Determinism, Freedom, and Moral Responsibility: Essays in Ancient Philosophy
"This volume assembles nine of the author's essays on determinism, freedom and moral responsibility in Western antiquity, ranging from Aristotle via Epicureans and Stoics to the 3rd century. It is representative of the author's overall scholarship on the topic, much of which is devoted to showing that what commonly counts as 'the problem of free-will and determinism' is noticeably distinct from the issues the ancients discussed. It is true that one main component of the ancient discourse concerned the question how moral accountability can be consistently combined with certain causal factors that impact human behaviour. However, it is not true that the ancient problems involved the questions of the compatibility of causal determinism with our ability to do otherwise or with free will. Instead, we encounter questions about human rational and autonomous agency and their compatibility with preceding causes, external or internal; with external impediments; with divine predetermination and theological questions; with physical theories like atomism and continuum theory, and with sciences more generally; with elements that determine character development from childhood, such as nature and nurture; with epistemic features such as ignorance of circumstances; with necessity and modal theories generally; with folk theories of fatalism; and also with questions of how human autonomous agency is related to moral development, to virtue and wisdom, to blame and praise. These questions were all debated without reference to freedom to do otherwise or free-will-at least in Classical and Hellenistic philosophy. This volume considers all of these questions to some extent"--
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accordance action active agent Alexander alternative antecedent causes argument Aristotle Aristotle's assent assume atoms become beliefs blame causal cause Chapter character choice choose Chrysippus Cicero cohesive commentary concept concerned connected considered context decision deliberation depends desire determinism discussion dispositions distinction effect eph'hēmin Epictetus Epicurus evidence example explain expression external fact fate force freedom function Greek happens hence human individual instance internal interpretation involved kind later least means mind moral responsibility motion movements nature necessary necessitated necessity Nicomachean Ethics object occurs origin otherwise parallel particular passage person philosophical phrase possible praise present principle problem provides question rational reading reason reference relation result seems sense sentence situation soul Stoic suggests swerve theory things thought translation types understanding understood universal virtue volition voluntary walking και