By Frederick Copleston
Conceived initially as a major presentation of the advance of philosophy for Catholic seminary scholars, Frederick Copleston's nine-volume A historical past Of Philosophy has journeyed a long way past the modest objective of its writer to common acclaim because the top heritage of philosophy in English.
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Extra resources for A History of Philosophy: Volume IX: Modern Philosophy from the French Revolution to Sartre, Camus, and Levi-Strauss
If one considers first of all the psychology expounded in the Essay on the Influence of Habit and then the ideas presented in de Biran's Journal from 1815 onwards or in works such as New Essays in Anthropology, one is likely to receive the impression that a revolution has taken place in the author's outlook and that the ideologist, strongly influenced by the thought of the Enlightenment, has been transformed into a Platonist and religious mystic. To a certain extent the impression would be justified.
28 FROM THE REVOLUTION TO AUGUSTE COMTE reveals the existence of the subject as the active ego or I in the relation of willed effort encountering resistance. Further, the subject perceives itself as one power or active force encountering a succession of resistances; and it perceives itself as self-identical inasmuch as it is one subject in relation to the same organism. It may appear that Maine de Biran is in effect claiming that the ego intuitively perceives itself as a substance. His actual claim however is that the ego is aware of itself as cause.
Maine de Biran was not a systematic thinker in the sense of one who creates a developed philosophical system. , pp. 376-7. The two first relations are those to our fellows and to God. 3 Oeuvres, X I V , p. 223. , p. 373. , p. 377. 1 36 FROM THE REVOLUTION TO AUGUSTE COMTE and FouillSe and culminating in Bergson, which is known as the spiritualist movement or current of thought. 1 In the religious sphere the type of apologetics 'from within' which was represented, for example, by 0116-Laprune and afterwards by Blondel owed something to de Biran.
A History of Philosophy: Volume IX: Modern Philosophy from the French Revolution to Sartre, Camus, and Levi-Strauss by Frederick Copleston