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NONTHEMATIC / Vol. 18, No. 4 (Winter 1951)

For reasons that go back to the social and intellectual history of the era of Enlightenment, scientific economics developed in analogy to physics and astronomy, by applying the principles of classical mechanics. In spite of periodic attacks against these foundations, the main theoretical currents of economic thinking have to this day retained the characteristics of a 'mechanistic' system. The purpose of this essay is to demonstrate that, irrespective of the merits of any "non-mechanistic" approach to economic analysis, the traditional method retains its significance for understanding a competitive economic society. It does so, however, only if it is subjected to a process of refinement, for which recent advances, especially in the analytical treatment of expectations, have furnished the tools.

Forty-one years ago, in a noted essay, John Dewey celebrated certain phases of Darwin’s influence on philosophy. Since then Dewey has carried forward and brought to fruition the movement toward full-fledged naturalism in philosophy, science, art, and all other aspects of life, to the stimulation of which Darwin’s epoch-making works had contributed so much. The story of Dewey’s philosophical growth and flowering offers a fascinating study in the emergence, crystallization, and transformation of a great individual through struggle against the super-naturalism of nineteenth-century religion and philosophy, through stimulation by certain precursors of modern naturalism, and through reflection upon and integration of his varied life experiences.

No development in contemporary European industrial relations has attracted greater attention than German labor’s fight for codetermination, the drive for participation in the management of the enterprise and for influencing the direction of the economy on an equal basis with industry. The partial but significant victory that German labor gained in the first quarter of 1951, with the passing of the codetermination law for the German steel and coal industries, has focused interest in the United States on this phase of the struggle. American management and labor have supported their German counterparts, while the United States government--unlike other occupying powers--has maintained an attitude of strict neutrality.

Patriotism, in a democracy, is not simply the conversion of an international idealism into a kinship with those who are already fighting the tyrant. It is the patriotism of the man who believes that the rightness or wrongness of the Korean War depends on its capacity for containing Russian aggression and keeping the peace. What is patriotism to one who believes, as a great many of the men who are fighting it apparently believe, that the whole Korean campaign is a series of political blunders? For an American that is a very hard question. We like our wars clean, if we have to have them.

Recent public discussions have suggested that the Communist party in present-day France has reached its probable peak of membership and followers, and that its voting strength is restricted by the size of the working classes. Logically, since the population of France is chiefly peasant and bourgeois, the Communist party has reached its outer limits of expansion. The following impressions on these subjects were collected incidentally, and are not the result of a formal political study. During the past three years the author worked as an ethnologist in a rural community in central France for two separated periods of four and five months. He was not known as an ethnologist by the people of this community.

Review of book by Edwin G. Nourse. New York: Holt. 1951. 184 pp.

Review of book by Albert G. Hart(with recommendations of the Committee on Economic Stabilization.) New York: Twentieth Century Fund. 1951. 186 pp.

Review of book by George F. Kennan. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 1951. ix & 154 pp.

Review of book by Robert Payne. New York: Macmillan. 1951. 309 pp.

Review of book by Norbert Wiener. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. 1950. 241 pp.

Review of book by Kurt Lewin. Edited by Dorwin Cartwright. New York: Harper. 1951. 346 pp.

Review of book by M. M. Bober. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. 1950. 445 pp.

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