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A History of Western Philosophy

955 Pages · 2004 · 4.9 MB · English

  • A History of Western Philosophy

    BERTRAND RUSSELL


    A HISTORY OF WESTERN PHILOSOPHY And Its Connection with Political and Social


    Circumstances from the Earliest Times to the Present Day


    SIMON AND SCHUSTER, NEW YORK


    ALL RIGHTS RESERVED INCLUDING THE RIGHT OF REPRODUCTION IN WHOLE OR


    IN PART IN ANY FORM COPYRIGHT, 1945 , BY BERTRAND RUSSELL PUBLISHED BY


    SIMON AND SCHUSTER, INC. ROCKEFELLER CENTER, 1230 SIXTH AVENUE NEW


    YORK 20, N. Y.


    Fourth Printing


    MANUFACTURED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA BY AMERICAN BOOK-


    STRATFORD PRESS, INC., N. Y.


    TABLE OF CONTENTS


    Preface by Author


    ix


    Introduction xiii BOOK ONE. ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY


    Part I. The Pre-Socratics


    3


    Chapter I. The Rise of Greek Civilization


    3


    Chapter II. The Milesian School


    24


    Chapter III. Pythagoras


    29


    Chapter IV. Heraclitus


    38


    Chapter V. Parmenides


    48


    Chapter VI. Empedocles


    53


    Chapter VII. Athens in Relation to Culture


    58


    Chapter VIII. Anaxagoras


    61


    Chapter IX. The Atomists


    64


    Chapter X. Protagoras


    73


    Part II. Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle


    82


    Chapter XI. Socrates


    82


    Chapter XII. The Influence of Sparta


    94


    Chapter XIII. The Sources of Plato's Opinions Chapter XXIII. Aristotle's Physics


    203


    Chapter XXIV. Early Greek Mathematics and Astronomy


    208


    Part III. Ancient Philosophy after Aristotle


    218


    Chapter XXV. The Hellenistic World


    218


    Chapter XXVI. Cynics and Sceptics


    228


    Chapter XXVII. The Epicureans


    240


    Chapter XXIX. Stoicism


    252


    Chapter XXIX. The Roman Empire in Relation to Culture


    270


    Chapter XXX. Plotinus


    284 BOOK TWO. CATHOLIC PHILOSOPHY


    Introduction


    301


    Part I. The Fathers


    308


    Chapter I. The Religious Development of the Jews 308


    Chapter II. Christianity During the First Four Centuries


    324


    Chapter III. Three Doctors of the Church


    334


    Chapter IV. Saint Augustine's Philosophy and Theology


    352


    Chapter V. The Fifth and Sixth Centuries


    366


    Chapter VI. Saint Benedict and Gregory the Great


    375


    Part II. The Schoolmen


    388


    Chapter VII. The Papacy in the Dark Ages


    388


    Chapter VIII. John the Scot


    400


    Chapter IX. Ecclesiastical Reform in the Eleventh Century


    407


    Chapter X. Mohammedan Culture and Philosophy


    419


    -vi- Chapter XI. The Twelfth Century


    428


    Chapter XII. The Thirteenth Century


    441


    Chapter XIII. Saint Thomas Aquinas


    452


    Chapter XIV. Franciscan Schoolmen


    463


    Chapter XV. The Eclipse of the Papacy


    476 BOOK THREE. MODERN PHILOSOPHY


    Part I. From the Renaissance to Hume


    491


    Chapter I. General Characteristics


    491


    Chapter II. The Italian Renaissance


    495


    Chapter III. Machiavelli


    504


    Chapter IV. Erasmus and More


    512


    Chapter V. The Reformation and CounterReformation


    522


    Chapter VI. The Rise of Science


    525


    Chapter VII. Francis Bacon


    541


    Chapter VIII. Hobbes's Leviathan


    546


    Chapter IX. Descartes


    557


    Chapter X. Spinoza


    569


    Chapter XI. Leibniz


    581


    Chapter XII. Philosophical Liberalism


    596


    Chapter XIII. Locke's Theory of Knowledge


    604


    Chapter XIV. Locke's Political Philosophy Chapter XXIV. Schopenhauer


    753


    Chapter XXV. Nietzsche


    760


    Chapter XXVI. The Utilitarians


    773


    Chapter XXVII. Karl Marx


    782


    Chapter XXVIII. Bergson


    791


    Chapter XXIX. William James


    811


    Chapter XXX. John Dewey


    819


    Chapter XXXI. The Philosophy of Logical Analysis


    828


    Index


    837 PREFACE


    MANY histories of philosophy exist, and it has not been my purpose merely to add one to their


    number. My purpose is to exhibit philosophy as an integral part of social and political life: not as


    the isolated speculations of remarkable individuals, but as both an effect and a cause of the


    character of the various communities in which different systems flourished. This purpose


    demands more account of general history than is usually given by historians of philosophy. I have


    found this particularly necessary as regards periods with which the general reader cannot be


    assumed to be familiar. The great age of the scholastic philosophy was an outcome of the reforms


    of the eleventh century, and these, in turn, were a reaction against previous corruption. Without


    some knowledge of the centuries between the fall of Rome and the rise of the medieval Papacy,


    the intellectual atmosphere of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries can hardly be understood. In


    dealing with this period, as with others, I have aimed at giving only so much general history as I


    thought necessary for the sympathetic comprehension of philosophers in relation to the times that


    formed them and the times that they helped to form.


    One consequence of this point of view is that the importance which it gives to a philosopher is


    often not that which he deserves on account of his philosophic merit. For my part, for example, I


    consider Spinoza a greater philosopher than Locke, but he was far less influential; I have


    therefore treated him much more briefly than Locke. Some men--for example, Rousseau and


    Byron-though not philosophers at all in the academic sense, have so profoundly affected the


    prevailing philosophic temper that the development of philosophy cannot be understood if they


    are


    ignored. Even pure men of action are sometimes of great importance in this respect; very few


    philosophers have influenced philosophy as much as Alexander the Great, Charlemagne, or


    Napoleon. Lycurgus, if only be had existed, would have been a still more notable example.


    In attempting to cover such a vast stretch of time, it is necessary to have very drastic principles of


    selection. I have come to the conclusion, from reading standard histories of philosophy, that very


    short accounts convey nothing of value to the reader; I have therefore omitted altogether (with


    few exceptions) men who did not seem to me to deserve a fairly full treatment. In the case of the


    men whom I have discussed, I have mentioned what seemed relevant as regards their lives and


    their social surroundings; I have even sometimes recorded intrinsically unimportant details when


    I considered them illustrative of a man or of his times.


    Finally, I owe a word of explanation and apology to specialists on any part of my enormous


    subject. It is obviously impossible to know as much about every philosopher as can be known


    about him by a man whose field is less wide; I have no doubt that every single philosopher whom


    I have mentioned, with the exception of Leibniz, is better known to many men than to me. If,


    however, this were considered a sufficient reason for respectful silence, it would follow that no


    man should undertake to treat of more than some narrow strip of history. The influence of Sparta


    on Rousseau, of Plato on Christian philosophy until the thirteenth century, of the Nestorians on


    the Arabs and thence on Aquinas, of Saint Ambrose on liberal political philosophy from the rise


    of the Lombard cities until the present day, are some among the themes of which only a


    comprehensive history can treat. On such grounds I ask the indulgence of those readers who find


    my knowledge of this or that portion of my subject less adequate than it would have been if there bad been no need


    to remember "time's winged chariot."


    This book owes its existence to Dr. Albert C. Barnes, having been originally designed and partly


    delivered as lectures at the Barnes Foundation in Pennsylvania.


    As in most of my work during the last thirteen years, I have been greatly assisted, in research and


    in many other ways, by my wife, Patricia Russell.


    BERTRAND RUSSELL


    INTRODUCTION


    THE conceptions of life and the world which we call "philosophical" are a product of two factors:


    one, inherited religious and ethical conceptions; the other, the sort of investigation which may be


    called "scientific," using this word in its broadest sense. Individual philosophers have differed


    widely in regard to the proportions in which these two factors entered into their systems, but it is


    the presence of both, in some degree, that characterizes philosophy.


    "Philosophy" is a word which has been used in many ways, some wider, some narrower. I propose


    to use it in a very wide sense, which I will now try to explain.


    Philosophy, as I shall understand the word, is something intermediate between theology and


    science. Like theology, it consists of speculations on matters as to which definite knowledge has,


    so far, been unascertainable; but like science, it appeals to human reason rather than to authority,


    whether that of tradition or that of revelation. All definite knowledge--so I should contend--


    belongs to science; all dogma as to what surpasses definite knowledge belongs to theology. But


    between theology and science there is a No Man's Land, exposed to attack from both sides; this


    No Man's Land is philosophy. Almost all the questions of most interest to speculative minds are


    such as science cannot answer, and the confident answers of theologians no longer seem so


    convincing as they did in former centuries. Is the world divided into mind and matter, and, if so,


    what is mind and what is matter? Is mind subject to matter, or is it possessed of independent


    powers? Has the universe any unity or purpose? Is it evolving towards some goal? Are there really


    laws of nature, or do we believe in them only because of our innate love of order? Is man what he


    seems to the astronomer, a tiny lump of impure carbon and water impotently crawling on a small


    and unimportant planet? Or is he what he appears to Hamlet? Is he perhaps both at once? Is there


    a way of living that is noble and another that is base, or are all ways of living merely futile? If


    there is a way of living that is noble, in what does it consist, and how shall we achieve it? Must


    the good be eternal in order to deserve to be valued, or is it worth seeking even if the uni


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