Michael Scriven’s Review

This is a sustained, serious, and talented work in the honorable tradition of metaphysics, addressing as it does the great problems of the nature of being and the nature of our understanding of the world. It is original in the most important aspect of its main theme, because it connects these two mysteries directly in a novel way. Understanding is a cognitive achievement, and the goal for which we strive in our intellectual dealings with the universe, and it is well worthwhile to consider whether our understanding of understanding, further analyzed, might not provide us with a vital foothold in climbing the long-resistant rock mountain of metaphysics. Monius does us all a service in pushing hard on this front.

Moreover, he writes with great clarity, especially considering his difficult and abstract subject-matter. Clarity includes the use of very good examples to illustrate points; the examples here are often interesting in their own right as well as highly relevant and illuminating. To clarity must be added brevity, for the topic is hue and virtually none of his predecessors have compressed it to the degree he does—60 pages—without any sense of being rushed or forced to use shortcuts that weaken the strength of arguments.

This is a fine work, a major contribution to the great tradition of meta-physics. It proposes an original and elegant solution to the problems of being and our understanding of being; and it foes so in exceptionally clear language with exceptionally up to date analyses of the many subsidiary philosophical notions that must come into any work with such a broad sweep. I commend it to others for study—and as an example.

Michael Scriven
Western Michigan University