A History of Philosophy, Volume VIII: Modern Philosophy-Empiricism, Idealism, and Pragamatism in Britain and America
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Coplsteon's work sought provides a detailed, and by consensus fair, treatment of the major philosophers and their ideas from the Pre-Socratics all the way up to Levi-Strauss. He skillfully avoids simplistic caricatures and his narrative sparkles with incident and intellectual excitement giving each philosopher a full hearing with erudition, attention to style, while illuminating each figure has to those who came before and to those who came after.
Nevertheless Copleston, who is well known for his public debates and resounding defenses for the existence of God, never hides his own perspectives--but he also does not use it to truncate or distort others' views. Thus, Copleston's work is remarkably well-rounded, complete, and scholarly. Though originally intended for students, Copleston's work is a staple work for any library; especially those who wish to learn about and engage philosophical questions in an informed manner.
About Volume VIII
In A History of Philosophy, Volume VIII: Modern Philosophy-Empiricism, Idealism, and Pragmatism in Britain and America shows that despite some appearances, Idealism was not limited to the continent. In this volume, Copleston shows us the Enlightenment came full circle in the Positivism of John Stuart Mill, and how it became further expressed in British Idealism through thinkers such as Bradley and Bosanquet and how Americans such as Jonathan Edwards and Benjamin Franklin responded to it. He then follows the pragmatist (pragmatism) movement noting thinkers such as C.S. Peirce, William James, and the Experimentalism of John Dewey. Then, of course, there was the revolt against idealism led by figures such as G.E. Moore and the ubiquitous Bertrand Russell, and lastly John Henry Newman.
A History of Philosophy, Volume I: Greece and Rome-From the Pre-Socratics to PlotinusFrederick CoplestonRandom House, Inc / 1993 / Trade Paperback$11.49 Retail:
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A History of Philosophy, Volume II: Medieval Philosophy-From Augustine to Duns ScotusFrederick CoplestonRandom House, Inc / Trade Paperback$12.99 Retail:
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A History of Philosophy, Volume III: Late Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy-Ockham, Francis Bacon, and the Begining of the Modern WorldFrederick CoplestonRandom House, Inc / 1993 / Trade Paperback$11.99 Retail:
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A History of Philosophy, Volume IV: Modern Philosophy-From Descartes to LeibnizFrederick CoplestonRandom House, Inc / 1994 / Trade Paperback$11.99 Retail:
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Conceived originally as a serious presentation of the development of philosophy for Catholic seminary students, Frederick Copleston's nine-volume A History Of Philosophy has journeyed far beyond the modest purpose of its author to universal acclaim as the best history of philosophy in English.
Copleston, an Oxford Jesuit of immense erudition who once tangled with A. J. Ayer in a fabled debate about the existence of God and the possibility of metaphysics, knew that seminary students were fed a woefully inadequate diet of theses and proofs, and that their familiarity with most of history's great thinkers was reduced to simplistic caricatures. Copleston set out to redress the wrong by writing a complete history of Western philosophy, one crackling with incident and intellectual excitement -- and one that gives full place to each thinker, presenting his thought in a beautifully rounded manner and showing his links to those who went before and to those who came after him.
The result of Copleston's prodigious labors is a history of philosophy that is unlikely ever to be surpassed. Thought magazine summed up the general 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."
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