By Frederick Copleston
Conceived initially as a major presentation of the advance of philosophy for Catholic seminary scholars, Frederick Copleston's nine-volume A heritage Of Philosophy has journeyed a long way past the modest objective of its writer to common acclaim because the top 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 lifestyles of God and the opportunity of metaphysics, knew that seminary scholars have been fed a woefully insufficient nutrition of theses and proofs, and that their familiarity with such a lot of history's nice thinkers was once lowered to simplistic caricatures. Copleston got down to redress the incorrect by means of 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 proposal in a fantastically rounded demeanour and displaying his hyperlinks to those that went prior to and to those that got here after him.
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Extra info for A History of Philosophy, Vol. 2: Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy From Augustine to Duns Scotus
4 It is perfectly clear that the conversion which then took place was a moral conversion, a conversion of will, a conversion which followed the intellectual conversion. His reading of neo-Platonic works was an instrument in the intellectual conversion of Augustine, while his moral conversion, from the human viewpoint, was prepared by the sermons of Ambrose and the words of Simplicianus and Pontitianus, and confirmed and sealed by the New Testament. The agony of his second or moral conversion was intensified by the fact that he already knew what he ought to do, though on the other hand he felt himself without the power to accomplish it: to the words of St.
If you say that the truth contained in Greek philosophy came from the Old Testament, that is to say, from revelation, you can hardly avoid the conclusion that the errors in Greek philosophy came from human speculation, with a consequently unfavourable judgement as to the power of that speculation. This attitude was very common among the Fathers and, in the Middle Ages, it was to be clearly expressed by St. Bonaventure in the thirteenth century, though it was not to be the view that ultimately prevailed in Scholasticism, the view of St.
In the soul's advance there are, as it were, two movements, that of the indwelling of the Triune God and that of the soul's reaching out beyond itself, culminating in 'ecstasy'. Origen had interpreted the Philonic ecstasy intellectually, as any other form of 'ecstasy' was then suspect, owing to Montanist extravagances; but Gregory set ecstasy at the summit of the soul's endeavour, interpreting it first and foremost as ecstatic love. The 'darkness' which envelops God is due primarily to the utter transcendence of the divine essence, and Gregory drew the conclusion that even in heaven the soul is always pressing forward, drawn by love, to penetrate further into God.