History (P.) Sabin, (H.) Van Wees and (M.) Whitby The Cambridge History of Greek and Roman Warfare, Volume 1: Greece, the Hellenistic World and the Rise of. A History of Philosophy is an eleven-volume history of Western philosophy written by the English Jesuit priest Frederick Charles Copleston. . Philosopher Christia Mercer described A History of Philosophy as: “One of the most influential . The best text of the history of philosophy now available in English. -The Historical Bulletin. A HISTORY OF. PHILOSOPHY. FREDERICK COPLESTON, S.J.

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Return to Book Page. Preview — A History of Philosophy, Vol. A History of Philosophy, Vol. The result of Copleston’s prodigious labors is a history of philosophy that is unlikely ever to be surpassed. Thought magazine summed up the philosopny agreement among scholars and students alike when it reviewed Copleston’s A History of Philosophy as “broad-minded and objective, comprehensive and scholarly, unified and well proportioned We cannot recommend [it] too highly.

Paperbackpages. Published by Image first published A History of Philosophy, Vol 1: A History of Philosophy 1. To see what your friends thought of this book, please pphilosophy up. To ask other readers questions about A History of Philosophy, Vol. See 1 question about A History of Philosophy, Vol.

History of Philosophy (Vol 1)

Lists with This Book. A History of Philosophy Volume 1: View all 4 comments. Feb 04, James F rated it liked it Shelves: Returning to reading philosophy as a “project”, I decided to begin with Copleston’s history. Coplestkn tenth and hiatory volumes seen in one reprint edition are a collection of articles and a separate book not intended as part of the History. Father Copleston was a Jesuit priest, who began this voluume a history for students in Returning to reading philosophy as a “project”, I decided to begin with Copleston’s history.

Father Copleston was a Jesuit priest, who began this as a history for voulme in Catholic seminaries who were simultaneously studying Thomist philosophy. It quickly became a standard history outside that target audience because there was nothing approaching a comprehensive history of philosophy in English at the time which was at all recent or based on contemporary scholarship.

This first book in particular bears the marks of its original purpose, with constant comparisons of the systems described to the “truth” as understood by St.

A History of Philosophy (Copleston) – Wikipedia

Thomas Aquinas and the Catholic Church. The next two volumes of course are on mediaeval, mainly Catholic philosophy, which is Copleston’s forte and which is never treated sufficiently in more secular histories, while by the time he got to modern philosophy he was consciously writing for a largely non-Catholic audience.

Although his comments sometimes seem rather intrusive to a non-Catholic reader, they are always clearly separated from his descriptions, and there is something to be said for having a known, admitted bias that one can take into account and correct for as opposed to a supposedly objective text where the bias and there will always be a bias in a field as controversy-laden as philosophy has to be guessed at from the treatment itself.

Moreover, when he arrives at the modern systems, his own views are so totally foreign to the systems discussed that he is probably more “objective” than any secular writer could be, who would necessarily sympathize with one of the tendencies under discussion. There is however, one important problem due to his viewpoint, which is in the selection of what he discusses and what he leaves out.

He is clearly weakest on the Presocratics, and in fact he begins with an apologia for including them at all; his “justifcation” is that they are needed to understand where Plato and Aristotle are coming from.


So he discusses them largely from that perspective, and also accepts Aristotle’s view that they are talking about what Aristotle is talking about, a metaphysical substratum, where in fact in my opinion they are doing something totally different, namely cosmogeny — talking about not what the world is but where it came from.

His discussion of Plato and Aristotle occupies most of the book, and is very thorough, and probably as accurate as could be hoped for in a book this size. These are difficult thinkers, and refreshingly he does not “dumb down” his treatment — his target audience of seminarians he assumes has some reading knowledge of Greek and Latin, and some prior knowlege of philosophy from a Catholic viewpoint.

He gives more space than most recent histories of Greek thought to the post-Aristotelian systems, since he naturally considers neo-Platonism as the culminating synthesis on the point of being taken into Christian theology. Within the systems, it is sometimes frustrating to a non-religious person that he will mention that a philosopher wrote on logical or epistemological issues, then pass over that to describe in detail what he is interested in — what they thought about God and the soul, and how it is similar or different from the “true” account of the Church.

While taken as a whole, Copleston’s history is probably still one of the best at least in comprehensiveness and refusal to oversimplifythis particular volume is not the best part of his history or the best work on the history of Greek philosophy — I would have to nominate W. Guthrie’s multi-volume History of Greek Philosophy for that — and there are many better books on specific tendencies or philosophers.

Sep 21, Pinkyivan rated it it was amazing Shelves: Well written, extensive and informative, objective and respectful, systematic and complete. The best history of philosophy anyone could ask for, across all both general and specific overviews I’m aware of.

Thanks to the anon who shat on Russel and recommend this as an alternative. By the spring of eighty I’d been out of school for almost two years. Work in psychiatric childcare copledton boys which had filled that time was personally, but not professionally, rewarding.

The living situation had, however, vastly improved frederikc moving in with the brothers Miley the spring previous. Socially, they had helped me reintegrate with old high school friends, many of whom I hadn’t seen for the nine years I’d been away in college and seminary. Intellectually, however, I was dissati By the spring of eighty I’d been out of school for almost two years.

Intellectually, however, I was dissatisfied. Michael Miley styled himself a writer and acted accordingly. Beyond letters, and there were lots of those, I was out of the habit.

Indeed, only the spur of school, of being assured readers and intelligent criticism, had ever inspired me to write seriously since childhood.

Although the threshold to writing was high, I’d learned to enjoy crossing it and missed the inspiration and opportunities school afforded.

Working ten hour shifts was simply not compatible. Thus far my academic training had led me from general liberal arts to history, to ancient history and textual criticism on the one hand while leading me to the same result through the study of continental depth psychology on the other.

The same fascination with understanding very different mentalities united my interests in both the ancients and those alienists who, like Freud and Jung, saw and sought connections between the bizarre ideations of their patients and the thought-forms expressed in the ancient texts.

Clearly, the next step was to study philosophy and to do so much more systematically than previously. Thus, Copleston’s first volume and, eventually, matriculation in Loyola University Chicago. One of the best introductions to ancient Greek philosophy out there.

My only two complaints about it are: Like many texts published a half century or longer ago Coplestone consistently leaves Greek and Latin phrases that he quotes even at some considerable length untranslated. Coplestone’s choice of verbiage is often f One of the best introductions to ancient Greek philosophy out there.


Coplestone’s choice of verbiage is often far more dense and complicated than it has to be. I’ve never seen such a difficult explanation of Plato’s theory of the Forms. Those two criticisms aside, the book is a great over all and well laid out in its presentation.

I read this alongside the opening chapters of Bertrand Russell’s much lengthier “History of Western Philosophy” and the combination of the two, I think, served me well as I was able to receive the same information from two very different perspectives.

Apr 06, Nigel Dawson rated it really liked it. This series is probably the best general overview of the history of philosophy currently available. The prose can be somewhat dry and technical, but this is to be expected.

Jun 10, Jafar Isbarov rated it it was amazing Shelves: Few expository works have achieved as unanimous authority as A History of Philosophy series. Having just finished the first entry, now I can see why. As it is clear from the title, this is an overview of history of philosophy, stretched over 10 volumes. Copleston undertook this massive project to supply “Catholic ecclesiastical seminaries with a work that should be somewhat more detailed and of wider scope than the text-books commonly in use and which at the same time should endeavor to exhibit t Few expository works have achieved as unanimous authority as A History of Philosophy series.

Copleston undertook this massive project to supply “Catholic ecclesiastical seminaries with a work that should be somewhat more detailed and of wider scope than the text-books commonly in use and which at the same time should endeavor to exhibit the logical development and inter-connection of philosophical systems. Any negative comment I can make on this work would be mere nitpick, and any praise by me would be admiration rather than critical approval.

All I can say that would possibly be worth to hear is this. From where I am standing, namely an amateur philosophy student, nothing looks improvable in this volume. It was a long and tedious read and I can safely say that philosophy remains out of my reading plans for a few months to come. I also do not know whether I can stand a pages-long history of almost entirely Christian philosophy, which happens to be content of the second volume.

In any case, every single volume of the series, including the second, is in my to-read list for now.

Frederick Copleston, A History of Philosophy. Volume I: Greece and Rome – PhilPapers

Jan 27, Micheal rated it liked it Shelves: Jul 04, Samantha Rose rated it it was ok. This book is too biased. I didn’t even finish reading the first chapter. In the introduction fredfrick even bashes biased historians. Poo poo, I was very excited to pick this up as well. Jul 18, Pastor Matt rated it really liked it.

Copleston’s mammoth nine volume work is a momentous achievement. I look forward to the next eight volumes which run to the late ‘s and John Paul Sartre but for many, his History will frustrate. Copleston like Kenny sometimes “geeks out” so much over a particular philosopher that he adds too much for the student and other times he quotes directly from Greek and Latin sources, without translating them and this will also frustrate beginners.

Still, it is a historic accomplishme The late Dr. Still, hostory is a historic accomplishment.

Recommended to Wayne by: Father Marcellus, ourruddy faced, short, rotund so European belgian philosophy teacher. Any Guilt on breaking up the set?