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REVIEWS 99 "The red plague rid you, For learning me your language, says Caliban to his master. Ineffable prophecy l Did some dark angel from three hundred years beyond his own death, come to visit ~hake~ speare?"-or to visit :Niiss Sitwell? If opinions may differ as to the validity of some of the contentions jotted down in this notebook, there can be no question about one high qualification as critic which Miss Sitwell here reveals, her sensjtiveness to the subtleties of ShakespeareJs expression and her rare ability to analyse the movement and ┬Ětexture of his verse. THE PHILOSOPHY OF BACON* jOHN HERMAN RANDALL., ]R. Professor Anderson, chairman of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Toronto, is ably carrying on the tradition of first-class work in intellectual history set for that distinguished department by the late Professor Brett. Mr. Anderson has written a comprehensive account of Bacon's philosophic thought which will be indispensable for all students of Bacqn, for all serious work in seventeenth-century English literature, and for all concerned with the development of modern thinking. There is still plenty of room for specialized studies of the fasdnating theme of Bacon's relation to his various predecessors, and of his influence on subsequent thinkers. Mr. Anderson's book will undoubtedly stimulate such investigation in connection with a man whose conventional reputation has obscured the real affiliations of his ideas. But the particular job of setting forth analytically just what Bacon said, within the chosen limits Mr. Anderson modestly observes, has here been accomplished so thoroughly and so competently that it will not have to be done again. The originality of Mr. Anderson's volume in the literature of Baconian scholarship lies in the fact that he has exhaustively studied all of Bacon's thirty-odd philosophical writings. Hence he- can view the man's thought as a whole, in its own terms and with jts own proper emphas]s. It has notoriously been the fashion either to use Bacon for some crusade of one's own, as did Diderot and D'Alembert, or to make him the foil for developing antithetical ideas, as did Morris Cohen. The professional historians of philosophy have tried, unsuccessfully , of course, to fit him into a tradition of "empiricism" culmi- ~The Philosophy of Francis Bacon. By FULTON H. ANDERSON. Chicago: University of Chicago Press [Toronto: W. ]. Gage and CompanyJ. 1948. Pp. vii, 312. ($4.00) 100 THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO QUARTERLY nating in Hume and Mill. In reaction against this inevitable failure, others have made him a belated Aristotelian. With no axe .to grind, Mr. Anderson is in a position to offer an impartial adjudication of these stormy controversies. He tries to eschew them altogether; but those interested can discern that he has arrived at a judicious decision on most of the debated points. He knows Bacon so well that he can point out in passing that all the participants are wrong. Mr. Anderson seems not to like controversy. This will make his volume a disappointment to those eager for Baconian blood. But the informed will note that he disposes of most of the familiar disputes by calmly marshalling incontrovertible facts. So far as my limited knowledge goes, Mr. Anderson seems to be right, I think, in all these interpretations. But his approach to Bacon has been from the side of those who came after: he has been preparing a history of British philosophy in .the latter half of the seventeenth century, to which we look forward with delight. Consequently he has nothing to say about Bacon's antecedents. My only reservations would be at this point. Without in the least denying Bacon's originality , I should like to understand it. I think that all judgment as to this background ,ought to be postponed until the relations of his ideas to various strands of late medieval and Renaissance thought have been far more carefully explored than they have yet been. Mr. Anderson is surely right in denying that Bacon received much more than terminology from the different Aristotelian schools. But this hardly exhausts the help he received from earlier thinkers. I suspect that certain currents of Augustinian thought, and of...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 99-103
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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