Academic journal article Journal of the History of Ideas

A Short Reply

Academic journal article Journal of the History of Ideas

A Short Reply

Article excerpt

While thanking Thomas Lennon for the interest he has shown in my workand without going into details of interpretation which cannot bear discussion in this context-I would like to make a few remarks on factual questions raised by his response.

1) Lennon's text (p. 338): "The text that Bayle and Mori erroneously take to be Saint-Evremond's is in fact from Jean-François Sarasin."

While it is not certain that Bayle and I "erroneously" take this text to be Saint-Evremond's, it is certain that Lennon erroneously takes it to be Sarasin's. In fact, the text quoted by Bayle is not taken from Sarasin's Discours sur Epicure, but, as Bayle explicitly points out ("Xénophanes," K, note 124), from a "Discours des ennuis et des déplaisirs." This "Discours" is chapter 5 of De l'usage de la vie, a text published in many editions of Saint-Evremond's works (see the Barbin 1692 in-4° éd., seconde Partie, p. 326). The paternity of De l'usage de la vie is doubtful and controversial, but it possibly contains some passages taken from Saint-Evremond's unpublished manuscripts, especially in chapters 3-6, as reported by an important source quoted by Ternois in Saint-Evremond, Euvres en prose, IV, 3-4, note 1.

2) Lennon's text (pp. 338-39): "The significance of two of the other texts advanced by Mori is fully vitiated, for in them Bayle makes the same mistake."

In my article, I did not fail to state that these texts (OD I, 158 and Diet., "Epicure," M) are taken from an apocryphal source. …

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