Ontology was never Hume's main interest, but he certainly had opinions as to what there is, and he often expressed these in his philosophical works. Indeed it seems clear that Hume changed his ontological views while writing the Treatise , and that not just one but two different ontologies are to be found there. The ontology of Parts I, II, and III of Book I is more or less Lockean. There are minds and their operations and qualities. There are physical (...) entities, bodily actions and qualities if not bodies over and above these. And there are further entities, called ideas by Locke and perceptions by Hume, that represent things other than themselves, both physical and mental, while existing in and being dependent upon minds. In Part IV of Book I, however, and especially in Sections 2 and 6, a new ontology appears, one that differs not only from the doctrine of the earlier sections of the Treatise but also from any that previous philosophers had held. According to this new ontology, there are only perceptions: all other sorts of things are absorbed by or reduced to these, or else simply eliminated. Berkeley had indeed assimilated bodies and the properties of bodies to perceptions, but he had kept minds as a distinct category of entity. Hume went the whole way, making everything perceptions. We might characterise this new ontology as trans-Berkeleyan, or call it, on account of its similarity to later doctrines so named, phenomenalism or neutral monism. (shrink)
Eleven essays, on a variety of topics, most of them first given as lectures or published in periodicals and Festschriften. This is "late" Heidegger --alternately brilliant and mystifying, provocative and exasperating, at least to the uninitiated. Perhaps the best pieces in the book are the three which discuss passages in pre-Socratic philosophers--here, familiar texts are given fresh, if unorthodox, interpretations, and are made to suggest philosophical conclusions of remarkable subtlety and scope. --V. C. C.
In this paper, I argue that scholars such as John Braithwaite and Lode Walgrave rely on fictions when presenting their utopian vision of restorative justice. Three claims in particular are shown to be fictitious. Proponents of restorative justice maintain, first, that the offender and the victim voluntarily attend the restorative conference. Second, that the restorative conference enables the offender and the victim to take on active responsibility. Third, that the reparatory tasks on which the parties agree should not be understood (...) in terms of the intentional infliction of harm. These fictions, so I argue, are not merely a mistake, but instead serve an important function: the various parties need to believe that they adequately capture the reality of the restorative conference as they are more likely to acquiesce if they believe the fictions to be true. I conclude that the fictions are the driving force within the restorative endeavour. (shrink)
The Essay concerning Human Understanding was published at the end of 1689.1 It sold well, and within three years Locke was planning revisions for a second edition. Among those whose “advice and assistance” he sought was the Irish scientist William Molyneux. Locke had begun a correspondence with Molyneux a few months before, after the latter had lavishly praised the Essay and its author in the Epistle Dedicatory of his own Dioptrica Nova, published early in 1692. Here was a man, Locke (...) concluded, whose judgment one could trust. He returned Molyneux’s compliment in the Essay’s new edition, calling him “that very Ingenious and Studious promoter of real Knowledge, ... whom I am proud to call my friend”. (shrink)
Reprints a useful, non-technical statement of Reichenbach's mature thought, combining an unconvincing survey of speculative philosophy and its "failure," with a concise account of the results of a philosophy carried out "scientifically." The original appeared in 1951.--V. C. C.
A survey of the practices and problems of American teachers of philosophy, based upon nearly 350 answers to a comprehensive questionnaire covering courses, curriculum problems, class preparation, grading, professional ethics, and advancement. The report is liberally sprinkled with direct quotations.--V. C. C.
A reprint, in two paper-bound volumes, of a standard student text, first published in 1934. The new edition is both cheaper and easier to handle than the original, and thus is even better suited to student use.--V. C. C.
An examination of the role of the humanities in American college education, carried out with vigor and sound common sense. Mr. Greene's conclusions are familiar but not commonplace, and his defense of them is eloquent. --V. C. C.
An English version of a work which has attracted wide attention since its publication in France some 15 years ago. It represents an effort to face and to resolve a problem implicit in much so-called "existential" thinking and writing, the problem of suicide: does not the existential recognition of the absurdity of life compel one to leave it? M. Camus' argument is often hard to follow, but his answer is plain: suicide is not justified, even though absurdity is inevitable; the (...) proper response to absurdity, indeed, is just the affirmation of life. We must, like Sisyphus, continue to struggle, even though the struggle nought availeth; "One must," concludes M. Camus, "imagine Sisyphus happy." The five short pieces which accompany the title essay in this volume include some examples of what M. Camus probably does best--intense evocations of the North African landscape and mood.--V. C. C. (shrink)
A reprint, intended for student use. Despite the repudiation by some of the contributors of their articles after editing, the work as a whole has some value, and some of the pieces are distinguished.--V. C. C.
The original French edition of this book has won a number of literary prizes, and been extravagantly praised. Its theme is man's changing conceptions of, and attitudes towards, time and the experience of time in its various aspects, as revealed in the writings of French poets, essayists, dramatists, and novelists from Montaigne to Proust. M. Poulet's analyses are imaginative and subtle, and his transitions from point to point are often breathtaking in their brilliance; the book's scope and sweep, too, are (...) impressive, as an author or age is summarized in a few terse yet highly packed phrases. Prosaically-minded philosophers interested in conceptual clarity may find such phrases difficult to unpack, but the book's literary virtues outweigh its purely philosophical deficiencies; as a piece of literary literary criticism its impact is considerable. --V. C. C. (shrink)
An extended polemic, couched in familiar and fairly naive terms, against "faith, myth and superstition." Chance, the author argues, and the physical processes of which it is the dominant feature, form "the guiding principle for our lives."--V. C. C.
Two-thirds of this book are devoted to an examination of the variants in "the" Christian attitude towards sex, from the "essentially positive" Biblical view, through its replacement by the negative views of the early Church Fathers, influenced by Hellenistic dualisms, to the positions of certain contemporary theologians, both Catholic and Protestant. The book's concluding section makes a strong case against the rigidity and artificiality of much modern theological thinking about sex, and urges, on the basis of the discoveries of psychoanalysts (...) as well as of good sense, a return to a naturalism more in keeping with the Biblical spirit. Mr. Cole's writing is graceful and sensitive, his points generally sound and well taken, and his arguments compelling. --V. C. C. (shrink)
The first English translation of one of Berdyaev's earliest works, but one which he himself regarded as containing in germ the philosophical ideas fundamental to his later thinking. It begins by defining philosophy as "a creative activity," and goes on to develop the central notion of creativity with reference to Redemption, Being, Freedom, Sex, Morals, Society, Mysticism, etc. The writing itself is "creative" rather than "systematic"; though always stimulating, its enthusiasm sometimes makes the argument hard to follow. The translation is (...) smooth and readable.--V. C. C. (shrink)
Eight short papers, semi-popular in intent, surveying British philosophy from Bradley, through Russell, Moore, and Wittgenstein, to the contemporary analysis of Ryle and Austin. Coverage is spotty, and some of the treatments are so brief and sketchy as to be of dubious value. Ryle's introduction, however, and concluding papers by Strawson and Warnock are both pleasant and instructive.--V. C. C.
Five essays, all of them previously published in English but here brought together for the first time, consisting of delightfully overstated--and therefore highly stimulating--observations on art and letters.--V. C. C.
An attempt to account for the shift in Plato's ethical views from the Socratic ideal of personal decision in the early Dialogues to the institutionalized morality of the Laws. The author's interpretations are fresh and illuminating, and his central thesis--that the shift in Plato's view is a function of a growing attention to the conditions, social and natural, imposed upon moral man by the actual world--is well-supported. One of the best features of Mr. Gould's work is his attempt to recover (...) something like the original senses of crucial Platonic terms. He is able to make much better sense of the Socratic "virtue is knowledge," for example, by interpreting, with considerable justification, ἐπιστήμη as technique rather than science, as a species of "knowing how" rather than of "knowing that."--V. C. C. (shrink)
An attempt to discover the most fundamental "logical" categories or principles of unity which lie at the basis and determine the structure of all reality. The three central principles or categories are "Wissen," "Wollen," and "Ichheit," from which it is clear that reality has a personal basis and that its fundamental structure is that of a self or person. The presentation is highly compressed and often obscure, but there is much in it that is suggestive.--V. C. C.
A collection of essays, German and English, including some not previously published. There are papers on ancient, medieval and modern philosophy as well as a number dealing with problems of contemporary interest, especially in the philosophy of religion. Frank's general position is strongly reminiscent of that of the Existenz philosophers who were his friends, and whom he influenced. A long "Appreciation" by the editor describes Frank's achievement and relates it to the milieu, intellectual and personal, out of which it grew.--V. (...) C. C. (shrink)
A hard-cover reprint of Royce's "Essay in the Form of Lectures." Royce discusses modern philosophy both historically, by describing the views of some of its chief figures--mainly Germans of the nineteenth century--and systematically, in terms of some of its central ideas--e.g., evolution, freedom, and the reality-ideality dichotomy. The result is both a survey of modern thought and an introduction to the thought of Royce.--V. C. C.
The essays which comprise this book represent a series of earnest attempts to understand the nature of metaphysical utterances, and to account for their "abiding fascination" for the human intellect. Arguing on the basis of the familiar distinction of the logical empiricists, the author maintains that metaphysical statements are neither empirical nor a priori; but neither are they, thereby, merely verbal or utterly nonsensical, as the older positivism held. They are, rather, "linguistic innovations," made for the ultimate purpose of satisfying (...) some unconscious need or desire. Metaphysical sentences actually denote "the unconscious contents of our minds," and the metaphysician's belief that he is announcing a theory about the world or reality is strictly an illusion, "produced by altering [at a pre-conscious level] the use of a word or expression." Professor Lazerowitz is somewhat limited in his understanding of metaphysics by his positivistic assumptions. Most metaphysicians would claim that they assert necessary propositions saying something about the real--including the empirical--world. Failure to recognize even the possibility of such propositions makes much of Professor Lazerowitz's account seem irrelevant to what practicing metaphysicians themselves understand of their task.--V. C. C. (shrink)
The author seeks, through an examination of the characters of Dostoevsky, to interpret the nature of man and his fate. A "Christian existentialist," he sees man's life as essentially tragic, torn between the "dialectical opposites," God and nature. Man's only hope for harmony and synthesis lies in the total "surrender of his autonomy to the demands of God." Sometimes obscure in meaning, the book contains nevertheless a number of interesting suggestions.--V. C. C.
An account, systematically presented, of Plato's views on the subjects covered in the author's earlier books-ethics, aesthetics and philosophy of education--with only passing mention of Platonic logic, epistemology and metaphysics. The Platonic views are set against the views of Plato's Greek predecessors, and a final chapter discusses "Plato and Modern Philosophy." Mr. Lodge writes engagingly, but somewhat informally too; his book is intended more as an essay in appreciation than as a work of philosophical interpretation.--V. C. C.
Alberti's Della pittura was the first, and in many ways the most important, of the Renaissance treatises on painting, elaborating as it does the theoretical backgrounds of the influential new art of 15th-century Florence. This edition presents the work with distinction. The translation--the first in English since 1755--is based upon the known manuscript sources, and has been provided with a helpful introduction and notes. Diagrams serve to clarify Alberti's accounts of perspective. --V. C. C.
A reprint edition of Russell's early work, based on his Cambridge dissertation, on the philosophical problems of geometry, first published in 1897. A helpful foreword by Morris Kline is new to this edition.--V. C. C.
A new collection of philosophical journal articles in the contemporary Oxford manner, at least the sixth such collection to appear in the last few years. The twelve papers in the present volume deal with subjects comprised by the Oxford "logic" examinations--e.g., meaning, explanation, validity, probability, and time. All are clear, calm, and careful, and all are illuminating, even if only over a small area. The collection's title is particularly apt; "conceptual analysis" surely better describes what the Oxford philosophers have actually (...) been doing than the imprecise and often misleading "analysis of language."--V. C. C. (shrink)
Attention has been drawn, particularly since Kant, to propositions which can not have negative instances. They used to be called a priori, axioms, first principles. Today, they are usually called postulates—C. I. Lewis uses both the old and new terminology—because there is a growing recognition of the fact that at least some of them are not “necessary” in the traditional sense. Kant placed a limitation on the apriorism of the continental rationalists. Current epistemologists and logicians have outstripped Kant in the (...) direction signalled by him. Both he and they, however, concur in the opinion that apriori propositions are subject to negation of a sort. The Kantian dinge-an-sich, though they can not contradict these propositions by being negative instances of them, do nevertheless stand to them in the relation of insubordination, thereby exerting on them a “negative action” of a sort. And, according to current views, there are instances which, though they fall outside the range of significance of a proposition or system and hence can not contradict it, do nevertheless tend to bring about a revision of it by a negative action of some sort. The purpose of this brief essay is to coin a convenient name for such instances and to describe certain properties of their peculiar negative action. (shrink)