By Frederick C. 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 goal of its writer to common acclaimas the easiest background of philosophy in English.Copleston, an Oxford Jesuit of giant erudition who as soon as tangled with A.J. Ayer in a fabled debate in regards to the life of God and the potential of metaphysics, knew that seminary scholars have been fed a woefully insufficient vitamin of theses and proofs, and that their familiarity with such a lot of history's nice thinkers was once lowered to simplistic caricatures. Copleston got down to redress the incorrect through writing an entire historical past of Western philosophy, one crackling with incident and highbrow pleasure - and one who provides complete position to every philosopher, offering his concept in a fantastically rounded demeanour and exhibiting his hyperlinks to those that got here after him.
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Additional resources for A History of Philosophy, Vol. 4: Modern Philosophy From Descartes to Leibniz
For good or ill, their ideas exercised a powerful influence. In England, Locke's writings contributed to the philosophical current of thought which is known as deism. In his work on the Reasonableness of Christianity and elsewhere he insisted on reason as the judge of revelation, though he did not reject the idea of revelation. The deists, however, tended to reduce Christianity to natural religion. True, they differed considerably in their views about religion in general and Christianity in particular.
B u t nobody has perceived or can perceive an imperceptible substrate. Experience, then, gives us no ground for asserting its existence. B u t there were other reasons which arose out of Locke's unfortunate habit or common, though not invariable, practice of speaking as though it is ideas which we perceive directly, and not things. Starting with Locke's position in regard to secondary and primary qualities (which will be explained in the chapter on Locke), Berkeley argued that all of them, including the primary qualities, such as extension, figure and motion, are ideas.
But in both cases the inspiration of and admiration for British political life is evident, though Voltaire was more impressed by freedom of discussion than b y representative government. Locke had maintained the doctrine of natural rights, that is to say, the natural rights of individuals, which are not derived from the State and cannot legitimately be abolished b y the State. This theory, which has its antecedents in mediaeval thought and which was applied in the American Declaration of Independence, was influential also on the Continent.