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Philosophy Alive

Recent Philosophical Bibliography

New Books



The Concept of Woman, vol. II
The Early Humanist Reformation, 1250-1500
Prudence Allen, R.S.M.
Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002

This volume continues tracing the Western philosophical account of the nature of women.  Key to the organization of the present volume was the decision to discuss authors arranged according to the communities of discourse to which they belonged: Religious women, male Aristotelians, satirical writing, and the transition from scholasticism to humanism.  The author makes clear that she is not simply recounting the history of the concept of woman, but conceptual development.  Also, the author denies the notion that men and women are complimentary (incomplete without each other), but affirms that there is a tremendous creative energy found in all relations of human friendship and collaboration.  Confer Paulette W. Kidder in American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly  78/1 (Winter 2004): 151-157.


The Failure of Modernism
ed. Brendan Sweetman
Mishawaka:  American Maritan Ass., 1999

The Failure of Modernism is instructive as a book of essays offering a compemporary challenge to modernism.  The lead essay, by Robert Redpath, argues that Descartes did not move the West from the skepticism of Montaigne to a new philosophy but from the predominance of one branch of Renaissance humanism to another.  Descartes generated a new rhetoric in which mathematical abstraction would become the tool by which all exegesis would be measured and through which all objects of possible human cognition would be raised to the status of properly natural objects of human thought.  Redpath maintains that Descartes, reputed father of modern philosophy, was not really a philosopher.   Also, included in this book are four essays which discuss modernism in the light of the post-modern critique.   Confer Raymond Dennehy in American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly  75/1 (Winter 2001):  131-132.


ABC Television
2004-2005 Season
Wednesday, 8 p.m.  ET

This season Lost focused on 14 of the 48 survivors of the crash of an airplane, Oceanic Flight 815, on a desert island.  At the end of the season, 25 May 2005, actor Matthew Fox, age 38, was asked to comment on the deeper themes of the show.  Fox plays the crash survivor and resident doctor, Jack Shephard, who is the moral anchor and the man to whom the other survivors look to for leadership.  One prominent theme of the show is that, in modern obsession for technology, not enough attention is paid to the people around us.  Secondly, characters are not always going to act in predictable ways, but are tested by the new situations.  Thirdly, the epic struggle of the survivors on the island is also a struggle to find truth, personally, spiritually, and philosophically.  In conclusion, philosophical issues of knowing and willing make this series both realistic and facinating.  Confer Kristin Veitch,  "Lost in the Moment," USA Weekend (6-8 May 2005): 8-9.  The end of season show on 25 May 2005 debated "chance versus fate", and "luck versus destiny" (Chicago Tribune, 26 May 2005).