The Methods of Contemporary Thought [Book Review]

Review of Metaphysics 20 (1):147-147 (1966)
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A compact, lucidly written book by a formal logician dealing with "the application of the laws of logic to various fields". After an introductory section in which the author fixes his terminology and clarifies the specific intent of the book, four "methods" are systematically discussed: the phenomenological, the semiotic, the axiomatic, and the reductive. According to Bochenski, the book is not intended to be philosophical in a primary sense. That is, the author is not himself immediately concerned with the justification of any one of the "methods." This does not mean, however, that the problems intrinsic to each of the "methods" are not pointed out, problems such as the possibility of carrying out a phenomenological reduction in the Husserlian sense, the difficulties in the semantic definition of truth, the significance of the relativity of systems of logic, and the justification of inductive procedures. In each case Bochenski mentions alternative solutions that have been suggested. The book is extremely helpful in spelling out the consequences involved in the choice of a particular problem. It should prove informative to philosophers regardless of their allegiance to any one of the four "methods" discussed by Bochenski.—L. W.



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