Lénjeu de la philosophie médiévale: études thomistes, scotistes, occamiennes et grégoriennes (review)
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BOOK REVIEWS 491 The commentary on the three, often ignored concluding books is generally excellent , particularly in pointing out (i) the correspondence of the books to the three persons of the Trinity, (ii) how meditation on the opening verses of Genes/sis a kind of mystical praxis. Generally, O'Donnell believes rightly that books 11-13 show how the philosophical ascent of the mind and the Scriptual ascent of the soul can be integrated (1.xlvi n. 80). However, on the philosophical topics of books 11 and x20'Donnell is too brief. The problem "why God did not create the universe sooner" is not critically examined nor is it linked to the related question of whether acts of will compromise divine immutability (cf. 3:274). (O'Donnell asserts, after all, that Augustine is the inventor of the will.) Other absences noted in vol. 3: (a) no mention of elements of an idealistic theory of time in 11.27--~8 (3:293); (b) O'Donnell observes that Augustine's explanation of formless matter (matgna informis) is sophisticated and successful--but he does not say what the explanation is or why it's so goodl Finally, more positively, O'Donnelrs precise terminological distinction between specieslformaand imago (3:3o4) is one of countess examples of the sort of illumination philosophers will find here. Jon~ BussANIcn University of Nov Mexico Andr6 de Muralt. L'Enjeu de la philosophic mkdikvale: l~tudesthomistes,scotistes,occamiennes et gr~goriennes. Studien und Texte zur Geistesgeschichte des Mittelalters, Band XXIV. Leiden-New York-Kobenhavn-K61n, 199a. Pp. xvi + 448. NP. This book is a composite of eight individual studies. Each study exists as an independent unit. Yet, the author evidently intends the eight studies to form a complex whole. The studies are concerned with the following themes: an introductory study bearing the tide of the volume sets out the issues involved in medieval philosophy and the problem of interdisciplinarity; a study of the medieval theory of distinctions with a digression on the role of the de potentia absoluta dei in the modern interpretation of knowledge and will; an account of the medieval doctrine of esse objectivum, which divides into two studies, one on Duns Scotus, the other on Gregory of Rimini; a study entided La m~taphysiqueoccamienne de l'id~e, which is an interpretation OfCredo in unum deum as interpreted by Ockham, a study of the themes of possibility, the absolute power of God and the principle of non-contradiction; an exegesis and commentary on the problem of future contingency, entitled "Providence et Libert6," which provides a sketch of a metaphysics of providence and contingency; a careful presentation of the Thomistic doctrine of divine causality; and finally, a translation and commentary of the Prologue to Ockham's Commentary on the Sentences. There is an analytic index of subject matters, an index of names, and a bibliography. The author lays out his philosophical presuppositions from the beginning. He presents the thesis that there is a continuity in the structure of thought from Medieval Scotism through Descartes to modern analytic philosophy and to the philosophy of Husserl. He inscribes Gregory of Rimini in the center of the Scotist tradition. The relation of the structure of thought to history is seen as analogous to that of the relation 492 JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY 3~:3 JULY 199 4 of essence to existence. Further, it is the study of the doctrines in the history of philosophy which permit one to introduce "the structure of thought" and it is the history of philosophy which gives a foundation for the analysis of the doctrines. It is in this sense, the author informs us, that this book is a work in analytic philosophy. He adds: "II n'est pas au premier chef un llvre d'histoire de la philosophie .... II est un oeuvre d'analyse doctrinale des pens~es philosophique" (xi-xii). Perhaps the most difficult issue in the book is the manner in which the author sets out to "use" the history of philosophy for the purposes of doctrinal analysis. Duns Scotus and William of Ockham are seen as headwaters of typical Reformation doctrines . Luther and Calvin, not to mention Descartes and...