Buber

The Elusive Mind

  • Hywel David Lewis
1966 to 1968
University of Edinburgh

Professor Lewis’s book is a methodical defence of a traditional dualism against its contemporary opponents. He is thoroughly out of sympathy with many of the writers he examines – their arguments are ‘desperate, tortuous and unconvincing’ – and the general intimidating tone becomes somewhat wearisome after a while, even to one sympathetic to the position he defends.

Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals

  • Iris Murdoch
1981 to 1982
University of Edinburgh

This book, a revised and expanded version of Murdoch’s 1982 Gifford Lectures, is an intriguing, scholarly, but sprawling work that proceeds reflectively through an enormous range of topics, including art and religion, morals and politics, Wittgenstein, metaphysics, deconstruction, Schopenhauer, imagination, and Martin Buber. What Murdoch presents here is not a systematic treatise, but what can be described as ‘a huge hall of reflection full of light and space and fresh air, in which ideas and intuitions can be unsystematically nurtured’.

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