By Frederick Copleston
Conceived initially as a significant 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 most sensible background of philosophy in English.
Copleston, an Oxford Jesuit of significant erudition who as soon as tangled with A. J. Ayer in a fabled debate in regards to the lifestyles of God and the potential for metaphysics, knew that seminary scholars have been fed a woefully insufficient diet of theses and proofs, and that their familiarity with such a lot of history's nice thinkers used to be reduced to simplistic caricatures. Copleston set out to redress the incorrect through writing a whole heritage of Western philosophy, one crackling with incident and intellectual pleasure -- and person who supplies full place to every philosopher, offering his proposal in a beautifully rounded demeanour and displaying his links to those that went sooner than and to people who came after him.
The results of Copleston's prodigious labors is a heritage of philosophy that's not going ever to be exceeded. Thought journal summed up the overall contract between students and scholars alike while it reviewed Copleston's A historical past of Philosophy as "broad-minded and goal, complete and scholarly, unified and good proportioned... we won't suggest [it] too highly."
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Extra resources for A History of Philosophy, Vol. 1: Greece and Rome From the Pre-Socratics to Plotinus
Archytas won for himself a reputation. Philolaus and Eurytus also worked in that city. As to the religious-ascetic ideas and practices of the Pythagoreans, these centred round the idea of purity and purification, the doctrine of the transmigration of souls naturally leading to the promotion of soul-culture. The practice of silence, the influence 1 Cf. Diog. , 8, 8. • Polybius, ii, 39 (D. 14, 16). * Stace, Critical History of Greek Philosophy, p. 33. 4 ap. , iv, II, 5 (D. 14, 9). , p. 93, note 5.
Thus " b y the juxtaposition of several points a line is generated, not merely in the scientific imagination of the mathematician, but in external reality also; in the same way the surface is generated by the juxtaposition of several lines, and finally the body by the combination of several surfaces. Points, lines and surfaces are therefore the real units which compose all bodies in nature, and in this sense all bodies must be regarded as numbers. " 1 But how far the identification of things with numbers is to be ascribed to the habit of representing numbers by geometrical patterns, and how far to an extension to all reality of Pythagorean discoveries in regard to music, it is extremely difficult to say.
2 (D. n • Frag. 1. 1 1 A 10). " It is -rt 4»wpov, the substance without limits. " 1 The encroachments of one element on another are poetically represented as instances of injustice, the warm element committing an injustice in summer and the cold in winter. ® This is an instance of the extension of the conception of law from human life to the universe at large. There is a plurality of co-existent worlds which are innumerable. 3 Each is perishable, but there seems to be an unlimited number of them in existence at the same time, the worlds coming into being through eternal motion.