This instructive work tries to avoid the parochialism and over-technicality characteristic of so much recent theorizing about ethics. The author examines each of the main current accounts of moral goodness and judgment, and then constructs a view of his own in their light--a view predominantly "naturalistic" in its conception of goodness but partially "non-cognitivist" in its treatment of moral judgment. The rest of the book defends and elaborates this view. Mr. Rice writes perceptively, and his accounts of contemporary ethical theories (...) are lucid and concise. His passion for non-technicality, however, makes the presentation of his own view less convincing than it might have been; his argument is sometimes elusive and fragmentary, and his writing, though vivid, often lacks clarity and precision. Still, this is a book of considerable significance; one hopes that it will mark the beginning of a broader, more constructive approach to the problems of ethical theory.--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)
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.
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)
This is the first good book on the early Schelling since Metzger's study in 1911. What is more, it is an entirely novel interpretation of this first and most productive decade of Schelling's philosophizing. The central thesis is that Schelling's fundamental intuition had always been that of the concrete and particular character of all reality. Reality is a whole and everything real is a whole: an actual closed totality. Even in this most Fichtean period, Schelling did not really accept (...) the transcendental position, and the philosophy of nature allowed him to expand his vision of the concrete into rich and complex constructions. This is a view which one occasionally encounters in other critical writings on Schelling, but it is usually overpowered by the accumulated Hegelian prejudice concerning Schelling's "dogmatism" and "abstract formalism." It is therefore heartening to see the author, without any polemics, challenging the Hegelians on their own favorite hunting-ground: the arid pastures of the philosophy of identity. Although the author does not fully document her findings, and although the System of Transcendental Idealism is almost totally neglected, the book is undoubtedly an important event. It may even signal the opening of new research into the early Schelling. It is immensely useful--and encouraging--for a number of scholars working on the Ages of the World and on the positive philosophy: it helps them to see the continuity in the six decades of Schelling's philosophizing.--M. J. V. (shrink)
A volume of philosophical essays, somewhat similar in format to J. H Muirhead's two collections of thirty years ago. Instead of offering general summaries of their thinking, however, most of the present contributors exhibit their conceptions of philosophy and its problems by dealing with particular questions, as if writing for a professional journal. Biographical material has been compressed and placed in an appendix at the book's end. The result is less personal and perhaps less historically informative than the earlier volumes, (...) but it is probably also more productive of genuine philosophizing. One exception to the new pattern is H. J. Paton's informal survey, with personal asides, of British philosophy since the early 1900's. This makes a good introduction to the volume as a whole.--V. C. C. (shrink)
Platonists beginning in the Old Academy itself and up to and including Plotinus struggled to understand and articulate the relation between Plato’s Demiurge and the Living Animal which served as the model for creation. The central question is whether “contents” of the Living Animal, the Forms, are internal to the mind of the Demiurge or external and independent. For Plotinus, the solution depends heavily on how the Intellect that is the Demiurge and the Forms or intelligibles are to be understood (...) in relation to the first principle of all, the One or the Good. The treatise V.5  sets out the case for the internality of Forms and argues for the necessary existence of an absolutely simple and transcendent first principle of all, the One or the Good. Not only Intellect and the Forms, but everything else depends on this principle for their being. (shrink)
The Gesta Normannorum Ducum is one of the most important sources for the history of Normandy and England in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, and contains the earliest prose account of the Norman Conquest. It was written by a succession of authors, the first of whom was William of Jumieges, who wrote for William the Conqueror. Later historians, such as Orderic Vitalis and Robert of Torigni, interpolated and extended the chronicle as far as King Henry I. The later (...) accretions reveal much not only about changing attitudes towards the Norman invasion of England, but also about views of the early Viking foundations of Normandy.Elisabeth van Houts's two-volume edition is based on a study of all forty-seven extant manuscripts of the Gesta, including the earliest surviving copy of c. 1100, unknown until very recently. The full original text of William of Jumieges is supplied, as well as the integral text of the subsequent revisions and additions. Volume I contains Dr van Houts's introduction to the whole work, together with the text and translation of books i-iv. Volume II contains books v-viii. The edition forms an important contribution to our understanding of Anglo-Norman politics. (shrink)
The Significance of the New Logic, by QuineW. V.. Edited and translated by CarnielliWalter, Janssen-LauretFrederique, and PickeringWilliam. Introduced by the editors with a scholarly essay by Janssen-LauretFrederique. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pp. xxv + 217.
Summary This article re-examines the political thought of the neglected Fabian essayist and radical journalist William Clarke. Historians have differed over the relative importance of socialism and liberalism in Clarke's political thought. The argument is made here that the key to Clarke's thought lies in his moralised conception of democracy, rooted in his monist ontology. The further deepening of democracy was threatened for Clarke by developments in monopolistic capitalism and the related emergence of a new imperialism. Clarke's understanding of (...) democracy, rather than more overtly economic considerations, lies at the heart of his political religion, and links his views on domestic and foreign affairs. As befits a philosophical monist, his political thought reveals the limitations of established dichotomies for grasping the character of progressivism in late nineteenth and early twentieth century Britain. (shrink)
The view that properties have their causal powers essentially, which I will here call property essentialism, has advocates in Chris Swoyer, Sydney Shoemaker , Alan Chalmers , Brian Ellis  and Caroline Lierse , among a few other authors in recent literature. I am partial to this view as well and I will shortly explain the grounds I find compelling in favor of it. However, we will also see that the essentialist view of properties and laws does not adequately do (...) quite so much as might be hoped. Property essentialism has the straightforward result that at least causal laws are metaphysically necessary. A natural view of such laws is that they are analyses of the essential nature of basic properties in terms of their essential causal powers. Brian Ellis proposes that conservation laws and other laws that may not be exactly causal are best thought of as characterizing the essential properties of worlds. But this further essentialist thesis is not directly relevant to the issues I want to address here. (shrink)
This commentary proceeds as follows. First, it is argued from both ethical and legal perspectives through an analysis of Court precedents that Etzioni’s has improperly developed a too narrow First Amendment interpretation and conclusion that Apple should comply with the FBI’s demand to provide the FBI with a key to open iPhones. That is, broad First Amendment considerations and not solely narrow First Amendment “compelled speech” or only Fourth Amendment privacy issues are offered and analyzed from both ethical and legal (...) perspectives. A key point here is that broad First Amendment considerations protect, with exceptions, political and ethical discretion space for “Press” organizations to exercise, or not, ethical responsibilities, including rights to publish or not publish information and opinions, rather than compliance with government orders to publish or not publish. Further, Court cases are discussed from both legal and ethical perspectives where the Courts have established that social media organizations such as Facebook and Twitter do and should have broad First Amendment protection of free expression and peaceful assembly as traditional media such as newspapers have. It is suggested that Apple can and should be considered a social media organization. In addition, special First Amendment protection and limitations concerning national security are analyzed. Second, it is suggested that Etzioni’s point that Apple protected its clients soley for “business profitability” reasons is also a too narrow interpretation since there are more complex, mixed, and combined ethical and political-economic reasons for protecting clients and First Amendment protections. Third, the philosopher Paul Ricoeur’s ethics process responsibility framework concerning relationships between ethics and law and the need for an ethics responsibility rather than a compliance approach, which is similar to Brandeis’ legal ethics approach, is compared with and offered as an alternative to Etzioni’s compliance based “Liberal communitarian” approach. It is suggested that the difference between the Rocoeur and Etzioni approaches is similar to the difference between compliance and ethics responsibility process programs in organizations. (shrink)