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BOOK REVIEWS 417 consciousness, experiences the truth. The philosophical consciousness must recognize that behind the properties in truth stand powers, which work out their effects in relation to one another. Science, which, because it goes behind this externality to inquire of the laws which govern the powers, here is called understanding, grasps much better what the truth of reality is. (p. 35) Precisely this is the actual world, which consists in that it ever undergoes change, permanently becoming different. Permanence is then no longer the mere contradictory to vanishing, but it is itself the truth of vanishing. This is the thesis of the inverted world. (p. 36) The true world is... the truth conceived as an ideal and its own inversion. Gadamer wishes to correct Trendelenburg's and Dilthey's constructions which construed that Hegel produced a system of categories for the grasping of the totality of the world. "The self-movement of the Begriff, rather, prepares the element of pure knowledge, which in no way is knowledge of the world as a totality. It is not at all knowledge of being but, as with the knowledge of consciousness, it is ever at the same time knowledge of knowledge" (p. 12). "Between tautology and self-sublation in the non-finite determination of its meaning, the 'speculative proposition' occupies the mean, and herein lies Hegel's highest actuality: the speculative proposition is not so much predication as language" (p. 66). Gadamer's position here may be seen as of a piece with his (generally better directed, in my judgmen0 sense that Hegel wishes to bring to completion the transcendental philosophy founded by Kant. A point at which I wish to suggest a modification of Gadamer's position lies in his proposal that language itself functions as a presupposition within Hegel's philosophy. Certainly this claim has at least to be taken within the context of an understanding of his dialectic as ever actual and active in its every phase--and much more needs to be said here--before it becomes even intelligible. It seems unnecessary to conclude, as it seems to me that Gadamer does, that because Hegel did not delineate the concept of language at one particular stage of the dialectic that it functions as a presupposition within his system. Professor Gadamer is at his best in this work when interpreting Hegel within the context of those philosophers who most influenced him. Where he is developing his own position in relation to Hegel, as in the latter part of "Die Idee der Hegelschen Logik" and in his "Hegel und Heidegger," issues of interpretation aside, a terminological difficulty must sometimes intrude, rendering his meaning unclear. This permits an ambivalence in his attitude toward Hegel, but it does not detract from the uniformly interesting and often insightful substance of the work more exclusively devoted to interpretation. In this Professor Gadamer exemplifies the hermeneutical principles to the account of which he has uniquely contributed. DARREL E. CHRISTENSEN Salzburg, Austria Utilitarian Ethics. By Anthony Quinton. (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1973. Pp. 117. Paper $2.50) In the short space of slightly over one hundred pages, Anthony Quinton has stated the positions of most of the major writers in the history of utilitarianism, as well as his own critical commentary and partial reconstruction of those points of view he thinks are worth 418 HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY preserving. The book begins with a short section on the precursors of utilitarianism, devotes a chapter each to Bentham and Mill, states the views of four critics (Grote, Sidgwick, Bradley, and Moore), and concludes with a brief epilogue on contemporary utilitarianism. A book of this sort is most apt to be used as a supplementary text in college courses, and for that reason I think it is most important to consider the thinkers who are emphasized as well as the conclusions reached. After all, students have to get a sense of what the major issues are from someone; and presumably it is the responsibility of the author to preserve both balance and comprehensiveness in the treatment of historical figures. From the latter perspective, Quinton's treatment may be called into question by some. For example, Bentham is...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
pp. 417-418
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-01
Open Access
No
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