By Frederick Copleston
Conceived initially as a major 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 function of its writer to common acclaim because the most sensible heritage of philosophy in English.
Copleston, an Oxford Jesuit of great erudition who as soon as tangled with A. J. Ayer in a fabled debate in regards to the lifestyles of God and the potential for 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 incorrect via writing an entire historical past of Western philosophy, one crackling with incident and intellectual pleasure -- and one who offers full place to every philosopher, providing his notion in a beautifully rounded demeanour and exhibiting his links to those that went ahead of and to people who 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 while it reviewed Copleston's A historical past of Philosophy as "broad-minded and aim, entire and scholarly, unified and good proportioned... we won't suggest [it] too highly."
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Additional resources for A History of Philosophy [Vol VIII]. Modern philosophy, empiricism, idealism, and pragmatism in Britain and America
I, p. 261, Dote (I, 2, 5, I, Dote). 1 J. S. MILL: LOGIC AND EMPIRICISM 61 rather difficult to see what justification there is for speaking of 'hypotheses' at all. 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 example, if we fail to distinguish between the existential use of the verb 'to be' and its use as a copula, we may be led into such absurdities as supposing that unicorns must possess some form of existence because we can say that the unicorn is an animal with one horn, or even because we can say that it is an imaginary beast. In the course of his discussion of the import or meaning of propositions Mill distinguishes between real and verbal propositions. In a real proposition we affirm or deny of a subject an attribute which is not already connoted by its name, or a fact which is not already comprised in the signification of the name of the subject.
Hence it is difficult to say what the view of Mill is. However, he is undoubtedly opposed to the view that there is any a priori knowledge of reality. And this opposition naturally inclines him to reject synthetic a priori propositions. Mill is not indeed prepared to say that when the negation of a given proposition appears to us as unbelievable, the proposition must be merely verbal. For there are doubtless some real propositions which reflect a uniformity or regularity of experience such that the negations of these propositions seem to us unbelievable.