Read e-book online A History of Philosophy, Vol. 4: Modern Philosophy From PDF

By Frederick C. Copleston

ISBN-10: 038547041X

ISBN-13: 9780385470414

Conceived initially as a major presentation of the advance of philosophy for Catholic seminary scholars, Frederick Copleston's nine-volume A historical past Of Philosophy has journeyed some distance past the modest function of  its writer to common acclaimas the easiest historical past 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 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 was once 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 one who offers complete position to every philosopher, offering his notion in a superbly rounded demeanour and exhibiting his hyperlinks to those that got here after him.

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Extra info for A History of Philosophy, Vol. 4: Modern Philosophy From Descartes to Leibniz

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This one substance he called God or Nature. Obviously, we have here an ambiguity. If we emphasize the second name, we have a naturalistic monism in which the God of Christianity and Judaism (Spinoza was himself a Jew) is eliminated. In the period under discussion Spinoza was frequently understood in this sense and was accordingly regarded and execrated as an atheist. Hence his influence was extremely limited, and he did not come into his own until the German romantic movement and the period of German post-Kantian 45 A HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY—IV idealism, when the term 'God' in the phrase 'God or Nature' was emphasized and Spinoza was depicted as a 'God-intoxicated man'.

Leibniz, however, tries to combine mechanical causality with teleology. Each monad unfolds and develops according to an inner law of change, but the whole system of changes is directed, in virtue of the pre-established harmony, to the attainment of an end. Descartes excluded from natural philosophy or physics the consideration of final causes. But for Leibniz there is no need to choose between mechanical and final causality. They are really two aspects of one process. The influence of mediaeval philosophy on the rationalist systems of the pre-Kantian era is sufficiently obvious.

It is understandable that at a time when scepticism in regard to metaphysics was influential the Stoic ideal of the morally independent man should exercise an attraction on some minds. B u t scepticism was not confined to the elegant, literary version represented by Montaigne or to the fideism of Charron. It was represented also by a group of free-thinkers who had little difficulty in showing the inconsistencies in Charron's combination of 1 pp. 228-30. • Vol. HI, p. 228. 2 0 A HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY—IV scepticism with fideism.

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A History of Philosophy, Vol. 4: Modern Philosophy From Descartes to Leibniz by Frederick C. Copleston

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