By Frederick Copleston
Conceived initially as a major presentation of the advance of philosophy for Catholic seminary scholars, Frederick Copleston's nine-volume A heritage Of Philosophy has journeyed some distance past the modest function of its writer to common acclaim because the most sensible background of philosophy in English.
Copleston, an Oxford Jesuit of sizeable erudition who as soon as tangled with A. J. Ayer in a fabled debate concerning the life of God and the opportunity of metaphysics, knew that seminary scholars have been fed a woefully insufficient nutrition of theses and proofs, and that their familiarity with so much of history's nice thinkers used to be decreased to simplistic caricatures. Copleston got down to redress the inaccurate through writing a whole background of Western philosophy, one crackling with incident and highbrow pleasure -- and person who supplies complete position to every philosopher, proposing his concept in a superbly rounded demeanour and exhibiting his hyperlinks to those that went earlier than and to those that got here after him.
The results of Copleston's prodigious labors is a heritage of philosophy that's not likely ever to be handed. notion 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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Additional info for A History of Philosophy, Volume 7: Modern Philosophy: From the Post-Kantian Idealists to Marx, Kierkegaard, and Nietzsche
He continues Kant's insistence on the primacy of the practical reason, the moral will. But he is convinced that to maintain this primacy one has to take the path to pure idealism. For behind Kant's apparently innocent retention of the thing-in-itself Fichte sees the lurking spectre of Spinozism, the exaltation of Nature and the disappearance of freedom. If we are to exorcize this spectre, compromise must be rejected. We can, of course, detach Fichte's idea of the influence exercised by 'inclination and interest' from his historically-conditioned picture of the initial option with which philosophers are faced.
The telos or goal of the process is indeed depicted as the world's self-reflection in and through the human mind. B u t this goal or end is an ideal which is never complete at any given moment of time. Hence the identification of being and thought is never actually achieved. 7. Another aspect of the divergences from the natural pattern of post-Kantian idealism can be expressed in this way. F. H. Bradley, the English absolute idealist, maintained that the concept of God inevitably passes into the concept of the Absolute.
VI, pp. 138-46, 172-9. 18 POST-KANTIAN IDEALIST SYSTEMS but not as annihilating them or as reducing them to mere mechanical instruments. And the spirits of peoples were conceived as manifestations of the same infinite Life, as relative totalities which required for their full development the free expression of the individual personalities which were the bearers, so to speak, of these spirits. And the same can be said of the State, considered as the political embodiment of the spirit of a people.
A History of Philosophy, Volume 7: Modern Philosophy: From the Post-Kantian Idealists to Marx, Kierkegaard, and Nietzsche by Frederick Copleston