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172 HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY us," Saint-Simon wrote in 1814. Matching the development of mind of their eighteenthcentury rationalist compatriots with the development of love and action, the Saint-Simonians, Fourier and Comte saw hardly any stop to the inevitability and infinitude of progress and perfectibility. The prospect of the twentieth century, however, shows an "uneasy consensus." Manuel is not concerned to swell the flood of philosophical history but to bear witness to it, and it is as a witness that he reports that man's "urge to place himself in a total time sequence" is undiminished , if anything it continues to grow and magnify. The search for a total meaning of historical existence is an apparently irrepressible drive. In this concluding chapter Manuel shows how the threads of the previously expressed ideas, particularly from French and German sources, are tied and knotted in the more familiar figures, Spengler, Sorokin, Toynbee, and a group of Christian writers and philosophers of history (de Chardin, Niebuhr, Dawson, Tillich, Pope Plus XII, and Pope John XXIII) illustrating and instantiating the vitality and longevity of the archetypal conceptions he began with. The great divide between theorists persists pretty much in the present as it did in older times. There are the progressists among whom are distinguished those still loyal to the French concept of perfectibility, a new school of philosophical life scientists writing cosmic history, and contemporary Marxists. Manuel classes the Christian theologians of history in a special category, which, although progressist in a sense, like Augustine denigrate earthly progress and restrict themselves to spiritual advance. Then there are the non- or anti-progressists, circular theorists, among whom Spengler, Sorokin, and "Toynbee I" are to be found. Having done duty for the Greeks and Romans, the Italians, French and Germans (surprisingly omitting the figure of Schopenhauer in his account) it would be a further service to have Professor Manuel's reading of English and Scottish involvement in philosophies of history of the sort he defines as "pictures of the total meaning of historical existence... (which have) included predictions of things to come as well as a reduction of the whole of the past to an order," for despite their professed empiricism it will not be denied that in figures like Hobbes, Locke, and Hume, as in some of the lesser figures of the English and Scottish Enlightenment (he mentions the "imitative works" of Price, Priestly, Spencer and Buckle), philosophies of history of the sort defined are implicit where they are not explicit and outspoken. Perhaps one day Professor Manuel will turn his illuminating searchlight to this area. While conceding Manuel's point that philosophies of history of the more distinctly speculative type have grown and even multiplied over the recent past, it should be added (what is common knowledge) that many equally responsible philosophers have tried both to discourage this growth and at the same time to make a contribution to the discipline through a more analytic approach. So far has this movement gone, indeed, that it would appear that the tide of speculative philosophies of history has ebbed greatly, and that "theories" of history are now pretty much restricted to poets, novelists, dramatists and their brethren in some of the social sciences, particularly psychology and sociology, especially in the Englishspeaking world. Whether the "analysts" are making a substantial contribution to our knowledge of historical processes (as distinguished from the language and logic of historical discourse) is still somewhat moot, but there is little doubt that the analysts are rapidly displacing the synthesists in philosophy of history. STANLEYM. DAUGERT Western Washington State College Universals: A New Look at an Old Problem. By Farhang Zabeeh. (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1966. Pp. vi -t- 68. $3.15.) In this short analysis of a perennial philosophical problem, Professor Zabeeh has taken upon himself the rather ambitious task of attempting to trace the development of the various attempts to explain the function, meaning, and ontological status of universals from Socrates BOOK REVIEWS 173 (or Plato) to Wittgenstein and Austin. In doing so, he has neglected (pace a few random references) the most fertile field for the analysis of universals, the medieval writers. To some extent, Professor Zabeeh does...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
pp. 172-173
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-01
Open Access
No
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