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408 HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY future, and act for an end. Machines can move according to design, mere animals can act spontaneously, but only man can act reflectively. Pardies did not convince all his readers that he was offering a serious alternative to the Cartesian view that animals are machines. Many thought that to prefer a material principle or soul to support sensible knowledge was no more than to admit that animals are machines . However, Pardies stresses that sense organs are there to provide sensory information , and that the responses of animals to this information is knowledgeable, even if it is not intellectual (reflective) knowledge. It is the question of the difference between animate and inanimate objects, between the actions of living organisms and those of mechanisms like a watch. Despite all the inventions and speculations since Pardies' time, we have not proceeded very far beyond his statement that we know that living animals have an operative principle that is more than mechanical (or chemical, or electrical), and that humans have a kind of self-consciousness that we have not yet confirmed as being present in any other animal but we do not really know very much about what these distinguishing principles are. Pardies' analyses and expositions of these problems are very clean. Finally, Pardies presents the Cartesian position that it is absurd to chastize morally those who slaughter animals, or to feel pity for wounded animals, for their cries are no different from the squeal of wheels on an ungreased axel. Of course one deplores the destruction of such fine machines. Professor Rosenfield has shown that these attitudes helped advance the sciences of medicine and physiology. Pardies himself practiced vivisection on insects and dogs, so it might be said that his Peripatetic view of a material animal soul is another hypothesis that advanced these sciences. If animals have sensible knowledge, but do not reflect and so do not know themselves, then again it is not cruel to cut them up. The trouble, Pardies recognized, was that the affinities between men and beasts are so many and so close, that even if the line from beast machine to man machine is cut off, there are those who would argue that if animals have only a material soul, then man has no need of a spiritual soul. It may be---as ecological moralists are suggesting today--that the only way to save the humanity of man is to extend humanity to animals and even to the land itself. Pardies was a thoroughly modern thinker. The Discours is well worth reading today, and is a volume that is an essential part of any library of seventeenth-century literature and philosophy. We are fortunate that the volume was published with Professor Rosenfield 's introduction just before the big machine that bought the Johnson Reprint Corporation killed the lively little Texts in Early Modern Philosophy series. RICHARD A. WATSON Washington University A Study of the Metaphysics of Spinoza. By Sanat Kumar Sen. (Santiniketan, India: Centre of Advanced Study in Philosophy, Visva-Bharati, 1966) The best defense of any philosopher is a clear and accurate exposition. This is perhaps particularly so in the case of Spinoza, whose economy encourages prolix commentary while rendering summary impossible. Sanat Kumar Sen conceives his task in the work under consideration as that of offering a "simple and coherent account of the salient features of Spinoza's theory, confining criticisms to the minimum" (p. xviii). With admirable modesty he proceeds to lay before us the great themes of Part I of the Ethics: substance, attribute, mode, infinity, eternity. That he succeeds so well witnesses not only to his command of Spinoza, but likewise to this discipline of intention, and in addition, to a remarkably lucid English style. Although there is no new interpretation here, the author is plainly indebted to the basic BOOK REVIEWS 409 positions of H. F. Hallett. We have incidentally, then, a guide to Hallett's reading, a useful bonus, given the occasional murkiness of that great Spinozist. He takes adequate account as well of other recent commentators, although the book was written before Gu6roult's magisterial study. Less adequate attention is paid, however, to Spinoza's contemporaries...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
pp. 408-410
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-01
Open Access
No
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