By Frederick Copleston
Conceived initially as a significant presentation of the improvement of philosophy for Catholic seminary scholars, Frederick Copleston's nine-volume A historical past Of Philosophy has journeyed some distance past the modest function of its writer to common acclaim because the top background of philosophy in English.
Copleston, an Oxford Jesuit of significant erudition who as soon as tangled with A. J. Ayer in a fabled debate in regards to the life of God and the opportunity of metaphysics, knew that seminary scholars have been fed a woefully insufficient diet of theses and proofs, and that their familiarity with so much of history's nice thinkers used to be reduced to simplistic caricatures. Copleston set out to redress the incorrect by means of writing an entire background of Western philosophy, one crackling with incident and intellectual pleasure -- and one who provides full place to every philosopher, offering his proposal in a beautifully rounded demeanour and displaying his links to those that went sooner than and to people who came after him.
The results of Copleston's prodigious labors is a historical past of philosophy that's not likely ever to be passed. Thought journal summed up the overall contract between students and scholars alike whilst it reviewed Copleston's A historical past of Philosophy as "broad-minded and aim, entire and scholarly, unified and good proportioned... we won't suggest [it] too highly."
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Extra resources for A History of Philosophy [Vol IX]
A Oeuvres. XI, p. 17. • Saint-Simon emphasizes the role of observation and experiment. Obviously, experimentation. in the sense in which we speak of experiments in chemistry. is hardly possible in astronomy. But the term can be understood in a wide sense. And nowadays the situation has altered from what it was in Saint-Simon's time. /I We are reminded of the famous passage in Hume's introduction to the Treatise, in which he envisages placing the science of man on a solid foundation of experience and observation.
In particular, Cousin gives no clear explanation how principles of universal and necessary validity, capable of grounding an ontology and a metaphysics, can be derived from inspection of the data of consciousness. He asserts that 'as is the method of a 47 philosopher, so will be his system', and that 'the adoption of a method decides the destiny of a philosophy'. 1 Those critics who find Cousin's eclecticism incoherent may be inclined to agree, adding that in his case a clearly defined method was conspicuous by its absence.
5 of this History, pp. 375-83. 3 On this subject see Jouffroy's essay on philosophy and common sense in Melanges philosophiques. ECLECTICISM 49 and the collective wisdom of mankind on the other. For example, common sense is said to express itself in self-evidently true propositions which lie at the basis of logics and ethics. But the truth of such principles is grasped by individual minds. And in his psychological reflections, where he treats of human faculties, their development and cooperation, Jouffroy certainly depicts reason as capable of apprehending truth.
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