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REVIEWS 439 Value is a sequel to it. Here, in a way reminiscent of Hegel, Perry sheds light on the various domains of human living, such as art, law, religion, by means of the diverse interests they serve. By showing how different sorts of interests are related to each other, Perry is enabled to cope with the vexing questions lying on the borderland between the specialized social sciences and to develop an integrated understanding of their several domains. Like Hegel, he argues that morality , law, economic and political life are distinctive in making for an adjustment of interests. Hegel, however, anticipated the social sciences in maintaining that institutions can be understood but not evaluated: "the history of the world is the court of judgment on the world." In opposition to this view, and like the utilitarians, Perry is also concerned to develop a basis for evaluating arrangements of living. He maintains that the utilitarians were correct in defining value in terms of interest, but he rejects their hedonistic calculus because it ignores the irreducible diversity of interests. The arrangements in any domain of human living may be appraised in terms of their efficiency in promoting the distinctive interests of that domain. But an arrangement of human living must ultimately be evaluated by how well it makes for a harmonious fulfilment of all interests. Some will feel that Perry has failed to substantiate his central thesis. Yet everyone will find in him inviting discussions of law, education, history, morality, science, art, religion, government, and economic life. Each of these chapters may be read and reread with pleasure. SHORTER NOTICES The Origin and Goal of History. By KARL JASPERS. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd. [Toronto: British Book Service (Canada) Ltd.]. 1953. Pp. xvi, 294. $5.25. The declared aim of Professor Jaspers' book is modest by comparison with many works classified as philosophy of history. It seeks to discover no laws of the historical process; it makes no claim to display the course of history as, in some sense, necessary. Its task is simply the elaboration of a single pattern or schema which will bring together in one intelligible whole what we know about the history of the world, and thereby "help us to understand ourselves and our situation." The pattern is to be suggested empirically; rational insight and revelation are disallowed. What Jaspers proposes to do at the level of universal 440 UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO QUARTERLY history is exactly what the ordinary historian does when he writes about "The Renaissance" or "The Evolution of Parliament." Philosophy of history is to differ from history only in scope. The schema is set out (with a diagram) in Part I ("World History "). It rests on an initial value judgment which the author believes his readers will allow: that the period 800-200 B.C. was "overwhelmingly fruitful in fashioning humanity." Almost simultaneously, in three independent "centres of spiritual radiation" (China, India, and the West), "man as we know him today came into being." Before this axial period there flourished ancient civilizations in which "man had not yet really come to himself." Reaching back beyond this is "the dark world of prehistory lasting for thousands of years," from which man was released by a Promethean revolution in the arts and crafts. Since the axial period there has been only one development important enough to be noted at this level of interpretation: the rise of modern science and its technological application. Our age of technology is analogous to the original Promethean leap from prehistory into history , and it shows signs of leading to a new political achievement: the unity of the world, which is already "a single unit of communications ." Jaspers' schema is superficial. And he makes only the most perfunctory attempt to justify it empirically. In Part II ("Present and Future"), which comprises more than half the book, Jaspers moves rapidly from a consideration of what has been to what ought to be. Having descried world unity ahead (as "goal" rather than as "fact"), he plunges into a long discussion of the way it may safely be attained, in the course of which we are warned against socialism and imperialism , and chided for our lack of...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 439-440
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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