By Frederick Copleston
Conceived initially as a significant 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 function of its writer to common acclaim because the top heritage of philosophy in English.
Copleston, an Oxford Jesuit of great erudition who as soon as tangled with A.J. Ayer in a fabled debate concerning the life of God and the potential of metaphysics, knew that seminary scholars have been fed a woefully insufficient vitamin of theses and proofs, and that their familiarity with so much of history's nice thinkers was once lowered to simplistic caricatures. Copleston got down to redress the inaccurate by means of writing an entire historical past of Western Philosophy, one crackling with incident and highbrow pleasure - and person who offers complete position to every philosopher, featuring his inspiration in a superbly rounded demeanour and displaying his hyperlinks to those that went ahead of and to people who got here after him.
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Extra info for A History of Philosophy, Volume 2: Medieval Philosophy: From Augustine to Duns Scotus
Best known as a great Church historian, he is also of importance for his Christian apologetic, and under this heading conies his attitude towards Greek philosophy, since, in general, he regarded Greek philosophy, especially Platonism, as a preparation of the heathen world for Christianity, though he was fully alive to the errors of Greek philosophers and to the contradictions between the many philosophical Schools. Yet, though he speaks sharply on occasion, his general attitude is sympathetic and appreciative, an attitude which comes out most clearly in his Praeparatio evangelica in fifteen books.
The poets and philosophers, moved by a divine impulse, have striven to find God and men pay heed to their conclusions: how foolish it would be, then, to refuse to listen to the very Spirit of God, speaking through the mouths of the Prophets. Athenagoras then goes on to show that there cannot be a multitude of material gods, that God, who forms matter, must transcend matter (though he scarcely succeeds in conceiving God without relation to space), that the Cause of perishable things must be imperishable and spiritual, and he appeals especially to the testimony of Plato.
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.
A History of Philosophy, Volume 2: Medieval Philosophy: From Augustine to Duns Scotus by Frederick Copleston
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