By Frederick Copleston
Conceived initially as a major presentatin of the advance of philosophy for Catholic seminary scholars, Frederick Copleston's nine-volume A background Of Philosophy has journeyed some distance past the modest objective of its writer to common acclaim because the most sensible historical past of philosophy in English.
Copleston, an Oxford Jesuit of tremendous 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 so much of history's nice thinkers used to be decreased to simplistic caricatures. Copleston got down to redress the incorrect through writing an entire background of Western Philosophy, one crackling with incident an highbrow pleasure - and person who supplies complete position to every philosopher, providing his idea in a superbly rounded demeanour and exhibiting his hyperlinks to those that went earlier than and to people who got here after him.
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Extra resources for A History of Philosophy, Volume 5: Modern Philosophy: The British Philosophers from Hobbes to Hume
4Ibid. ' J bid. » Ibid. , p. 4. ' Ibid. , 1, pp. 409-10. HOBBES (i) ii aversion are motions, so are the different passions. External objects affect the organs of sense and there arises 'that motion and agitation of the brain which we call conception'. 1 This motion of the brain is continued to the heart, 'there to be called passion'. 2 Hobbes finds a number of simple passions, namely, appetite, desire, love, aversion, hate, joy and grief. 8 These take different forms; or at least they are given different names according to different considerations.
Therefore it cannot but be produced, once given the cause. 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'.
Hobbes is a utilitarian in the sense that the basis of the commonwealth is for him utility; and the covenant-theory is an explicit recognition of this utility. The theory is doubtless open to serious objections; but any fundamental criticism of Hobbes must be directed against his account of human nature rather than against the details of the theory of the covenant. Hobbes makes a distinction between a commonwealth 'by institution' and a commonwealth 'by acquisition'. A commonwealth is said to exist b y institution when it has been established in the manner mentioned above, namely, through the covenant of every member of a multitude with every other member.
A History of Philosophy, Volume 5: Modern Philosophy: The British Philosophers from Hobbes to Hume by Frederick Copleston