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BOOK REVIEWS 547 documentary historical worth. Wladyslaw Tatarkiewicz' article "Abstract Art and Philosophy " makes the very apposite observation that similar styles exist in abstract and in representational painting--for instance, impressionism and expressionism. The parallel between the painting of cubism (for example, Picasso) and the philosophy of Edmund Husserl drawn by Ksawery Piwocki, because Husserl and the cubists wanted to penetrate the "essence" of things, is rather arbitrary. The sociologist Stanislaw Ossowski is the author of a book At the Bases o/Aesthetics which is also excerpted here. Ossowski is an empiricist in aesthetics and follows primarily Kant and German psychological aesthetics of the nineteenth century. He sees the esscnse of the aesthetic experience in the carelessness of play (he says to enjoy the moment). A selection from the Aesthetic Studies of Roman Ingarden, the longest single item in the whole collection, deals with "truth in literature," i.e., with Ingarden's favorite assertion that statements in fiction are not true propositions but "quasi-propositions." But in this chapter he also treats the nature of lyric poetry which is not covered in his main aesthetic work, Das literarische Kunstwerk. Ingarden makes the important point that their aesthetic effect is rendered possible precisely because statements in fiction are quasi-propositions removed from reality. This theory is challenged however, by the article of Jerzy Pelc (Pelts), "Nominal Expressions and Literary Fiction," which asserts that propositions, or rather sentences, in fiction are mixed, the subjects belonging to the fictive world while the predicates usually belong to the real world. Logically this theory is superior to that of Ingarden but aesthetically it is sterile. Mieczyslaw Wallis discusses the role of signs in art. According to him some arts are signs, others are fixed by them and still others are reproduced by them. Without signs, i.e., writing, modern literature would be impossible as would European music without a written score. JerzyPelc, Stefan Morawski and Jan Bialostocki are the three authors of the post-World War II generation in this collection. All the others are much older or deceased. Bialostocki is an art historian and a follower of the school of Erwin Panofsky. Morawski is the only professional Marxist in the book; he deals with "Mimetism and Realism" and tries to assign a broader scope to realism than to mimetism--without giving examples of the two categories. In Wallis' article misprints abound. For example, the circle is given as a symbol of God's injustice instead of His justice, and so on. In Morawski's article a "writer of genius" is called a "genial writer," and in the article by Pelc there is an incorrect logical symbol. Despite these minor flaws, however, the material on the whole is very interesting; and each article is accompanied by a valuable biographical note. MAx RIESER New York City BOOK NOTES De Homine (Traitd de L'Homme). By Thomas Hobbes. Traduction et Commentaire par PaulMarie Maurin; Preface par Vasco Ronchi. Librairie Scientifique et Technique. (Paris: Albert Blanchard, 1974.Pp. 205. 30 Fr.) This first French translation of the complete De Homine, which has not been translated in its entirety into English, is useful, easier to read than the Latin original, and provided with copious notes and commentary by the translator. This work (part 3 of Hobbes's trilogy: De Corpore, De Cive, De Homine) was composed by him in his old age, when he was weary and ready, as he confessed , to lay down his pen. He devoted half of it to a Latin version of his early (1640) English 548 HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY essay on optics, the theory of vision more geometrico. This detailed treatise on the theory of vision is preceded in De Homine by a chapter on the circulation of the blood, and is followed by brief sketches based on his more detailed treatments in Leviathan on speech, passions, characters, habits and customs, religion (natural) and persons (including representation). With this hastily constructed sketch of human nature he put down his pen, writing to his patron that he had at last achieved his project. And, as Ronchi says in his Preface, "Apres quoi, Hobbes a pouss~ un soupir de soulagement." For the historian, the most valuable...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
pp. 547-549
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-01
Open Access
No
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