By Frederick Copleston
Conceived initially as a major presentatin of the improvement of philosophy for Catholic seminary scholars, Frederick Copleston's nine-volume A historical past Of Philosophy has journeyed some distance past the modest function 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 lifestyles of God and the potential 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 diminished to simplistic caricatures. Copleston got down to redress the incorrect by way of writing a whole background of Western Philosophy, one crackling with incident an highbrow pleasure - and one who provides complete position to every philosopher, providing his notion in a superbly rounded demeanour and displaying his hyperlinks to those that went sooner than and to people who got here after him.
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Additional info for A History of Philosophy, Volume 5: Modern Philosophy: The British Philosophers from Hobbes to Hume
Now, if the entire efficient cause is present, the effect is produced. Indeed, this statement is necessarily true, once given Hobbes's definition of a cause. For if the effect were not produced, the cause would not be an entire cause. Furthermore, 'in whatsoever instant the cause is entire, in the same instant the effect is produced. , 1, pp. 131-2. , 1, p. 123. 1 HOBBES (i) ii From these considerations Hobbes draws an important conclusion. We have seen that when the cause is present, the effect always and instantaneously follows.
We can say, therefore, if we like, that there is real space. B u t this real space is the same as magnitude, which is itself the same as extension. Is magnitude also the same as place? Hobbes answers that it is not. Place is 'a phantasm of any body of such and such quantity and figure' and is 'nothing out of the mind'. 1 It is 'feigned extension', whereas magnitude is 'true extension', 2 which causes the phantasm that is place. Accidents of the second type, however, do not exist in bodies in the form in which they are present to consciousness.
P. 203. , p. 201. ' 1 So far as Hobbes is not simply making the tautological pronouncement that actions unregulated b y law are unregulated b y law, he is here drawing attention to the actual state of affairs, namely, that in a very wide field of human activity subjects can, as far as the law is concerned, act according to their will and inclination. A n d such liberty is found, he tells us, in all forms of commonwealth. The further question arises, however, whether there are any cases in which the subject is entitled to resist the sovereign.