restricted access The Cambridge History of Renaissance Philosophy (review)
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128 JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY 28"1 JANUARY 199o sumed a natural ontology, realist and "essentialist," which was of Avicennian derivation . His argumentation presupposed the idea that individual beings are concrete realizations of abstract essences situated in a scala creaturarum which leads in degrees to the divinity. The idea of basing philosophical discourse on the hierarchical structure of creation appealed to Lull because in it he found something common to the Christian, Jewish, and Islamic traditions. This fact made his logic necessarily an extremely realist one, consciously opposed to the logic of the Scholastics. From the extreme realism of Lulrs logic to his moralizing intent, it is but a step. To explain the status of things as real, Lull formulated a tropological exegesis of creation by way of the scala creaturamtm. Johnston accordingly directs our attention to the importance of analogy in Lull's logic. The analogical character of Lulrs logic had indeed been emphasized by the brothers Carreras y Artau in their history of Spanish philosophy and by Platzeck in his comprehensive study of Lulrs thought. But Johnston goes beyond them, attempting to relate his conception of analogy to a type of moral argumentation which can lead to the acceptance of traditional doctrines. Johnston's study is an important attempt to discover a unifying vision in Lulrs many works without neglecting the historical and doctrinal context in which they were written. The author reveals a knowledge not only of Lulrs vast production, but also of the classical tradition which helped to form it. Future studies will have to follow his lead and try to relate Lulrs epistemology to his cosmology and ontology. AMADOR VEG^ ESQUZRXA Universitiit Freiburg Charles B. Schmitt, general editor. The CambridgeHisto,y ofRenaissancePhilosophy.Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1988. Pp. xiii + 968. $79.5o. Charles B. Schmitt met an untimely and deeply lamented death before he could see this volume through the press. Yet, as contributing editor Quentin Skinner warmly acknowledges in his preface and introduction, it bears his stamp throughout. The contributors to this book have expressly avoided an anachronistic definition of the philosophical enterprise, in general, or of Renaissance philosophy, in particular. They are concerned, rather, with surveying what philosophy meant to thinkers from ca. 135o to 16oo. Thus, they include a number of topics not normally found in histories of philosophy: they consider nonprofessional as well as ex professo philosophers, and they resolutely--and successfully--situate their subjects in the institutional, intellectual , and religious life of the period. Equally striking, the contributors approach their tasks topically, rather than in terms of schools of thought or individual thinkers. Instead of picking all the pistachio nuts or truffle slices out of the galantine and laying them end to end, each author cuts the reader a slice of the galantine in his or her own area, a procedure which offers the branches of philosophy, as they were studied in the Renaissance, in their own contextual richness and complexity. After a stage-setting section with magisterial introductory essays on "Manuscripts" (the late John F. D'Amico), "Printing and Censorship" (Paul F. Grendler), "The Renais- BOOK REVIEWS 129 sance Concept of Philosophy" (Cesare Vasoli), "Translation, Terminology, and Style in Philosophical Discourse" (Brian P. Coperihaver), and "Humanism" (Paul Oskar Kristeller ), essays follow on "Traditional Logic" (E. J. Ashworth), "Humanist Logic" (Lisa Jardine), "Traditional Natural Philosophy" (William A. Wallace), "The New Philosophy of Nature" (Alfonso Ingegno), "Astrology and Magic" (Brian P. Copenhaver), "Moral Philosophy" (Jill Kraye), "Political Philosophy" (Quentin Skinner), "The Concept of Psychology" (Katherine Park and Eckhard Kessler), "The Organic Soul" (Katherine Park), "The Intellective Soul" (Eckhard Kessler), "Metaphysics" (Charles H. Lohr), "Fate, Fortune, Providence, and Human Freedom" (Antonio Poppi), "Theories of Knowledge" (Richard H. Popkin), "Epistemology of the Sciences" (Nicholas Jardine ), "Rhetoric and Poetics" (Brian Vickers), and "The Theory of History" (Donald R. Kelley). The volume concludes with appendices on the availability of ancient works, by Anthony Grafton, and on the rise of the philosophical textbook, by Charles B. Schmitt, as well as with bio-bibliographies of 138 thinkers treated in the text and a general bibliography compiled by Schmitt and Michael J. Wilmott. Space limitations make it impossible to give this outstanding collection of essays the...