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360 HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY and to the new philosophy. There is an interesting discussion of some similarities between Locke and Glanvill, and of the intimate connection between philosophical theory and language. I would have some hesitation in agreeing with Mr. Medcalf that the way of ideas naturally gives rise to "the picture theory of language" (p. xxv), just because I think we need to examine Locke's theory of perception again before taking it as straightforwardly representational. But Medcalf has some very penetrating and useful remarks about the change in meaning of the words 'object' and 'objective' from Descartes to Locke, a change which has an important bearing on Locke's theory of perception, though perhaps not quite in the direction of representationalism (pp. xxixxli ). There are other interesting observations on the changes in language in the three versions of Glanvill's work, showing how fruitful can be a meticulous examination of the language of philosophy. The reader can now easily make this examination himself with this excellent reprint. It is hoped that the Harvester Press will continue to add to their Renaissance Library. JOHN W. YOLTON York University Hobbes e la Scienza. By Aldo G. Gargani. (Torino: Giulio Einaudi, 1971. Pp. xv+297. L 5,400) This detailed examination of Hobbes's ideas on the relation between geometrical, mathematical, legal science on the one hand, and on the other, the physical science of bodies in motion, also involves a critical discussion of the historical relations between Hobbes and Robert Grosseteste, Roger Bacon, Ockam, Francis Bacon, Gassendi, the Padua School, Kepler, and several others. Especially significant is the close relation between Hobbes and Gilles Personne de Roberval, who was Ramus' professor at the convent with Mersenne, and with whom Hobbes conferred during the 1640s. It is impossible here to review the complicated details of Gargani's account, nor of his critique of the researches of Brandt, Rossi, Pacchi, and other scholars who have studied Hobbes as a scientist. But it is possible to summarize the general conclusions reached by Gargani , and to comment briefly on them. Hobbes rested his general theory of knowledge on the theory of evidence, and evidence meant to him not the facts of sense experience but evidence as it is submitted in the courts of law and in logic. Genuine science he called "mathematical" and exhibited it in geometry and moral law; it is based on good definitions, coherent inference, and rational speech. The natural science of bodies in motion, which infers possible causes from experimentally observed effects, should be called, according to Hobbes, "knowledge" (cognitio) rather than scientia. Both are equally necessary for a complete philosophy and for an adequate understanding of human existence and conduct. His science of bodies in motion was first formulated (in the Short Tract on First Principles) in terms of "agents" and "patients" and of "substances" and "accidents ," in terms borrowed from the scholastics (especially the Ockamites) studied at Oxford, but also from Roger Bacon, Grosseteste, and other schoolmen who attempted to achieve a mathematical interpretation of nature. He also relied for his theory of light and optics on the theory of corporeal "species" as the sources of visual stimulation and "phantasms." Bodies (substances) or "agents" move each other (not themselves) by BOOK REVIEWS 361 contact (action and passion) and this results in "accidents." In his later works, Hobbes rejects much of this "vain philosophy," especially the Cartesian hypothesis of incorporeal species that act on the mind rather than on the body. Hobbes continued to assert that sense experience belongs to natural science of bodies in motion. The rational mind of man makes order out of sense experience by "geometrical generation" of forms and figures and mathematical laws. Legal science (including both natural and civil laws) is the "reckoning" of motions by a proper use of symbols and speech. All this suggests, though Gargani does not insist on it, that Hobbes's early concerns were with a two-fold understanding of human laws and conduct (de homine): on the one hand de corpore, and on the other, de cive. Hobbes gradually developed by a series of revisions both kinds of science (of body and of order) especially as they relate...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
pp. 360-361
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-01
Open Access
No
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