By Frederick Copleston

Conceived initially as a major 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 function of its writer to common acclaim because the top background of philosophy in English.Copleston, an Oxford Jesuit of huge 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 such a lot of history's nice thinkers used to be diminished to simplistic caricatures.  Copleston got down to redress the incorrect through writing a whole historical past of Western Philosophy, one crackling with incident and highbrow pleasure - and person who offers complete position to every philosopher, proposing his suggestion in a superbly rounded demeanour and displaying his hyperlinks to people who went sooner than and to those that got here after him.

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Extra resources for A History of Philosophy, Vol. 2: Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy From Augustine to Duns Scotus

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Monica. His mother brought up her child as a Christian, but Augustine's baptism was deferred, in accordance with a common, if undesirable, custom of the time. 1 The child learnt the rudiments of Latin and arithmetic from a schoolmaster of Tagaste, but play, at which he wished always to be the winner, was more attractive to him than study, and Greek, which he began after a time, he hated, though he was attracted by the Homeric poems considered as a story. That Augustine knew practically no Greek is untrue; but he never learned to read the language with ease.

749, was not only a resolute opponent of the 'Iconoclasts' but also a great systematiser in the field of theology, so that he can be looked on as the Scholastic of the Orient. He explicitly says that he does not intend to give new and personal opinions, but to preserve and hand on the thoughts of holy and learned men, so that it would be useless to seek in his writings for novelty of content; yet in his systematic and ordered presentation of the ideas of his predecessors a certain originality may be ascribed to him.

On the contrary, he utilised expressions of Plotinus or Plato to expose and state Christian doctrines. For example, the 'likeness to God' is the work of grace, a development under the activity of God, with man's free co-operation, of the image or eb«ov of God implanted in the soul at baptism. Again, justice-in-itself is not an abstract virtue nor even an idea in Nous; it is the Logos indwelling in the soul, the effect of this inhabitation being the participated virtue. This Logos, moreover, is not the Nous of Plotinus, nor is it the Logos of Philo: it is the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, and between God and creatures there is no intermediary procession of subordinate hypostases.

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