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By Frederick Copleston

Conceived initially as a major presentation of the improvement of philosophy for Catholic seminary scholars, Frederick Copleston's nine-volume A heritage Of Philosophy has journeyed some distance past the modest goal of its writer to common acclaim because the top background of philosophy in English.Copleston, an Oxford Jesuit of vast 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 such a lot of history's nice thinkers was once lowered to simplistic caricatures.  Copleston got down to redress the inaccurate by means of writing an entire heritage of Western Philosophy, one crackling with incident and highbrow pleasure - and person who offers complete position to every philosopher, providing his proposal in a superbly rounded demeanour and exhibiting his hyperlinks to those that went sooner than and to people who got here after him.

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Extra resources for A History of Philosophy, Vol. 2: Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy From Augustine to Duns Scotus

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12, 27. 7 1 1 , 8. • : i , 16; 11, 20. • 13, 12; 12, 16. " 13, 19. 4 THE PATRISTIC PERIOD 42 other Christian Greek writers, gives the palm to Plato among Hellenic thinkers, and that, in common with all the early Christian writers, he makes no real distinction between theology in a strict sense and philosophy in a strict sense. There is one wisdom, which is found adequately and completely only in Christianity: Greek thinkers attained to true philosophy or wisdom in so far as they anticipated Christianity.

On the contrary, he utilised expressions of Plotinus or Plato to expose and state Christian doctrines. For example, the 'likeness to God' is the work of grace, a development under the activity of God, with man's free co-operation, of the image or eb«ov of God implanted in the soul at baptism. Again, justice-in-itself is not an abstract virtue nor even an idea in Nous; it is the Logos indwelling in the soul, the effect of this inhabitation being the participated virtue. This Logos, moreover, is not the Nous of Plotinus, nor is it the Logos of Philo: it is the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, and between God and creatures there is no intermediary procession of subordinate hypostases.

Augustine and Philosophy. I. IN Latin Christendom the name of Augustine stands out as that of the greatest of the Fathers both from a literary and from a theological standpoint, a name that dominated Western thought until the thirteenth century and which can never lose its lustre, notwithstanding the Aristotelianism of St. Thomas Aquinas and his School, especially as this Aristotelianism was very far from disregarding and still further from belittling the great African Doctor. Indeed, in order to understand the currents of thought in the Middle Ages, a knowledge of Augustinianism is essential.

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