Seventeenth-Century Metaphysics: An Examination of Some Main Concepts and Theories (review)
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BOOK REVIEWS 383 Sainte-Barbe and engaged in open polemic with the latter. Like other eminent Portuguese humanists and philosophers of the century (e.g., Damiao de Gois and Francisco Sanches) he spent a large part of his mature life in France. The two works reproduced here are his very brief De conclusionibus commentarius (Paris, 1543) and the more substantial Pro Aristotele responsio adversus Petri Rami calumnias (Paris, 1543). Both are quite rare in the original editions and to have them more generally available again is certainly welcome. Particularly, the former is a great rarity, only one copy (in the Biblioteca Geral da Universidade de Coimbra) being known to the editor. The new edition of the Pro A ristotele responsio is meant to replace the earlier edition edited by Aquilino Ribeiro as Em prol de Arist6teles (Lisbon, 1940), which is generally considered to be inadequate. The treatise against Ramus is the more important of the two, being apparently the first of many polemical works directed against that innovator. With the attacks of Joachim de Perion, Pierre Galland, Jacques Charpentier, Adrien Turnbbe, Jean Riolan the Elder, and Jacob Schegk, it occupies a place in the philosophical disputes which ensued upon Ramus' attempted reforms. Gouveia's work is fundamentally an attempt to defend Aristotle from the criticisms which Ramus brought against him. Indeed, in reading this work of Gouveia we see first hand the blind, unquestioning allegiance to the Stagirite which Ramus--and after him Galileo and Gassendi--was reacting against. Aristotle, like the Church and the Royalty, just could not be criticized in such an atmosphere. As Gouveia asks, near the end of his work (p. 206): "Quae major dici improbitas potest, quam omnia fingendo, ementiendo, deprauando, uelle non modo de Aristotele crescere, sed illius in se quoque gloriam transferre?" Though his treatise is not very lengthy, it is, in its way, long-winded and tedious. Its frequent sharp statements against Ramus' person lack the finely-honed, rapier-like thrust of Galland's insults. In short, Gouveia's work alone has little meaning, but when taken in the context of philosophical controversy at Paris in mid-sixteenth century does it take on a certain Significance. Philosophically, it is not of a very high level, but still this and other such works must be looked into with greater care if we are to be able to remove some of the blanks in our knowledge of philosophy taught at Paris in the sixteenth century. The introduction and edition here presented seem generally well done, though one has certain reservations. The story of Ramus' supposed master's thesis is repeated uncritically in the Introduction (p. xxvii), even after Ong's careful investigation of the problem and his word of caution. 1 A line of text seems to have been dropped on page 56 after line 1 and a few lines further down on the same page, the text must certainly read cogitaret for cogitarat. CHARLES B. SCHM1TT University of Leeds Seventeenth-Century Metaphysics: An Examination of Some Main Concepts and Theories. By W. yon Leyden. (London: Gerald Duckworth & Co., 1968. Pp. xvi +316. 50s.) Students of the history of philosophy t:sually find that the books they employ as secondary sources fall into perhaps two or three basic categories. There are, first of : W. J. Ong, Ramus: Method and the Decay o[ Dialogue (Cambridge, Mass., 1958), pp. 36-39. 384 HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY all, the general histories of philosophy and the histories of a particular period of philosophical activity. Both of these types try to deal with philosophy as a whole; they differ principally in their chronological limits and in the ability or desire of their authors to be comprehensive within the chosen parameters. A second major category includes those volumes which are devoted to an exposition of the thought of a particular writer. Often introductory in nature, these books attempt to state the basic doctrines which define the man's thought and to indicate how his principles apply to the various problems of philosophy. Finally, one thinks of more intensive studies, whether monographs or full-blown treatises, of some special aspect of a philosopher's position. W. yon Leyden, who is Reader in Philosophy...