I THE work of the philosopher has traditionally been supposed to consist of three connected tasks. In the first place, he has been expected to provide a compendious overall view of the universe and of man's place in it. Secondly, he has been ex· pected to do this by rational procedures and not, for example, by intuition or poetic imagination. Lastly, men have looked to the philosopher to give them or at least justify for them, a religious point of view that would also be defensible by reason. Philosophers have thus been expected to combine the aims and achievements of scientists, moralists and theologians. But these expectations have proved far beyond what they have been able to accomplish. On rare occasions, a philosopher of genius like Aquinas1 or Spinoza2 has given us a map of the universe that many people have found both intellectually and spiritually satisfying. But in such cases it has proved only too easy for the philosopher's critics to attack the logic of his system or the truth of his premisses. They have shown in this way that, how· ever fascinating and persuasive his picture of the world may be, there is no good reason to believe that it is a true one.