THE PORNOGRAPHY OF POWER by Lionel Rubinoff

THE PORNOGRAPHY OF POWER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The piquancy of the title is not so much misleading as it is slightly out of focus; ""The Philosophy of Power"" would have been more apt an appellation, for the book is a modern raise a point of an ancient philosophical moot: to reconcile the ""mystery of man's capacity for evil with his even more bewildering capacity for transcendence."" Professor Rubinoff views the problem from the contrary, but not contradictory, standpoints of progress and power. Progress, he says, is the good in man, progress being the ascent of the ladder of truth; but society has corrupted the notion of progress so that it has become confused with the quest for power--economic power, or social, or military, or political, etc. And from this dichotomy springs man's capacity for simultaneous virtue and vice, for it contains in itself the seeds of both surpassing evil and transcendent good. The argument is a good deal more complex and subtle than that, of course, and the author pursues it with a vigor, a wisdom, and occasionally a wit, that persuades as it explores. Although the book (and the lectures which preceded it) is intended for the layman, it makes only the smallest concessions to the layman's vocabulary, and the reader must be prepared for a major and sustained effort on the trapeze of phenomenological gymnastics.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1968
Publisher: Quadrangle