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478 HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY Damascius' Demiourgos. Here Simplicius is closer to Aristotle's notion that time is merely potentially infinite, although they do not employ quite the same terminology. This very dense work concludes with an examination of time as a philosophical problem in antiquity, particularly in Plato and Aristotle, as illuminated by Simplicius. That commentator's interpretation differs, however, from Aristotle, according to whom the difference between before and after is not just an abstraction. In Aristotle, before and after possess a real mathematical and physical being in the continuum of time (p. 236). Simplicius thinks of before and after as if they were a mere order of ordinal number, without reality outside mind. (Or, perhaps Plotinus was right in holding that Aristotle's philosophy can be understood only by those who heard his lectures.) Simplicius' interpretation is part of the wider movement of thought in later antiquity, when time as the number of motion is forgotten and replaced by a more abstract definition. The great interest of these thinkers, Damascius and Simplicius, lies in their providing us with variants or subspecies of the two great masters, Plato and Aristotle. Plato held that time is a succession of now-times, constituted by the relation of older and younger. The mathematical presentation of these now-times constitutes the continuity of time. In Aristotle, movement itself provides a real, not a merely mathematical , succession. Time is not a mere predication of number to motion, but is realized in physical movement. Soul numbers before and after, but the basis of time is the endless becoming of the natural world. The commentaries of Damascius and Simplicius shed new light on these two fundamental views of time. Meyer's learned work makes these obscure texts widely accessible; his interpretations of the rich material are cautious and sound. The presentation is not [iir die Menge; and, it is sometimes not very clear just what Greek distinctions are being noted by certain German distinctions (e.g., p. 127). There are misprints in French (p. 6), German (pp. 78, 231, 293), and Greek (pp. 17, 127). The work is a fine contribution to scholarship. PAUL J. W. MILLER University o[ Colorado The Fihrist of an-Nad~m, A Tenth Century Survey o[ Muslim Culture. Ed. and trans. Bayard Dodge. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1970. 2 vols. Pp. 1149. $40) Composed at the close of the tenth century, an-Nadim's Fihrist or catalogue "of the books of all peoples, Arab and foreign, existing in the language of the Arabs" has been, especially since the printing of its Arabic text in 1871, the constant resource of all students of Muslim culture. With a thoroughness fed by his unflagging enthusiasm for the written word an-Nadim catalogues works in all areas of study practiced by the Arabic-reading peoples of his day including language arts, scriptural studies, grammar, history, poetry, theology, law, philosophy, astronomy, mathematics, medicine and (what we would call) anthropology. Often anecdotal but always informative , he provides an overview of the entire process of intellectual fusion which marked the growth of Islam as the (self-conceived) heir to Greek, Persian, and even Indian civilization. To the historian of philosophy the Fihrist is a sine qua non, as a primary source of knowledge of translations from Greek (and Sanskrit) into Arabic as well as valuable accounts of the works of KindS, R~z~, and F~r~bL Since many of the titles listed are no longer extant, the Fihrist has served as a touchstone for testing the authenticity of rediscovered works; and often, of course, titles alone can tell the story BOOK REVIEWS 479 as to what the Arabs knew or what they thought. Bayard Dodge's careful, somewhat literal translation now puts this wealth of information af the fingertips of the nonArabist . The extensive notes and indices provided should help in securing this work its well-deserved place on the reference shelf of the historian of philosophy, allowing him to replace the too often heard banalities about the "passage of philosophy into Europe" with trenchant specifics based upon primary research. LENN EVAN GOODMAN University of Hawaii Hamlet's Mill: An Essay on Myth and the Frame...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
pp. 478-479
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-01
Open Access
No
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