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Notes and Discussions ThE I)ORT-ROYALLOGZC~N THE TWENTIETH CENTURY La Logique au l'art de penser, contenant, outre les regles communes, plusieurs observations nouvelles, propres ~ ]ormer le jugement by Antoine Arnauld and Pierre Nicole was first printed in 1662 in Paris. It was thereafter revised by the authors four times, the fifth and last edition appearing in 1683. So-called sixth, seventh, and eighth editions were printed, but were merely copies of the fifth, not revisions. Between 1662 and 1887 it was printed at least 63 times in French, 13 times in Latin, and 16 times in English. L'Art de penser was the dominant logic text in the Western world for over 200 years. This popularity was wellmerited , since the volume contained the elements of scholastic or Aristotelian logic plus modern dissertations upon the role of ideas in conceiving, judging, reasoning, and ordering. It made clear distinctions between words, ideas, and things, and it defined carefully the distinction between the intension and extension of ideas. One of its most popular and fruitful aspects was a topical exposition of the Cartesian method. The breath of Descartes, in fact, gave life to the entire work, as Arnauld and Nicole were proud to acknowledge. Cartesian notions on a myriad of subjects found their way into the working thought of Western philosophers as much through L'Art de penser as through Descartes' own works. The dualism of mental and material substances, the way of mediating ideas, and the scorn for substantial forms were three of these major notions . It is not too much to say that L'Art de penser was an important philosophical work from the latter half of the seventeenth century nearly through the end of the nineteenth century. It can now be seen in retrospect to have been one of those sources from which philosophers for generation after generation drank of the New Philosophy. What happened to it? It was simply replaced by better logics. The renaissance of logic in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries provided works which pushed it aside. For an exposition of the Cartesian method, scholars went to the Discours; for Arnauld's notions on ideas, they went, if they bothered at all, to Des Vrayes et des ]ausses id6es. Now, just over three hundred years after its first appearance, and more than seventy-five years since its last printing, three editions of L'Art de penser have appeared. Scholars will welcome equally the photo-copy of the fifth revised edition of 1683 presented with an introduction by P. Roubinet,1 and the critical edition of this 1683 edition presented with an introduction and footnotes by Pierre Clair and Francois Girbal as volume three in their excellent series Le Mouvement des idles au XVII ~si~cle.2 These three editors give brief and succinct Arnauld, Antoine and Pierre Nieole, Logique de Port-Royal. Edited with an Introduction by P. Roubinet. Publications de la Facult6 des Lettres et SciencesHumaines de l'Universit@ de Lille, Tome XII (Lille: Ren$ Giard, 1964.Pp. viii + 480). 2Arnauld, Antoine and Pierre Nicole, La Logique ou l'art de penser, contenant, outre les [55] 56 HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY statements of how the Jansenists came to write the work. The footnotes of Clair and Girbal are not extensive, but set the work nicely in its era, and, in particular, outline clearly its relation to Descartes. The editors of the critical edition are to be commended for their fine general index, a necessary item which is so often today scandalously lacking in scholarly works. Unfortunately, the first American translation and printing of L'Art de penser3 (despite its Index of Subjects) is a tribute neither to scholarship nor to Arnauld and Nicole. Nicole is not even listed as author. The Foreword by Charles W. Hendel is odd, the Introduction by the translators is inadequate, the Translators ' Preface is indefensible, and the translation is bad. Professor Hendel's Foreword basically tells, accurately enough, of the influence of the work on Hume. But Hendel, like the translators, says too little of the influence on such philosophers as Locke, Reid, and Kant, and even less about the influence of Descartes on Arnauld and Nicole...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
pp. 55-60
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-01
Open Access
No
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