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BOOK REVIEWS 321 sceptical challenge. Curley thinks Descartes fails "to explain how a perfect being can be the creator of an imperfect being" (171). And Chappell takes the prize for the most clear and distinct analytic exposition of Descartes's theory of ideas in the literature; I take off my hat to him. Carriero's discussion of the background of mind, and Normore's gloss on objective being are in some parts elementary, but overall are very helpful for placing the Meditatiom in historical context. Loeb develops a secular Cartesian epistemology to support Descartes's claim that the Meditations contain the principles of his physics. Rodis-Lewis relates the "simple 'persuasion' linked to the presence of evidence and 'certain science' grounded in God" (27 l). Then the crucial argument in the volume, it seems to me, is Marion's densely erudite and insightful paper on "The Essential Incoherence of Descartes's Definition of Divinity" in which, among other things, he supports the view held (as far as I can tell) by all the authors who bring it up here, that for Descartes substance must be identical with essence. Marion also clarifies how the infinite can be known but not comprehended. Wilson shows what sense can be made of attempts to reconcile "the claim that limitation of matter is inconceivable, with the claim that we don't know matter to be limitless" (348). Baler defends the view that "the idea of God is... the self-conscious thinker himself" (3o6), which has to be based on the notion that ideas represent by resembling their objects. Resemblance is also invoked in Bohon's use of "pattern" (400) when she shows how confused ideas are false in isolation but representative in context. Rosenthal speculates on the propositional nature of ideas and judgments. Lachterman's treatment of extension as res extensa (439), of"0rder and measure.., as the unique and exhaustive topics of Cartesian mathematics" (44o), and of the problems involved in identifying "the mathematical with the corporeal simpliciter" (446) is masterful . If Malebranche could read it he would probably have to sit down to calm his palpitating heart. Ishiguro argues that "in creating our mind, [God] creates the eternal truths" (461), and Mattern argues that "the substance/mode conceptual scheme plays a powerful role in the argument for the existence of corporeal things" (478). In his reconstruction of Descartes's search for truth, Schmitt is satisfied with what is "likely to be true" (497) and argues that because God gives us inclinations, "A principle belonging to our nature must therefore yield true beliefs with a frequency proportional to the degree to which it inclines assent" (5o3); this is out of Descartes but I doubt that it is Descartes. Rorty closes her volume with an answer to the question "Who is this creature who is so well served by the passions?" (53~) and concludes with coy Cartesian clarity, it is us. RICHARD A. WATSON Washington University Richard F. Teichgraeber, III. 'Free Trade' and Moral Philosophy. Rethinking the Sources of Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1986. Pp. xviii + 21 ~. $35.00. Professor Teichgraeber isjustifiably impressed by Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations as an extraordinary hook with extraordinary influence. He asked himself how it grew out of 322 JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY 26:2 APRIL 1988 the thought of a professor of moral philosophy, and this question led him back to the work of Francis Hutcheson and David Hume, whom Smith followed in a tradition that regarded political and economic thought as a natural corollary of ethical theory. Teichgraeber's book is accordingly a study of the 'moral philosophy' of these three thinkers. Towards the end of it he has interesting and novel things to say about the Wealth of Nations and about one feature of Smith's lectures on jurisprudence. He suggests that a unifying key to understanding the diverse subject-matter of the Wealth of Nations may be found in its critical reassessment of earlier arguments about free trade. As regards the lectures on jurisprudence, he thinks that the purpose of the theory of four stages of social development is to illustrate the extension of the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
pp. 321-323
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-01
Open Access
No
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