses are imaginative and subtle, and his transitions from point to point are often breathtaking in their brilliance; the book's scope and sweep, too, are (...) impressive, as an author or age is summarized in a few terse yet highly packed phrases. Prosaically-minded philosophers interested in conceptual clarity may find such phrases difficult to unpack, but the book's literary virtues outweigh its purely philosophical deficiencies; as a piece of literary literary criticism its impact is considerable. --V. C. C. (shrink)
An exact reprint of the fourth edition of Butcher's famous commentary on the Poetics, together with his Greek text and English translation. Includes a helpful introductory essay, written especially for this edition, on "Aristotelian Literary Criticism".--V. C. C.
A Sartre sampler, showing the range of its author's interests as well as the subtlety and inventiveness of his thinking. Most of the "literary" essays--seven short pieces on individual authors and books--have a decidedly philosophical turn despite their disjointedness; a discussion of The Sound and the Fury, e.g., becomes an examination of Faulkner's "metaphysics of time." The three philosophical pieces, including the anti-Marxist "Materialism and Revolution," are longer and more systematic. There are also three essays on America, arising out of (...) Sartre's 1945 visit, which are perceptive, fresh, and sometimes profound.--V. C. C. (shrink)
An extended polemic, couched in familiar and fairly naive terms, against "faith, myth and superstition." Chance, the author argues, and the physical processes of which it is the dominant feature, form "the guiding principle for our lives."--V. C. C.
A guide, intended for students, to the usage of some 1600 Scholastic philosophical terms, clearly presented and nicely arranged. There is no attempt at translating into "ordinary language," but the use of Latin is sparing. Textual references and diagrams and charts increase the book's usefulness.--V. C. C.
Though intended as an introductory textbook of Thomistic metaphysics, this work offers a fairly detailed treatment of a number of important problems, presented in systematic and well-ordered fashion. Father Klubertanz rejects the a priori procedure of some recent Thomists, and endeavors to reconstruct the Thomistic synthesis by beginning with immediate sense experience. This and other "departures from systematized Thomism" give the book a certain originality, and raise it somewhat above the usual textbook level.--V. C. C.
An effective demonstration that the techniques of Oxford analysis can be put to constructive as well as to critical philosophic use. Mr. Geach considers a number of connected topics--among them the nature and formation of concepts, judgment, and sensation--advancing positive theses while rejecting views he holds to be false. He is particularly opposed to the "abstractionist" doctrine of concept formation. Concepts, he holds, are not capacities for recognizing recurrent features in experience, but "mental abilities, exercised in acts of judgment, and (...) expressed in the intelligent use of words," though not, he adds, "exclusively in such use." Despite the connections among the topics dealt with, the book remains somewhat episodic, and many of its points are sketched or suggested only, rather than fully developed. But Mr. Geach's arguments are elegant, and what is worked out is compelling. One curious feature of the book is its frequent citation of St. Thomas Aquinas--Mr. Geach seems as anxious to be on the side of the Angelic Doctor as he is to be in tune with Wittgenstein.--V. C. C. (shrink)
Two-thirds of this book are devoted to an examination of the variants in "the" Christian attitude towards sex, from the "essentially positive" Biblical view, through its replacement by the negative views of the early Church Fathers, influenced by Hellenistic dualisms, to the positions of certain contemporary theologians, both Catholic and Protestant. The book's concluding section makes a strong case against the rigidity and artificiality of much modern theological thinking about sex, and urges, on the basis of the discoveries of psychoanalysts (...) as well as of good sense, a return to a naturalism more in keeping with the Biblical spirit. Mr. Cole's writing is graceful and sensitive, his points generally sound and well taken, and his arguments compelling. --V. C. C. (shrink)
A brief survey of topics having to do in some way with "time," in a number of that term's myriad senses. There are chapters on "lived" time, the times of physics and history, and the relation of time and eternity. M. Pucelle's writing is lively, and his discussions are frequently illuminating, despite their extreme brevity and, at times, over-generality.--V. C. C.
The first English translation of one of Berdyaev's earliest works, but one which he himself regarded as containing in germ the philosophical ideas fundamental to his later thinking. It begins by defining philosophy as "a creative activity," and goes on to develop the central notion of creativity with reference to Redemption, Being, Freedom, Sex, Morals, Society, Mysticism, etc. The writing itself is "creative" rather than "systematic"; though always stimulating, its enthusiasm sometimes makes the argument hard to follow. The translation is (...) smooth and readable.--V. C. C. (shrink)
Eight short papers, semi-popular in intent, surveying British philosophy from Bradley, through Russell, Moore, and Wittgenstein, to the contemporary analysis of Ryle and Austin. Coverage is spotty, and some of the treatments are so brief and sketchy as to be of dubious value. Ryle's introduction, however, and concluding papers by Strawson and Warnock are both pleasant and instructive.--V. C. C.
The texts of the papers on the philosophy of science read at the Zürich Congress of 1954. The papers vary widely, in scope, quality, approach, doctrinal basis, and subject matter, but the collection as a whole, if a bit bewildering, provides a good survey of the ways in which the philosophy of science is now being practiced and conceived.--V. C. C.
Five essays, all of them previously published in English but here brought together for the first time, consisting of delightfully overstated--and therefore highly stimulating--observations on art and letters.--V. C. C.
An attempt to account for the shift in Plato's ethical views from the Socratic ideal of personal decision in the early Dialogues to the institutionalized morality of the Laws. The author's interpretations are fresh and illuminating, and his central thesis--that the shift in Plato's view is a function of a growing attention to the conditions, social and natural, imposed upon moral man by the actual world--is well-supported. One of the best features of Mr. Gould's work is his attempt to recover (...) something like the original senses of crucial Platonic terms. He is able to make much better sense of the Socratic "virtue is knowledge," for example, by interpreting, with considerable justification, ἐπιστήμη as technique rather than science, as a species of "knowing how" rather than of "knowing that."--V. C. C. (shrink)
A fine new translation, in which clarity and ease of reading have been the principal aims. Mr. Warrington has re-arranged the traditional text in an effort to make of its often disparate parts a unified and well-ordered whole. Book Δ is printed first, for example, and Ι and Λ last, with α and parts of Κ and Μ as Appendices. Long sentences have been broken up, subtitles inserted, points and paragraphs numbered for ready reference, and parenthetical phrases printed as footnotes. (...) Further footnotes explain difficult passages and provide cross-references. The result is perhaps the easiest Metaphysics possible, though even it, of course, is far from easy going.--V. C. C. (shrink)
Includes "Belief and Will," the Inaugural Address by H. H. Price, in addition to six Symposia: e.g., "Can an Effect Precede its Cause?" "When is a Principle a Moral Principle?" and "Sensing and Observing." Participants include Gilbert Ryle, Margaret MacDonald, A. J. Ayer and W. B. Gallie. The papers are much concerned with what one can and cannot say, in accordance with the current British, or Oxford, fashion.--V. C. C.
A comprehensive, carefully argued and clearly written statement and defense of philosophical theism. The author is concerned with religion itself as an object of philosophical inquiry, but is more interested in the insights into the natures of man, God, and the world, which a religious, or theistic, viewpoint is able to provide. He offers an interesting reformulation and defense of the cosmological argument for the existence of God.--V. C. C.
Maritain's first book, published in France in 1913, and now translated into English for the first time. It marks, historically, one of the earliest expressions of that revived Thomism which has played such a large part in the intellectual life of contemporary France; and it represents, systematically, one of the most detailed and persistent "intellectualist" answers to the Bergsonian critique of "intellectualist" philosophies. The translators have done about as good a job as is possible in rendering what Maritain himself calls (...) the book's "turgidity, the uncompromising bombast of its style."--V. C. C. (shrink)
An attempt to deal with "the fundamental philosophical problem of the Absolute" in an original way. Absolute Being is interpreted as "the act of total existence," and is taken to include all that is or can be, as well as what "exists" negatively or is not.--V. C. C.
A reprint edition of a careful argument for the primacy of experiment even in theoretical physics, replete with accounts of actual discoveries, in many of which Born himself participated. The essay, originally a lecture, was first published in 1943. --V. C. C.
An original and independent treatment of epistemology's central question--that concerning the relation between the mind and its objects. The author's answer is that of naive realism: the mind is a spectator of its objects, and the objects themselves are real and independent of it and its activity. The classical objections to such a view are examined forthrightly and yet with care; error, e.g., appears as a function of the unclarity with which some objects are apprehended rather than as evidence that (...) all objects are fictions. Professor Earle is quite willing to spell out the somewhat startling ontological consequences of his view; since whatever is an object of consciousness is real and independent, illusions differ from, say, material objects, not as non-being differs from being, but as one kind of being differs from another. The result is a contribution to metaphysics as well as to epistemology, and its conclusions in both areas are fresh and important. Part of Chapter I first appeared in this Review, VIII, 211-24.--V. C. C. (shrink)
A hard-cover reprint of Royce's "Essay in the Form of Lectures." Royce discusses modern philosophy both historically, by describing the views of some of its chief figures--mainly Germans of the nineteenth century--and systematically, in terms of some of its central ideas--e.g., evolution, freedom, and the reality-ideality dichotomy. The result is both a survey of modern thought and an introduction to the thought of Royce.--V. C. C.
The essays which comprise this book represent a series of earnest attempts to understand the nature of metaphysical utterances, and to account for their "abiding fascination" for the human intellect. Arguing on the basis of the familiar distinction of the logical empiricists, the author maintains that metaphysical statements are neither empirical nor a priori; but neither are they, thereby, merely verbal or utterly nonsensical, as the older positivism held. They are, rather, "linguistic innovations," made for the ultimate purpose of satisfying (...) some unconscious need or desire. Metaphysical sentences actually denote "the unconscious contents of our minds," and the metaphysician's belief that he is announcing a theory about the world or reality is strictly an illusion, "produced by altering [at a pre-conscious level] the use of a word or expression." Professor Lazerowitz is somewhat limited in his understanding of metaphysics by his positivistic assumptions. Most metaphysicians would claim that they assert necessary propositions saying something about the real--including the empirical--world. Failure to recognize even the possibility of such propositions makes much of Professor Lazerowitz's account seem irrelevant to what practicing metaphysicians themselves understand of their task.--V. C. C. (shrink)
An account, systematically presented, of Plato's views on the subjects covered in the author's earlier books-ethics, aesthetics and philosophy of education--with only passing mention of Platonic logic, epistemology and metaphysics. The Platonic views are set against the views of Plato's Greek predecessors, and a final chapter discusses "Plato and Modern Philosophy." Mr. Lodge writes engagingly, but somewhat informally too; his book is intended more as an essay in appreciation than as a work of philosophical interpretation.--V. C. C.
Jowett's Protagoras has been revised extensively for this new edition, and helpful section titles have been provided. The editor's fifty-page introduction could stand alone; it is a solid and scholarly examination, with footnotes, cross-references, and logical analyses, of the great Socrates-Protagoras quarrel.--V. C. C.
A welcome addition to the series of translation-commentaries initiated by the late F. M. Cornford. Mr. Bluck's English Phaedo reads smoothly and naturally; it is, like the original, a work of literature as well as of philosophy. The running commentary is clear, well-informed and helpful, being mainly designed to get the reader through the text. More detailed pieces of analysis and interpretation are placed in an Appendix; here Mr. Bluck argues that Plato's Forms are not merely abstract logical universals, but (...) substantial "things," which "cause" the appearances in the material world. He also defends, in opposition to the majority view, the validity of the crucial proof of the soul's indestructibility at 105E ff.--V. C. C. (shrink)
A straightforward presentation of Plato's views on the nature of mathematics, with special attention to the status of mathematical objects and to the method of mathematical thinking. Mr. Wedberg has summarized his interpretations of Platonic doctrines in a clear and well-organized fashion, devoting one chapter to Plato's views on geometry, one to his views on arithmetic; he then supports these interpretations by a close examination of the relevant passages, not only in Plato's Dialogues, but in Aristotle as well. A comprehensive (...) and useful study.--V. C. C. (shrink)
An unabridged republication of the Elwes translation of Spinoza's works, made in 1883, but still highly regarded for its accuracy and lucidity. The present edition, compact and yet clearly presented, includes a bibliographical note by Francesco Cordasco.--V. C. C.
This well designed anthology is a paperback, but not a reprint. Often sizable chunks from the works of nine writers and philosophers are included, and Mr. Kaufmann ties them all together in a series of pithy prefaces. Some of the selections are well known; others--e.g., Jaspers' "On My Philosophy" --appear here for the first time in English, in translations by the editor and others. Mr. Kaufmann's lively introduction attempts to characterize existentialism as a whole, and to place its various representatives (...) in relation to each other; it does both nicely. The volume as a whole, in fact, is a first-rate introduction to existentialism.--V. C. C. (shrink)
A close study, paragraph by paragraph and often line by line, of a work crucial to the understanding of Heidegger's thought as a whole. M. Wahl is a conscientious reader and careful interpreter; he exhibits a sympathetic understanding of the Heideggerian method while dissenting at various points from its results, particularly as regards the important Seinsfrage. In general, it is suggested, Heiddegger's Einführung is to be taken not as doctrine or a set of conclusions, but as an exercise, like Plato's (...) Parmenides.--V. C. C. (shrink)
A warm and sympathetic reconstruction, by an obvious admirer, of the life, times and work of K'ung Ch'iu, based upon the Confucian Classics and a variety of historical sources, including the works of recent scholars. A helpful bibliography is included.--V. C. C.
An attempt to present Kant's Critical Philosophy in a non-technical and up-to-date manner. The author is largely successful in translating complex doctrines into simple language and in relating Kant's thought to contemporary developments in philosophy, science, morals and theology. He stresses the continuity of Kant's thinking with our own, and expounds the Kantian position in the light of the criticisms which have been directed against it, in our and other times. Despite the simplicity of its language, however, the book is (...) not always as clear in meaning or content as one might wish, and some of the interpretations--as when, in Chapter 2, space and time are made out to be "particulars"--are decidedly strange.--V. C. C. (shrink)
This excellent study, which is both critical and constructive, is much broader in scope than its title might indicate. The human self is a central concept for Royce and its full discussion involves one in the whole body of his philosophy, as the author clearly recognizes. Few aspects of Royce's thought, indeed, escape his systematic examination; there are sections on Royce's logic, epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, and philosophy of religion, together with analyses of the self in time and in society, and (...) of the "community" idea. There is also an illuminating chapter on Royce's relations to Peirce and James.--V. C. C. (shrink)
The second part of the work described above, covering, in 3 volumes, the period from the first Patristic thinkers to the fourteenth century. The texts in these volumes, as in those on classical thought, are organized by topics, and are designed to express fundamental assumptions, principles and definitions of their various authors. --V. C. C.
The main object of this impressive study is to lay the groundwork, in contemporary terms, for a systematic and philosophically respectable "apology for poetry." The author finds that most of the so-called New Critics agree in rejecting both the "sugar-coated pill" and "l'art pour l'art" views of poetry; their efforts to formulate a workable third view form the basis for his elaboration of the requirements of an acceptable theory, one which will accord with--and do justice to--the unique and irreducible aesthetic (...) experience to which poetry gives rise. The details of such a theory, unfortunately, are never made entirely clear, owing in part to the diverse and often conflicting demands which must be met, but its main points are as follows: poems, though mainly self-contained, their meanings determined contextually rather than referentially, yet "reveal life," "illuminate human experience"; in poetic creation, though the poet's intentions somehow control the outcome, yet the language of the evolving poem itself determines its own final nature; and poetry, though it neither merely instructs or informs nor merely pleases, yet does provide a kind of "truth" and does produce an experience in some sense pleasurable. The strength of Mr. Krieger's study lies in the clarity and force with which he states the various issues, and in the scholarly care with which he examines the views of individual critics. The book, however, lacks tight organization and sustained, clearly directed argumentation, and its final outcome is rather inconclusive.--V. C. C. (shrink)