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316 JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY 26:2 APRIL 1988 conception of sovereignty from his glosses; he seems "curiously blind" to the need of national governments to develop strong citizen allegiance to an impersonal, eternal state or crown. He is at best implicitly Gallican (in defending an ecclesiasticaljurisdiction independent of the secular prince he is a throwback to John of Paris rather than a successor to Philip the Fair's henchman, Nogaret). Babbitt calls attention to many good points in Oresme, and she does not suggest that he was obligated to make Aristotle into a nationalist at all costs. Yet her agreement with the prevailingjudgment (contested by Menut), that Oresme "gave his best to science," may depend on a not quite explicit assumption that the best guidance Oresme could have given his patron and friend would have been more directly in line with the king's own inclinations and the march of future events. The Livre de Politiques may be more interesting philosophically if its discrepancies from royal policy are allowed to have a positive weight. The discrepancies are certainly there. Oresme emphatically recommends a limited monarchy and objects strenuously to the Roman law maxim that the prince is legibus solutus. Charles V favored such language. Oresme is against sedition, at least in most cases, but he does not consider correction of the prince by the multitude or their deputies to be seditious. Charles was not fond of the Estates-General as an institution. Oresme acknowledged the special piety of the French and their monarchy, but his discussion of religious questions---his most distinctive contribution to the commentary tradition on the Politics----contributes little or nothing to the cult of the crown cultivated by the king. Babbitt rightly corrects previous exaggerations of Marsilian elements in Oresme, and it is difficult to say whether he had a coherent alternative vision of his own. Still, there may be some value in reading him as a mature medieval appropriator of Aristotle and not only as a precursor of modern state theory. Such a reading could well lead to a higher assessment of his work as practical advice. If both kings and popes had ruled by Oresmean political science, the world might be a better place. A. S. McGRADE Universityof Connecticut,Storrs Alexander Broadie. The CircleofJohn Mair. New York: Oxford University Press, Clarendon Press, 1985. Pp. viii + 28o. $34.5 o, cloth. Friends of the historiography of logic will welcome Alexander Broadie's important study of the sixteenth-century Scottish logician John Mair and his circle of associates and disciples at the University of Paris. Broadie demonstrates once again what Angelelli, Ashworth, Bochefiski, Boehner, the Kneales, Nuchelmans, Ong, and others have worked so hard to tell us: that far from it being the case that scholastic logic during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries was lackluster and decadent, those centuries exhibited a brilliant explosion of innovative thought concerning issues that are still under discussion in our own time. Broadie begins his work with a survey of the dates and places relevant to these BOOK REVIEWS 317 sixteenth-century terminist logicians. There follow three chapters on their explication of terms, two dedicated to their analysis of propositions, and one concerned with their treatment of valid arguments. His exposition thus roughly follows the pattern of the terminist logical texts themselves, though of course he does not consider, as they did, the insolubilia or future contingent propositions. His brief but suggestive conclusion is followed by a bibliography of the primary sixteenth-century terminist logical works, a bibliography of contemporary secondary sources, and an excellent index. The physical properties of the book and its layout and editing are of the high quality typical of Clarendon Press imprints. Broadie's chapters on propositions and arguments represent a very nice complement to the work of Ashworth and others. Together they prove beyond doubt that what many contemporary logicians regard as post-Fregean contributions to their field were actually essential elements of late scholastic texts. On page 17 t, for example, Broadie formalizes a passage from Caubraith's Quadrupertitum (151 o). Caubraith's text runs: "An argument from an affirmative disjunction to a negative conjunction composed of the contradictories of the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
pp. 316-318
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-01
Open Access
No
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