Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

Masquerade of the Dream Walkers: Prophetic Theology from the Cartesians to Hegel

Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

Masquerade of the Dream Walkers: Prophetic Theology from the Cartesians to Hegel

Article excerpt

REDPATH, Peter A. Masquerade of the Dream Walkers: Prophetic Theology from the Cartesians to Hegel. Atlanta, Georgia: Rodopi, 1998. xv + 331 pp. Cloth, $92.00; paper, $2350--Not even the subtitle of this work hints at its richness. Redpath begins with Descartes, making it clear that it is not without reason that Descartes is called "the father of modern philosophy." Although Descartes is his starting point, Redpath quickly moves to an analysis of the work of Leibniz, Spinoza, and Malebranche. He contrasts these Cartesians with the "more hard-headed empiricists," Hobbes, Newton, Locke, and Hume. Berkeley's critique of Locke is examined in detail; sc, too is Rousseau's Emile, but the bulk of the volume is devoted to Kant and Hegel.

Redpath judges modernity from the standpoint of classical philosophy, although, given the breadth of his historical survey and his analytic power, he is reminiscent of Hegel at his most sweeping. This is obviously the work of a mature scholar, the reflections of a learned and serious philosopher who shows clearly that ideas have consequences, even when they are of the most removed and metaphysically abstract. Some of his bold claims are likely to be challenged by his readers, but none is without insight. …

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