In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:212 HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY with Gassendi and his studies on atomism. Yet Papi gives us very little which is not already generally known. There is but a mere hint of how atomistic philosophy was handled by the Aristotelians and to what extent they actually absorbed some of that tradition themselves. Nothing in detail is said of the process whereby atomistic and Platonic motives became coupled, not only by Bruno, (...) but by Ficino before and by Cudworth afterwards. On the credit side, however, the author does call attention to the commentary and paraphrase of Lucretius by Girolamo Frachetta of Rovigo (printed 1589), a work of some interest, which has been but little studied. Such rays of light are all too infrequent in this section and Papi is usually content to follow the conventional beaten path. For one to write a book on Bruno which breaks new ground is now difficult, for the field has been so thoroughly worked over. This one takes up a number of interesting themes found in Bruno's writings and sheds some light on them, but it seldom if ever says anything very different from the well-established tradition of Bruno scholarship in Italy which has produced so many mediocre books over the years. The specialist on Bruno and the sixteenth century will find little to detain him; the more casual reader could be ~rected to a number of superior treatments of various aspects of the Nolan's thought. In short, this study adds but little to what is already known. CHAm~V_SB. ScH~rrr University of Leeds Sir Walter Ralegh dcrivain, l'~uvre et les iddes. By Pierre Lefranc. (Qutbec: Les Presses de l'Universit~ Laval, 1968. Pp. 733. $19.50) This excellent study, the fruit of more than a dozen years of research, throws much light on Ralegh's thought and literary achievement. Lefranc has examined the manuscript sources, and unearthed quite a few new ones, and has patiently, carefully, and with much detective work, established what is no doubt the best available hypothesis of what is authentic among Ralegh's purported prose and poetic writings, and the date and circumstances of their composition. He has analyzed them in the context of Ralegh's carver, and has developed an exciting and rich interpretation of his political, philosophical and religious ideas. Ralegh's role in intellectual history derives mainly from his reputation as a Machiavellian, as an atheist, and from his mammoth, "pious," much-read providential History of the World (written during his years as a prisoner in the Tower of London). Lefranc deftly sorts and weighs the evidence for the various views and attitudes attributed to Ralegh in his own day and by interpreters ever since, and emerges from this examination with a fresh and striking picture of one of the liveliest bridge figures between the Elizabethan Renaissance and the modern world. The establishment of the canon leads to discarding as not by Ralegh many writings that have previously been used in interpreting the courtier's views. Three philosophical works which have played a role in twentieth-century interpretation, "A Treatise of the Soule," "The Prince, or Maxims of State" and "The Sceptick" are shown to be doubtful to a greater or lesser degree. "The Sceptick," which Strathmann (Sir Walter Ralegh,,4 Study in Elizabethan Skepticism, New York, 1951) had used to interpret Ralegh as a sceptical-Christian fideist, had been questioned earlier by Lefranc, Sprott, and myself. It is just a translation of portions of Book I of Sextus F_znpiricus' Outlinea of Pyrrhonism, and contains no connection with Ralegh, except that it was BOOK REVIEWS 213 published in his literary remains in 1651. Lefranc now, examining the evidence of the four manuscripts that have been discovered, concludes that it was a part of Ralegh's documentation when he was doing his research, but that 'Tattribution de 'The Sceptick' Ralegh lui-m~me ne repose sur rien" (p. 67). With the canon shorn of the dubious items, Lefranc proceeds to unfold a picture of Ralegh's intellectual world. As a practical statesman, buccaneer and explorer, Ralegh had a view of the role England should play vis-,'t-vis Spain and the New World that contained... (shrink)
Called “the most important critic of his time” by Hannah Arendt, Walter Benjamin has only become more influential over the years, as his work has assumed a crucial place in current debates over the interactions of art, culture, and meaning. A “natural and extraordinary talent for letter writing was one of the most captivating facets of his nature,” writes Gershom Scholem in his Foreword to this volume; and Benjamin's correspondence reveals the evolution of some of his most powerful ideas, (...) while also offering an intimate picture of Benjamin himself and the times in which he lived. Writing at length to Scholem and Theodor Adorno, and exchanging letters with Rainer Maria Rilke, Hannah Arendt, Max Brod, and Bertolt Brecht, Benjamin elaborates on his ideas about metaphor and language. He reflects on literary figures from Kafka to Karl Kraus, and expounds his personal attitudes toward such subjects as Marxism and French national character. Providing an indispensable tool for any scholar wrestling with Benjamin’s work, The Correspondence of Walter Benjamin, 1910–1940 is a revelatory look at the man behind much of the twentieth century’s most significant criticism. (shrink)
The essays compiled in this book explore aspects of Walter Benjamin's discourse that have contributed to the formation of contemporary architectural theories. Issues such as technology and history have been considered central to the very modernity of architecture, but Benjamin's reflection on these subjects has elevated the discussion to a critical level. The contributors in this book consider Walter Benjamin's ideas in the context of digitalization of architecture where it is the very technique itself that determines the processes (...) of design and the final form. This book was published as a special issue of Architectural Theory Review. (shrink)
[opening paragraph]: Walter Freeman discusses with Jean Burns some of the issues relating to consciousness in his recent book. Burns: To understand consciousness we need know its relationship to the brain, and to do that we need to know how the brain processes information. A lot of people think of brain processing in terms of individual neurons, and you're saying that brain processing should be understood in terms of dynamical states of populations?
This selection of correspondence written by the man who was America's political conscience spans the years from 1907 to 1969 and includes letters to President Frankin D. Roosevelt and responses to inquisitive graduate students.
[The following notes, from a MS. of Headlam's, now published by permission of the Syndics of the Cambridge University Press, give the substance of a lecture which Headlam delivered in Cambridge but did not publish, though some account of it is given in the memoir by Mr. Cecil Headlam . A few verbal alterations have been made for the sake of clearness and some references added.—GEORGE THOMSON].
There has been a great deal of talk recently among historians of Christian reflection about the problem and the possibility of a ‘plurality of theologies’. Directives from such eminent spokesmen as Karl Rahner have underscored the need for a rationale by which to demonstrate that the presence of different orientations does not necessarily violate the unitary character of a Christian tradition. Other Catholic thinkers have offered arguments for ascribing a relative status to the ‘Thomistic style’ of theology, and cases have (...) been made for the inclusion of additional schematic frameworks. Beyond all of this, there are elegant suggestions in the writings of Bernard Lonergan that there is sufficient theoretical, even metaphysical, basis to justify plurality in theology. The claim would seem to be that different theological orientations are expressive of distinct fields of vision which are not necessarily mutually exclusive. (shrink)
This book provides a comprehensive investigation into Hans Morgenthau's life and work. Identifying power, knowledge, and dissent as the fundamental principles that have informed his worldview, this book argues that Morgenthau's lasting contribution to the discipline of International Relations is the human condition of politics.