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humanities 115 university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 1, winter 2003/4 propaganda and commercial persuasion are taken up in chapters 4 and 5, while the social and political issues of freedom of expression and control of the media are the focus of the sixth and seventh chapters. In each of these areas Marlin is erudite, sensitive to nuance, and sensible. What is more, as befits a Broadview Press book, both the descriptive points and the ethical issues are illustrated by a wealth of Canadian, as well as other, examples. Broadly speaking, Marlin favours those social arrangements that permit widespread reasoned discussion of public issues and reliable access to the information required to make good decisions both about public policy and private consumption. Nevertheless he recognizes that it is not desirable or even possible to eliminate merely persuasive discourse and that even the state may be justified in applying it in certain limited circumstances. He worries about reasonable limitations on the right of free expression, notably in cases of hate propaganda generated by private citizens and organizations . He is also concerned about the dangers presented to rational discourse and genuine democracy by the persuasive power of wealth, particularly when it leads to a monopoly over sources of information and attractive and accessible means of disseminating opinion. Marlin=s own social outlook, then, can be labelled as towards the left end of the liberal democratic spectrum. Although there is much to admire in this book, I think the author may someday give us an even better one. This better book could develop in one or more of three ways. It could build on the discussion of Ellul=s notion of pre-propaganda to address the wide variety of ways in which our ordinary manner of discourse, embedded as it is in our way of life, renders us more receptive to certain types of persuasive message than others. This book could draw on the work of those influenced by Gramsci or Foucault, but might lead to techniques for recognizing and overcoming one=s own prejudices. Second, even if this better book retained a restriction to deliberately persuasive discourse, it could offer a more sharply conclusive discussion of communicative ethics. I was never sure exactly what sorts of persuasive discourse Marlin considered permissible or impermissible, or the precise reasons for doing so. Finally, even if the open-ended approach to the ethical questions remained, the ethical portions of the better book might be organized into sections according to issues raised, theories applicable and case studies to which they might be applied. Such an organization would make the book an even better teaching tool. (THOMAS MATHIEN) Dorota Glowacka and Stephen Boos, editors. Between Ethics and Aesthetics: Crossing the Boundaries SUNY Press. x, 310. US $81.50, $27.95 The essays collected in this volume are divided into four thematic sections. The first part is devoted to questions about relations between philosophy 116 letters in canada 2002 university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 1, winter 2003/4 and art, with a focus on Kant, Schiller, and Hegel. The second part is equally theoretical. It focuses on the ethical philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas, and his demand that ethics and aesthetics respect the radical alterity of other people. The third part explores how aesthetics and politics may be combined, and the fourth part presents contemporary artists and art critics speculating on the possibility of an ethical art practice. Although the contributors are not all drawn either from philosophy in particular or academics in general, and include a few artists and activists, as well as some professors of English and theology, potential readers require a background in philosophical theory in order to be able to understand and engage with all but a few of the shorter essays in part 4. Readers familiar with the work of a variety of feminist and continental philosophers including Adorno, Cixous, Derrida, Heidegger, Irigaray, Levinas, Lyotard, and Spivak are in the best position to respond to the claims and arguments made in Between Ethics and Aesthetics. None of the contributors, who include very prominent theorists such as Jean-Fran├žois Lyotard, Terry Eagleton, and Drucilla Cornell, as well as a number...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 115-117
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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