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55~ BOOK REVIEWS quent opposition of the German disciples of Albert to Thomas's thought is indisputable in itself and helpful in defining the " novum " of Thomas's theology. This does not rule out certain commonalities in method, sources, and content, some of which can he seen in the treatment of the theodicy problem in De summo bono II, as is clear e.g. in Josef Goergen's Des hl. Albert Lehre van der goettlichen Vorsehung und dem Fatum, unter besonderer Beruecksichtigung der Vorsehungsund Schicksalslehre des Ulrich von Strassburg (Vechta, 1932), 115. This title would he a helpful addition to the bibliography provided by de Libera on pg. XLI-XLHI, along with W. Huebener: "Malum auget decorem in universo. Die kosmologische Integration des Boesen in der Hochscholastik," in Miscellanea Mediaevalia, Bd. 11, ed. A. Zimmermann (New York/Berlin, 1977), 1-26. Together with the earlier volumes of the Corpus, the edition of De summa bona provides the most significant contribution of recent years towards understanding the rich diversity of Dominican theology in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. RICHARD SCHENK, O.P. Munich, Germany Karl Rahner: The Philosophical Foundations. By THOMAS SHEEHAN. Series in Continental Thought, Vol. 9. Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press, 1987. Pp. xii + 320. $24.95. Thomas Sheehan's work is without doubt the most sophisticated and detailed analysis in any language to date of Rahner's philosophical stance as expounded in his Spirit in the World (= SW) . The author has also put to good use his exceptional knowledge of Heidegger, whom Rahner acknowledged as his "master" and "teacher" (see Preface, p. XI), focusing on Rahner's debts to and arguments against the thought of the philosopher of Freiburg. The hooks is neatly divided in two parts. The first part traces the foundations of SW in the works of Immanuel Kant, Pierre Rousselot, Joseph Marechal, and Martin Heidegger (Chapters I to III). The second part is a chapter-by-chapter critical commentary of SW's three parts. Chapter IV, " The Problematic of ' Being' in Rahner," dis· cusses SW's Part II, l; Chapter V, "Towards Spirit in the World," SW's Part I; Chapter VI, Bivalence as Abstraction," SW's Part II, 3 (on abstraction); Chapter VII," Bivalence as Conversion," SW's Part II, 2 (on sensibility) and Part II, 4 (on conversion) ; and the last chapter explores the possibility of metaphysics from Rahner's and Heidegger's standpoints (SW's Part III). BOOK REVIEWS 553 The heart 0£ the work is located in Chapter VI (on the agent in· tellect as the power 0£ abstraction) and in Chapter VII (on the possible intellect as the power 0£ conversion to the phantasm or sensibility as presence to the world). Central to Rahner's transcendental anthro· pology, in Sheehan's estimation, is the view that the human person is a " bivalent " and " kinetic " being, that is, a being intrinsically structured by a self-unifying dual movement, the one 0£ self-transcendence toward the asymptotically recessive telos, i.e. Absolute Being (Aristotle 's energeia or entelecheia) and the other 0£ self-abandonment and essential openness to the world or matter. In epistemological terms, the first movement is interpreted as the act of abstraction, that is, 0£ " liberation " 0£ the universality or repeatability of the form in the particular instances, of being-present-to-oneself (self-presence), of anticipating -but-never-grasping the Absolute Being (Vorgriff or excessus). The second movement is interpreted as the act of returning to the phantasm , of being-absent-from-oneself (self-absence) both in sensibility (or the " cognitive sense") and in the conversio ad phantasma. Sheehan underscores repeatedly the unity of these two movements in Rahner's anthropology. They are not two separate or successive movements ; rather, the human person's self-presence intrinsically involves presence-to-other (self-absence) and vice versa. In Sheehan's words,£or Rahner humans are" press-ab-sence" (p. 7) (Incidentally, £or the sake 0£ orthography, is it not better to write " pre-ab-sence "?) Sheehan speaks for all when he confesses that reading SW gave him an occasional feeling of riding a bicycle through sand dunes. His book, though not easy reading itself (the text is replete with...


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