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The editor indicates that the various chapters represent general science, astronomy , biology, chemistry, geology, physics, and psychology. The earliest essay is that of Herodotus and goes back to ca. 444 B.C. The most recent one is by George Smoot and dates to 1994. I found the selection spotty and I missed certain works. Contrary to the editor's stated rejection (p. xvi) of the beauty of science, selected writings of Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar and also Peter Debye on the beauty of new theories as a test for their validity should have been included. Please note that these do not constitute "interfaces" between fields, but a methodology practiced by these two Nobelists. The choice of the essays disappointed me in a different sense. Selections from the recent literature on molecular and cell biology, the spirited debates on the brain-mind interaction, and last but not least that vast field of complexity and selforganization are missing. Yet these are fields where some of the most exciting research is being pursued, and where there already exists some excellent writing. In the area ofscience and mathematics one of the earliest compilations wasJames R. Newman's The World ofMathematics (1956), New York: Simon & Schuster. I obtained a copy when it was published and I still make reference to it as do many others. The anthology reviewed here probably will not be sought as a reference but is a nice read during relaxed moments at the beach or by the fireplace. A. B. Cambel George Washington University December 1997 The Socially Responsive Self: Social Theory and Professional Ethics. By Larry May. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1996, 209 pages. Cloth $35.00. Paper $15.95 This is a book in which the discussion and purpose is to give us an understanding ofwhat the communitarian theory is. This is a relatively new kind of a concept, but it is one apparently gaining more in popularity. This book really tries to focus on the author's interest in social theory and professional ethics. He divides his book into chapters on social and moral theory, integrity, authority, collective consciousness , social responsibility, professional integrity, and conflict of interest. One of the first parts is to try to define what communitarianism really means and actually it can be defined mostly by negativity. For example the author states that "Communitarianism is best understood as a social and moral perspective that's based on criticism ofliberalism". The criticisms are those that define communitarianism and are liberalism (1) values, neglects and or undermines community; (2) undervalues political life, viewing political association as merely instrumental good; (3) fails to provide or is incompatible with an adequate account ofcertain types ofobligations and commitments; (4) presupposes a conception when fails to realize itself; (5) wrongly exalts justice as being "the first virtue of social institutionalization". These statements are the most important criticisms of liberalism that are offered by communitarian. As a matter of fact from this point comes the definition of communitarians that the author shares with us Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, 41, 3 ¦ Spring 1998 | 453 and they are these as follows: (1) community is constitutive of any conception of good life; (2) participation and politics has intrinsic value; (3) some of our most important responsibility are thrust upon us not voluntarily assumed; (4) the self is socially constructed; (5) responsibility is at least as important a moral value as is justice. This is very difficult to make out in as much as the definition of the communitarian view. Many areas get a great deal ofattention as the author continues on. For example; the author talks about integrity and states that one cannot always follow the most ideal interest of the community and of the ideals of proper behavior if those interfere with basic necessities of one's own life such as earning a living. The author also states that the crucial dimension of maturation, that is maturation for integrity occurs when the self "is able to make adjustments in its personality " that is when the self is able to block old influences, add new ones and provide a unifying structure to the self; that is in keeping with how one wants to be...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-8795
Print ISSN
0031-5982
Pages
pp. 453-455
Launched on MUSE
2015-01-07
Open Access
No
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