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A SHORT HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY

ARCHIBALD B. D. ALEXANDER - 1922 - Table of contents

Diccionario filosófico
Voltaire.
Complete edition

Diccionario de Filosofía
Brief definition of the most important concepts of philosophy.

 

A Dictionary of English Philosophical Terms Francis Garden

Biografías y semblanzas Biographical references and lives of philosophers

Brief introduction to the thought of Ortega y Gasset

History of Philosophy Summaries

Historia de la Filosofía
Explanation of the thought of the great philosophers; summaries, exercises...

Historia de la Filosofía
Digital edition of the History of Philosophy by Jaime Balmes

Historia de la Filosofía
Digital edition of the History of Philosophy by Zeferino González

Vidas, opiniones y sentencias de los filósofos más ilustres
Complete digital edition of the work of Diogenes Laertius

Compendio de las vidas de los filósofos antiguos
Fénelon

A brief history of Greek Philosophy
B. C. Burt

 

A SHORT HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY

 

INTRODUCTION

Part I. GREEK PHILOSOPHY


Its origin and character

PHYSICAL PERIOD
MONASTIC THEORIES
PLURALISTIC THEORIES

MORAL PERIOD
THE SOPHISTS
SOCRATES. Cynics and Cyrenaics

SYSTEMATIC PERIOD
PLATO
ARISTOTLE

Part II. PHILOSOPHY IN THE GRECO-ROMAN WORLD

ETHICAL THEORIES
Stoicism. Epicureanism
Scepticism

RELIGIOUS TENDENCIES
Roman Moralists: Seneca, Epictetus, M. Aurelius
Alexandrian Mystics: Philo, Plotinus, Proclus

Part III. PHILOSOPHY OF MIDDLE AGES

THE PATRISTIC PERIOD Augustine and Church Fathers

SCHOLASTIC PERIOD Nominalism and Realism

PLATONIC INFLUENCE
Anselm, Abelard, Peter Lombard

ARISTOTELIAN INFLUENCE
1. Alexander of Hales, Albertus Magnus, Thomas Aquinas
2. Duns Scotus, Francis of Assisi, William of Occam
 

Part IV. REVIVAL OF PHILOSOPHY

TRANSITION PERIOD
1. Revival of Learning
2. Reformation
3. Rise of Sciences
Bruno, Böhme, Montaigne

REALISTIC TENDENCY
Bacon
Gassendi
Hobbes

IDEALISTIC TENDENCY
Descartes

PANTHEISTIC TENDENCY
Geulinx, Occasionalism
Malebranche, Pantheism
Spinoza, Acosmism

Part V. PHILOSOPHY OF THE ENLIGHTENMENT

[Introduction]

SECT. I. ENLIGHTENMENT IN BRITAIN
Empiricism-Locke
Development of empiricism-Berkeley
Sceptical Conclusion-Hume

THEOLOGICAL AND ETHICAL QUESTIONS
Natural Philosophy
Theological Controversy
Ethical Theories
Scottish Philosophy

SECT. 2. ENLIGHTENMENT IN FRANCE
Earlier Rationalism
Bossuet, Fontenelle, Bayle, Montesquieu, Condillac, Helvetius
Materialistic Tendencies
Voltaire, Diderot, D'Alembert,  La Mettrie, Holbach, Rousseau

SECT. 3. ENLIGHTENMENT IN GERMANY
INDIVIDUAL IDEALISM—LEIBNITZ

FOLLOWERS OF LEIBNITZ
Thomasius, Tschirnhausen, Wolff

POPULAR PHILOSOPHY
Mendelssohn, Nicolai
Lessing

Part VI. GERMAN IDEALISM


SECT. I. CRITICAL PHILOSOPHY—KANT
INTRODUCTION

KANT'S THEORETIC PHILOSOPHY

KANT'S MORAL PHILOSOPHY

PHILOSOPHY OF ART AND RELIGION

SECT. 2. DEVELOPMENT OF IDEALISM

PHILOSOPHY OF FEELING
Hamann, Herder, Jacobi
Schiller and Humboldt

SUBJECTIVE IDEALISM—FICHTE
1. Science of Knowledge
2. Its Theoretic Principles
3. Its Practical Sphere

OBJECTIVE IDEALISM—SCHELLING
1. Philosophy of Nature
2. Philosophy of Identity
3. Mythology and Revelation

ROMANTIC SCHOOL
1. Novalis and Schlegel
2. Baader and Krause
3. Schleiermacher

 

SECT. 3. ABSOLUTE IDEALISM—HEGELIANISM
CONCEPTION AND METHOD
STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT
REACTION AGAINST HEGELIANISM
1. Herbart
2. Beneke
3. Schopenhauer

Part VII. MOVEMENTS SINCE HEGEL TO THE PRESENT


GERMAN THOUGHT—AFTER HEGEL
1. Influence of Hegelianism
2. Materialistic Tendency—Haeckel
3. Idealistic Tendency
Fechner, Lotze, Hartmann, Wundt
4. Modern Psychology
5. Neo-Kantianism
Dühring, Schuppe, Ritschl
6. Eucken and Activist Tendency

FRENCH THOUGHT—FROM THE REVOLUTION
1. Cousin and Eclecticism
2. Comte and Positivism
3. Religious Philosophy
4. Philosophy of Development—Taine, Renan, Fouillée

BRITISH PHILOSOPHY IN THE VICTORIAN ERA
1. Utilitarianism—Bentham and Mill
2. Evolution—Darwin and Spencer. Maurice, Newman, Martineau
3. Influence of German Idealism. Caird, Green, Bradley, etc.

THE TREND OF THOUGHT IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY
Anti-Conceptualism—Bergson
Pragmatism—Wm. James
Neo-Realism. Revival of Idealism in Italy. The Philosophy of the Gifford Lectures

 

CONCLUSION

 

BOOKS OF REFERENCE

 

Part III. PHILOSOPHY OF THE MIDDLE AGES

Chap. III. Scholasticism influenced by Plato

In the earlier portions of the middle ages there was a lack of original authorship, and intellectual activity consisted chiefly in drawing up compilations from the fathers, particularly from Gregory and Augustine. In the eighth century there was more culture in England than in any other country, except Italy. From the cloister of Yarrow went forth the Venerable Bede, famous for his learning throughout the west. In 782 Alcuin, also an Englishman and profound scholar, became head of the domestic school of Charlemagne. Under Charles the Bald, Manrus, Radbert, and Hincmar were conspicuous theologians. But the earliest noteworthy philosopher of the Scholastic period was John Scotus (b. about 800, d. 870), called "Erigena," which means born in the "Isle of Saints," a frequent designation of Ireland. Shortly before the middle of the ninth century he was invited by Charles the Bald to take charge of the school at Paris. He was deeply influenced by the Neoplatonism of Augustine's writings. His speculations were of a pantheistic character, and he got into trouble with Rome. He held that true philosophy and true theology are identical. Faith belongs to the earlier stages of intellectual life and leads up to reason. The universe is the unfolding of God. God reaches self-consciousness in man. Natural things have only a semblance of reality. In his work on the Division of Nature he maintains that all existence is a theophany. All being runs through a cycle. Everything begins with God and returns to God again.

 

  During the eleventh century the schools of Tours and Bee, in Normandy, rose to great celebrity as seats of learning. Bee had for its prior Lanfranc, and at the head of the school of Tours Berengarius presided. The controversies of these two scholars regarding the change in the elements of the Lord's Supper, involving the deeper question as to the relation of substance and accident, may be considered as the beginning of the Scholastic era.

(1) But if Scholasticism was introduced by Lanfranc and Berengarius, Anselm may be regarded as its real founder and father. He was born in 1033, became Archbishop of Canterbury, and died in 1109. In him the two elements, the speculative and the mystical, were united. His doctrine, Credo ut intelligam, was the watchword of the movement. Anselm discussed the deepest questions of philosophy. In the controversy between the Nominalists and Realists Anselm supported the Realistic position as against Roscellinus, who was the foremost advocate of Nominalism. Roscellinus applied his views to the doctrine of the Trinity, holding that the general idea of Trinity can become a reality only in its individuals, their unity of substances disappearing as a mere name. This tritheistic doctrine was opposed and confuted by Anselm, and Roscellinus was impeached by the council of Soissons in 1092.

The principal work of Anselm is Cur Deus Homo, which treats of the humanity and sacrifice of Christ. In this work he shows that the need of an atonement for sin is the ground of the Incarnation. Satisfaction must be made for sin, but it must be made from the side of the sinner, hence the necessity for the Deus Homo. His life outweighs the evil of all sin. In this treatise Anselm sweeps away for all time the fatal theory that had hitherto satisfied the Church, that the final cause of redemption was the devil rather than God, and that man was rescued by purchase from his power. By his doctrine of satisfaction Anselm supplied theology with a working theory of the atonement. Anselm's view is that a debt is due to God, and that amends must be made for the dishonour done to Him. It was not merely Christ's sufferings, but His whole life which constituted the act of obedience rendered on man's behalf.

In his more strictly philosophical work Anselm is chiefly noted as the author of what has been called the "Ontological Argument" for the existence of God. God's existence is bound up with the very nature of the human mind. The idea of God involves the reality of that idea. The rational and real are one—an idea which has its germ in Plato, and has been emphasized in modern times by Hegel. Anselm combined in a wonderful degree devotion and piety of life with intellectual vigour.

(2) Peter Abelard, at once the pupil and opponent of Roscellinus, was born near Nantes, 1079. Fired with a passion for knowledge, he became the greatest leader in the intellectual movement of the age. An expert logician, he surpassed all his contemporaries. After wandering from one school to another he was attracted to Paris by the fame of the Realist, William of Champeaux, whose philosophy soon provoked Abelard to combat, with the result that he was finally installed in his master's place. His bold and reckless intellect was ever broaching new problems. While he believed in the capacity of reason to compass all mysteries, he did not renounce the principle of the pre-eminence of faith. But he held that faith without knowledge lacks stability. In his teaching he proclaims his object to be to awake inquiry. He controverts the saying of Anselm, Credo ut intelligam. He argues that man believes not because of authority, but because of conviction. With regard to the controversy between the Nominalists and Realists Abelard took an intermediate position. He held that the universal is only real in thought, but at the same time it is no mere product of thought. You cannot abstract the thought of the thing from the thing itself.

 

  Abelard took what might be called the moral view of reconciliation to God through Christ. He scorns the idea that God is propitiated by the sufferings of His Son. The whole work of Christ, including His life and death, is a manifestation of divine love to the unworthy, calculated to kindle their gratitude and win them back to obedience. He gave offence by his views on the Trinity. God, he held, as the absolutely perfect being combines in Himself absolute might, wisdom, and love, which constitute His threefold personality.

At the instigation of Bernard, his teaching was condemned at a council of Sens in 1141. His work on the Trinity was burned, and he himself confined in a cloister. He died in 1142. Though disgraced and defeated, Abelard was one of the keenest logicians of his age. He did much to clear away the verbal sophistries in which the Scholastics delighted. In his work Yes and No—Sic et non—he brought the various opinions of the fathers together with the object of showing how they contradicted one another.

(3) The great opponent of Abelard was Bernard of Clairvaux (1091-1153). In the relation of these two men, so strongly contrasted in character and mental gifts, we see the collision between the dialectic of the Schoolmen and the authority of the Church. The attempts of Abelard to explain divine things Bernard regards as destructive rationalism, and he sees in him the rash innovator who, with the devil's daring, sought to penetrate into the secrets of religion, and to set his own private opinion above the united testimony of the Church.

Bernard, though no enemy of learning, exalts piety and regards feeling as the pathway to knowledge,—contemplation, the secret of blessedness. There are three ways of grasping divine truth. The first is by the intellect, which is not possible in this life. The second is opinion, which is, however, void of certainty. Between intellect and opinion he places faith, which proceeds from the heart and will, and anticipates the knowledge which will at last be clearly given to the mind.

Bernard may be regarded as the founder of Monasticism, and the forerunner of the mystics.

The many rare qualities of his heart and mind—his consecrated learning, his commanding eloquence, his practical wisdom, and, above all, his ardent piety—constitute him one of the most beautiful spirits, as well as one of the most influential forces of the Scholastic period.

(4) Peter Lombard (died about 1164) took a middle path between the dialectic and churchly tendencies, and may be regarded as the founder of systematic theology. He set forth the doctrines of the Church in methodical form, placing them upon a metaphysical basis while supporting them by quotations from the fathers, especially from Augustine. Peter Lombard did not escape accusation on account of his views on the Trinity and the person of Christ. But the book of sentences (Liber Sententiarum), of which he was the chief author, long continued to be the text-book of theology from which the university teachers lectured.

Scholastic Period - Philosophy of the Middle Ages        Aristotelian influence - Philosophy of the Middle Ages

 

 

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