An elaborate epitomization of the thought of all the main philosophers, grouped according to the conventional "schools of thought." The scope of the undertaking in this introductory text is ambitious, though some may feel that its manner of categorizing philosophers tends to blur the line between epitome and caricature.—C. T. W.
In spite of its title, this volume sheds no new light on the debated problem of whether Peirce's ideas form, or can be reconstructed to form, an integrated and internally consistent system. The book, instead, avoids the problem entirely, the pith of its thesis about the unity of Peirce's philosophy being that, in various guises, the notion of Thirdness permeates his thought. Apparently, Haas thinks it evident that to point up the central role of this notion in each of Peirce's (...) subdivisions of philosophy—Phenomenology, Logic, and Metaphysics—is to show the unity of the philosophy as a whole. But he does not counter any specific charges brought against this claim of unity—though he mentions some of them—or even outline how the conception of law is to vindicate this claim. What he does do, following Peirce's three-fold division of philosophy, is to conduct a survey built around the Firstness-Secondness-Thirdness theme; and this exposition, though uncritical, is not lacking in care and subtlety, so that those looking for an overview of Peirce's thought can profit from the book.—C. T. W. (shrink)
Violent conflicts in emerging democracies or societies in transition threaten the stability of state governance institutions, which brings about insecurity of lives, property and deepens the vicious cycle of poverty and criminality in Africa. The first responsibility of any government is to provide security of lives and property. At no time since Nigeria’s civil war has the country witnessed the resurgence of violence and insecurity that claims hundreds of lives weekly. It is a sectarian insurgence of multiple dimensions. This article (...) makes the case that Boko Haram is not just a religious phenomenon but a reflection of a so- cio-political, economic and ethnic problem caused by bad governance. As a result, Boko Haram has witnessed a cross-border influence and impact which has expanded its frontiers beyondNigeriato neighboring countries in the West African region. The theoretical framework employed in this article posits that Boko Haram has its roots fundamentally in poverty caused by bad governance in the Northern Moslem bend, in Nigeria and the West African Region where corruption, human rights violations, marginalization of cultural, political and religious groups have created the situation whereby weak state structures have abysmally failed to deliver on the development promises made during elections. So the emergence of Nigeria’s Boko Haram violence, as a result of the street poverty and the rise of unemployed street beggars, popularly known as Almajiris, and their use for electoral and party violence, was encouraged by the neglect and abandonment of the masses by the governors and other elected leaders. The expansion and consolidation of the Boko Haram insurgence to other parts of the country and neighboring West African nations was made possible by the already existing failed state institutions, bad governance and corruption and the existing band of small criminal sectarian groups that depend upon their survival on aids from Al Quaeda, drug gangs and sea piracy. The religious dimension is a marginal factor fueled by fundamental socio-economic and political variables which have been thrown up in the first place by bad governance and leadership in Nigeria. (shrink)
This collection contains 34 essays, 23 of them previously published, written between 1939 and 1960. They are of varying lengths, generality, and polish; and they cover the wide range of Hall's philosophical interests from metaphilosophy and value theory—the subjects of his best known books—to the theory of perception and the inadequacies of the Oxford philosophy of a decade ago. For Hall the study of language was not a way of repudiating or avoiding the traditional translingual issues, but rather a method (...) for attacking them. One might say that like Leibniz, Kant, and the early Wittgenstein, in their different ways, Hall took "the general form of propositions" as a philosopher's key to the basic categories of reality. Because his idiom was unfashionable among metaphysicians and because his doctrines were alien to the so-called "analysts," his work has not been widely influential. But the many insights and suggestions in this book may yet be taken up. These essays illuminate Hall's books, What Is Value?, Our Knowledge of Fact and Value, and Philosophical Systems; and they also make up an important work on their own account.—C. T. W. (shrink)
There is little danger of praising this book too highly: not because it is the last word on the subject but hopefully because it is, in a very real sense, the first. For as convincingly as seems possible in a work of this scope, and in the face of a long and monolithic tradition to the contrary, Danto shows Nietzsche to have produced a profound philosophical system which is highly pertinent to current work in philosophy and in many respects in (...) clear anticipation of it. The exposition of this system so consistently and brilliantly illuminates its formerly obscure recesses that one can scarcely question whether Danto is on the right track. He argues cogently that Nietzsche's theory of truth is fictionalistic, perspectivistic, and pragmatic ; and upon this interpretation of the theory Danto constructs analytical accounts of Nietzsche's doctrines on psychology, morality, values, and religion, and on the widely misunderstood principle of the Will-to-Power. In the light of the volumes of commentary written on these topics, and in their own right, these accounts are superlatively clear and penetrating. Of whatever persuasion or purpose, future work on Nietzsche must take account of this book.—C. T. W. (shrink)
A paperback anthology in the Macmillan "Sources in Philosophy" series, this small volume should serve nicely to give beginning students such selected matter for their thought that, if diligent, they might after working through it tackle almost anything written on the subject. What's more, it promises to do this for a topic for which a spate of comparable texts do not already exist, namely, the metaphysics of the "Anglo-american" philosophical tradition. There are five essays on basic metaphysical "schools"—materialism, idealism, absolutism, (...) etc; six on basic metaphysical concepts—substance, universals, identity; and three on metaphysical meaning, judgments, and arguments. All but four of the essays were written after 1910. Baylis contributes a fine introduction.—C. T. W. (shrink)
Five essays, each on a different contemporary philosopher. Those on Franco Lombardi, Sartre, and Leszek Kolakowski and other present-day revisionist Marxists were presented at an American Philosophical Association symposium in 1961; the studies of Xavier Zubiri and Heidegger were added specially for this volume. In each case the authors endeavor to say something fresh and substantial; yet each piece is written in a clear and non-technical style. The anthology is therefore to be recommended to those new to the various "continental" (...) ways of doing philosophy, as well as to initiates.—C. T. W. (shrink)
Compiled in the twelfth century A.D. by Chu Hsi, leading exponent of Neo-Confucianism, with the assistance of Lü Tsu-Ch'ien, Chin-ssu Lu serves as a summary of, and introduction to, the vast literature of Neo-Confucian philosophy. Adding a more rational theoretical foundation and new methods of moral cultivation and study to traditional thought and practice, Neo-Confucianism has exercised great influence upon thought and social life in East Asia in the past six hundred years. As the classical statement of this philosophy, this (...) anthology brings together passages from Chou Tun-i, Ch'eng Hao and Ch'eng I, and Chang Tsai on the Way, Learning, and Self-improvement, as well as assessments of the character of Sages and Worthies; also included is a chapter on the doctrines of Buddhism and Taoism, pointing out ways in which they deviated from the Confucian Way. It is a very stimulating work; indeed almost every sentence has spark and substance. Although it has been widely studied by East Asian scholars, so far in the West there has been only the translation into German by Father Olaf Graf, now virtually unobtainable. With his mastery of Chinese philosophical literature, his industriousness in research and his augmentation of the text by generous quotations from the Chinese, Japanese, and Korean commentaries, the translator has achieved extraordinary success in making the English version even more comprehensible than the original Chinese.--T. S. C. (shrink)