The Political Creature [Book Review]

Review of Metaphysics 22 (3):581-581 (1969)

Zollinger wants to show that Bohr's principle of complementarity is applicable to human social interaction as well as to the sub-atomic realm. He therefore spends much time laying the foundations of his thesis, explaining the principle in its microphysical context. The human socio-political matrix is not merely analogous to the microphysical realm, for Zollinger, but is an evolutionary extension of it. Both are subject to complementarity in differing degrees of complexity. From a discussion of the tiny organism, he moves through an account of primitive societies to a short review of the history of civilization to the present era. He toys with themes like male and female complementarity as a factor in human evolution. He describes the emergence of male characteristics from subordination to dominance, with the "new male" breaking the matriarchal order to build "the revolutionary rational order of dynamic political masculinity." His historical and anthropological accounts are on the whole superficial and stated in generalities that are long on speculation and short on research. Throughout, the book is plagued by obscurities caused by clumsy phrasing, private jargon, questions raised but not dealt with, and non sequiturs. Toward the end of the book, as he gets into the modern era, Zollinger finds himself in more familiar territory, and what he has to say is more solid than at the beginning. He suggests ways in which modern political man might better take into account the interdependency of the disparate elements of his society and integrate them into a whole of superior order. This is perhaps an important point, but here, as in other places in the book, the connection with Bohr is contrived, and Zollinger's model seems more properly to be Hegelian Aufhebung than Bohr's complementarity.--S. O. H.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0034-6632
DOI revmetaph196922363
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