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442 UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO QUARTERLY culture and, as such, have no necessary application beyond that culture . But he does not accept the implied relativism. He views these, and other laws, as a temporary expression of divine purpose embodying eternal truths. The task of the Christian is to distinguish the permanent from the temporal. This view permits rather drastic reinterpretations of the Commandments (for instance, the commandment on adultery) to free them from the limitations of the culture in which they were first expressed. Professor Leslie makes no claim to originality in this litde book. Instead he tries to bring the results of scholarship to bear on the problems of biblical morality for a popular audience. His main purpose is to inspire and to challenge Christians to a higher morality than mere legalism or conformity to contemporary middle-class respectability . MARcus LONG Freedom: A New Analysis. By MAURICE CRANSTON. London and Toronto: Longmans, Green and Co. 1953. Pp. viii, 177. $2.50. In this lilde volume, Mr. Cranston undertakes to point a new way of expressing the problem of freewill and to offer some notes. In the first section, making extended use of linguistic analysis he rejects the efforts of philosophers to define freedom positively as a faculty or power, as government by self or by reason, and as government by another will which could "force one to be free." He accepts the negative definition of freedom as ahsence of constraints, and notes that it therefore changes as the nature of the constraints change. In the second section he describes and interprets the variation in meaning of freedom, and hence of liberalism, in England, France, Germany, and America. In England, where the constraint feared was government encroachment, the meaning of liberalism is that of Lockean minimal government or laissez-faire. In France liberalisme is influenced also by the demand for fr..dom from economic constraints and hence refers also to the left wing demand for self-government by the masses. In Germany, since the constraints to be escaped seemed to call for strong government, liberalism embraces elalism, and even compulsory freedom. The laudatory, emotional aspect of its meaning is fairly constant except, as in America, where this is affected by its association with leftist and totalitarian interpretations. It is in the third section that Mr. Cranston goes firmly to work on his new approach. SHORTER NOTICES 443 The real problem of freewill, he argues, is not whether one could have acted differently if one had chosen differently, but whether one could have chosen differently. Those, from Hobbes to Ryle, who have rejected the problem as bogus, have missed this point, as have those who have "solved" it by showing that freedom is self-determination. What the determinist opponent here requires is only "that everything which happens in the universe, including the actions and decisions of human beings, is in principle predictable" and this challenge is neither eliminated nor met by showing that the will is not a thing, or that scientific law is not of the coercive kind, or that freedom is selfdetermination . What the libertarian needs is to show that at least some events, preferably some choices, are not in principle predictable. The problem is thus formulated, he notes, without narning either freedom or will. This is the new way of expressing the problem, and to it Mr. Cranston adds that some predictions cannot be made~r at least not announced-without themselves affecting the result; that some predictions , notably of inventions, cannot be made since they would include what they are supposed to pre-diet; and, perhaps most persuasively , that in SO far as a prediction requires all the evidence, this would lead right into the event to be predicted, leaving no interval for the prediction. Here he rests his case, claiming only to have shown some ground of doubt of determinism and hence of belief in libertarianism-"but with a residual uncertainty." The book is intended for the general reader as well as for the professional , and its clear and lively expression and provocative argument will make it well worth while to both kinds of reader. I think, however , that the predictability which he attacks has no signification...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 442-443
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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