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 objective of its writer to common acclaim because the most sensible background 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 lifestyles of God and the opportunity of metaphysics, knew that seminary scholars have been fed a woefully insufficient diet of theses and proofs, and that their familiarity with so much of history's nice thinkers was once reduced to simplistic caricatures. Copleston set out to redress the inaccurate via writing a whole heritage of Western philosophy, one crackling with incident and intellectual pleasure -- and one who offers full place to every philosopher, proposing his proposal in a beautifully rounded demeanour and exhibiting his links to those that went prior to and to those that came after him.
The results of Copleston's prodigious labors is a heritage of philosophy that's not likely ever to be passed. Thought journal summed up the final contract between students and scholars alike whilst it reviewed Copleston's A background of Philosophy as "broad-minded and goal, finished and scholarly, unified and good proportioned... we can't suggest [it] too highly."
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Extra resources for A History of Philosophy [Vol VIII]. Modern philosophy, empiricism, idealism, and pragmatism in Britain and America
Nor is the situation improved when Mill says that to call the conclusions of geometry necessary truths is really to say that they follow correctly from suppositions which 'are not even true'. 1 What he means, of course, is that the necessity of the conclusions consists in the fact that they follow necessarily from the premisses. But if we were to take literally the suggestion that necessary truths are necessary because they follow from untrue assumptions, we should have to say that Mill was talking nonsense.
For it is propositions which are inferred. But as he regards the proposition as always affirming or denying a predicate of a subject, one name, as he puts it, of another name, he actually begins by discussing names and the process of naming. I t is unnecessary to mention here all the distinctions which Mill draws between different types of names. But the following points can be noted. According to Mill, whenever a name given to objects has in the proper sense a meaning, its meaning consists in what it connotes, not in what it denotes.
Or it can form one phase in a total process of inference· from particulars to particu1ars. But in neither case is it, taken in itself, an example of inference. And the rules of the syllogism are rules for the correct interpretation of a general proposition; not rules of inference, in the proper sense of the term at least. 5. 1 At first sight the definition may indeed appear somewhat strange. For, as we have seen, all inference is said to be from particulars to particu1ars. · This amounts to saying that to prove a general proposition is to prove that something is true of a whole class of particulars.
A History of Philosophy [Vol VIII]. Modern philosophy, empiricism, idealism, and pragmatism in Britain and America by Frederick Copleston