Frederick Copleston  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Frederick Charles Copleston, SJ, CBE (10 April 1907 – 3 February 1994) was a Jesuit priest, philosopher, and historian of philosophy.


  • Even if the actual systems of philosophy which have appeared in the philosophical thought of a given culture are historically conditioned, there may be ways of thought exemplified by past systems which remain a feature of a people's mentality or cultural outlook.
  • If one refuses to sit down and make a move, one cannot be checkmated (in relation to Russell's belief about the existence of the universe).


  • Friedrich Nietzsche: Philosopher of Culture. London: Burns, Oates & Washbourne, 1942.
  • Arthur Schopenhauer: Philosopher of Pessimism. London: Burns Oates & Washbourne, 1946.
  • A History of Philosophy: Volume I: Greece and Rome: From the Pre-Socratics to Plotinus. London: Burns, Oates & Washbourne, 1946.
  • A History of Philosophy: Volume II: Medieval Philosophy: From Augustine to Duns Scotus. London: Burns, Oates & Washbourne, 1950.
  • Medieval Philosophy: An introduction. London: Methuen, 1952.
  • A History of Philosophy: Volume III: Late Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy: Ockham, Francis Bacon, and the Beginning of the Modern World. London: Burns, Oates & Washbourne, 1953.
  • Aquinas. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1955.
  • Contemporary Philosophy: Studies of Logical Positivism and Existentialism. London: Burns & Oates, 1956.
  • A History of Philosophy: Volume IV: Modern Philosophy: From Descartes to Leibniz. London: Burns, Oates & Washbourne, 1958.
  • A History of Philosophy: Volume V: Modern Philosophy: The British Philosophers from Hobbes to Hume. London: Burns, Oates & Washbourne, 1959.
  • A History of Philosophy: Volume VI: Modern Philosophy: From the French Enlightenment to Kant. London: Burns, Oates & Washbourne, 1960.
  • A History of Philosophy: Volume VII: Modern Philosophy: From the Post-Kantian Idealists to Marx, Kierkegaard, and Nietzsche. London: Burns, Oates & Washbourne, 1963.
  • A History of Philosophy: Volume VIII: Modern Philosophy: Empiricism, Idealism, and Pragmatism in Britain and America. London: Burns, Oates & Washbourne, 1966.
  • A History of Medieval Philosophy. London: Methuen, 1972. (revision of Medieval Philosophy, 1952)
  • A History of Philosophy: Volume IX: Modern Philosophy: From the French Revolution to Sartre, Camus, and Levi-Strauss. London: Burns, Oates & Washbourne, 1975.
  • Philosophies and Cultures. Oxford University Press, 1980. ISBN 0-19-213960-6
  • Religion and the One: Philosophies East and West. Tunbridge Wells: Search Press, 1982. ISBN 0-85532-510-0
  • Philosophy in Russia. Tunbridge Wells: Search Press, 1986.
  • Memoirs of a Philosopher. Kansas City: Sheed & Ward, 1993.
  • A History of Philosophy (9 volumes reissued). New York: Image Books, 1993–1994.

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