Desire, Identity and Existence: Essays in Honour of TM Penner


310 pages
Contains Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-920980-85-6
DDC 180




Edited by Naomi Reshotko
Reviewed by Jay Newman

Jay Newman is a professor of philosophy at the University of Guelph. His
books include Inauthentic Culture and Its Philosophical Critics and
Biblical Religion and Family Values.


This festschrift is based on papers delivered at a 2001 conference at
the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where the honoree, Terrence M.
Penner, has spent the largest part of his academic career. Born in
Saskatoon, Penner did his undergraduate work at the University of
British Columbia, but it was probably during his advanced studies at
Oxford that he became committed to the distinctive analytical
methodology applied in his work. Penner is the author of

The Ascent from Nominalism, a 1987 book on Plato’s metaphysics, and of
a number of influential articles.

This festschrift contains 14 papers, an introduction by editor Naomi
Reshotko, two bibliographies, and an index. The topics addressed in the
collection relate to Penner’s research interests, particularly the
historical Socrates, Socratic moral psychology and action theory, and
Plato’s metaphysics. As Penner does, authors in this volume sometimes
relate the ideas of the ancient Greek philosophers to contemporary
philosophical discussion. Notable in this regard is Penner’s Platonic
critique of Frege.

The essays here are rather uneven in quality, in style, and in level of
complexity. One of the contributors, Melinda Hogan, is affiliated with
Canadian institutions of higher learning. Hogan, who teaches at Kwantlen
University College and the University of British Columbia, has
contributed an article titled “Brute Error Without Sinn: Identity
Claims in the Phaedo and in Frege.” It would have been nice to find
something by Penner himself in the book, especially a response to some
of the points made by the contributors. This book is primarily for
university libraries at institutions with a graduate program in
philosophy or classics.


“Desire, Identity and Existence: Essays in Honour of TM Penner,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 24, 2024,