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BOOK REVIEWS 463 is thoroughly dealt with in Chapter i of the book, entided "Alfarabi's Method of Writing," and is pursued throughout the book. The remaining four chapters treat issues pertinent to medieval political philosophy. Chapter ~, for example, deals with the question, "'Do individuals need practical virtues in addition to theoretical ones in order to tap their human potential, i.e., in order to be perfect or happy?" (95). This chapter, in other words, deals with the question whether happiness is attainable through theoretical activity (the Aristotelian view), or through practical activity (i.e., active involvement in political life), or through a combination of both. The author rejects the first two alternatives, interpreting Alfarabi as maintaining that "theoretical and practical perfection must together constitute the true human end" (94)- In Chapter 3, the author presents an analysis of the (Platonic) concept of philosopher-king and asks the question, "Do cities or nations need to be governed, at least in part, by philosophers for a political community of excellence to be realized?" (95)- Galston concludes that according to Alfarabi, a ruler of excellence does not necessarily have to be a philosopher. Chapter 4 deals with the "Cities of Excellence," a major theme in Alfarabi's political writings, and one he discussed in his two major political works, AImadinah al-fadilah (The Virtuous--or Excellent--City) and Al-siyasah al-madaniyyah (The Political Regime). The fifth and final chapter of the book deals with the question of "whether and in what fashion political knowledge properly rests on the totality of theoretical inquiry" 08o). Dr. Galston's book represents a comprehensive study of Alfarabi's political works. Her knowledge of Alfarabi's texts as well as of the contemporary secondary sources is remarkable. She also puts Alfarabi's political philosophy in an accurate historical context . The issues discussed in this book are extremely difficult and the very attempt to resolve them in one work--especially on the basis of her hypothesis 0o), the bottom line of which is that each of Alfarabi's political treatises should be read and understood only in conjunction with the others (11)--makes the reading of this book an extremely difficult task. Nevertheless, Dr. Galston's work is a welcome contribution, and it represents a major step towards a better understanding of Alfarabi's political philosophy, despite the fact that it raises as many questions as it answers. SHUKRI B. ABED Universityof Maryland, CollegePark Antonino Poppi. La filosofia neUoStudio francescano del Santo a Padova. Padua: Centro Studi Antoniani, 1989. Pp. 989. Paper, L. 35,ooo. Antonino Poppi. Introduzione all'aristotelismopadovano. Seconda edizione riveduta e ampliata. Padua: Editrice Antenore, 1991. Pp, 144. Paper, N.P. Antonino Poppi, himself both Franciscan and professor of philosophy at the University of Padua, has made two further valuable contributions to our knowledge of the history of philosophy at that venerable seat of learning. In the first book, he presents studies on the role of the Franciscans in Paduan cultural life from the Middle Ages to the last century, on various aspects of the history of Scotism at Padua, including a 464 JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY 3t:3 JULY 199 3 contrast with the Thomist tradition, on the important philosopher-theologian Antonio Trombetta, and on Saint Anthony of Padua himself. There is also a long and rich general study on the attitude of Franciscans toward Averroism from the thirteenth through the seventeenth centuries. Bonaventure and Ockham are among the figures analyzed. In the revised and expanded edition of his introduction to Paduan Aristotelianism, Poppi presents once again his valuable essay on the lineaments of the history of the Paduan school of philosophy and his survey of studies on Aristotelianism during the Italian Renaissance for the years 1958-1969. To them he has added some forty pages in which he discusses more recent scholarship on Renaissance Aristotelianism and on the study of Aristotle at Padua in particular. There are separate notes concerning Pietro d'Abano, Pietro Pomponazzi, Iacopo Zabarella and Galileo Galilei. As with all of Poppi's books and editions, these two books belong on the shelves of any research library frequented by scholars who are seriously interested in the history...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
pp. 463-464
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-01
Open Access
No
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