Review by Choice Review
A fine addition to an outstanding series, specifically designed to chronologically follow The Cambridge History of Later Medieval Philosophy, ed. by Norman Kretzmann, Anthony Kenny, and Jan Pinborg (CH, Sep '82). An international team of 22 scholars pull together and synthesize the vast research of the past century on Renaissance thought, thus filling a striking gap in historical studies. Most histories treat the period as a quaint interlude of the intellectual life that is of interest mainly as a stepping-stone to modern developments. This volume presents Renaissance philosophy as interesting and worthwhile for itself and as having a view of philosophy that is not only rich but in many ways different and more broad than our own. The first five chapters give the intellectual context, including a fascinating initial chapter on the role played by manuscripts in Renaissance thought. The next 16 chapters treat developments within as many specific areas. The last two chapters discuss the availability of ancient works and the rise of the philosophical textbook. There follow 140 biobibliographies, an 88-page bibliography of primary and secondary sources, and name and subject indexes. This work will be used mainly on the graduate level but many undergraduates will find it an accessible mine of ideas and information. This resource will be a standard item in all larger philosophy collections. Recommended for large public libraries, college, and university collections. -G. J. Dalcourt, Seton Hall University
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.