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Constantin Fasolt's odd hodgepodge of a book is largely about the philosophy of history, as its title suggests. It would be hard to recommend it as a work of philosophy, though: While Fasolt's reflections on "the limits of history" certainly have their moments of elegance and insight, the philosophy here is mostly careless and cursory stuff, with far too heavy a dose of post-modem pyrrhonism for this reviewer. But it would be too bad if readers allowed the book's portentous title, and the anguished philosophical gyrations of its first chapter, to prevent them from reading on. Fasolt is a fine scholar, and when he turns to the central chapters of the book, on the work of Hermann Conring (1606-1681), he has many adroit and interesting things to say.

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