Some years ago Robert Pasnau (2002) began a book review in this journal by noting that “perhaps the most lively area of historical research in philosophy today concerns the scholastic antecedents of modern philosophy” (308). He went on to say, however, that “inasmuch as these [modern] authors were notoriously and proudly ignorant of scholastic thought, it is not to be expected that a better understanding of medieval and Renaissance philosophy will unlock the hidden meaning of modern texts.” Now, with a magnificent book in which he examines a range of topics related to the metaphysics of substance, Pasnau has made research into the “scholastic antecedents of modern philosophy” livelier yet. He seems, however, to have changed his mind about the early modern philosophers' knowledge of their forebears; in the present work he repeatedly says that they got their scholastic forebears “largely right” (12) and...

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