A Free Will: Origins of the Notion in Ancient Thought - download pdf or read online

By Michael Frede

ISBN-10: 0520268482

ISBN-13: 9780520268487

The place does the thought of loose will come from? How and whilst did it advance, and what did that improvement contain? In Michael Frede's notably new account of the heritage of this concept, the inspiration of a unfastened will emerged from robust assumptions in regards to the relation among divine windfall, correctness of person selection, and self-enslavement as a result of fallacious selection. Anchoring his dialogue in Stoicism, Frede starts off with Aristotle--who, he argues, had no inspiration of a loose will--and ends with Augustine. Frede exhibits that Augustine, faraway from originating the assumption (as is usually claimed), derived so much of his puzzling over it from the Stoicism constructed via Epictetus.

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

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The question is what you do with the impression you find yourself with, for instance, whether you give assent to it. 11 Hence, Cicero sometimes translates the standard Stoic term for an impression, phantasia, by impressio (see Acad. 58). This is how we have come to use the term impression. 12 I take it that he did so because it is quite misleading in the following respect. It is true that we do not actively form an impression, a certain kind of representation of something, in the way in which we paint a painting or draw a map or describe a person.

The wise person will be concerned, but the foolish person who believes that death is an evil will be afraid. Thus fear, according to the Stoics, is nothing but the false belief that an evil is coming, or might come, one’s way—a belief generated by assent to an impression which is deeply disturbing because one wrongly takes the situation to be an evil. Sometimes the Stoics also think of fear as the belief coupled with the attendant bodily state. In the same way in which the Stoics treat a fear, they also treat an appetite, the supposedly natural desire of the nonrational part of the soul.

This, then, is the general schema for a notion of a free will. Our next major step will be to see how the notion of a specific and actual will first emerged in Stoicism. But before we can turn to this, we have to take a look at Aristotle. c h a p t e r t wo Aristotle on Choice without a Will There are at least three reasons why we should begin our detailed study with Aristotle. First, the Stoics can only develop a notion of a will, because they have a certain notion of the mind. But they have developed this notion of the mind in opposition to Plato’s and Aristotle’s notion of the mind, or rather of the soul.

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

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