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BOOK REVIEWS 489 Intenzionalitd e Dialettica. By Alberto Moscato. (Firenze: Istituto di Filosofia della Facolth di Lettere e Filosofia dell'Universith di Genova. Florence: Felice Le Monnier , 1969. Pp. 225. L. 3500) The author had two courses of aesthetics at the University of Genoa and this book is an elaboration of these courses but it deals only in a minor way with aesthetics and more with epistemology and metaphysics. He states that the problem of meaning (significato) is the core of modern philosophical investigations and starts with what he calls "aesthetic meaning" in Baumgarten and Kant. He then discusses Benedetto Croce and devotes much space to the idealistic philosophy of Giovanni Gentile, to Hegel himself and also to the theories of the late Wittgenstein. It is in the third part of his book (pp. 177-243) that he synthesizes his own position calling it "a critique of meaning " (significato). This part criticizes the epistemology of Moritz yon Schlick, Alfred Jules Ayer and Willard Quine from the standpoint of an existentialist phenomenology of Husserl and Heidegger. He approves the critique of positivism by the Frankfurt neo-Marxists, Horkheimer and Th. W. Adorno, and proceeds especially to a characterization of modern culture and science. Our culture, he says, is pluralistic and lacks true unity. The unities it offers are relative. There is no guarantee of continuity in the passage from one point of view to a later one. It is philosophy that should mediate here. But a philosophy like that of Hegel which was supposed to encompass the whole of reality is impossible today. Our present has no single sense but seems to have a multiplicity of meanings. Having then discussed the "famous" statement of Schlick that the sense of a statement it its method of verification, he states, after devoting some investigations to Alfred Jules Ayer and Willard Quine, that at present one hears often the opinion that philosophy is not supposed to discover the nature of things, but only analyze the languages that are used for that purpose. Today's science is not a confrontation with reality but rather a closed system of concepts which could be controlled by God alone. It was assumed in the past that the world was stable and immutable and that only the spectators changed. There were immutable laws of nature. The positivistic ideal has abandoned such assumptions. The ideal of an ever more refined description of all facts of nature lost all sense just as in quantum physics a complete description of the phenomena is impossible. We do not know the future, it may even fail to arrive. The abyss between/acta and futura is unbridgeable. There is not only a difference in time between the present and the future but also one in an ontological sense. Science is not any more a technique for the adjustment of our own inconstancy to the immutability of the world, but a technique to adjust the inconstancy of the world to the immutability of consciousness. It is also a search for a system of invariants for the reduction of change to immutability. Objectivity is certainly valuable but it cannot compensate us for the loss of the object. The author often uses the term "intentionality," but by no means in the original sense used by Husserl, he extends it speaking of intentionality of a culture, etc. At the end of his elaborate preface he expresses the confidence that the reader will be able to see the difference between this essay and "those of many intellectual discussions to be found in the current philosophical literature as, for instance, in those inspired by a phenomenological-Marxist syncretism." MAx RInsER New York City. ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
p. 489
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-01
Open Access
No
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