In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

BOOK REVIEWS 359 Steintrager points out that Bentham did not believe that there would be no difficulty in determining the social results of legislative deeds, particularly when the latter would involve very many citizens. Bentham stressed that governance and law-making should properly be in the hands of the technically qualified and not untrained individuals, notwithstanding his strong advocacy of the public accountability of the governors to the governed as the one guarantee of the governors' integrity. In addition, Steintrager virtually disproves the long-standing view that Bentham was uninterested in (or was opposed to) ideas of personal freedom. Steintrager's labors on the unpublished material reveal that Bentham was concerned that the force of mass ignorance would result in interventions in matters that should not suffer same, since quite apart from other considerations, the social good would not be assisted by such interventions. There are places in the book, however , where the author has, doubtless for reasons of space limitation, given the reader an account of Bentham which is inadequate for Steintrager's own purposes. The book is especially deficient, but not unique, in its treatment of Bentham's thoughts on legal conduct; these appeared from time to time over roughly the middle generation of his life. A more comprehensive treatment of these pieces would have added considerably to Steintrager's account of Bentham's turning to a more militant outlook, for the legal system and its practitioners exercised considerable sway over British politics in these years. A more general criticism is that the author makes the course of his subject's intellectual progress a little too neat and dear, by failing to deal at all with his ethics after the first chapter. This gives the impression that, once Bentham passed beyond a certain age, he ceased to be interested in ethics and was preoccupied exclusively with politics. As a general sketch, this is accurate enough, but it ignores his by no means insignificant, mature moral philosophy in the Deontology. Of course, no work of less than 130 pages on Bentham's political thought could possibly be all-inclusive. I doubt that Steintrager's attempt will be bettered: it is strongly recommended to all teachers of Bentham's political philosophy. D. C. BAND Australian National University Hans-Georg Gadamer. Hegel's Dialectic: Five Hermeneutical Studies. Translated and with an introductionby P. Christopher Smith. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1976. Pp. xi + 118. $10.00. This English translation contains four of the five essays of the original German version bearing the same title (Tiibingen:Mohr, 1971). A fifth essay in the original, "Hegel und die Heidelberger Romantik," has been replaced by a more recent essay by Gadamer entitled "Hegel's Dialectic of Self-Consciousness," whose content is more in keeping with the theme announced by the title of the book. The publication of this collection follows hard upon the appearance of the long-awaited English translation of Gadamer's most important book, Truth and Method (New York: Seabury, 1975), which has been called "the classic text of modem hermeneutics" (Walter Schultz). It is a pity that that book is not as capable a translation as Smith has given us in this small collection, which demonstrates how Gadamer should be translated. In fact, the translation of Truth and Method will have to be redone, not only because of its clumsiness of style and its choice of key terms, but also because of massive errors in proofreading that approach catastrophic proportions. Perhaps Smith, who by and large has succeeded in his announced aim of rendering Gadamer into idiomatic English and thus has given us a translation more in keeping with Gadamer's own hermeneutic theories, might be recruited for this new task as well. 360 HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY The titles of the first four essays of this collection reflect well-glossed themes from the Hegelian opus: "Hegel and the Dialectic of the Ancient Philosophers," "Hegel's 'Inverted World'," "Hegel's Dialectic of Self-Consciousness," "The Idea of Hegel's Logic." What commends them to our attention is not so much the themes as the unique approach taken toward them. Gadamer is an experienced practitioner of the craft of phenomenology in...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 359-360
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.