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REVIEWS There was neither Fascism nor Communism to complicate diplomacy . Alliances were made on the strength of interest, and came to be regulated by the balance of power. International organization in the political field was represented only by the Hague Conferences , towards which all the Powers looked with thinly-veiled cynlclsm. Competition in armaments was seen.as a more realistic factor. A study of pre-War diplomacy leaves not so much an impression of the false principles, or even the lack of ability, of the men concerned, as of the dangers of that complicated system and of the precarious base on which peace rested. The personnel has changed, but the system remains. Imperialism and naval rivalry still go hand in hand; orators tell eager audiences of security and national honour; men play with war in the name of country. "Pre_War diplomacy" has come to describe a period, not a system. NINETEENTH-CENTURY THOUGHT: TWO VIEWS* E. K. BROWN In his study of Schiller's aesthetics, M. Victor Basch remarks that the subjects which will prove most rewarding to a modern investigator are the marginal subjects, subjects on the ideal margin between philosophy and history, let us say, or between literaru:re and sociology. In the two books under review, the authors have shown unusual powers in dealing with such marginal subjects: Mr. Mead, who was a professor of philosophy, has found the French Revolu tion, the rise of a research method in science, and the growth of industry as important to the understanding of nineteenth-century thought as critical idealism or mathematical realism; and Mr. Beach, who is a professor of literature, is at least as interested and as erudite in the philosophers' conceptions of nature as in the poets' use of them. Movements of Thought in the Nineteenth Century is a collection of Mr. Mead's lectures, reported by a stenographer and edited· by *Mooements oj Thought in the Nineteenth Century, by George H. Mead, University of Chicago Press, 1936. The Concept of Nature in Nine/eenth Century English Poetry. by Joseph Warren Beach, Macmillan, 1936. 141 THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO QUARTERLY Professor Merritt H. Moore, a former student, with the assistance of colleagues of Mr. Mead. There is no reason to question Mr. Moore's assertion that the book is substantially accurate, although one is a little alarmed when one reads such a sentence as this: "With the increase in the amount and the expense of apparatus, with the advantage which could be obtained by holding the project so that it could be sold at a profitable time, ready capital was found to be of great value." The word project is here an error for product, one of those dangerous errors which seem to make sense. One is also a little alarmed at finding that the two most important French terms employed in the lectures are incorrectly reported: Rousseau's volonte generale (pp. 20, 28, etc.) and Bergson's duree (p. 311). The absence of the footnotes which Mr. Mead would have supplied had he published a book on such a subject is also .regrettable. One is disturbed by a sentence such as this: "The influence which particularly moved Carlyle, though, was that of Schelling, although Fichte too had his influence, as is shown particularly in Sartor Resartus." Such a dictum is not borne out by a reading of Carlyle's comments on German thought, and it is in direct contradiction with the views of Cazamian and Harrold. A more serious weakness is - recogniz~d by the editor: "Mr. Mead had a very effective teaching habit of advancing cyclically through his subject matter. The result was a good deal of repetition." The book 1s too long; and although Mr. Moore has abridged the materlaJ he had before him, the process of abridgment should have been carried farther. The first impression made upon one by Mr. Mead's lectures is that of comprehensiveness, followed by one of admiration for his power to discern connections between seemingly unconnected matters . Philosophy was, for him, a discipline in which the problems presented by economic, political, and scientific facts are solved. The failure of the political movement which expressed itself ill the. French...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 141-147
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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