December 1962

Philosophical Anthropology and Practical Politics: A Prelude to War or to Just Law

Author Affiliations

By F. S. C. Northrop, Sterling Professor of Philosophy and Law, Yale Law School. Price, $6.50. Pp. 384, with no illustrations. The Macmillan Company, 60 Fifth Ave., New York 11, 1960.

Arch Intern Med. 1962;110(6):919-920. doi:10.1001/archinte.1962.03620240101024

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Turn off the television, twist the button on the radio, throw the newspapers and journals out, and think. What about peace in our time? If you want a strange and interesting guide, Northrop's book with its sinewy, awkward title is a good introduction to such thoughts. There is one warning I must issue. In places the style takes on such a powerful weight of obscurity that it assumes almost the nature of parody. For instance, it needs a pretty good linguistic cowboy to saddle his bronco and restore to the respectability of an English corral such a sentence as "psychoanalytically and cultural anthropologically the need for supplementing introspective psychological data and their ideological meanings with epistemically correlated trapped impulses and behavioristically conditioned reflexes and habits is equally important." Northrop has an extraordinary intoxication with the word normative, and in one run of 10 pages I counted it 27 times. I

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