In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

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 fully spelled out. Some of Popkin's preparatory works for the next phases of this project (roughly 168o-178o ) were recently collected and edited by Richard Watson and James Force (two former students of Popkin) in The High Road to Pyrrhonism (San Diego: Austin Hill Press, 198o). The History of Scepticismfrom Erasmus to Spinoza is an expanded and (slightly) revised version of the original 1964 work, which has been out of print for the last few years. Two chapters were added in the present version dealing with the theological skepticism (i.e., academic skepticism about the authenticity and significance of Scripture , prophecy, and revelation within the Judeo-Christian tradition) of Isaac La Peyrere and Spinoza against the Cartesian background of Amsterdam in the second half of the seventeenth century. As is characteristic of Popkin's previous work, these two new chapters are replete with originality. They also illustrate Popkin's shift of interest : he is interested not so much in the internal history of epistemological skepticism as in the history of pre-Adamite theories, messianism, and the role of the Jews in the formation of the modern world. Since Popkin is indeed a unique institution as far as original research is concerned , one wonders what kind of new surprises (and new "conspiracies") await us in his new interests in the years to come. AVNER COHEN Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Karen Iversen Vaughn. John Locke: Economist and Social Scientist. Chicago and London : University of Chicago Press, 198o. Pp. xiv + 178. $13.5o. Though the great modern British philosophers all distinguished themselves as political economists, historians of philosophy have made little of this striking fact. Many questions might be raised concerning the interaction of philosophy and economics, but the one ready to hand is how one's economic theory reacts with one's political philosophy. Karen Iverson Vaughn addresses this question to Locke in John Locke: Economist and Social Scientist. One hopes that her book will lead philosophers into a neglected area of the history of philosophy. 104 HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY Vaughn's title draws us to the key results of her research and to the two claims that organize her book: Locke has been underrated as an economist, and he was an early social scientist. What catches Vaughn's eye in Locke's economics is not originality, but a systematic approach to practical economic concerns. Along with the mercantilists, Locke pleaded for increasing the wealth of the English nation through the influx of silver and gold and a high level of trade with high prices for English goods. Nonetheless , Vaughn classifies him not as a "mercantilist-practitioner," but as a "scientisttheorist " who "bequeathed to economics an attitude and a method of approach which did much to make our discipline into a science" (p. 137). For a man who wanted to be an "underlaborer for science," Vaughn's is a very satisfying assessment. Vaughn backs up her judgment of Locke as an early economic systematizer by showing how his quantity-theory of money and his treatment of macroeconomic issues concerning interest, trade, and rent are grounded in his theory of value. Neither a labor theory nor an orthodox supply-and-demand analysis, Locke's theory of value takes a proportionality approach to...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
pp. 103-105
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-01
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.