Are there any histories of philosophy that focus on the ideas of the philosophers in their effort to philosophically ground ideas about the universe that reveal it as profound, mysterious, or divine? I sometimes I think that histories of philosophy gloss over the more obscure religious and metaphysical thinking of philosophers and they don't really elucidate the gravity and spiritual ambitions behind those philosophers ideas and instead focus on their technical significance. (Spinoza was doing far more than just healing a contradiction in Descartes's concept of finite being for example) Those few things I've read that do talk about the spiritual ideas of great philosophers of the past however just state those great ideas without any reference to the intellectual basis the philosophers had for making those claims. I want a real philosophical introduction to the history of "profound" thinking about the universe that actually attempts to elucidate the grounds of their thinking.

Great question. Some philosophers seem to have deliberately sought to secularize the story of philosophy. I think this is probably true in the case of John Dewey (even though he did praise a naturalistic piety or "religious sensibility"). A classic, intro history to philosophy, Will Durran't The Story of Philosophy glides over the whole medieval era, Many philosophers both during his life time and today, seem (in my mind) to utterly miss or underestimate the deep sense of mystery that runs through the work of Wittgenstein. There is a wonderful overview of Wittgenstein's spirituality in the opening chapters of Kai-man Kwan's The Rainbow of Experiences, Critical Trust and God.

In terms of histories: Copleston wrote a multi-volume history of philosophy that is fair minded, and (as himself a Roman Catholic thinker) he is keen to explore matters of the divine, deep questions of values and their role in the universe. Anthony Kenny is probably the greatest living historian of philosophy, and he, too, is very exercised by religious themes and the religious implications of different accounts of the mind and the world. Although he was trained as a philosopher, Elliade Mircea (1907-86) focussed most of his life of the history of religion. But you will find him exploring a number of ideas that you appear to want to engage; I recommend beginning with his Cosmos and History: The Myth of the Eternal Return. Around 50 years ago or so Stephen Pepper wrote an interesting book on World Hypotheses that you might find engaging. He explores different root metaphors that can be used to shed light on different conceptions of the cosmos.

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