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BOOK REVIEWS 181 sympathy and critical caution, rendering full and accurate the complex career of a most complex man. Few could do this, and the enormity of the challenge is not to be minimized. Instead of sticking to one or another of Pascal's special interests, Brooms claims to see several common threads woven throughout all of Pascal's work. His evidence is solid and fairly chosen; his grip on themes and nuances is so extensive as to build and reverberate subtly to a remarkable coda (chap. vii). As a philosopher's labor in the history of philosophy, it well reflects Pascal's Renaissance humanist spirit of combining scholarly rigor with creative response to the greatness in a predecessor's achievements. Writing in 1647, Pascal offered this challenge to philosophers who would surpass their predecessors : Comme ils ne se sont servis de celles [i.e. their predecessors' achievements] qui leur avoient est6 laiss~es que comme de moyens pour en avoir de nouvelles, et que cette heureuse hardiesse leur avoit ouvert le chemin aux grandes choses, nous devons prendre celles qu'ils nous ont acquises de la mesme sorte, et &leur exemple en faire les moyens et non pas le fin de notre estude, et ainsi tascher de les surpasser en les imitant. This work should secure a careful and wide audience. If it should require a second edition, one flaw could be corrected: All references to the PensJes are to the Delmas edition bearing Lafuma's name, rather than to the Lafuma, 1962, Editions du Seuil edition, which is differently numbered and is more standard. CRAIGWALTON University o] Southern Cali]orrda The Philosophy o] Leibniz. By Nicholas Rescher. (Englewood Cliffs, N. J.: Prentice-Hall, 1967. Pp. viii + 168. Paper. $2.95.) This work must be ranked as the best introduction in English to Leibniz' philosophy. Professor Rescher has succeeded not only in giving a comprehensive, relatively systematic statement of Leibniz' views and evaluating their mutual consistency, but also in selecting for inclusion in his text numerous significant quotations from Leibniz' own work so that the reader may see how Leibniz himself attempted to deal with a particular problem. Rescher takes sharp issue with the thesis (prompted by the work of Couturat and Russell early in this century) that Leibniz is ultimately committed to a subject-predicate logic in the sense that he holds all meaningful propositions to be explicitly of the subjectpredicate form or reducible to such form. Instead, Rescher maintains, Leibniz is committed to such a position only in the case of propositions about substances, and this is rooted, not in his logic, but in his metaphysics--more specifically, in his doctrine of relations. This doctrine, according to Rescher, holds that "all relations that obtain among individual substances are reducible" (p. 74), i.e., such relations inhere in predications about those substances. Unlike Russell, Rescher finds no "general thesis about the logic of relational statements as such" (p. 75). In his chapter "Space and Time: Motion and Infinity" Rescher deals especially well with "the labyrinth of the continuum and indivisibles" and Leibniz' solution in terms of a distinction between the ideal or phenomenal and the real or actual. There are a few misprints: 1) "The Realm Monads and Its Creation" should read "The Realm of Monads and Its Creation" (p. vi); 2) "...more things than are compatible with it" should read "... more things than are incompatible with it" (p. 31, n. 16, I. 4); 3) apparently , "then" should be substituted for "that" (p. 48, 1. 13 from the bottom); 4) instead of "mtually," "mutually" (p. 62, 1. 5); 5) instead of "turn," "turns" (p. 81, n. 2, 1. 8). A brief survey of the Leibniz literature along with an index of names and one of subjects makes the book more useful for specific reference purposes than many introductory works. 182 HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY Finally, it might be said that by writing such a book Professor Reseher has disproved conclusively Russell~ charge that Leibniz had two philosophies--a good one he kept mostly to himself, and a bad one he used to placate others and gain admiration for himself. The cloth is of one piece. WALTERH. O'BR~-ANT University...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
pp. 181-182
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-01
Open Access
No
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