A History of Philosophy (Copleston)

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A History of Philosophy
A History of Philosophy volume I Greece and Rome part I.jpeg
Cover of volume I
Author Frederick Copleston, S.J.
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Subject Western philosophy
Publisher Continuum (Worldwide), Doubleday (US & Canada), Paulist Press (US & Canada)
Publication date
1946–1974 (volumes 1–9), 1956 (volume 11), 1986 (volume 10)
Media type Print
Pages 5,344 (volumes 1–11) (2003 Continuum editions)

A History of Philosophy is an eleven-volume history of Western philosophy written by the English Jesuit priest Frederick Charles Copleston.

The work provides extensive coverage of Western philosophy from the Pre-Socratics through John Dewey, Bertrand Russell, George Edward Moore, Jean-Paul Sartre and Maurice Merleau-Ponty. The first nine volumes, originally published between 1946 and 1974, were written for Catholic seminary students with the goal "of supplying Catholic ecclesiastical seminaries with a work that should be somewhat more detailed and of wider scope than the textbooks, commonly in use, and which at the same time should endeavour to exhibit the logical development and interconnection of philosophical systems." A tenth volume was added in 1986, and the eleventh is actually a collection of essays which appeared in 1956 as Contemporary Philosophy.

Throughout the eleven volumes Copleston's Roman Catholic (Thomist) point of view is never hidden.

Summary of contents[edit]

The following is a summary of contents (not a full table of contents) for the eleven volumes:

Volume 1: Greece and Rome[edit]

Volume 2: Augustine to Scotus[edit]

Volume 3: Ockham to Suarez[edit]

Volume 4: Descartes to Leibniz[edit]

Volume 5: Hobbes to Hume[edit]

Volume 6: Wolff to Kant[edit]

Volume 7: Fichte to Nietzsche[edit]

Volume 8: Bentham to Russell[edit]

Volume 9: Maine de Biran to Sartre[edit]

Volume 10: Russian Philosophy[edit]

This and the following book are only included in the Continuum edition. The Doubleday edition only contains the original nine volumes.

Volume 11: Logical Positivism and Existentialism[edit]

Included as Volume 11 in the Continuum edition, Logical Positivism and Existentialism is actually a collection of essays, which appeared in 1956 as Contemporary Philosophy. It covers Logical positivism and Existentialism.


  • Copleston, Frederick (1946–1975). A History of Philosophy. Great Britain: Continuum. ISBN 0-8264-6948-5.

See also[edit]