A History of Philosophy [Vol VIII]. Modern philosophy, by Frederick Copleston

By Frederick Copleston

Conceived initially as a significant presentation of the improvement of philosophy for Catholic seminary scholars, Frederick Copleston's nine-volume A heritage Of Philosophy has journeyed a ways past the modest goal of its writer to common acclaim because the top historical past of philosophy in English.

Copleston, an Oxford Jesuit of mammoth erudition who as soon as tangled with A. J. Ayer in a fabled debate in regards to the life 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 such a lot of history's nice thinkers was once reduced to simplistic caricatures. Copleston set out to redress the incorrect by way of writing an entire heritage of Western philosophy, one crackling with incident and intellectual pleasure -- and person who offers full place to every philosopher, providing his concept in a beautifully rounded demeanour and displaying his links to those that went sooner than and to people who came after him.

The results of Copleston's prodigious labors is a background 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 heritage of Philosophy as "broad-minded and goal, complete and scholarly, unified and good proportioned... we can't suggest [it] too highly."

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In his A utobiography Mill makes it clear that the interpretation of mathematics which he regards as his own is the explanation of so-called necessary truths in terms of 'experience and association'. tics. It may even be going too far if one suggests that he consciously entertained second thoughts about the interpretation, or interpretations, given in the Logic. But it can hardly be denied that he made remarks which implied a different conception of mathematics. For example, in his E%amination of Sir WiUiam Hamilton's Philosophy Mill informs his readers that the laws of number underlie the laws of extension, that these two sets of laws underlie the laws of force, and that the laws of force 'underlie all the other laws of the material universe'.

LlWd on Cl'T 47 BRITISH EMPIRICISM principle and asserting that free actions are random events, we shall find it difficult to claim at the same time that an agent is morally responsible for his free actions. If, however, we wish to maintain that Mill is not justified in forcing us to choose between admitting that all human actions are predictable in principle in virtue of the agent's character and admitting that iree actions are random or chance events, we have to find an acceptable alternative.

And in this case only induction can be accounted real inference, inasmuch as 'the conclusion or induction embraces more than is contained in the premisses'. 1 When the conclusion is precontained in the premisses inference makes no real advance in knowledge. And this is true of syllogistic inference. For 'it is universally allowed that a syllogism is vicious if there be anything more in the conclusion than was assumed in the premisses. '1 If this were all that Mill had to say on the matter, it would be natural to conclude that for him there are two distinct types of logic.

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