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BOOK REVIEWS 549 Good Tidings. The Belie/in Progress #om Darwin to Marcuse. By Warren Wagar. (Bloomington : Indiana University Press, 1972. ix - 398. $I 1.50) The author surveys various types of literature, especially publications during the last onehundred years, in order to explore the grounds on which beliefs in progress or in decline are based. This exploration became increasingly complicated in post-Darwinian times, when the eighteenth-century belief in the perfectibility of man, and the romantic belief in nature as the source of inevitable development, gave way to the scientific concepts of evolution. It became increasingly evident that the belief in general progress had to face the growing disbelief in absolute value. Particular cases of specific kinds of progress---when b is better than a was---are subject to analysis as objects of knowledge; but beliefs in general progress, when all else is relative, are no longer objective. Professor Wagar states his conclusion clearly: general progress has ceased to be an object of knowledge and has become an object of faith or confidence. Similarly, scepticism is a form of pessimism. But this conclusion does not imply for him a willingness to abandon a faith in general progress over and above the diversified particular advances or improvements. He asserts and shares the human need for general "good tidings" in order to maintain a general attitude of faith and hope. Such faith and hope cannot rest merely on Christian "charity" or piety; they must rest on the sanctity of life and of secular striving. The main body of this very substantial work, however, is not a development of this argument, but a patient, generally accurate, report of the many theories of progress and pessimism. Ironically , Darwin himself did not engage in such theorizing. Arid the so-called "political Darwinians " derived their laissez faire politics not from Darwin but from Spenecr's doctrine of "the evanescence of evil," which was pro-Darwinian. ~H. W. S. Recent Perspectives in American Philosophy. By Yervant H. Krikorian. (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1973, Pp. vii + 90) Professor Krikorian here assembles previously published expositions of the philosophies of six important American philosophers of the recent past: John Dewey, Morris R. Cohen, Edgar A. Singer, William Ernest Hocking, Alfred North Whitehead and Wilmon Sheldon. He adds an exposition of the rationalistic idealism of Brand Blanshard, and an essay on the various ways in which American philosophers have developed empirical philosophy, which the author regards as the dominant characteristic of recent American thought. The result is a careful and useful survey of American "perspectives" and methods in interpreting experience during the early decades of this century by a participating colleague. --H.W.S. BOOKS RECEIVED FIRST EDITIONS Akhilananda, Swami. Spiritual Practices: Memorial Edition with Reminiscences by His Friends. Cape Cod: Claude Stark, Inc. Publishers, 1974. Pp. 225. $8.50. Amato, Joseph. Mounier and Maritain: A French Catholic Understanding o/the Modern WorM. University, Alabama: The University of Alabama Press, 1975. Pp. xxiii + 215. $8.50. Au/bruch zur Moderne: Politisches Denken im Frankreich des 17 Fahrhunderts: Pascal, La Roche/oucauld, F$nelon, Bayle und Fuieu. Herausgegeben yon Tilo Schabert. Mtinchen: Paul 9 List Verlag, 1974. Pp. 199. Paper, DM 10,80. 550 HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY Barion, Jakob. Was Ist Ideologie? Studie Zu Begriff und Problematik. 3.erw. Auflage. Bonn: Bouvier Verlag Herbert Grundmann, 1974. Pp. 164. Paper, DM 19,80. Barkan, Leonard. Nature's Work of Art: The Human Body As Image of the World. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1975. Pp. x + 291. $15.00. Barrow, R. St. C. and R. G. Woods. An Introduction to the Philosophy of Education. New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 1975. Pp. 200. Cloth, $11.50. Paper, $4.75. Blumenthal, David R. The Commentary of R. H6ter Ben Shelomo to the Thirteen Principles o! Maimonides. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1974. Pp. xviii + 351.92 Glds. Bonhomme, Denise. The Esoteric Substance o~ Voltairian Thought. New York: Philosophical Library, Inc., 1974. Pp. 633. $15.00. Bosco, Nynfa. Paul Tillich tra filoso/ia e teologia. Milano: U. Mursia & Co., 1974. Pp. 233. Bosley, Richard. Aspects o/Aristotle's Logic. Assen, The Netherlands: Van Gorcum & Comp. B. V., 1975. Pp. 137. Paper, Dfl. 24. Brower, Daniel R. Training the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
pp. 549-556
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-01
Open Access
No
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