Review of Metaphysics 22 (2):384-385 (1968)

Pranger directs his attention to the everyday experience of citizens, including their Angst, their estrangement, and other existential phenomena, and extrapolates from them a political theory which will integrate the private and public dimensions of individual lives, and which will take into account the multiple political settings and allegiances within the overall national community. First, he explores the institutional setting of the citizen in which the citizen is seen as the player of a particular status role. Next he looks at the category of action where citizen action is seen as basically anonymous, with its outcome ever unpredictable, a fact which Pranger feels any philosophy of government must take into account. By far the strongest chapter is the one on Symbolism and Attitude in which Pranger forges a theory of the relation between public and private and of the citizens' individual and collective symbolic construction of reality. The final chapter explores modern man's anomie, his Wendung, and his uprootedness, as a dimension of political reality. Pranger insists that modern striving for order must take seriously the disorder, confusion, and ambiguity in the daily lives of each individual citizen. Unfortunately Pranger's erudition and insistence on alluding to the work of others renders the book diffuse, his thesis elusive. This is especially unfortunate in light of the fact that he is at his best when he puts his note cards aside and speculates on his own.--S. O. H.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0034-6632
DOI revmetaph1968222241
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