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BOOK REVIEWS 343 rated and defended by Jean-Luc Marion in "Generosity and Phenomenology: Remarks on Michel Henry's Interpretation of the Cartesian Cogito." In an extremely clear presentation, Marion explains the positions in phenomenology to which Henry is responding and presents further textual support of Henry's view using Descartes's discussion of generosity in The Passions of the Soul. In doing so, Marion convincingly gives moral concerns a greater place in Descartes's philosophy. Through the scope of the issues discussed and the textual support presented, this collection successfully presents Descartes's philosophy in all its complexity and systematicity . This presentation is enhanced by the technique adopted by several authors of explicating Descartes's resolution of an issue in light of how others had resolved the issue before him. Rozemond's discussion of scholastic arguments for the incorporeity of the soul and Hatfield's presentation of Su~irez's account of the relation between God and real essences are good examples of this. In sum, this collection will be beneficial for anyone interested in deepening their understanding of Descartes. LAURA KEAT~NC Hunter College, C.U.N.Y. Nicolas Malebranche. Treatise on Ethics (1684). Translation and introduction by Craig Walton. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1993. Pp. ix + e27. Cloth, $1o6.5o. Readers who are familiar with the history of ethics are likely to find Malebranche's Treatise on Ethics a puzzling book; there appears to be little in the work that is recognizable as moral philosophy. It is true that the Treatise opens promisingly enough: Malebranche begins the Treatise, in a characteristically Platonic way, by stating a parallel between ethics and mathematics. Just as there are objective relations of magnitude, so there are objective relations of perfection among creatures; the virtuous person is the one who can make his desires conform with this objective hierarchy of value. Such a person exhibits what Malebranche calls "the love of order." Yet in the rest of the work Malebranche does little to defend or develop this brand of moral Platonism. Instead, for much of the time, Malebranche the moral philosopher seems to give way to Malebranche the writer of devotional and edifying prose addressed to the spiritual needs of his fellow Catholics. The Treatise on Ethics exhales the hothouse atmosphere of the Counter-Reformation. In contrast to Craig Walton, then, I do not believe that the Treatise is an example of a neglected masterpiece (32). Yet even Malebranche's minor writings contain material of interest, and there is certainly a case for publishing an English translation of this work. For one thing, Malebranche's seeming inability to stay within the confines of moral theory is not all loss from a philosophical point of view; the Treatise offers incidental insights into his two great doctrines of occasionalism and vision in God. Secondly, the Treatise is a valuable resource for understanding the background to Hume's ethics. In a footnote to the Enquiry concerning the Principles of Morals, Hume himself indicates that Malebranche is one of the principal targets of his attack on moral 344 JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY 33:2 APRIL ~995 rationalism. Certainly it is not inaccurate to saddle Malebranche with the view that "there are eternal fitnesses and unfitnesses of things" (Treatise of Human Nature, III.I.I). Walton's translation reads fluently and succeeds in capturing the authentic tone of Malebranche's voice. In general too it achieves a reasonable standard of accuracy, although lapses are not hard to detect. Sometimes it is difficult to find any meaning in the translation. On 185 we read that "we ought to plea all the more to those who are excluded [from the eternal society which Catholics have with Jesus] than we would to those who are enslaved in a foreign land." What Malebranche is in fact saying is that we ought to pity much more those who are excluded [from this society] than we would those who are enslaved in a foreign land ('Ton doit beaucoup plus plaindre ceux qui en sont exclus, que ceux qui sont en servitude darts une terre etrang~re"). Presumably, Walton confused plaindre with p/a/der. At other times Walton's translation simply...


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