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404 HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY about the agent intellect. It is Alexander who will revive the theory of the agent intellect, which he will identify with God (pp. 213-214). The second book, Alessandro di A/rodisia, is barely the beginning of a sketch of the rich topics which it attempts to survey, namely, (1) the ]ortuna of the Alexandrist theory of knowledge in the middle ages and the Renaissance (pp. 21-31), (2) the theory of the agent intellect (pp. 33-59), and (3) Alexander between "naturalism" and "mysticism" (pp. 6181 ). The discussion of Alexander's influence in the medieval period (pp. 23-28) is far too brief. But what is extraordinary is that neither Pomponazzi nor the studies of Bruno Nardi are ever mentioned in the four pages (pp. 28-31) given to Alexander's influence during the Renaissance---my own article on the dispute between Vernia and Nifo regarding Alexander 's psychology is the major source of information cited. In the second part of the book ("La teoria del nous poi~tikos," pp. 33-59), Movia presents a string of translations of basic passages from Alexander's De anima and De intellectu along with some commentary which appears for the most part to be derived from the standard study of Paul Moraux published in 1942. Movia's seven line comment on the differences between Alexander's De anima and De intellectu regarding the agent intellect and abstraction is inadequate (p. 43). And the fundamental question of whether in fact the latter work is authentic is only faced in a footnote and there Movia repeats what Moraux has already written on the topic. Indeed, Movia fails to use the occasion of this book to show how the psychologies of the two works can be integrated, though he dearly thinks that it can be done (pp. 5253 , n.2). The last part of the book is essentially an attempt to balance the various judgments of recent scholars, especially Moraux and Merlan, on whether the ancient commentator was a "naturalist" or a "mystic" in his psychology and theory of knowledge. It is not clear that Movia has a position of his own on the matter. The book ends abruptly with a conclusion of about a page's length (pp. 80-81) in which Movia sees Alexander as naturalistic and yet also as mystical. Neither of these books is completely satisfying, but the earlier has the merit of bringing together and discussing quotations from ancient philosophers who are not well known. However, it is unfortunate that a younger scholar was encouraged to publish the later work in its present form. EDWARDP. MAHONEY Duke University L'ld~e de Volont~ dans le Stoi'cisme. By Andr6-Jean Voelke. (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1973. Pp. 216) The idea of will in Stoicism, as interpreted by Voelke, can be fairly represented by saying : (i) viewed cosmically the will is identical with the active principle in the world, or Logos, and therefore it is the quality-forming principle in the universe immanent in matter, fashioning that matter purposefully; (ii) but individual human beings have wills of their own; and it is their wills which move human beings to assent to what appear to them to be true propositions and to pursue what appear to them to be good ends. These two facets of the Stoic notion of will, however, are incoherent. In a monistic philosophy like that of Stoicism where all of reality is viewed as formless matter being shaped from within by an active principle, how can it be maintained that bits and pieces of this matter have active principles (i.e., wills) of their own? For the Stoics, individual human souls are just portions of the cosmic Logos. They have no spontaneity of their own over and above that with which they are endowed as particles of the active principle in the world. As Voelke himself writes in the conclusion of his book (p. 197), the Stoic conception of the individual will "excludes absolutely the idea of a will freed from the cosmic order." Voelke is cer- BOOK REVIEWS 405 tainly aware of the inconsistency, for he tries to deal with it in...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
pp. 404-406
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-01
Open Access
No
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