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BOOK REVIEWS 12 7 does it all amount to? It will be interesting to see what response this book will receive from its targeted audience and whether French philosophy will come to embrace, or at least respect, the heritage of logical empiricism which Jacob presents. ELIZABETH R. EAMES Southern Illinois University, Carbondale Charles Coulston Gillispie, editor-in-chief. Dictionary of Scientific Biography. 8 vols. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 198o. Pp. cci + 1o,o61. The Dictionary of Scientific Biography in eight volumes is an unaltered reprinting of the original sixteen-volume edition (1971-8o), with no reduction in type size. A Concise Dictionary of Scientific Biography, compressing the materials to a one-volume compass, has also been issued by the same publisher, but it is not under review here. Because philosophers and historians of philosophy will find the eight-volume edition of this magnificent book markedly useful, we should consider its plans and contents in their direct bearings for readers of this journal. All told, there are about 5,ooo biographical-expository articles, as well as seven long pieces on the sciences in civilizations, such as the Mesopotamian and Mayan, not ordinarily connected in the popular mind with striking scientific progress. The articles on individuals (all of them deceased) scarcely ever occupy less than a generous column, and a few, such as those on Newton and Laplace, amount to books of average length. Bibliographies are quite full, up-to-date, and list works both in the original languages and in translations. This Dictionary relates itself to the history of philosophy in at least three ways. (a) There are numerous articles, many very full, about persons who do appear in the philosophy textbooks--most of the important Presocratics, for instance, many Syrian and Arab thinkers, Ramus, Bacon, Hume, and others who, as philosophers first and men of science a slow second, have yet had powerful effect upon the history of the sciences. (Unfortunately, Hegel is omitted, although Schelling, Oken, Marx, and Engels all receive careful and respectful treatment; perhaps a supplementary volume will eventually include reparation for this surprising gap.) (~) Philosophers making the most important contributions to the exact sciences are mostly treated here from the standpoint of such contributions: Ockham, Descartes , Pascal, Leibniz, and many more. The twenty-one-column piece on Kant leaves out almost everything from the three Critiques except what bears directly upon physics and mathematics and explores at length the works treating of space, matter, and number with a side-glance at living things, thus throwing light upon Kant's effort to combine and justify Newtonian and Leibnizian principles. The article on Aristotle (by several scholars) demonstrates his resolute attempt to look nature in the face and deal with its complexities rather than simply falling back upon his reaction to a "theory of forms" and the image of the ideal state. The article on Plato is less satisfactory, lacking much of the dialectical penetration into the Timaeus that belongs in such an account. Hobbes and Berkeley are accorded considerable well-employed space on their labors in theory of motion and in optics. 128 HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY (3) The history of philosophy itself would undergo a deepening and widening through inclusion of scientific stars of every luminosity who are usually omitted or given perfunctory notice in all but the most detailed textbooks and dictionaries: Lull, Oresme, Leonardo, Harvey, Boyle, Hoehne-Wronski, Thomas Huxley, Jevons, to take a tiny sample. The Dictionary presents these persons in ways strongly suggestive of the philosophic implications of their work. For these and other reasons, philosophers should be immensely gratefu] for this brilliant hook. GEORGE KIMBALLPLOCHMANN Southern Illinois University, Carbondale ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
pp. 127-128
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-01
Open Access
No
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