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94 HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY the various Christian communions have intermingled to their mutual profit in the post-war decades. Nothing of the personal history of Dr. Lydia Gysi (in religion Mother Maria) is directly reflected in her study of Cudworth .... BERNARD ]~. BAUMRIN Washington University The Ironic Hume. By John Valdimir Price. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1965. Pp. xvi -b 190. $5.00.) This portrait of Hume as an ironist is offered as a supplement to recent historical and biographical studies, and especially to Mossner's The Life o] David Hume. While others have commented on the irony in Hume's writings, Price goes further and suggests that irony is a key with which to unlock Hume's philosophical attitudes and beliefs. Since appreciation of irony depends on an awareness of context, Price interprets this to mean that Hume's writings must be read against the background of his life and intellectual milieu. He traces the development of Hume's use of irony through four successive stages, beginning with the formative influences on the early writings and concluding with the culmination of Hume's ironic style in the last works---principally the Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion. Through reading this book one does gain a fresh appreciation of Hume as an ironic thinker and writer. This is not to say that Hume the ironist is any match for such gifted contemporaries as Swift or Pope, but Price wisely eschews any such comparison. Many of the best examples of Hume's irony appear in his letters and popular writings, and these figure prominently in Price's study. Two little-known ironic pieces--the Account o] Stewart and the Bellmen's Petition--are helpfully reprinted as appendices. As one might expect, Hume's irony was most subtle and devastating when he had occasion to treat religious subjects. However, it may be doubted whether the ironic Hume sheds much light on Hume the philosopher. Throughout his career Hume had perforce to contend with many kinds of pretension and dogma, and irony was a fitting adjunct of his scepticism. But his irony, like his scepticism, was of the "moderate" variety, and not so obscure or problematic as Price would have us believe. For the most part one is able to infer Hume's convictions by careful study of his texts, without resort to further information about his life and times. Admittedly the Dialogues have presented special difficulties for the interpreter, and Price's final chapter on the irony of this work offers some valuable clues to Hume's intended meaning. I noted a few errors in the text. For example, Hume could not have considered marrying in 1700 (p. 16, n. 9). And on page 17 Price describes Hume as "the sceptic who argued that reason should be the guide to the passions." JAMES F. DOYLE University o] Missouri at St. Louis Nietzsche. The Man and His Philosophy. By R. J. Hollingdale. (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1965. Pp. xvi + 326. $7.00.) Though there is disagreement among competent Nietzsche scholars about the importance of Karl Schlechta's discoveries reported in his three volume edition of Nietzsche's works, as well as other materials made available through the opening of the Nietzsche Archives, I believe that the detection of changes made by Elizabeth Fhrster Nietzsche in her brother's manuscripts requires reassessment of his life and work. R. J. Hollingdale has made judicious use of these materials, especially with regard to Nietzsche's biography. Of the making of books on Nietzsche there truly seems to be no end. However, Hollingdale 's book is not just another volume for the shelves but, in spite of inevitable defects, some of which will be mentioned presently, it seems to me a valuable contribution. It is, I think, worthy of being placed alongside the best European studies--Brandes' and Andler's, Jaspers ' and Lhwith's and Heidegger's--as well as the best work in English including not only ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
p. 94
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-01
Open Access
No
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