top of page

NONTHEMATIC / Vol. 20, No. 2 (Summer 1953)

Other contemporary philosophers may excel Dewey in one or another respect: Russell and Whitehead by their greater mastery of techniques in logic, mathematics, and physics; Cassirer and Croce by their more extensive erudition in the diversified fields; Bergson and Santayana by their extraordinary aesthetic sensitivity and gift for striking phrase and rhythm. But Dewey is unsurpassed in his capacity for digging down to bedrock in so wide a range of important problems, discovering and adhering to what is empirically verifiable, and relating his findings to what is humanly significant.

The reputation of the Swiss nation rests on three characteristics that are generally attributed to it. Switzerland is regarded as the "oldest democracy," created in 1291, when three Alpine communities leagued together against tyranny. She is considered a symbol of unity in diversity, as a federation of twenty-five sovereign states.

There is a strong and, it seems, almost irresistible tendency in the human mind to interpret human functions in terms of the artifacts that take their place, and artifacts in terms of the replaced human functions. The use of an intentionally ambiguous and metaphorical terminology facilitates this transfer back and forth between the artifact and its maker. In former days, dealing in such analogies was left mainly to the imaginative writer...but this sort of transference is precisely what cybernetics is concerned with, and on this account it is subject to philosophical criticism.

The new Indonesian collectivism harmonizes its diverse component elements. The psychological immersion of youth in traditional authoritarian social patterns is facilitated by the revival of the village communalism and by the stress on a cooperative economy.The leaders of Indonesia today are faced with the choice of keeping this collectivist element within the bounds set by a democratic society, or of allowing it to expand into the melancholy prison of total tyranny.

If different cultures are found to be differentially affecting human life spans, man may be able to enhance their effectiveness more rapidly, and possibly to a greater degree, than would now seem to be reasonable....The liberating effects of modern and rapidly advancing cultural and social developments are worthy of considerable additional attention if we are to isolate the several factors that play on human longevity.

An extended review of Leon Poliakov's Breviaire de la haine: Le III Reich et les Juifs.

Dr. Voegelin desires that attention be redirected "to the deeper levels of human needs”, and to a methodical discussion of metaphysical intimations and alternatives--in political science as well as elsewhere in the sciences. In this context Voegelin's book is a contribution of the highest rank.

Princeton: Princeton University Press. Vol. III, 1951, 672 pp; Vol. IV, 1952, 668 pp.; Vol. V, 1952, 705 pp.; Vol. VI, 1952, 668 pp.

Review of book by Mario Einaudi, Jean-Marie Domenach, and Aldo Garosci. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. 1951. 239 pp.

Review of book by Ben W. Lewis. New York: Twentieth Century Fund. 1952. xi & 313 pp.

bottom of page