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174 HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY (960-1279) was in many aspects one of the most brilliant eras in Chinese history. One sees in this period the improvement of the bureaucratic system, the flourishing of a new poetic genre, the tz'u, a fresh approach to the study of Confucian cla~ics, the advancement of historiography and the rise of Neo-Confucianism. Ou-yang Hsiu (1907-1072) pioneered in all these magnificent political, cultural, and literary achievements. Inevitably, he became a controversial figure to his contemporaries, and to later generations as well. There has not been a complete and balanced study, however, of this well-known and well-remembered man. Perhaps he was too broad and diverse a historical figure to be approached and studied easily. Professor Liu's book deserves our congratulations not merely for its well organized and scholarly presentation, but also for its successful approach to the subject from various angles. Ou-yang Hsiu was an official, a classicist, a political theorist, a historian, an essayist, and a poet. Accordingly this book gives separate chapters on Ou-yang Hsiu the classicist, the his= torian, the political theorist, the master of Sung literature, etc. With profound knowledge and sure control, the author organizes his materials so that the reader will not lose sight of the main points of the study. The best feature of this book (this reviewer feels) is that the author gives equal recognition to Ou-yang Hsiu the man and to the period in which he lived. Professor Liu ably and thoughtfully presents the historical characteristics of the Sung dynasty through Ou-yang Hsiu, and evaluates the merits and shortcomings, accomplishments and hmitations of Ouyang Hsiu against the peculiarity of his time. The subtitle of this book, An Eleventh=Century Neo=Con]ucianist, is most suitable. NeoConfucianism has always been studied abstractly as a philosophy, but Professor Liu's book shows us how this philosophy has been embodied in, substantialized, and practiced by "a key historical figure" who "gives us a finer perspective of his whole era." CONSTAN~II~.TUNG Pomona College Oeuvres philosophiques. u II (1638-1642). By Ren~ Descartes. Textes ~tablis, pr~sent~s et annot~s par Ferdinand Alqui~. ]~dition illustr~e. (Paris: Gamier Fr~res, 1967. [Classiques Gamier.] Pp. 1148.12 plates. Fr 29.-) Opere scientifiehe di Ren$ Descartes. A cura di Gianni Micheli. Vol. I: La Biologia. (Torino: Unione Tipographico-Editrice Torinese, 1966. Pp. 520. 6 plates.-Classici della scienza, ed. Ludovico Geymonat, No. 6/I. L 6,000.) The second volume of the Edition Alqui~ confirms what was said here when Volume I appeared (JHP, II [1964], 260f.): this edition supersedes all currently available study editions . Volume II continues the rigorously chronological arrangement which singularly suits the philosophical writings of Descartes' "metaphysical period." Like no other edition, this one illuminates the often forgotten character of Descartes' philosophizing as an interaction between an ongoing dialogue (correspondence and replies to critics) and rigorously systematic thought. Imbedded in the stream of letters we find the Meditations not as a monolithic block, but as a sequence of three publications: the Latin text inserted at the time-point of its completion, April 1640; the French text with the first six Objections and Responses, August 1641; and at the end of the volume, the Seventh Objections and Responses and the letter to Diner. Only the Objections of Gassendi and Bourdin have been slightly cut. The volume concludes with the Recherche de la v~rit~ of unascertainable date (Aliqui~ thinks that it fits best into the 1641-42 context, without insisting on his conjecture). We thus have an edition that allows us to read the Meditations as Descartes' contemporaries---friends and adversaries --did. Once again the editor's notes are admirable, and there are brief but important critiques of the revised AT volume containing the Meditations, based on source studies by the editor, Henri Gouhier, and by Leslie J. Beck. Since the Edition Alqui$ covers only the philosophical works, it is a pleasure to report a new Italian collection and translation of Descartes' scientific works by Professor Gianni BOOK REVIEWS 175 Micheli of the Institute of History of Philosophy at the University of Milan. The first volume contains...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
pp. 174-175
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-01
Open Access
No
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