Review of Dennis Des Chene, Life's Form: Late Aristotelian conceptions of the soul [Book Review]

Metapsychology 6 (22) (2002)

John Sutton
Macquarie University
In the late 16th and early 17th centuries, a number of ‘liberal Jesuit scholastics’ produced the last great synthesis of Aristotelian psychology with Christian theology. In this magnificently sympathetic reconstruction of their systems of the soul, Dennis Des Chene rescues Toletus, Suarez, and the other ‘schoolmen’ from neglect which resulted from scornful dismissals by Descartes and his fellows. Deliberating bypassing the political and medical contexts of their work, and focusing almost exclusively on Jesuit rather than other, ‘dissident’ Renaissance Aristotelianisms, Des Chene focusses intensely on intellectual history, what he calls at one point ‘the flurry of subtleties’ of these astonishing systematic commentaries on Aristotle.
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