By Frederick Copleston

Conceived initially as a significant 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 function of its writer to common acclaim because the top heritage of philosophy in English.Copleston, an Oxford Jesuit of mammoth 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 incorrect by means of 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 idea in a fantastically rounded demeanour and displaying his hyperlinks to people who went prior to and to those that got here after him.

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Extra resources for A History of Philosophy, Vol. 2: Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy From Augustine to Duns Scotus

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To enter into Gregory's Trinitarian doctrine as such is not our concern here; but the fact that he tries, in some sense, to 'prove' the doctrine is of interest, since it afforded a precedent for the later attempts of St. Anselm and Richard of St. Victor to deduce the Trinity, to prove it rationibus necessariis. Obviously, however, St. Gregory's intention, like that of St. Anselm, was to render the mystery more intelligible by the application of dialectic, not to 'rationalise' the mystery in the sense of departing from dogmatic orthodoxy.

8 Pibl. cod. 121 THE PATRISTIC PERIOD 23 4. The foregoing authors wrote in Greek; but there was also a group of Latin Apologists, Minucius Felix, Tertullian, Arnobius and Lactantius, of whom the most important is Tertullian. (i) It is uncertain whether Minucius Felix wrote before or after Tertullian, but in any case his attitude towards Greek philosophy, as shown in his Octavius, was more favourable than Tertullian's. Arguing that God's existence can be known with certainty from the order of nature and the design involved in the organism, particularly in the human body, and that the unity of God can be inferred from the unity of the cosmic order, he affirmed that Greek philosophers, too, recognised these truths.

It is greatly to be regretted that we have not got the twenty-five books of the work which Eusebius wrote in answer to Porphyry's attack on Christianity, as his reply to the eminent neo-Platonist and pupil of Plotinus would doubtless throw much light on his philosophical ideas; but the Praeparatio evangelica is sufficient to show, not only that Eusebius shared the general outlook of Justin Martyr, Clement of Alexandria and Origen, but also that he had read widely in the literature of the Greeks.

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