A History of Philosophy, Vol. 7: Modern Philosophy - From by Frederick Copleston

By Frederick Copleston

Conceived initially as a major presentation of the improvement of philosophy for Catholic seminary scholars, Frederick Copleston's nine-volume A background Of Philosophy has journeyed a long way past the modest goal of its writer to common acclaim because the most sensible background 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 diet of theses and proofs, and that their familiarity with so much of history's nice thinkers used to be reduced to simplistic caricatures. Copleston set out to redress the inaccurate via writing an entire heritage of Western philosophy, one crackling with incident and intellectual pleasure -- and person who offers full place to every philosopher, offering his idea in a beautifully rounded demeanour and exhibiting his links to those that went earlier than and to people who came after him.

The results of Copleston's prodigious labors is a historical past of philosophy that's not likely ever to be passed. Thought journal summed up the overall contract between students and scholars alike whilst it reviewed Copleston's A historical past of Philosophy as "broad-minded and goal, entire and scholarly, unified and good proportioned... we won't suggest [it] too highly."

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Extra resources for A History of Philosophy, Vol. 7: Modern Philosophy - From the Post-Kantian Idealists to Marx, Kierkegaard, and Nietzsche

Sample text

He meant that faith in the objective validity of the thought of freedom is derived from consciousness of the moral law. 1 I 1 F, IV, p. 59; M. II. p. 453. a F, IV, pp. 173-4; M, II, pp. 567-8. t F. IV, p. I73; M, II, p. 567. POST-KANTIAN IDEALIST SYSTEMS FICHTE (2) heteronomy. No external authority can be the required criterion. Further. the criterion must be at the disposal of all, unlearned as well as learned. Fichte fixes, therefore, upon conscience and describes it as an immediate feeling (Gefuhl).

Inasmuch, therefore, as the natural impulses and desires which belong to man as a product of Nature aim at satisfaction through some relation to a determinate natural object and consequently appear to depend on the object, we understandably contrast these impulses with the spiritUal impulse of the ego as intelligence, the impulse, that is to say, to complete self-determination. We speak of lower and higher desires, of the sphere of necessity and the sphere of freedom, and introduce a dichotomy into human nature.

The fact that I have a right does not necessarily mean that I am under an obligation to exercise it. And the common good may demand on occasion a curtailment of or limitation on the exercise of rights. But the moral law is categorical: it simply says, 'Do this' or 'Do not do that'. Hence the system of rights is not deducible from the moral law, though we are, of course, morally obliged to respect the system of rights as established in a community. In this sense the moral law adds a further sanction to rights, but it is not their initial source.

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