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360Philosophy and Literature literature as well as written. His account of the importance of parallelism in poetry is a brilliant miniature ofhis procedure, beginning withJakobson'swellknown thesis and extending for some ten pages through Hopkins, the Russian byliny, the Castilian romancero, noting Provencal, biblical Hebrew, Ch'i and Lian dynasty Chinese, Sumerian, and Náhuatl examples, then circling back to the modern era with Saint-John Perse, Vicente Aleixandre, and Walt Whitman. As evidenced in his equally generous, informed treatment of poetry and the novel, of European and non-European literature, of literary practice and literary theory, we find ourselves with Guillen well above the level of the parochial skirmishes in the ongoing "Battle of the Books" or Querelle des anciens et des modernes that usually pass for literary criticism. At the same time, we are not left with what Guillen calls "a theory of the literature of the moon" (p. 83), a sterile essentialism remote from the prolific varieties of literary experience. This is an immensely informative study of literature and a deeply knowledgeable vision of a discipline. It is also a work of genuine wisdom, the kind of learning tiiat only a long and distinguished career can produce. Literary criticism is greatly enriched by Guillen's challenge. Emory UniversityWalter L. Reed Back to the Rough Ground: Phronesis andTechne in Modern Philosophy and in Aristotle, byJoseph Dunne; xvi & 492 pp. Notre Dame: University ofNotre Dame Press, 1993, $45.95. Joseph Dunne's immensely learned, illuminating book begins in skepticism about teaching. Whose teaching? Not yourteaching, ofcourse, but perhaps that ofother readers ofPhilosophy andLiterature. What teaching? Teaching guided by behavioral objectives and the promise of accountability and ideology-free measures of education; teaching informed by an instrumentalist understanding of itself as simply a means to an end and the promise of efficiency in reaching that end; and teaching supposedly justified by technically rational pedagogy and by the promise of objectivity and value-neutrality in the classroom. Dunne attacks not only this sort of teaching but all activities that share its features, from political action and economic development to management practices and self-help programs. How? He seeks to demonstrate that these activities presuppose an account of rationality that is biased, limited, and distorted. To do this, he seeks to develop and articulate a practical alternative. There is a rich philosophical tradition committed to this project, of course, and Dunne wants to recover it by entering into the company of its philosophers . Who are they? In Part I, Dunne focuses on five "modern" philosophers ofpractical reason. These chapters deal with:John Henry Newman's critique of Reviews361 rationalism and appeal to phronesis in A Grammar ofAscent; R. G. Collingwood's critique of techne and account of imaginative expression in The Principles ofArt; Hannah Arendt's insistence on pluralism and distinction between action and making in The Human Condition; Hans-Georg Gadamer's extension of Aristotelianism in Truth and Method and his account of the universal scope of hermeneutics as practical philosophy; and Jürgen Habermas's distinction between praxis and technique, critique ofhermeneutics, and development of a theory of communicative action and rationalization. Habermas isn't successful, Dunne argues, in achieving a synthesis of theory and practice: "The question now is whether the formalism which has become such a pronounced feature in Habermas's own subsequent elaboration of 'praxis' is notjust a more refined version of the very technicism he had so successfully exposed in his earlier analysis. And if it is, then what has been going on in Habermas's work is not so much the sacrifice of 'practical orientation' to 'theoretical rigour' as an attempted redefinition of the very meaning of practice—and thereby of the nature of our common humanity" (p. 225). Convinced that Habermas's project requires us to go beyond his own philosophy, Dunne in Part II returns to Aristotle, analyzing his concepts of phronesis, techne, praxis, and poiesis. Remarkably attuned to the complexities of Aristotle's view, Dunne carefully defines, distinguishes, and connects the roles of techne and phronesis in theory. As a result, he suggests tiiat phronesis is less cognitive capacity and more character of the self—less a kind of knowledge and more a...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 360-361
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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