Review by Choice Review
The organization of this volume recognizes the transitional nature of Renaissance philosophy. The seven essays in part 1 consider themes connected to the past: Aristotelianism, Arabic philosophy, and Platonism, along with revivals of Stoicism, skepticism, and ancient Hermetism. The nine essays in part 2 emphasize Renaissance philosophers' engagement with new problems and directions: the Reformation, new cosmologies, engagement with the New World, organization of knowledge, and changing political realities. Scholasticism and humanism figure prominently in both parts. Editor Hankins (Harvard) has added helpful introductory and summary essays. With the exception of an essay on Nicholas of Cusa, essays are organized around schools, movements, and problems, not individual figures. The essays overlap, reinforcing and complementing each other, although discussion of Marsilio Ficino dominates a disproportionate number of essays. Generous notes, a chronology, capsule biographies, and an extensive bibliography enhance the text. With few exceptions, essays treat large and difficult topics in ways that are engaging, clear, and insightful. Their cumulative effect highlights the vibrant philosophical diversity of this often-neglected period. Any student of Renaissance philosophy will be grateful for this collection. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-level undergraduates and above. D. C. Kolb St. Meinrad Archabbey Library
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review
This latest entry in a solid series that has treated both individual thinkers and epochs supports the publisher's reputation for providing scholarly overviews that are elucidating to graduate-level readers while remaining accessible to undergraduates. The 18 individually authored chapters include Robert Black's "The Philosopher and Renaissance Culture," Dag Nikolaus Hasse's "Arabic Philosophy and Averroism," and Peter Harrison's "Philosophy and the Crisis of Religion." Each essay unfolds in clearly marked subsections that facilitate a complete reading while allowing ready entry, via the index, to the portion that may be most useful for reference. Black-and-white illustrations amplify the text where appropriate, as with the "concentric spheres" in Brian P. Copenahver's "How To Do Magic, and Why." The appendix includes brief biographies of period philosophers from Western Europe, the Mediterranean, and Byzantium. Given its topic and approach, this book is pertinent to philosophy and history readers alike. For all academic and most public libraries.--Francisca Goldsmith, Halifax P.L.s, NS (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.