By Frederick Copleston
Conceived initially as a major presentation of the improvement of philosophy for Catholic seminary scholars, Frederick Copleston's nine-volume A historical past Of Philosophy has journeyed some distance past the modest objective of its writer to common acclaim because the most sensible historical past of philosophy in English.
Copleston, an Oxford Jesuit of monstrous 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 nutrition of theses and proofs, and that their familiarity with so much of history's nice thinkers used to be lowered to simplistic caricatures. Copleston got down to redress the incorrect by means of writing an entire historical past of Western Philosophy, one crackling with incident and highbrow pleasure - and person who provides complete position to every philosopher, featuring his proposal in a superbly rounded demeanour and exhibiting his hyperlinks to those that went prior to and to those that got here after him.
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Additional info for A History of Philosophy, Volume 2: Medieval Philosophy: From Augustine to Duns Scotus
Madaura was still largely a pagan place, and the effect of the general atmosphere and of his study of the Latin classics was evidently to detach the boy from the faith of his mother, a detachment which his year of idleness at Tagaste (36970) did nothing to mitigate. In 370, the year in which his father died after having become a Catholic, Augustine began the study of rhetoric at Carthage, the largest city he had yet seen. , r, i r , 17. 40 ST. AUGUSTINE 4i licentious ways of the great port and centre of government, the sight of the obscene rites connected with cults imported from the East, combined with the fact that Augustine, the southerner, was already a man, with passions alive and vehement, led to his practical break with the moral ideals of Christianity and before long he took a mistress, with whom he lived for over ten years and by whom he had a son in his second year at Carthage.
The Manichaeans, however, maintained a dualistic theory, according to which there are two ultimate principles, a good principle, that of light, God or Ormuzd, and an evil principle, that of darkness, Ahriman. These principles are both eternal and their strife is eternal, a strife reflected in the world which is the production of the two principles in mutual conflict. In man the soul, composed of light, is the work of the good principle, while the body, composed of grosser matter, is the work of the evil principle.
1 Dt principiis, 2, 6, 1. ' Ibid.. 6, 1 - 3 . THE PATRISTIC PERIOD 29 theology; St. John Chrysostom (died 406) is celebrated as one of the greatest orators of the Church and for his work on the Scriptures. In treating of dogmas like those of the Blessed Trinity and the Hypostatic Union the Fathers naturally made use of philosophical terms and expressions; but their application of reasoning in theology does not make them philosophers in the strict sense and we must pass them over here. One may point out, however, that St.