By Frederick Copleston
Conceived initially as a significant presentation of the improvement of philosophy for Catholic seminary scholars, Frederick Copleston's nine-volume A historical past Of Philosophy has journeyed a ways past the modest objective of its writer to common acclaim because the most sensible heritage of philosophy in English.
Copleston, an Oxford Jesuit of giant erudition who as soon as tangled with A.J. Ayer in a fabled debate concerning the exiatenceof God and the potential of metaphysics, knew that seminary scholars have been fed a woefully insufficient nutrition of theses and proofs, and that their familiarity with such a lot of history's nice thinkers was once decreased to simplistic caricatures. Copelston units out to redress the incorrect by means of writing a whole historical past of Western philosophy, one crackling with incident and highbrow pleasure - and one who offers complete position to every philosopher, providing his idea in a superbly rounded demeanour and exhibiting his hyperlinks to those that went sooner than and to those that got here after them.
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Extra info for History of Philosophy, Volume 6: Modern Philosophy: From the French Enlightenment to Kant
This is 'attention'. And when the rose is taken away, an impression remains, stronger or weaker according as the attention was more or less lively or vivid. Here we have the dawn of memory. Attention to past sensation is memory, which is nothing but a mode of feeling. Then let us suppose that the man, after having repeatedly smelt the scents of roses and pinks, smells a rose. His passive attention is divided between the memories of the smells of roses and pinks. Then we have comparison, which consists in attending to two ideas at the same time.
Hearing, taste and sight are then considered. But Condillac maintained that though the combination of smell, hearing, taste and sight multiplies the objects of a man's attention, desires and pleasures, it does not produce a judgment of externality. The statue will 'still see only i t s e l f . . It has no suspicion that it owes its modifications to outside c a u s e s . . ' 8 In other words, it is the sense of touch which is ultimately responsible for the judgment of externality. In his account of this matter Condillac's ideas varied somewhat.
Similarly, it is only by combination with touch that the eye learns how to see distance, size and movement. We have become so accustomed to judging size, shape, distance and situation by sight that we are naturally Treatise on Sensations, i, vi, 3. , 11, v, 4. , 1, vii, i. , 11, v, 5. , 1, xii, 1-2. THE FRENCH ENLIGHTENMENT (i) 44 inclined to think that these judgments are due simply to sight. But this is not the case. It is perhaps worth while drawing attention in passing to a change of view on Condillac's part between the publication of his Essay on the Origin of Human Knowledge and his Treatise on Sensations.