A Free Will: Origins of the Notion in Ancient Thought (Sather Classical Lectures)

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These contain links to translations and to video lectures. Part 1: Sources in the Greek and Arabic Traditions. For optional not required lectures on Happiness in the Arabic tradition and Aquinas, see. OHMP: G. Further discussion followed by preview and preparation for next class. Also assignments of remaining MU student teams.

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Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics , 3. Sankt Augustin : Academia Verlag, Frede Michael, A Free Will.

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Available online in Marqcat. Plotinus, Enneads 6.

Armstrong, v. Marmodoro and B. Prince, eds. Cambridge: CUPress , p. NEW: A recommended video on background and context for preparation for this class:. This is particularly valuable for KUL students.

Michael Frede

Avicenna, Metaphysics of the Healing , M. Marmura, tr. Unpublished article: R. Averroes, The Incoherence of the Incoherence , S. Van Den Berg, tr. London, Part 3: am MU students only. Recommended: Bonnie Kent, CH. The transformation of ethics in the late thirteenth century Part 1 am : Summa theologiae III. Part 2: am : Summa theologiae III. How to do argumentative philosophy papers. Use the copy of first proofs of this article which Prof. Taylor sent to you earlier. If you need a copy, contact Prof.

A Free Will: Origins of the Notion in Ancient Thought (Sather Classical Lectures | eBay

Part 1: Aquinas, Summa theologiae I q. Secondary source: J. H andout of absolutely not more than 6 pp. Part 2 : Summa Theologiae I, q. De Malo q. KUL team 5????? Handouts x 2 of absolutely not more than 6 pp.


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Part: Summa theologiae III, q. KUL team 7????? Handout of absolutely not more than 6 pp. KUL team 8 ,?????

Free will, Determinism, and Predestination

Super Sent. IV, d. Part 1: De Malo q. Ad Romanos , 7, vv. One of Frede's larger points is that a proper appreciation of pagan philosophy in late antiquity reveals its great continuities with early Christian thought. While Christianity is responsible for the widespread dissemination of the notion of free will, Frede argues, the notion itself originates in the philosophy of the Stoic Epictetus c. It gets absorbed into late Platonism along with other Stoic doctrines, whence it is transmitted to early Christian writers like Origen and Augustine in the third and fourth centuries.

Later Peripatetics and Platonists, who have absorbed into their psychology of action the Stoic doctrine of assent, may also be credited with a notion of the will. Frede traces the different uses to which this notion is put by Alexander of Aphrodisias, Origen, Plotinus, and Augustine.

He concludes that the notion of a free will is construed consistently across all these authors in its original Stoic sense: that is, as the ability to make correct choices in pursuit of a good life. To have freedom of the will thus requires that one not be forced to make choices incompatible with living well or be prevented from choosing correctly.

It does not require an unconditioned "sheer act of will" undetermined by antecedent conditions—a notion that, in many circles today, has usurped the mantle of "freedom of the will" and is the conception whose origin Dihle finds in Augustine. This is neither Augustine's nor Origen's notion of a free act of will, according to Frede.

Nor is it that of Plotinus, who attributes such freedom only to God but not to human souls. The only ancient proponent of such a view, he finds, is the Peripatetic Alexander of Aphrodisias, whose position is driven by a "hopelessly misguided" picture of merit and desert that is not to be found in Aristotle himself. Although Frede describes his project as a "historical" inquiry, he brings to bear on his material an acute philosophical intelligence.


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  • His exposition is compressed, sometimes breathtakingly astute, and occasionally inscrutable. The notes supplied by Long, with occasional supplements by the late Robert Access options available:. Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide.

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