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 heritage 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 opportunity of metaphysics, knew that seminary scholars have been fed a woefully insufficient nutrition of theses and proofs, and that their familiarity with so much of history's nice thinkers used to be decreased to simplistic caricatures. Copleston got down to redress the incorrect by means of writing an entire historical past of Western Philosophy, one crackling with incident and highbrow pleasure - and person who provides complete position to every philosopher, featuring his notion in a superbly rounded demeanour and displaying his hyperlinks to people who went earlier than and to people who got here after him.
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Additional info for A History of Philosophy, Volume 2: Medieval Philosophy: From Augustine to Duns Scotus
From this period of retirement date his works Contra Academicos, De Beata Vita and De Ordine. Returning to Milan Augustine wrote the De Immortalitate Animae (the Soliloquia were also written about this time) and began the De Musica. On Holy Saturday of 387 Augustine was baptised by St. Ambrose, soon after which event he set out to return to Africa. His mother, who had come over to Italy, died at Ostia, while they were waiting for a boat.
2, i , 1; 2. 5, 3. * a, 14, 4. 4 4, 33, 8. 8 Pibl. cod. 121 THE PATRISTIC PERIOD 23 4. The foregoing authors wrote in Greek; but there was also a group of Latin Apologists, Minucius Felix, Tertullian, Arnobius and Lactantius, of whom the most important is Tertullian. (i) It is uncertain whether Minucius Felix wrote before or after Tertullian, but in any case his attitude towards Greek philosophy, as shown in his Octavius, was more favourable than Tertullian's. Arguing that God's existence can be known with certainty from the order of nature and the design involved in the organism, particularly in the human body, and that the unity of God can be inferred from the unity of the cosmic order, he affirmed that Greek philosophers, too, recognised these truths.
The theory of the Logos as 'Idea of ideas' and that of eternal and necessary creation come from the same source, while the theory of preexistence is Platonic. Of course, the philosophical ideas which Origen adopted were incorporated by him in a Christian setting and framework, so that he may rightly be considered the first great synthetic thinker of Christianity, but although he attached them to Scriptural passages freely interpreted, his enthusiasm for Greek thought led him sometimes into heterodoxy.