A History of Philosophy by Frederick Copleston: A Comprehensive Guide
If you are looking for a complete and authoritative overview of the development of Western philosophy, you may want to check out A History of Philosophy by Frederick Copleston. This nine-volume work covers the history of philosophy from the ancient Greeks to the contemporary thinkers, presenting each philosopher's thought in a clear and balanced way. In this article, we will introduce you to the main features and benefits of this monumental work, and show you how you can access it online for free.
Who is Frederick Copleston?
Frederick Copleston was a British Jesuit priest and scholar who taught philosophy at various universities, including Oxford and London. He was also a prolific writer and broadcaster, who participated in famous debates with other philosophers such as Bertrand Russell and A.J. Ayer. He is best known for his A History of Philosophy, which he began writing in 1946 as a textbook for Catholic seminary students. However, his work soon gained recognition and appreciation from a wider audience, both academic and general, as a comprehensive and objective account of the history of philosophy.
What are the main features of A History of Philosophy?
A History of Philosophy consists of nine volumes, each divided into several parts and chapters. The volumes are as follows:
Volume I: Greece and Rome: From the Pre-Socratics to Plotinus
Volume II: Medieval Philosophy: From Augustine to Duns Scotus
Volume III: Late Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy: Ockham, Francis Bacon, and the Beginning of the Modern World
Volume IV: Modern Philosophy: From Descartes to Leibniz
Volume V: Modern Philosophy: The British Philosophers from Hobbes to Hume
Volume VI: Modern Philosophy: From the French Enlightenment to Kant
Volume VII: Modern Philosophy: From the Post-Kantian Idealists to Marx, Kierkegaard, and Nietzsche
Volume VIII: Modern Philosophy: Empiricism, Idealism, and Pragmatism in Britain and America
Volume IX: Modern Philosophy: From the French Revolution to Sartre, Camus, and Levi-Strauss
In each volume, Copleston gives a detailed and critical exposition of the main philosophers and schools of thought that shaped the history of philosophy. He also provides historical and cultural context, as well as comparisons and contrasts between different thinkers. He does not shy away from discussing complex and controversial issues, such as metaphysics, ethics, religion, politics, science, art, and more. He also evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of each philosopher's arguments, while maintaining a fair and respectful tone.
One of the main benefits of Copleston's work is that it is written in a clear and accessible language that does not require prior knowledge of philosophy. He explains the key terms and concepts in simple terms, and provides examples and illustrations to make them easier to understand. He also includes summaries and questions at the end of each chapter to help the reader review and reflect on what they have learned.
How can you access A History of Philosophy online for free?
If you are interested in reading A History of Philosophy by Frederick Copleston, you will be happy to know that you can access it online for free. Thanks to the Internet Archive, you can download or read online all nine volumes in PDF format. You can also find other formats such as EPUB or MOBI if you prefer. All you need is a device with an internet connection and a PDF reader.
To access A History of Philosophy online for free, simply follow these steps:
Go to https://archive.org/details/a-history-of-philosophy-in-9-volumes-by-frederick-copleston
Select the volume that you want to read or download from the list on the left side of the page.