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 a ways past the modest objective of its writer to common acclaim because the top heritage of philosophy in English.
Copleston, an Oxford Jesuit of substantial erudition who as soon as tangled with A. J. Ayer in a fabled debate in regards to the lifestyles of God and the opportunity of metaphysics, knew that seminary scholars have been fed a woefully insufficient vitamin 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 by way of writing a whole background of Western philosophy, one crackling with incident and highbrow pleasure -- and one who provides complete position to every philosopher, providing his idea in a superbly rounded demeanour and exhibiting his hyperlinks to those that went ahead of and to those that got here after him.
The results of Copleston's prodigious labors is a historical past of philosophy that's not going ever to be passed. inspiration journal summed up the final contract between students and scholars alike whilst it reviewed Copleston's A heritage of Philosophy as "broad-minded and target, finished and scholarly, unified and good proportioned... we can't suggest [it] too highly."
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Additional info for A History of Philosophy, Volume 8: Modern Philosophy: Empiricism, Idealism, and Pragmatism in Britain and America
For an inseparable association can be set up, say between the idea of my own pleasure and the idea of that of the other members of the community to which I belong, an association such that its result is analogous to a chemical product which is something more than the mere sum of its elements. And even if I originally sought the good of the community only as a means to my own, I can then seek the former without any advertence to the latter. Given this point of view, it may seem strange that in his Fragment on Mackintosh, which was published in 1835 after having been held up for a time, Mill indulges in a vehement attack on Sir James Mackintosh (1765-1832), who in 1829 had written on ethics for the Encyclopaedia Britannica.
But we can 36 BRITISH EMPIRICISM make two points. First, when we are asked why we think that one action is right and another action wrong, we frequently refer to consequences. And this suggests that a teleological ethics finds support in the way in which we ordinarily think and speak about moral questions. Secondly, the fact that a man of the calibre of J. S. Mill found himself driven to transcend the narrow hedonism of Bentham and to interpret happiness in the light of the idea of the development of the human personality suggests that we cannot understand man's moral life except in terms of a philosophical anthropology.
It can, however, be shown that all men seek happiness, and only happiness, as the end of action. And this is sufficient proof of the statement that happiness is the one ultimate end of action. * Utilitarianism, p. 53. , pp. 56-7. 45 BRITISH EMPIRICISM nature'. 1 But he goes on to argue that the utilitarians in question might have adopted another point of view 'with entire consistency. It is quite compatible with the principle of utility to recognize the fact, that some kinds of pleasure are more desirable and more valuable than others.
A History of Philosophy, Volume 8: Modern Philosophy: Empiricism, Idealism, and Pragmatism in Britain and America by Frederick Copleston