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102 HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY that one of the objects of Aquinas' theory of natural dominiumwas to cast doubt on the life of apostolic poverty as practiced particularly by the great rivals 6f his Dominican order, the Franciscans. There was a long controversy over precisely this point, which raged from the late thirteenth through to the middle of the fourteenth century; its importance is that the late medieval natural rights theories undoubtedly grew out of it, and went on being an obligatory issue for rights theorists to discuss even into the early seventeenth century. [P. zo] "Briefly," Tuck continues, "what happened was that the leaders of the Franciscan order in the second half of the thirteenth century tried to evolve a systematic doctrine of apostolic poverty, which would allow them to use all the commodities necessary for their daily lives without entailing that they had property rights, dominium, in them. Such a doctrine was obviously vital if the Franciscans were to be both highly organized and faithful to the ideals of their founder." Tuck's amending of Macpherson takes him through a careful and thorough discussion of property as a right in Aquinas, Duns Scotus (speaking for the Franciscans), and William of Ockham--all of this providing a considerable foundation on which Hobbes and Locke would build. Although the notion that strong rights-theories are not necessarily associated with liberalism is by no means a startling revelation, Tuck's treatment of this, his second major thesis, is characteristically thorough, careful, and persuasive. The Hobbes-Selden connection gets at what might be described as the "fine points" of Hobbes's teaching and is therefore, so far as criticism is concerned, best left to Hobbes specialists. The discussion, however, is most instructive for historians of political philosophy and for those interested in the area of rights and duties. Much more could be said regarding topics that have not been touched on here, especially perhaps with respect to Tuck's illuminating treatment of Grotius. Let it suffice; however, to say in conclusion that this is a most useful volume and will surely repay the very close attention of anyone interested in natural rights. THOMAS LANDON THORSON Indiana University, South Bend Richard H. Popkin. The History of Scepticismfrom Erasmusto Spinoza. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1979. Pp xxii + 333. $a4 .~176 Richard H. Popkin's contribution to the history of modern skepticism (and its relationship to the rest of the history of philosophy) is analogous to Gershon Scholem's work on the hstory of Jewish mysticism (and its relationship to the rest of Jewish history): all by himself he initiated, legitimized, and developed a field of historical research previously dismissed as too esoteric and too irrelevant in standard accounts of the history of philosophy. It was Popkin who taught us in his classical and original work, The History of Scepticismfrom Erasmus to Descartes (1964), to view the history of skepticism not as an isolated series of second-rate obscure thinkers with little impact on the main stream of the history of philosophy, but rather as a vital tradition of thought that was closely involved in the formation of modern philosophy (e.g., Descartes , Spinoza, Leibniz, Kant). The silence of scholars concerning the impact of BOOK REVIEWS 103 Pyrrhonism on the development of modern philosophy was often referred to by Popkin (and his circle of students) as the Pyrrhonian conspiracy. Originally Popkin projected the story of the Pyrrhonian conspiracy as an endeavor of several volumes that would take us from the early sixteenth century (Erasmus ) to the mid-nineteenth century (Kierkegaard) and perhaps beyond. Along these lines The History of Scepticismfrom Erasmus to Descartes was viewed as the first volume in this large-scale historical project. For various reasons--and I believe that some of them are internal and significant for the very idea of the historiography of skepticism--the project has not been fully executed in light of Popkin's original intentions. Thus, Popkin's historiographical thesis that "the super-scepticism of Descartes .., began a new phase in the history of scepticism that was to be developed by Pascal, Bayle, Huet and later Hume and Kierkegaard" (p. xvii) has not yet been...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
pp. 102-103
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-01
Open Access
No
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