By Frederick Copleston
Conceived initially as a significant presentation of the advance of philosophy for Catholic seminary scholars, Frederick Copleston's nine-volume A historical past Of Philosophy has journeyed a long way past the modest objective of its writer to common acclaim because the most sensible historical past 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 potential of metaphysics, knew that seminary scholars have been fed a woefully insufficient vitamin of theses and proofs, and that their familiarity with such a lot of history's nice thinkers used to be lowered to simplistic caricatures. Copleston got down to redress the incorrect by way of writing an entire historical past of Western philosophy, one crackling with incident and highbrow pleasure -- and one who supplies complete position to every philosopher, featuring his suggestion in a superbly rounded demeanour and displaying his hyperlinks to people who went earlier than and to those that got here after him.
The results of Copleston's prodigious labors is a background of philosophy that's not going ever to be handed. idea 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 goal, complete and scholarly, unified and good proportioned... we won'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
Ockham's position may have been primarily that of a theologian; but its natural effect would be to concentrate attention on the actual facts and to discourage any notion that one could reconstruct the order of the world by purely a priori reasoning. If a notion of this kind makes its appearance in the pre-Kantian continental rationalism of the classical period of 'modem' philosophy, its origin is certainly not to be looked for in fourteenth-century Ockhamism: it is to be associated, of course, with the influence of mathematics and of mathematical physics.
This is suppositio mate,ialis. Taken in itself the term 'man' is capable of exercising any of these functions; but it is only in a proposition that it actually acquires a determinate type of the functions in question. Suppositio, then, is 'a property belonging to a term, but only in a proposition'. 1 (iv) In the statement 'man is mortal' the term 'man', which is, as we have seen, a sign, stands for things, that is, men, which are not themselves signs. It is, therefore, a term of 'first intention' (primae intentionis).
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