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112 HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY recognised?" (p. 79). In discussing the Treatise theory of sympathy Roberts distinguishes a communicative and contrastive model; on the basis of Robert's remarks it emerges that by appealing alternately to either model Hume could make out practically any pertinent contention he chose. Roberts' criticism of the theory regards the lack of grounds for the claim that emotions as objects of ideas enjoy a unique status among all possible objects of ideas (inasmuch as they alone may be converted into impressions). He does not explore in detail the relations and contrasts between benevolence and sympathy nor does he offer an analysis of the extent of shift involved in the Enquiry presentation of sympathy and benevolence as more or less synonymous. I am inclined to question the inclusion of a discussion of the Treatise in this study. The early Hume does not have a great deal to say about benevolence, and at any rate what he does say is generally not original. Roberts' expanding the material with a discussion of sympathy is not particularly successful inasmuch as in Ethics and Sympathy Mercer has recently offered a superior analysis of the Treatise on that rubric. Furthermore, Hume's one interesting discussion of benevolence in the Treatise (Selby-Bigge, pp. 603-605) is not emphasized by Roberts. A more valuable inclusion would have been the Hume of the Enquiry or perhaps Thomas Reid. On the matter of benevolence the later Hume argues the thesis that benevolence is a fundamental presupposition of morality and develops it in the context of an approach unlike either the Treatise or anything in the previous tradition of the discussion of benevolence. On the other hand, Reid's treatment of benevolence in the Essays on the Active Powers is clearer, more systematic and comprehensive, and generally superior to the Treatise. Reid seems sharper than Smith and Hume on the relationships between benevolence and sympathy, clearer than Butler on extensive benevolence ("Public Spirit"), and more insightful than Hutcheson on the connection between benevolence and morality. In my judgment The Concept ol Benevolence would have been improved by substituting a discussion of Reid for that of the Treatise. In the Conclusion Roberts points out that the modern rejection of Cartesian and Lockcan subjectivism undermines the common epistemological presuppositions of Hutcheson, Butler and Hume, but his earlier analysis had not made it clear to what extent and in what particulars the thought of each was nondetachably determined by those presuppositions. In a final observation he comments that "the question whether it is possible to act benevolently towards persons for whom we can feel no affection leads one to challenge the central assumption of eighteenth-century moral philosophy, namely that benevolence is an emotion" (p. 111). The appeal of The Concept o/Benevolence lies in the conveying of information about Hutcheson, Butler and I-Iume, rather than in novel historical interpretations or distinctive moral insights. Though avowedly not an historical study, Roberts sees his theme as historical enough that he may just present three theories of benevolence (together with their errors and shortcomings) without having himself to synhesize them or to offer the reader a sounder theory of benevolence. It is this ambiguity between a genuinely historical study and a contemporary investigation in moral philosophy that seems the major flaw in The Concept o/Benevolence. JAMES KING Northern Illinois University The Kant-Eberhard Controversy. By Henry E. Allison. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1973. Pp. 186. $8.50) Professor Allison's rather short volume contains much valuable material: (1) a translation of Kant's On a Discovery According to which Any New Critique of Pure Reason Has Been Made Superfluous by an Old One, relevant selections from Kant's correspondence BOOK REVIEWS 113 and Schulze's review of some passages written by Eberhard and Maass in the Philosophisches Magazin; (2) a brief but comprehensive introduction into the version of the Leibnizio -Wolfian metaphysics and epistemology espoused by Eberhard; (3) an analysis of Kant's response to the criticisms of the critical philosophy from that point of view; and finally (4) a commentary on some of the major issues of the Analytic of the first Critique, namely, the analytic-synthetic...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
pp. 112-115
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-01
Open Access
No
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