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 a ways past the modest goal of its writer to common acclaim because the top background of philosophy in English.
Copleston, an Oxford Jesuit of enormous erudition who as soon as tangled with A. J. Ayer in a fabled debate concerning the lifestyles of God and the potential for metaphysics, knew that seminary scholars have been fed a woefully insufficient vitamin of theses and proofs, and that their familiarity with so much of history's nice thinkers was once decreased to simplistic caricatures. Copleston got down to redress the inaccurate through writing an entire background of Western philosophy, one crackling with incident and highbrow pleasure -- and person who provides complete position to every philosopher, offering his suggestion in a superbly rounded demeanour and exhibiting his hyperlinks to people who went prior to and to people who got here after him.
The results of Copleston's prodigious labors is a historical past of philosophy that's not going ever to be handed. concept journal summed up the final contract between students and scholars alike whilst it reviewed Copleston's A heritage of Philosophy as "broad-minded and goal, entire and scholarly, unified and good proportioned... we can't suggest [it] too highly."
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Extra resources for A History of Philosophy, Volume 3: Late Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy: Ockham, Francis Bacon, and the Beginning of the Modern World
He does not say that God acts in this way as a matter of fact: he simply says that God could act in this way in virtue of His omnipotence. That God is omnipotent was not, however, for Ockham a truth which can be philosophically proved: it is known only by faith. If we look at the matter from the purely philosophical point of view, therefore, the question of God's producing in us intuitions of non-existent objects simply does not come up. On the other hand, what Ockham has to say on the matter admirably illustrates his tendency, as a thinker with marked theological preoccupations, to break through, as it were, the purely philosophic and natural order and to subordinate it to the divine liberty and omnipotence.
In the second volume of this work an account has been given of the course of the controversy concerning universals in the Middle Ages up to the time of Aquinas; and there it was shown how the early mediaeval form of ultra-realism was finally refuted by Abelard. That only individuals exist came to be the accepted belief. At the same time the moderate realists, like Aquinas, certainly believed in the objectivity of real species and natures. If X and Yare two men, for example, they do not possess the same individual nature; but none the less each possesses his own human nature or essence, and the two natures are similar, each nature being, as it were, a finite imitation of the divine idea of human nature.
58 THE FOURTEENTH CENTURY OCKHAM (2) of Aristotle and of all science, 1 St. Thomas would agree. And it was certainly St. Thomas's opinion that while the natures of men, for example, are alike there is no common nature considered as a thing in which all individual men have a share. But it must be remembered that St. Thomas gave a metaphysical explanation of the similarity of natures; for he held that God creates things belonging to the same species, things, that is, with similar natures, according to an idea of human nature in the divine mind.
A History of Philosophy, Volume 3: Late Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy: Ockham, Francis Bacon, and the Beginning of the Modern World by Frederick Copleston