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BOOK REVIEWS 697 Excellent as Sullivan's book is, it has raised a host of questions which, though it cannot be fairly expected to discuss them at length, much less to resolve, are at the heart of ongoing reflections about the possibility of salvation outside the visible Church. Such questions concern the concrete ways in which God works in the lives of peoples of different religions, the unique and normative role of Christ in the history of salvation, the function of non-Christian religions as mediations of salvation, and so on. And the debate on these issues rages on among Catholic as well as non-Catholic theologians! One wishes that Sullivan had given a fuller account of this debate which is central in interreligious dialogue. More directly connected with the method and approach of the book itself are the questions of dogmatic development and the hermeneutics of doctrines. To put it more concretely, was Leonard Feeney, with whose ironic fate the book opens and ends, simply expressing the ancient doctrine of the deposit of the faith concerning salvation in the Church in a negative and imperfect fashion? Or was he (and more importantly, popes and official teachers of the faith) wrong in affirming the exclusiveness implicit in the formula extra ecclesiam nulla salus (which apparently they did) ? H the latter, then the issues of infallible magisterium and dogmatic ' development ' raise their ugly heads, and one has to come to terms with them. The Catholic University of America Washington, D.C. PETER c. PHAN Character. By JOEL KUPPERMAN. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Pp. vi + 193. The two theses of J. Kupperman's Character are "that character is of central importance to ethics and that ethical philosophy will have to be restructured once this is understood " (p. 3). The argument has three stages: the first three chapters explicate the notion of character and its relationship to the notions of the self and of responsibility; the next two consider the dominant, rival theories in contemporary ethics; the last two address the topics of value and the place of character in ethics. In two appendices, Kupperman applies the substantive conclusions of the work to the issues of moral psychology and the education of character. A brief review cannot communicate the many nuances of argument and the precise and lucid style that distinguish the book. While certain parts of the argument seem problematic, or at least in 698 BOOK REVIEWS need of further development, the work deserves the attention of professional ethicists and of inquisitive non-professionals. The opening chapter offers the following definition of character: "X's character is X's normal pattern of thought and action, especially with respect to concerns and commitments in matter affecting the hapĀ· piness of others or of X, and most especially in relation to moral choices" (p. 17). In the second chapter, Kupperman considers three views: Enduring Self (ES), No Self (NS), and Constructed Self (CS). The ES appears to be seH-evidently true. But what exactly is the self and where is it to he found? It is difficult to fix the abiding " I " amid or behind the flux of our self-experience. On the other hand, even Hume's skepticism concerning the self presumes that " we know where to look " for it. The " I " is simultaneously obvious and elusive, stable and unstable (p. 40). Thus, both the ES and the NS are problematic, The third option is the Constructive Self, Kupperman holds that, as children, we begin with a "protoseH." The full-fledged self is often the result of orientations, habits, and traits of character developed before one has even begun deliberating about the kind of character one would like to have. Like the self, character is constructed mostly through unreflective choices. But this raises questions about responsibility , which is the focus of the third chapter. If we have not willed to be the sorts of persons we now are, how can we be held responsible for who we are or what we do? Actions do not " flow from character like water from a pipe " (p, 59) . Over long periods of time and through a reorganization of large portions of our life, we can...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2473-3725
Print ISSN
0040-6325
Pages
pp. 697-700
Launched on MUSE
2017-04-05
Open Access
No
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