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BOOK REVIEWS 247 The topics selected as most likely to appeal to all beginners with intellectually lively minds are grouped into three large Parts--(1) religion (ethical and other norms, and impartiality); (2) religion (God, faith and reason, the limits of reason, and freewill); (3) the theory of knowledge; with an epilogue on "Words and the World." Besides an index of names there is a very useful one of subjects. So far as Flew draws on the philosophers of the past he keeps to those of the West (as the book's title advertises), chiefly Plato, Aristotle, St. Thomas Aquinas, Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume and Kant, not lingering long on any one of them or giving a tabloid summary of their systems. Every now and then he pounces on a delightfully suitable quotation from less known thinkers, not all of them philosophers. The reason he gives for ignoring the East, that its philosophies are not essentially arguings, is disputable, yet the omission is paedagogically right, if only, like his also deliberate omission of social philosophy, because its inclusion would swell the book, already heavy enough for the hand, considerably and anyhow, in the latter case, the discipline of his "minima" should enable readers to know what sort of thing a philosophical study of society would be. Available translations of foreign writers are used, but here and there smoothed into engaging clearness for beginners (though "sloppy" is a risky substitute for one of Plato's words!). To enter into the details of so large a book is impossible, and merely to sample would be arbitrary. The expositions set out the pros and cons with a high degree of impartiality, though Flew does not fear to speak his own mind, usually briefly and plainly, occasionally with pleasantly mischievous hints. His erudition and acuteness are remarkable, and his wit is dry, cutting gently but firmly. His literary style is distinguished , with a few flops to make contact with weaker readers. His short sentences are in most cases pellucidly clear, some are flashes of insight admirably put, others teasingly oracular. Some of his long sentences, however, I have found hard to grasp, and hope that he will have another look at them if, as there should be, a second edition is called for. On one general point I have to raise a doubt, namely, whether Flew has in fact succeeded in suiting his book to the needs of beginners. If he has, his experience of these is more fortunate than mine. It would, I believe, stretch them too much. In England it would be recommended to students who have been studying philosophy predominantly for at least a year. What I am sure of is that every teacher of philosophy should read and use it for its immense suggestiveness of teaching approaches. It is the best contemporary outline in English that I have seen. T. E. JESSOP Hull, England BOOKS RECEIVED First Editions Annales de l'Institut de Phitosophie: Morale et Enseignement. Bruxelles: Editions de l'Institut de Sociologie, 1971. 80 FB. Les Annales pr6sentent les travaux des professeurs et chercheurs de l'Institut de Philosophie en un volume de plus de 160 pages. Ayer, A. J. Russell and Moore: The Analytical Heritage. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press, 1971. Pp. x+254. $8.75. 248 HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY Bendix, Reinhard and Guenther Roth. Scholarship and Partisanship: Essays on Max Weber. Berkeley, Los Angeles and London: Univ. of California Press, 1971. Pp. v+313. $10. Bennett, Jonathan, Locke, Berkeley, Hume: Central Themes. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971. Pp. vii+361. $11.25. Paper, $4.50. Bollack, Jean, Mayotte Bollack, and Heinz Wismann. La Lettre d'Epicure. Paris: Aux Editions de Minuit, 1971. Pp. 316. 27 F. Bormann, Karl. Parmenides: Untersuchungen zu den Fragmenten. Hamburg: Felix Meiner Verlag, 1971. Pp. iv+263. DM 54. Bowes, Pratima. Consciousness and Freedom: Three Views. New York and London: Barnes & Noble and Methuen & Co., Ltd., 1971. Pp. vii+230. $8.75. Buckley, Michael J., sJ. Motion and Motion's God: Thematic Variations in Aristotle, Cicero, Newton, and Hegel. Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1971. Pp. 287. $10. Cancrini, Antonia. Syneidesis il Tema Semantico della (Con-Scientia) nella Grecia Antica. Rome: Edizioni dell'Ateneo, 1970. Pp...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
pp. 247-251
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-01
Open Access
No
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