By Frederick Copleston

Conceived initially as a major presentation of the improvement of philosophy for Catholic seminary scholars, Frederick Copleston's nine-volume A background Of Philosophy has journeyed a ways past the modest objective of its writer to common acclaim because the top historical past of philosophy in English.Copleston, an Oxford Jesuit of massive 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 vitamin of theses and proofs, and that their familiarity with such a lot of history's nice thinkers was once decreased to simplistic caricatures.  Copleston got down to redress the incorrect by way of writing an entire historical past of Western Philosophy, one crackling with incident and highbrow pleasure - and person who supplies complete position to every philosopher, offering his inspiration in a superbly rounded demeanour and exhibiting his hyperlinks to people who went earlier than and to people who got here after him.

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Extra resources for A History of Philosophy, Vol. 2: Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy From Augustine to Duns Scotus

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For instance, in his attempt to prove the reasonable character of the doctrine of the resurrection of the body, he makes clear his conviction, as against the Platonic view, that the body belongs to the integral man, that man is not simply a soul using a body. 1 1 On the Resurrection. D. 180. After emphasising the fact that moral purity is necessary for anyone who would know God, he proceeds to speak of the divine attributes, God's incomprehensibility, power, wisdom, eternity, immutability. As the soul of man, itself invisible, is perceived through the movements of the body, so God, Himself invisible, is known through His providence and works.

Augustine had been troubled by difficulties and problems which the Manichaeans could not answer; for example, the problem of the source of certitude in human thought, the reason why the two principles were in eternal conflict, etc. It happened that a noted Manichaean bishop, Faustus by name, came to Carthage, and Augustine resolved to seek from him a satisfactory solution of his difficulties; but, though he found Faustus agreeable and friendly, he did not find in his words the intellectual satisfaction which he sought.

Obviously, however, St. Gregory's intention, like that of St. Anselm, was to render the mystery more intelligible by the application of dialectic, not to 'rationalise' the mystery in the sense of departing from dogmatic orthodoxy. , 44, 336 D G , 360 BC. • Cf. , 46, 49 C. 4 Cf. , ' 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.

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