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 long way past the modest goal of its writer to common acclaim because the top historical past of philosophy in English.
Copleston, an Oxford Jesuit of substantial 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 so much of history's nice thinkers used to be lowered to simplistic caricatures. Copleston got down to redress the inaccurate through writing a whole background of Western Philosophy, one crackling with incident and highbrow pleasure - and one who offers complete position to every philosopher, proposing his idea in a superbly rounded demeanour and displaying his hyperlinks to those that went earlier than and to people who got here after him.
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Additional resources for A History of Philosophy, Volume 2: Medieval Philosophy: From Augustine to Duns Scotus
D. 365 Augustine went to the town of Madaura, where he laid the foundation of his knowledge of Latin literature and grammar. Madaura was still largely a pagan place, and the effect of the general atmosphere and of his study of the Latin classics was evidently to detach the boy from the faith of his mother, a detachment which his year of idleness at Tagaste (36970) did nothing to mitigate. In 370, the year in which his father died after having become a Catholic, Augustine began the study of rhetoric at Carthage, the largest city he had yet seen.
On the other hand, the Faith has a rational basis, in that, logically speaking, the acceptance of mysteries on authority presupposes the ascertainability by natural reasoning of certain preliminary truths, especially the existence of God, which are capable of philosophic demonstration. Accordingly, though the superiority of faith must be maintained, it is only right to invoke the aid of philosophy. 3 The cosmic order proves the existence of God, and from the necessary perfection of God we can argue to His unity, that there is one God.
Cf. , 45, 341 B. 45. THE PATRISTIC PERIOD 33 mystery more intelligible, the application of the illustration being this, that the word 'God' refers primarily to the divine essence, which is one, and only secondarily to the divine Persons, who are Three, so that the Christian cannot be rightly accused of tritheism. But, though the illustration was introduced to defeat the charge of tritheism and make the mystery more intelligible, it was an unfortunate illustration, since it implied a hyperrealist view of universals.