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118 HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY To avoid self-contradiction within the theory of knowledge, Bowne argues, we are obliged to view nature as dependent upon "a Self-directing Force, or Free Mind, a Spiritual Being, an Ever-Living Will." "God is, not the probable, but the absolute necessity of science as well as religion." Rejecting "a lumpish materiality," Bowne offers a "rational idealism" or "theistic idealism," which holds that both the meaning and existence of things is governed by consciousness. A teleological explanation fits with a causal account since that account requires purpose, will, and mind for its full understanding. Nor can mind be adequately conceived as an organization or product of matter. This simpleminded reductionism continually reappears in thought. On the one hand, Bowne argues, if mind be such a product, then thought, feeling, and volition must be explained in physical terms. On the other hand, if mind is an immaterial product of matter, then it must be explained how the principles of continuity and conservation of energy can be held, If nerves consume energy in their functions, then thought must represent a certain amount of energy consumed in its production. If physical energy is used in producing thought as thought, then such energy seems to lose its distinctive traits and disappear into the mental realm--a vanishing that can only puzzle materialists. Is, then, the physical energy lost? Or, is it the case that mental energy is equally as real as physical energy? And, more crucial still, how are the physical and mental related? As Bowne presents the materialist's dilemma, he is confronted with the materiality of thought or a magical occasionalism. Neither view is satisfactory. Gilbert Ryle and the more radical behaviorists would be contemporary targets for such criticisms. Steinkraus's book contains an admirably complete name and subject index and an eighteen page listing of books by and about Borden Parker Bowne. It is a valuable addition to any university or personal library. JoHl~ HOWIE Southern Illinois University, Carbondale Robert Almeder. The Philosophy of Charles S. Peirce: A Critical Introduction. APQ Library of Philosophy. Totow~, N.J.: Rowman and Littlefield, 198o. Pp. 205. The Philosophy of Charles S. Peirce: A Critical Introduction, by Robert Almeder, is an account of views Peirce held after 1890 on some basic epistemologicaI and metaphysical issues. Almeder strikes a reasonable balance between Peircean scholarship on the one hand and contemporary critical methods and concerns on the other hand. In chapter l, Almeder interprets Peirce's views on doubt, belief, inquiry, meaning , pragmaticism, fallibilism, truth, and common sense. Peirce holds not an analytical behaviorism but a behaviorism in which the existence of a set of dispositions is a sign that a corresponding set of beliefs exists. Real doubt is characterized as an uneasy state that arises when experience is not as expected, depriving one of what would otherwise have been believed. The Cartesian criterion of doubt and goal of inquiry are rejected on the grounds that there are no propositions so true that it is BOOK REVIEWS 119 logically impossible that they are false. The goal of inquiry is the fixation of belief, that is, the establishment of stable belief. A necessary condition for the establishment of stable belief is that belief be true. The method of science guarantees truth, thus eliminating surprises and fixing belief. The meaning of a proposition is given by a corresponding set of conditional statements; since this set is open, meaning is never completely determined; one reason the set is open is that no object is completely determined. Taken up next is the question of whether Peirce provided a semiotic justification for pragmaticism. It does seem that some aspects of pragmaticism can be understood as falling within the context of the theory of signs: for example, that the meaning of a proposition or concept has to do with observed effects can be understood as a subcase of the theory that signs have dynamical interpretations; that meaning is general follows from the theory that signs have general logical interpretants; that meaning has to do with something other than sign vehicles follows from the theory that a sign is the sign of an object and a sign that the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
pp. 118-120
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-01
Open Access
No
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