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176 HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY to be accounted for in some way. Goldsmith takes no cognizance of these categorical statements . Secondly, there is no support for Goldsmith's conclusion to be found in Hobbes's comment at the end of De Corpore. A cursory reading of the passage makes it clear that the comments concerning other hypotheses refer only to Part IV of De Corpore and not to the whole system as Goldsmith suggests. Indeed the earlier parts are said to comprise the "theorems" of the systems, and the only way Hobbes suggests they might be found corrigible is if a mistake in deduction has occurred. Finally, Goldsmith pays insufficient attention to Hobbes's account of the process of analysis and sometimes seems to confuse it with the imaginary annihilation of the world which Hobbes uses as an expository device in expounding his concept of space. As Hobbes describes the process it begins with a phenomenal whole which is subjected to continued conceptual analysis until unanalyzable elements are reached. These logically primitive notions are referred to by Hobbes as "the most universal things" and as "first principles" which are "manifest of themselves" or "known to nature" (E. W. I, 69), all of which strongly suggests that they are coguized and not simply posited. Goldsmith mentions these descriptions of Hobbes's first principles in Chapter I, but presents no arguments to justify his abandoning them in favor of "suppositions or assumptions." When Goldsmith moves to Hobbes's political theory, he is on much firmer ground. The sections concerning human nature and natural law are generally excellent, particularly the account in Chapter IV of the relations between the various laws of nature. The treatment throughout this part of the book is exhaustive, although the point of some extended discussions is not very clear. There is a long discursive section in Chapter v on contraetarian thought which seems quite unrelated to anything it follows or precedes. And there are some curious allotments of emphasis. While Hobbes's "economic policy," which is a peripheral matter, is given a section to itself, the concept of obligation, which has been the focus of so much dispute in recent years and which is a central concern, is dealt with only by implication and in passing. In general Goldsmith accepts the traditional interpretation which sees the laws of nature as primarily prudential precepts found out by reason. These precepts are said to be like the "laws" of physics with respect to man's behavior in that they indicate regularities about the world which are ignored at one's own risk. Goldsmith suggests that the possible knowledge of God as a first cause serves only to reinforce man's awareness of the total causal nexus. The laws of nature are, properly speaking, laws only when they become civil regulations under the authority of a sovereign. The final chapter of the book attempts to assess the success of Hobbes's endeavor to create a science of politics by the "test" of its ability to explain the political phenomena of law, religion, and history. This is followed by eight appendices in which various disputes with other interpreters are briefly argued. The book contains an adequate index and a selected bibliography. There is a mistake on page 16, where the reference to De Corpore, Part I, should read Part II. PAUL J. JOHNSON California State College at San Bernardino Jean Chapelain, soixante-dix-sept lettres inddites ~ Nicolas Heinsius. Publi~es...avec une introduction et des notes par Bernard Bray. (La Haye: Martinus Nijhoff, 1966. Pp. wii -t- 467. --~ Archives Internationales d'Histoire des Id~s, 13.) A reviewer must admit at once that Jean Chapelain was no philosopher, that his letters have few general ideas, that a collection of them possesses no a priori right to be reviewed in a journal devoted to the history of philosophy. However, the present volume, edited and annotated by a member of the staff of the University of Utrecht, doctor of letters of BOOK REVIEWS 177 Amsterdam, appears in the series of the International Archives of the History of Ideas, published under the direction of P. Dibon of Nijmegen and R. Popkin of the University of California...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
pp. 176-177
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-01
Open Access
No
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