In this review of Winfried Schröder's study of the origins of atheism it is argued that Schröder has brilliandy managed to present a coherent interpretation of the early modern corpus of so-called 'clandestine manuscripts'. His view, however, that from an 18th-century perspeaive it was 'unscientific' to propound atheism seems questionable as does his insistence on the absence of such classical philosophers as Spinoza in early modern atheistic texts. Yet as a guide to 17th-and 18th-century clandestine literature Schröder's book is unequalled.
This is a truly remarkable first book, based on a Ph.D. thesis. It brilliantly manages to address both the general reader and the experts, is skillfully written and beautifully illustrated. The fate of Epicureanism during the Renaissance has recently drawn considerable attention and produced a series of important monographs by such established authors as Catherine Wilson, Alison Brown, and Stephen Greenblatt. Reading Lucretius in the Renaissance is such a welcome addition to the existing literature because of its special methodology: Palmer (...) concentrates on the marginalia preserved in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century manuscripts and early editions of De Rerum Natura, a first complete manuscript of.. (shrink)
In Spinoza Past and Present Wiep van Bunge explores various aspects of Spinoza’s works and the often conflichting ways in which the Dutch philosopher’s views have been interpreted from the seventeenth century onwards.