Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Lennon, Thomas M. Review of Todd Ryan's PIERRE BAYLE'S CARTESIAN METAPHYSICS. NDPR (August 2009).
Ryan, Todd. Pierre Bayle's Cartesian Metaphysics: Rediscovering Early Modern Philosophy. London: Routledge, 2009. Bayle poses special difficulties of interpretation. The principal difficulty lies less in the literal meaning of individual texts than in the overall account of what he actually believed and what he was trying to achieve. So great is the difficulty that some of us have taken to referring to the "Bayle enigma". Was he a Christian believer? If so, of what sort? Was he a secret atheist? A mere skeptic? An existentialist? The list goes on. Ryan does not claim to have solved the enigma, but his book does have as its "principal aim . . . to provide the detailed analysis that might help lay the groundwork for resolving the Bayle enigma, [the] choice of topics being guided by the conviction that Bayle can thought of as a Cartesian skeptic" (p.5). . . . Read the whole review here: http://ndpr.nd.edu/review.cfm?id=17025.