Zur Metaphysik des Muttertums [Book Review]

Review of Metaphysics 20 (1):160-160 (1966)
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These intentionally loose reflections on the different aspects of motherhood certainly give food for sustained thought; but they fall short of being the promised metaphysics. It is strange that no one has ever tried to write a philosophical monograph on motherhood before, even though the subject is "in the air." Schapp, by making use of historical, sociological, and psychological observations limited to Western cultures, gives an unpretentious yet insightful sketch for a more definitive work which remains to be written. The most interesting part of the book is the author's attempt to show that fatherhood is historically posterior to and metaphysically dependent upon motherhood. However, this alleged metaphysical dependence is not demonstrated conceptually and the reader is tempted to conclude that even the contemporary evolution of the role of the woman in marriage and the family might not fully fit into what the author supposes to be the temporally unfolding yet eternal essence of motherhood.—M. J. V.



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