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 most sensible background of philosophy in English.
Copleston, an Oxford Jesuit of gigantic erudition who as soon as tangled with A.J. Ayer in a fabled debate concerning the life of God and the potential for 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 used to be diminished to simplistic caricatures. Copleston got down to redress the inaccurate by means of writing an entire background of Western Philosophy, one crackling with incident and highbrow pleasure - and one who offers complete position to every philosopher, providing his concept 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 info for A History of Philosophy [Vol II] : Medieval Philosophy
A possible answer (whether correct or not) would be ‘In the cupboard’, and we would all know where to look. ’ it would be little use to invite it to look inside the mirror, which it would find to consist of solid glass; or on the surface of the mirror, for the image is certainly not on its surface in the sense in which a postage stamp stuck on it might be; or behind the mirror (which is where the image looks as if it were), for if you look behind the mirror you will find no image there – and so on.
These ancient questions tormented them as they had their ancestors in Greece and Rome and Palestine and the medieval West. Physics and chemistry did not tell one why some men were 8 • Concepts and Categories obliged to obey other men and under what circumstances, and what was the nature of such obligations; what was good and what was evil; whether happiness and knowledge, justice and mercy, liberty and equality, efficiency and individual independence were equally valid goals of human action, and, if so, whether they were compatible with one another, and if not, which of them were to be chosen, and what were valid criteria for such choices, and how we could be certain about their validity, and what was meant by the notion of validity itself; and many more questions of this type.
It is more charac teristic of Berlin’s outlook, and more illuminating in itself, to say that one who properly recognises the plurality of values is one who understands the deep and creative role that these various values can play in human life. In that perspective, the correctness of the liberal consciousness is better expressed, not so much in terms of truth – that it recognises the values which indeed there are – but in terms of truthfulness. It is prepared to try to build a life round the recognition that these different values do each have a real and intelligible human significance, and are not just errors, misdirections or poor expressions of human nature.
A History of Philosophy [Vol II] : Medieval Philosophy by Frederick Copleston