BOOK REVIEWS 233 Norman Kretzmann, Anthony J. D. Kenny, Jan Pinborg, eds., and E. Stump assoc. ed. The Cambridge History of Later Medieval Philosophy: From the Rediscovery of Aristotle to the Disintegration of Scholasticism 11oo-16oo. Cambridge, London, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1982. Pp XIV + 1o35. $74.5 o. In a recent review of A. J. Ayer's Philosophy in the Twentieth Century, published in the New York Times Review of Books (Nov. 28, 1982 ), Alasdair MacIntyre points out that Ayer's book has been written from a philosophical standpoint within a tradition largely divorced from the study of the history of philosophy, and that there is great merit in this enterprise, since "it... not only tells us a great deal about a period in the history of philosophy .... but also makes clearer precisely what his standpoint involves" (BR 3)- If MacIntyre is correct, The Cambridge History should also prove to be a valuable work; for its most striking feature, in contrast to the standard historical treatments of the period, is that it is written from the perspective of the same analytic tradition to which MacIntyre refers. The work also reveals the philosophical standpoint of the editors who planned it and in some cases of the authors who contributed to it. The editors make no secret of their approach: "our editorial strategy has led to a concentration on those parts of later medieval philosophy that are most readily recognisable as philosophical to a student of twentieth-century philosophy" (3). The treatments of various problems throughout the volume by various authors generally echo this editorial policy. There is no question that this approach has yielded some significant results. Its most striking consequence is not that it reveals the philosophical preferences of the editors and authors, but rather that it treats medieval authors as living figures who present philosophical alternatives to be taken seriously by contemporary philosophers . It must be granted that, although not successful in every instance, this volume contributes substantially to the promotion of philosophical dialogue with the work of medieval authors. This is certainly the book's most important contribution and one for which the editors and contributors should be congratulated without reservation. On the other hand, the approach followed by the editors has some inherent disadvantages which the editors have not been able to avoid. The emphasis on certain themes, issues, and views which the editors consider important from their particular twentieth-century perspective has led to the neglect of others which, although historically important, they consider either philosophically naive or of little value. This is very much in evidence in at least three areas. First, disproportionate space has been given to the logic and logicians of the period. Of 842 pages of text, half have been dedicated to logic and closely related topics. The main editor, who like the other editors of the volume except for one, is primarily known for his work on logic, is well aware of this imbalance (4). But he argues that the imbalance is imbedded in the very nature of medieval scholasticism. However, any cursory look at the university curriculum in the Middle Ages and at the writings of the period will show that logic was considered primarily a propaedeutic discipline and that there were scores of important thinkers who paid little attention to it. The mention of Bonaventure, Duns Scotus, and Suarez should suffice to make the point clear. The real reason logic is 234 JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY 22:9 APR i984 given such a disproportionate attention in this book is not the nature of medieval scholasticism, but the philosophical predilection of the editors, who think that "the achievements of medieval logicians are historically more distinctive and philosophically more valuable than anything else in medieval thought with the possibleexception [my emphasis] of rational theology" (4). The second area in which the philosophical predilections of the editors are evident involves, in the words of the Introduction, the "relatively little attention [devoted ] to theological issues" (3). Indeed, the attention devoted to theological issues in the volume is not proportionate to the importance they had during the period. After reading this volume one would he led to think that philosophy...

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