A History of Philosophy, Vol. 1: Greece and Rome From the by Frederick Copleston

By Frederick Copleston

Conceived initially as a significant presentation of  the improvement of philosophy for Catholic  seminary scholars, Frederick Copleston's nine-volume  A heritage Of Philosophy has  journeyed some distance past the modest function of its writer to  universal acclaim because the most sensible heritage 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 life of God  and the potential of metaphysics, knew that  seminary scholars have been fed a woefully insufficient diet  of theses and proofs, and that their familiarity  with so much of history's nice thinkers used to be reduced  to simplistic caricatures. Copleston set out to  redress the incorrect by means of writing an entire background of  Western philosophy, one crackling with incident and  intellectual pleasure -- and one who offers full  place to every philosopher, offering his concept in a  beautifully rounded demeanour and exhibiting his links  to those that went prior to and to those that came  after him.

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Additional info for A History of Philosophy, Vol. 1: Greece and Rome From the Pre-Socratics to Plotinus

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20 i43 PRE-SOCRATIC PHILOSOPHY influence that the teaching of the Orphic sect may have had on the Pythagoreans. In Orphicism we certainly find an organisation in communities bound together by initiation and fidelity to a common way of life, as also the doctrine of the transmigration of souls—a doctrine conspicuous in Pythagorean teaching—and it is hard to think that Pythagoras was uninfluenced by the Orphic beliefs and practices, even if it is with Delos that Pythagoras is to be connected, rather than with the Thracian Dionysian religion.

CHAPTER THE PIONEERS: EARLY III IONIAN PHILOSOPHERS I. Tholes THE mixture of philosopher and practical scientist is seen very clearly in the case of Thales of Miletus. Thales is said to have predicted the eclipse of the sun mentioned by Herodotus 1 as occurring at the close of the war between the Lydians and the Medes. C. C. C. Among other scientific activities ascribed to Thales are the construction of an almanac and the introduction of the Phoenician practice of steering a ship's course by the Little Bear.

60, 36. 4 Frag. 51. • Frag. 54. • Frags. 38, 61, 37. " 1 This is, of course, the inevitable c o n c l u s i o n of a pantheistic philosophy—that everything is justified sub specie aeternitatis. Heraclitus speaks of the One as God, and as wise: "The wise is one only. "* God is the universal Reason (A6yo<;), the universal law immanent in all things, binding all things into a imity and determining the constant change in the universe according to universal law. Man's reason is a moment in this universal Reason, or a contraction and canalisation of it, and man should therefore strive to attain to the viewpoint of reason and to live by reason, realising the unity of all things and the reign of unalterable law, being content with the necessary process of the universe and not rebelling against it, inasmuch as it is the expression of the all-comprehensive, all-ordering A A ^ or Law.

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