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BOOK REVIEWS 493 offers no answer. Further discussion is clearly needed, for the view that clarification of concepts enriches our capacity for making distinctions within experience is neither controversial nor a significant threat to the meaning/use distinction. Schmitt indicates that the view that Being depends upon human being (Dasein)-a view espoused in Sein und Zeit--gives way to the doctrine in Heidegger's later writings that human being depends upon Being. In this, Schmitt seems to suggest, is to be found the meaning of the controversial turn (Kehre) in Heidegger's thought. But it is not quite this easy, for the position held in Sein und Zeit is that Being is "entailed" by and "entails" an understanding-of-Being, to which Dasein belongs. If Heidegger's later writings indicate a departure from this, it is only a departure in emphasis. Understanding-of-Being is stressed less than understanding-of-Being. This is not a major point in Schmitt's study, however. I have indicated a few of the philosophically interesting, difficult and illuminating aspects of Schmitt's study. For those who wish to pursue these points, as well as other aspects of Heidegger's complex philosophical commitments, Schmitt's book is an indispensable aid, one which I recommend highly. STEPHEN A. ERICKSON Pomona College La Pensde francaise d'auiourd'hui. By Edouard Morot-Sir. (Paris: Presses Universitaires, 1971) This little book is a masterpiece of density and of originality of content, of compression and of artistry in organization and in style. It manages skillfully to eschew all the pitfalls of a cursory panorama of modern French philosophers in which name after name would be enumerated and no general perspective on currents and trends could be descried. It also keeps clear of cultural nationalism: the impact of German and, to a lesser extent, that of British thinkers on Existentialism and on philosophy of science, is analyzed. The word "thought" is preferred, in the title and throughout, to "philosophy." By thought, the author understands the cultural awareness or conscioushess in a group and he emphasizes the links between philosophical speculation and the economic, political, esthetic and scientific manifestations of a people's culture. The starting date is 1939, not that any epoch-making philosophical treatise appeared in that very year, but illusions were shattered and complacency was brutally shaken by the advent of the war. The bankruptcy of the French intellectual 6lite and the emptiness of traditional bourgeois values were brought to the fore. The French realized how needed among them was a rethinking of their values. Suddenly, the idealistic tradition of Brunschvicg, going back, through Ravaisson and Hamelin, all the way to Descartes, was called into question. Bergsonism appeared dated, Maritain's advocacy of Thomism had lost its appeal, as inadequate for an age of science and turmoil. A need for renovation of all concepts, and for revolution in the realm of the spirit, was everywhere felt, and proclaimed by the young thinkers who had rallied around such groups as "Philosophies," "Esprit," the Dominicans at their boldest and the Marxists at their least orthodox. The six-year war brutally accelerated the reflection of thinkers eager for a new basis for changing life. The past had to be rejected as antediluvian after the most humiliating defeat sustained by France over four centuries. Lived problems suddenly erupted into the French consciousness. History had lost much of its prestige. Literature was spurned as the accomplice of the establishment. Man, in order deliberately to live forward, had first to think forward. Morot-Sir has some 494 HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY pregnant pages on the imperative choices between collaboration and resistance, on torture as the attempt, not to punish or to redeem the victim, but to tear his knowledge from him through cruel force. "Never again" was the collective oath silently formulated by those who then reflected. Hope revived after a time in the crushed and starved country, even in the face of atomic explosions and amid the rivalry between East and West. The French developed a passion for the kind of utopias of which their eighteenth century "philosophes" and their socialists of 1830-1848 had fondly dreamt. To be sure, philosophical speculation, and even...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
pp. 493-495
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-01
Open Access
No
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