David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of the History of Philosophy 38 (4):588-589 (2000)
Contemporary analytic philosophers have always been among the most enthusiastic audiences for the volumes in the Cambridge Companion series. And of all the great philosophers of the Middle Ages, perhaps none has appealed more to their sensibilities than <span class='Hi'>William</span> Ockham. It is fitting, therefore, that after the publication of the Companion to Aquinas—the first volume in the series devoted to a medieval philosopher—there should appear a Companion to Ockham. The fifteen chapters comprising this volume survey the entire range of Ockham’s thought and may conveniently be divided into four main parts. The first part (chaps. 2-7) deals with Ockham’s most enduring legacy: his contribution to issues falling within the domain of logic, philosophy of language, and metaphysics. The second part (chaps. 8-9) is devoted to issues in epistemology and philosophy of mind/cognition. The third part (chaps. 10-13) focuses on Ockham’s views in ethics, action theory, and political philosophy. And the fourth part (chaps. 14-15) considers aspects of his philosophical theology. In addition, there is also an historical chapter (chap. 1), placing Ockham’s life and works in their late-medieval intellectual context, and a brief editor’s introduction, including a very useful list of all Ockham’s writings, together with the best (sometimes, the only) Latin editions and English translations available. The volume is well organized and beautifully conceived. Some chapters are quite difficult, and in places contain material that is likely to be unfamiliar even to specialists in medieval philosophy. But the way in which they have been organized maximizes their usefulness and accessibility to specialists and non-specialists alike. The earlier parts of the volume lay the foundation for later ones, and the individual chapters within each of the four parts are arranged so as to build on and compliment one another. This is perhaps most evident in the five chapters comprising the first part..
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