Its wisdom and sensitivity make Personal Knowledge required reading for epistemologists. By stressing the active components in scientific knowing--appraisal and commitment--Polanyi shows that knowledge is less "objective," more complex, and more widely distributed in nature than is tacitly supposed by most epistemologies. Knowing implies a foundation in skills, a confidence in one's ability to judge beyond the range of well-formulated rules, and a commitment to the existence of an answer to one's questions before the answer is in sight. Like a (...) Platonic dialogue, this book conveys more than it states, and the broad foundation of insight embodied in the examples would support more conceptual superstructure than Polanyi provides. But that serves to make it an instance of its thesis--that we know more than we can now say.--R. F. T. (shrink)
Windelband's History, the most popular of the manuals at the turn of the century, is reprinted in the Harper edition, while the Dover reprints the considerably expanded version of part of the History's first volume which appeared in Iwan Müller's Handbuch der klassischen Altertumswissenschaft. The Harper edition is more smoothly translated, and the pages are better designed, while the Dover is better bound and somewhat more detailed. Both are rather wooden, and the bibliographies are badly out of date, but on (...) the other hand they have never been really adequately replaced. --R. F. T. (shrink)
Background: Informed consent is regarded as a contract between autonomous and equal parties and requires the elements of information disclosure, understanding, voluntariness and consent. The validity of informed consent for critically ill patients has been questioned. Little is known about how these patients experience the process of consent.Objective: The aim of this study was to explore critically ill patients’ experience with the principle of informed consent in a clinical trial and their ability to give valid informed consent.Design: 11 stroke patients (...) who had been informed about thrombolytic treatment and had been through the process of deciding whether or not to participate in a thrombolysis trial went through repeated qualitative semistructured interviews.Results: None of the patients had any clear understanding of the purpose of the trial. Neither did they understand the principles of randomisation and voluntariness. Reasons for giving or not giving consent were trust, conceptions of benefits and risks and altruism. Several patients found it immoral to involve patients in the consent procedure and argued that this was the doctors’ responsibility. Others argued that it is a duty to question patients and perceived it as a sign of being treated with respect and dignity. A majority of the patients found the consent process vague and ambiguous.Conclusions: The results indicate that the principle of informed consent from critically ill patients cannot be seen as a contract between equal and autonomous parties. Further studies are needed to explore critically ill patients’ experiences with the process of informed consent. (shrink)
Bracken finds that the Principles was very inadequately reviewed in the first instance, and that excerpts from it in Chambers' Encyclopedia may have furnished the source for a number of later attacks on Berkeley.--R. F. T.
While claiming merit primarily for pedagogical clarity and usefulness, this exposition of St. Thomas' opinions on knowledge and truth also tries to delineate the boundary between neo-scholastic, and Cartesian and Kantian epistemology.--R. F. T.
Burke and his predecessors seem to be most before the mind of the editor in his long introduction to this standard eighteenth-century work: he traces the growth of Burke's ideas on art and compares them with contemporary investigations. The sections examining the doctrines themselves are somewhat vague, and those tracing the philosophical reaction to Burke rather too short; however the study of Burke's influence on artists is fascinating reading. The text is done with care, and the footnotes include excerpts from (...) the reviews of the Enguiry's first edition where these seem to have guided Burke's revisions.--R. F. T. (shrink)
The Bahá'i faith, a savior religion incorporating beliefs of most of the world religions, was founded in Persia in the 19th century. Ferraby gives a clear and readable exposition of its tenets.--R. F. T.
A text for an undergraduate problems course placing special emphasis on a wide selection of texts for students to evaluate: in a treatment of teleological ethics the authors include Nietzsche, R. B. Perry and G. E. Moore; the section on political philosophy presents a range of authors from Mill to Mussolini. Perhaps its chief virtue is that it relies almost exclusively on modern writers and yet manages not to be parochial.--R.F.T.
The manifest destiny of Israel runs through this uncritical, popular history like the manifest destiny of the sheriff through a Western movie, and the Israeli-Arab dispute is traced back ultimately to the characters of Jacob and Esau.--R. F. T.
A mathematical theory of society, built around a concept of quanta of human energy, and applied in support of a social order combining capitalist and feudal features. "For those impatient of minute analysis," the jacket assures us, "the first 80 pages or more can be read lightly..."; to those impatient for such analysis, this is good advice regarding the whole book. --R. F. T.
A warm portrait of Gilson as historian, educator, and Thomist drawn from his own writings and lectures. The selection is well made and includes several pieces previously unpublished in English; Pegis contributes an introduction in which he explores Gilson's attitude toward Christian philosophy and the Middle Ages.--R. F. T.
In this revised edition of his 1934 work, Kraft takes up the themes of authority and scientific method, concluding that the Geisteswissenschaften are not a homogeneous group and hence have no single method or principles.--R. F. T.
Working within the framework of Ryle's "knowing how-knowing that" distinction, Hartland-Swann argues that all knowing involves a decision and that "knowing that" is a special case of "knowing how": knowing how to say what is the case.--R. F. T.
Although nominally concerned to rethink the pre-Aristotelian positions on space and time, this work actually pays little attention to the texts, striking out on its own line in the tradition of Heidegger.--R. F. T.
A reprint of the 1901 first edition. Albée's history traces two phases of Utilitarianism: "First, the gradual development of the theory in the direction of formal consistency down to about the beginning of the nineteenth century; and secondly, the later development, often at the expense of formal consistency, but always in the direction of doing justice to the concrete moral ideals which had been partly lost sight of in the earlier, more abstract form of the theory". The school is traced (...) from Cumberland to Sidgwick.--R. F. T. (shrink)
The editor's historical and critical introduction to the Letter is quite good--particularly for readers unfamiliar with British politics of the period. German and English texts are printed on facing pages.--R. F. T.
Commenting on the passage in Revelation which says that the people would have the Father's name written on their foreheads, Chapman writes, "The pineal gland, situated about the middle of the head is the 'spiritual gland,' the gland which connects the focalization of the outer, human consciousness with Father-Consciousness."--R. F. T.
An introductory text which relies on the intrinsic excellence of short pieces. Husserl, Bergson, Whitehead, Quine, Lewis, Tillich, Scheler, and Sartre are represented by ten-to-fifteen-page excerpts or articles.--R. F. T.
Written in the genre of Windleband's histories, this text is designed for use in a course in which the students have little or no access to primary sources, or as a reference work. The translation is rather less ponderous than the original, and its supplementary readings have been altered for American students.--R. F. T.
After pointing out that Augustine's appreciation of Aristotle is narrowly limited by the former's religious interests, Mr. Schneider argues that in the realms in which their interests overlapp--theology and psychology--Augustine may be fruitfully regarded as carrying to completion the principle lines of Aristotle's analysis, and that this is due to a common basic interest in and body of opinion on ontology.--R. F. T.
Basson's introduction to Hume follows the pattern which has led to successful treatments of Aquinas and Kant in this series: he limits himself almost exclusively to exposition and minimal criticism, apparently assuming that the reader will not be able to obtain or to follow the original text.--R. F. T.
"I...brought out my wife to see this silhouette... made on the clean concrete by the oil dropping out of the engine... and we all remarked that this was 'the Christ'." But when the newspapers took their pictures, Mr. Baillie remarked it was a pity that the picture had not been taken the day before, when it had been so perfect.--R. F. T.
This spirited work is better Milton than ontology, cosmology and physics. Milton drew on many sources for the cosmic imagery of Paradise Lost, but he did not unite the traditions thoroughly. Curry is rather too kind to Milton, calling him syncretic when he is merely eclectic.--R.F.T.
This pioneer work in comparative political analysis manifests once more the growing influence of behavioral approaches on the study of politics. In this case the general topic is the voting pattern of justices on the highest courts of several Pacific nations and India. Various heuristic and explanatory models are employed to determine the influence of such variables as age, culture, and political orientation on the adjudicative behavior of these men over a determinate period. Although the articles by twelve different authors (...) are not all of the same analytic caliber as those contributed by the editors themselves, they collectively offer an insight into the possibilities as well as into the pitfalls of behavioral studies of the judiciary. As the editors note, such a work is necessarily hypothetical and exploratory, raising more questions than it answers. Philosophers will be interested mainly in the methodological problems of concept formation and explanation which this book raises and seeks to resolve. The article by Edward J. Weissman, "Mathematical Theory and Dynamic Models," is particularly valuable from that point of view. Moreover, by classifying and comparing the other contributions to this volume, Weissman's article furnishes a certain unity which the book as a whole sorely lacks. Geared primarily for those who are familiar with such techniques as smallest-space analysis and the use of recursive causal models, this work nevertheless can be read with profit by social philosophers, philosophers of law and those interested in general questions of methodology.--T. R. F. (shrink)
The sub-title, "Essays on the Common-sense Background of Philosophy," gives a clear picture of this prolix work: it is episodic and common-sensical. But the episodes do not seem to be chosen with a single effect in mind, and the common-sense serves not as a ground for dialectical argument against the philosophers but as just one more philosophy.--R. F. T..
In this group of well-written essays Randall discusses explicitly the group of ideas which have been implicit in his earlier works in intellectual history. The first section, which deals with the philosophy of history, argues that particular things have particular histories, and that these histories belong to them on the basis of what they are taken to be and expected to become. The metaphysics of the second section is a pluralistic analysis of actual experience and its symbolic representation.--R. F. T.
Based largely on popular scientific, psychological, and anthropological material, this essay attempts to unify the facts of experience and morality in terms of an underlying spiritual medium. This medium is variously identified with God, pure consciousness, and Brahman.--R. F. T.
This is one of the best written and most comprehensive studies of the development of Sartre’s thought yet to appear in English, which is not to say that it covers every facet of his variegated career. Written by the former editor of Yale French Studies and current chairman of the Department of Romance Languages at Wesleyan University, Connecticut, it emphasizes Sartre’s literary works and thus belongs most properly in the category of literary criticism or the history of ideas. Still, McMahon (...) does not ignore Sartre’s philosophical writings. Indeed, he gives particular attention to The Critique of Dialectical Reason, a volume often avoided by authors who approach Sartre from a literary tradition. But the philosophic sources are usually consulted to explain or illustrate the literary, which provide the object of the author’s prime concern. McMahon underscores three concepts which measure Sartre’s intellectual growth, viz., freedom, love, and history. Regarding freedom, Sartre has "completed" the unfinished analyses of Being and Nothingness with their excessive individualism by his growing awareness that freedom is more than the ability to say "No" to the Other; it has a positive content and requires collective action to be maintained. Likewise, love is now conceived as a bond of promises which envisages the achievement of common projects. McMahon labels this rather cold-blooded concept "pragmatic love." Finally, history, which emerges as Sartre’s absolute, is now understood as a force conditioning men and limiting the availability of their choices. Sartre has come under the sway of Engels’ dictum: "Men make their history themselves, but they make it within a given milieu which conditions them." Sartre relies heavily upon the power of dialectic to keep individual choice afloat in a sea of historical forces. Whether or not he succeeds is a current question. McMahon believes that he does not. Because what he calls the "shift of emphasis" in Sartre’s thought from the individual to the social involves a growing interest in the sciences humaines, McMahon’s failure to consider Sartre’s political writings at any length is the chief disappointment of this excellent study. And then there is that stepchild of Sartriana, Existentialism is a Humanism. Following Cumming and others, McMahon chooses to ignore this essay, probably because Sartre himself has repudiated it. But if anyone is to portray Sartre "warts and all," and McMahon does not hesitate to expose the blemishes, then the reckless and inconsistent statements of this short lecture are most revealing. They indicate the freewheeling motions of a "shift" underway. Each chapter is followed by a short but helpful discussion of related themes and works. To capture the world of Jean-Paul Sartre is a most ambitious project. McMahon has met this challenge with insight and style.—T. R. F. (shrink)
Although the number of articles on Sartre’s aesthetic is great, book-length treatments of the subject in any language are rare. In English, we have been practically limited to Eugene Kaelin’s important study of Sartre and Merleau-Ponty published ten years ago. This work by George Bauer provides a valuable complement to Kaelin’s theoretical analysis. The book consists of seven chapters and an appendix which treat of Sartre’s pronouncements on art and the artist as expressed in his novels and plays as well (...) as in his art and literary criticism, genre by genre and artist by artist. Philosophically, the most interesting portion of the book is probably the introductory chapter presenting an eleven-page synopsis of the elements of Sartrean aesthetics: the separation of prose from poetry with its attendant problem of committed literature, the work of art as imaginary object, and the aesthetic significance of Sartre’s distinction between existence and being. It is this last element which Bauer exploits as he examines Sartre’s repeated strictures against artists who confuse the being of the art object with physical being or who flee the responsibility of human existence for some "project of being." If art is not "reality" for Sartre, neither is it a legitimate means of escape. Because his evaluations involve reference to content as well as form, Sartre’s criticism has assumed a sociopolitical posture from the very start. The overall impression left by Bauer’s work is that Sartre’s art criticism involves the often inconsistent application of relatively few criteria to quite select works of the artists in question in accord with a general theory of human freedom. Despite the occasional brilliance and unfailing intelligence of the judgments so produced, Sartre’s method leaves him vulnerable to the charge of unfairness and inadequacy. Readers desiring an extended analysis of Sartre’s general aesthetic theory will still find Kaelin’s book indispensable. Physically, this is a most attractive volume, featuring thirty-two prints as well as a Calder cartoon of Sartre on its cover.—T. R. F. (shrink)
The first volume of this French textbook series to appear in English. Gardeil's exposition is usually in the form of a paraphrase of Thomas' conclusions on questions raised by Aristotle's De Anima, but he also treats the more peculiarly thomistic problems of knowledge of individuals, the soul, and God. The Value of this work as an introduction to Thomas' psychology is enhanced by the inclusion of almost sixty pages of texts in an appendix.--R. F. T.
In this loosely organized study Hyma undertakes to correct almost every misstatement made about Luther in recent years. Although some of the individual items will be of interest to Luther specialists, the work as a whole makes no clear impression.--R. F. T.
Three things make Father Ong's work on the sixteenth-century dialectician Peter Ramus an important contribution to the history of logic and letters. First, he has prudently avoided the temptation to make Ramus a hero or villain and to evaluate his work on its logical merits. His treatment is therefore balanced and well-directed, for Ramus was neither a great thinker nor a great man. Ramus's reforms appear here as epiphenomena of the humanistic reform of pedagogy, and the connection between logic and (...) the demands of the university curriculum thus receives much needed attention. Finally, this book marks one of the first important attempts to apply the contrast between the personal communication through dialogue with the objective, impersonal conveying of information by the written word to the history of philosophy and the interpretation of the Renaissance.--R. F. T. (shrink)
Father Owens suggests the outlines of a renewed Thomist attack on the post-Cartesian metaphysical questions and positions which would take advantage of the "analogical," "Platonic" and "existentialist" interpretations of St. Thomas' thought.--R. F. T.
"Pure" capitalism is the remedy for the country's ills, Kelso holds. Its chief ingredients are distribution of the proceeds of labor according to ownership of the means of production, and a broadening of the ownership base.--R. F. T.
Sambursky, a physicist at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, sheds light on Greek thought from the perspective of modern science. Within its self-imposed limits, this is a first-rate exposition --clear, concise, and thorough. R. F. T.
Claudel's last work, J'aime la Bible is an appreciation of great feeling at its best and a kind of muddy carping with the Bible's detractors at its worst. The translation, by Wade Balkin, is idiomatic rather than poetic, and reads smoothly and easily.--R. F. T.
Bugbee's meditations remind one a great deal of Thoreau, with this difference, that the material which occupies his attention is not nature but philosophic thought experienced with unusual vividness. As contemplative writing, The Inward Morning deserves to be compared with the best, although often Bugbee's comments on the philosophers become so interesting that one's attention is taken from the point they were meant to illustrate. An appreciative introduction by Gabriel Marcel deals with the points of similarity between his and Bugbee's (...) thought and presents the themes of the book in essay form.--R. F. T. (shrink)
In preparing this second edition of his commentary, Weldon has left the historical sections materially unaltered but has almost tripled the critical treatment. This leads to a far more valuable book, particularly since he has replaced long summary passages with systematic treatment of the issues Kant raises.--R. F. T.
Why Christianity, with its conception of agapé was successful in winning the allegiance of the late Romans is the question which leads Ferguson to his examination of the Homeric virtues and the Stoic morality. He finds the classical virtues are incapable of "providing that basis for an universal morality for which people were seeking" because they were each linked to a vanished society or failed to reach to the heart of men's moral strivings. His analysis of the pagan virtues is (...) less than sympathetic, though thoughtful and based on considerable learning.--R. F. T. (shrink)
Taton's study is very poorly organized, aiming at no particular thesis. Nevertheless, the individual examples of reason and chance are intrinsically interesting, and many are made available for the first time in English.--R. F. T.