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---- ~ ~~--- - - --- - .- ,.. ------ - - -----208 THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO QUARTERLY·the social and bistoricalenvironment of his time. The values he seeks do not have some transcendental source, but spring from ·his unique nature as a human being. Thus, apart from "the higher reaches of the phylogenetic scale," the universe is devoid of both value and purpose. Ymthis fact, suggested with overwhelming force by scientific evidence, does not destroy man's capacity to mould the world closer to his heart's desire. Nor does it prevent him from obtaining an ever deeper knowledge of its struoture. The chief doctrine auacked throughout the book is "idealism''-,a term applied rather indiscriminately to a wide variety of positions. Under this heading, pragmatism, positivism, and existe:p.tialism come in for par.ticularly hostile criticism. The influence of Marxism is evident here. A number of well-known members of that school are in- . eluded among the contributors, ·though dialectical materialism as such is kept on the periphery of :the discussion. Since the volume is offered as a serious .philosophical work, it will be judged by professional ra·ther than popular standards. Such an appraisal must lead to the conclusion thaJt: while many of •the essays are forceful and suggestive, the work as a whole is deficient in careful analysis. This can be seen in the case of such basic ideas as "matter," "levels," "emergence," etc. A precise formulation of what these ideas mean for "modern materialism" is never given; and long-standing diffi.culti·es are too quickly passed over. The reader may well wonder whether the plausibility of the general doctrine does not vary inversely with its vagueness. In the present anti-metaphysical atmosphere of philosophy, materialism will not achieve even the status of a possible world-hypat:hesis, let alone an established doctrine, unless it can be st(llted with much more rigour and clarity ·than is to be found in this book. THOMAS A. GauncE Slavonic Encyclopaedia. Edited by JoSEPH S. RoucEK. New York: Philosophical Library. 1949. Pp. xiv, 1445. ($18.00) With the Slavic world looming ever more importantly in the affairs of men, not only politically but culturally as well, an ever increasing number of studies dealing with it have appeared both during and since the war. Most of them, with the exception of A Handbook of Slavic Studies, edited by this reviewer, were confined either to Russia and the Soviet Union or to one or another of the Slavic states. There was certainly a need for an over-all reference book covering the entire Slavic field. Such an ambitious undertaking has been attempted by Professor Roucek in the Slavonic Encyclopaedia. Unfortunately the result of his efforts falls far short of the mark. SHORTER NOTICES 209 The book is not only full of misprints, but also of mistakes. It is more remarkable for its omissions than for its content. The work of editing shows a certain amount of negligence and a lack of co-ordination , regrettable in such an undertaking, and it suffers from an obvious pro-Soviet and pro-Ukrainian slant. Here are a few examples. In the field of literature, Pushkin, Krylov, Turgenev, Goncharov, Bryusov, Blok, Gumilyov are not even mentioned, while Djambul, the Kazakh poet (not a Slav), who sings paeans to Stalin, receives one and a half columns of space. In the field of music, Alexandrov, leader of the Red Army song and dance ensen1ble, is described as a great composer , while Boroclin is omitted (incidentally, Borodin, the bolshevik emissary to China, rates one and a half columns) . More astonishing still one finds Chaikovsky first listed as a Ukrainian composer; he appears later as a Russian under the spelling Tschaikovsky. The marine painter Aivazovsky is first listed as a Ukrainian, then as a Russian under the spelling Ayvazovski. A similar fate is meted out to Tugan-Baranovsky, who appears first as "the most scholarly and objective of Russian revolutionists,') and later as a Ukrail).ian economist under Tuhan-Baranovsky. Mussorgsky (luckily not transformed into a Ukrainian) has two biographical sketches under two different spellings of his name as does the contemporary Soviet composer Miaskowsky. Some of the entries are grossly misleading. Theophan Procopovich, a great churchman, orator, and moulder...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 208-210
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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