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 function of its writer to common acclaim because the top background of philosophy in English.
Copleston, an Oxford Jesuit of huge erudition who as soon as tangled with A. J. Ayer in a fabled debate concerning the lifestyles of God and the potential for 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 decreased to simplistic caricatures. Copleston got down to redress the inaccurate through writing an entire historical past of Western philosophy, one crackling with incident and highbrow pleasure -- and person who supplies complete position to every philosopher, featuring his proposal in a superbly rounded demeanour and exhibiting his hyperlinks to those that went ahead of and to those that got here after him.
The results of Copleston's prodigious labors is a heritage of philosophy that's not going ever to be exceeded. idea journal summed up the overall contract between students and scholars alike while it reviewed Copleston's A background of Philosophy as "broad-minded and target, entire and scholarly, unified and good proportioned... we won't suggest [it] too highly."
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Additional resources for A History of Philosophy, Volume 8: Modern Philosophy: Empiricism, Idealism, and Pragmatism in Britain and America
1 » Ibid. BRITISH EMPIRICISM 32 produces, or can produce, well-developed human beings'. 1 But he makes it clear that individual self-development does not mean for him a surrender to any impulses which the individual is inclined to follow, but rather the individual fulfilment of the ideal of harmonious integration of all one's powers. It is not a question of sheer eccentricity, but of unity in diversity. Hence there must be a standard of excellence; and this is not fully worked out. The relevant point in the present context, however, is not Mill's failure to elaborate a theory of human nature.
James Mill died on June 23rd, 1836, a champion of Benthamism to the last. He was not perhaps a particularly attractive figure. A man of vigorous though somewhat narrow intellect, he was extremely reserved and apparently devoid of any poetic sensibility, while for passionate emotions and for sentiment he had little use. His son remarks that though James Mill upheld an Epicurean ethical theory (Bentham's hedonism), he was personally a Stoic and combined Stoic qualities with a Cynic's disregard for pleasure.
S. Mill remarks that 'to reflect on any of our feelings or mental acts is more properly identified with attending to the feeling than (as stated in the text) with merely having it'. 8 And this seems to be true. But James Mill is so obstinately determined to explain the whole mental life in terms of the association of primitive elements reached by reductive analysis that he has to explain away those factors in consciousness to which it is difficult to apply such treatment. In other words, empiricism can manifest its own form of dogmatism.