By Frederick Copleston
Conceived initially as a significant presentation of the improvement of philosophy for Catholic seminary scholars, Frederick Copleston's nine-volume A background Of Philosophy has journeyed some distance past the modest function of its writer to universal acclaim because the top heritage of philosophy in English. Copleston, an Oxford Jesuit of colossal 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 diet of theses and proofs, and that their familiarity with such a lot of history's nice thinkers was once reduced to simplistic caricatures. Copleston set out to redress the incorrect through writing an entire background of Western philosophy, one crackling with incident and intellectual pleasure -- and one who offers full place to every philosopher, proposing his suggestion in a beautifully rounded demeanour and displaying his links to those that went ahead of and to people who came after him.
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Extra resources for A History of Philosophy, Vol. 1: Greece and Rome From the Pre-Socratics to Plotinus
Anaximenes gave a curious explanation of the rainbow. It is due to the sun's raj's falling on a thick cloud, which they cannot penetrate. Zeller remarks that it is a far cry from Iris, Homer's living messenger of the gods, to this "scientific" explanation. 3 With the fall of Miletus in 494, the Milesian School must have come to an end. The Milesian doctrines as a whole came to be known as the philosophy of Anaximenes, as though in the eyes of the ancients he was the most important representative of the School.
PRE-SOCRATIC PHILOSOPHY i26 some attempt at least to answer the question how the world developed out of this primary element. III. Anaximenes The third philosopher of the Milesian School was Anaximenes. He must have been younger than Anaximander—at least Theophrastus says that he was an "associate" of Anaximander. He wrote a book, of which a small fragment has survived. " The doctrine of Anaximenes appears, at first sight at any rate, to be a decided retrogression from the stage reached by Anaximander, for Anaximenes, abandoning the theory of T6 &«ipov, follows Thales in assigning a determinate element as the Urstoff.
Diog. , 8, 8. • Polybius, ii, 39 (D. 14, 16). * Stace, Critical History of Greek Philosophy, p. 33. 4 ap. , iv, II, 5 (D. 14, 9). , p. 93, note 5. THE PYTHAGOREAN SOCIETY 3I of music and the study of mathematics were all looked on as v a l u a b l e aids in tending the soul. Yet some of their practices were of a purely external character. If Pythagoras really did forbid the eating of flesh-meat, this may easily have been due to, or at least connected with, the doctrine of metempsychosis; but such purely external rules as are quoted by Diogenes LaSrtius as having been observed by the School can by no stretch of the imagination be called philosophical doctrines.