In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

186 HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY direction and made meaningful, whereas for Fichte they are the cognitively recognized goals of human activity. Nonetheless, I still find Lacroix' thoroughgoing teleological interpretation of Kant a bit bothersome, at points strained, although there is little doubt that teleology plays a large part in Kant's thought with respect to the realm of reason. Moreover, I'm not convinced that Kant's thought is as unified and internally consistent as Lacroix would like to find it. In all fairness, however, it should be mentioned that he does not ignore the inconsistencies in Kant's thought. Lacroix' Kant interpretation certainly warrants serious consideration, for it has at least two outstanding features: It makes Kant's doctrine of the noumenal realm much more palatable than most other interpretations. Secondly, it goes a long way toward drawing out the full significance of Kant's comment, "I have therefore found it necessary to deny knowLedr in order to make room for jaith." And it is only by bringing out the significance of this statement that Kant's work can be shown to be primarily metaphysical in intention. Finally, the work's greatest virtue may be that it pulls the shroud of formalism off Kant's thought and shows it to possess a dynamic concern for living man, a concern that few, if any, have seen in it before. Incidentally, Lacroix' book is full of observations on the reception and interpretation of Kant's thought by various twentieth-century French philosophers, and these offer some nice insights into the different directions French thought is taking today. TED B. HUMPHREY Arizona State University Wordsworth--A Philosophical Approach. By Melvin Rader. (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1967. Pp. x -4-217.38s.) Wordsworth's poems have brought tears to many a rational mind, but Melvin Rsder manages to keep sane and sober while he expounds the poet's ideas in plain prose and interprets critically the wealth of feeling, imagination, metaphor and myth in which the ideas are clothed. This rendering of Wordsworth's mind is eloquent in its own way, sad performs a useful service to readers who are apt to miss the train of thought within the flow of poetry and of communion with the landscapes of the English Lakes. The analysis shows how, after an early enthusiasm for Locke's and Hartley's "chemistry" of experience, the poet expresses philosophically dimensions of human nature and experience that had been neglected by the more clinical models of "association~sm." Wordsworth's own statement reveals this aspect of his thinking: " that chemical faculty by which elements of the most different nature and distant origin are blended together into one harmonious and homogeneous whole" (p. 139). Here the words "different" and "d'tstant," as Racier points out, exclude the types of association by resemblance and contiguity that are basic to Locke and Hartley. The hberation of Coleridge, and the imaginative transcendence of Wordsworth from these limitations of rationalistic empiricism is a major theme of Rader's work. However, Ruder shows that much of Wordsworth's naturalism is traceable to Hartley's influence. Cudworth's "dynamic idealism" which pictured nature as alive and insisted on the power of ideas, was another major source. Shaftesbury's analysis of the emotional aspects of human nature which his tutor, John Locke, excluded from his Essay because they are not in "the understanding" was also an inspiration to Wordsworth. The definite conversion to transcendentalism was completed by the Kantian romanticists, who suggested to Coleridge that the categorical imperative could be transformed into an a pr/or/gospel. The subsequent divergence of Coleridge and Wordsworth is described in detail by Ruder, and reveals the fact that naturalism retained a stronger hold on Wordsworth than it did on Coleridge. Wordsworth did not follow Coleridge into his romantic spiritual nationalism, but developed a nature-mysticism and "animism" (to use Rader's term). Though this mysticism is not an articulate philosophy, Rader follows it with sympathy and under- BOOK REVIEWS 187 standing. He picks his way philosophicelly ~darough the many preludes, interludes and epilogues of the long, autobiographical poem, The Prelude. He succeeds in interpreting philosophically .Wordsworth's absorption in "the...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 186-187
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.