Page 4, 18th February 1938

18th February 1938
Page 4
Page 4, 18th February 1938 — Philosophy
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Philosophy

Maritain-ia

Jacques Maritain. By Gerald Phelan (Sheed and Ward, 2s. 6d.).

An -Introduction to Logic. ...By Jacques

• Maritain (Sheed and Ward, 8s. 6d.).

Reviewed by FRANCIS ifRAND

The first of •these two books is a panegyric of Jacques Maritain by the Director of the Institute of Medieval Studies in, Toronto. In his preface Professor Phelan says truly that " . . his (Maritain's) personal influence on the younger generation of Catholic philosophers has been incal

culable. Through his writings the world at large has learned to appreciate the keenness of his intellect and the power of his thought as well as the depth of his charily."

Professor Phelan gives an account of what Maritain stands for in philosophy. For him, Thomism is the true philosophy, and helped by his knowledge of biology and Bergsonism he strives to present Thomism as the only hope for modern minds who have gone astray, largely, if not entirely, because of Descartes' mistake in thinking we have got intuitive minds like those of angels.

As an example of his method Professor Phelan discusses Maritain's theory that progress in the sciences is mainly through rejection of one hypothesis in favour of another more in accordance with the facts, while progress in philosophy is by an ever deepening understanding of certain truths. In the one we get to know more, in the other we get to know better. Maritain does not discuss whether there is in fact a real distinction between these two types of progress.

* * * * The second book is a translation of the eighth edition of Maritain's Petite Logique. Of course it is neither "petite " nor an " introduction." I would not advise a newcomer to scholastic philosophy to read this book without having at hand someone who could explain to him what it is all about.

To those with some knowledge of the severity of English work in the field of Logic this book will be irritating, especially in its unfortunate references to recent developments in thatfield. It would have been better either to have treated the sub ject more thoroughly, or to have left well alone.




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