By Frederick Copleston

ISBN-10: 0385470428

ISBN-13: 9780385470421

Conceived initially as a significant presentatin of the advance of philosophy for Catholic seminary scholars, Frederick Copleston's nine-volume A historical past Of Philosophy has journeyed a ways past the modest goal of its writer to common acclaim because the most sensible heritage of philosophy in English.
Copleston, an Oxford Jesuit of tremendous erudition who as soon as tangled with A.J. Ayer in a fabled debate concerning the life of God and the potential for 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 lowered to simplistic caricatures. Copleston got down to redress the inaccurate through writing an entire heritage of Western Philosophy, one crackling with incident an highbrow pleasure - and one who offers complete position to every philosopher, featuring his proposal in a fantastically rounded demeanour and exhibiting his hyperlinks to those that went prior to and to people who got here after him.

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Additional resources for A History of Philosophy, Volume 5: Modern Philosophy: The British Philosophers from Hobbes to Hume

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B u t an accident such as hardness can be succeeded b y softness without the body itself perishing. Hardness, therefore, is an accident of the second type. Extension and figure are the only accidents of the first type. Magnitude is not another accident: it is the same as extension. , 1, p. 102. , 1, p. 103. , 1, p. 104. * Ibid. * Ibid. 26 A HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY—V is also called by some 'real space'. It is not, as is imaginary space, 'an accident of the mind': it is an accident of body. We can say, therefore, if we like, that there is real space.

Therefore the effect follows necessarily from the cause. Hence the cause is a necessary cause. The conclusion is, then, that 'all the effects that have been, or shall be produced, have their necessity in things antecedent'. 1 This at once rules out all freedom in man, at least if freedom is taken to imply absence of necessity. If, indeed, to call an agent free is simply to say that he is not hindered in his activity, this w a y of speaking has a meaning; but if anyone means b y the epithet something more than 'free from being hindered b y opposition, I should not say he were in error, but that his words were without meaning, that is to say, absurd'.

The fact that Hobbes believed that every effect has a necessary antecedent cause does not mean that he believed that we can determine with certainty what is the cause of a given event. As we have already seen, the philosopher argues from effects to possible causes and from causes to possible effects. A n d all our knowledge of the 'consequences' of facts is hypothetical or conditional. That this must be so is, indeed, indicated b y the use of the word 'accident' in the definition of a cause. , I, p.

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A History of Philosophy, Volume 5: Modern Philosophy: The British Philosophers from Hobbes to Hume by Frederick Copleston


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