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264 HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY Riconda also uses profusely the text of Schopenhauer's juvenile writings, published in 1966 by Arthur Hiabscher, to explain the genesis of the system of Schopcnhauer. But he glosses over the fact that the voluntarism and the aesthetics of Schopenhauer are strongly influenced by Fichte and Schelling. Schopenhauer vituperated Hegel as a "charlatan," but it so happens that only three thinkers were honored in Germany by the foundation of philosophical societies bearing their names; Kant, Hegel and Schopenhauer. The latter deeply affected intellectual life in general, for instance the composer Richard Wagner, the dramatist Friedrich Hebbcl and last, not least, Friedrich Nietzsche. Riconda, who is a lecturer in philosophy of religion at the University of Turin, is not concerned with these aspects. He mentions a possible affinity between Schopenhauer and Kierkegaard but he does not investigate whether and to what extent Schopenhauer impressed the modern existentialist thinkers such as Martin Heidegger, Karl Jaspers and Jean-Paul Sartre, although they underpin their nuances of "pessimism" partly with different arguments due to the different social conditions of our time. MAX RIESER New York City Bradley's Metaphysics and the Sell. By Garrett L. Vander Veer. (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1970. Pp. 317. $10) There is a small Bradley revival at the moment, stimulated perhaps by a nostalgia for full-scale metaphysics that is not satisfied by analytic philosophy, phenomenology, or existentialism. Even the logical positivists, with their blunt assertion that metaphysics is nonsense are being seen as thinkers who refused to explore the ground, the view of the world, that they must hold as a basis for that assertion. It was Bradley's view that the man who denies the possibility of metaphysics is "a brother metaphysician with a rival theory of first principles," and that is the position Mr. Vander Veer takes in this book. Brand Blanshard is perhaps the man best qualified to undertake a defence of Bradley, and he has done so in places throughout his writings, but he has not published a whole book on the subject. Mr. Vander Veer has done the job here, mostly on Blanshard's line, and has done it with acute criticism of Bradley's opponents and in a prose style not unworthy of the author of "On Philosophical Writing." It is interesting that the criticism is good where Bradley was good, or would be good if he had lived to read later writing. Russell, Moore, and Ayer are handled expertly; Hume, Alexander, and Sartre, well; Cook-Wilson, Joachim, and Caird knowledgeably. But where Bradley couldn't understand a point of view, Mr. Vander Veer's criticism flounders. So Bradley says of a pragmatist or a "humanist" (William James's name for Dewey and Schiller) "he must hold an idea, however mad, to be the truth, if any one will have it so," simply a travesty, and Mr. Vander Veer, too, makes little sense of what James meant. (How different from James's early feeling about Bradley; "... Bradley's Logic . . . is surely 'epoch-making' in English philosophy.... And what a fighter the cuss is." And his later reflection: "He is, really, an extra humble-minded man, I think, but even more humble-minded about his reader than about himself, which gives him that false air of arrogance.") Mr. Vander Veer's book is worth reading. He does well by Bradley's metaphysics, although the different theories of truth matching different levels of reality would be BOOK REVIEWS 265 a welcome addition, but his treatment of the self, careful as it is, is somewhat limited to criticism of other philosophers because Bradley found the concept of self inconsistent. It might have been more rewarding to treat at greater length Bradley's doctrine of "finite centres," those perspectives on the world of which Bradley wrote "... a finite centre ... is an immediate experience of itself and of the Universe in one." Mysticism to counter the skepticism about Appearance? Romanticism? Surely. How else can we characterize the comment in Essays on Truth and Reality that "the Universe is substantially one with each of us, and actually, as a whole, feels and wills and knows itself within us." RALPH ROSS Scripps...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
pp. 264-265
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-01
Open Access
No
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