David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Metaphysics Epsilon 2-3 and Nicomachean Ethics III 5 (1114b3-25) are often cited in favor of indeterminist interpretations of Aristotle. In Metaphysics Epsilon Aristotle denies that the coincidental has an aitia, and some (e.g., Sorabji) take this as a denial that coincidences have causes. In NE III 5 Aristotle says a person's actions and character must have their origin (archê) in the agent for him to be responsible for them. From this, some conclude that Aristotle thinks a person can be the uncaused cause of his actions, (e.g., Hardie, Ross), or at least that there must be some sort of break in the causal nexus, so that the person's character cannot be traced back to an external origin (Furley). I argue that Metaphysics Epsilon does not show that Aristotle disbelieves in causal determinism, since he is dealing with issues of explanation in these passages, not causal necessitation. Metaphysics Epsilon 2-3 is not irrelevant to the controversy between compatibilist and incompatibilist interpretations of Aristotle, however. I will argue that a proper understanding of Metaphysics Epsilon's doctrine that the sumbebekos lacks an aitia sheds light on what Aristotle means in NE III 5 when he says that the voluntary must have an internal origin, and that it helps to show how one's action and character can have an 'internal origin' even if one's actions and character can be traced entirely to external causes. Finally, I will take this doctrine of the voluntary having an 'internal origin' and use it to illuminate Aristotle's discussion of the different types of excusing conditions in NE III 1.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Susanne Bobzien (2014). Choice and Moral Responsibility in Nicomachean Ethics Iii 1-5. In R. Polansky (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to the Nicomachean Ethics. Cambridge University Press. 81-109.
Gianluca di Muzio (2008). Aristotle's Alleged Moral Determinism in the Nicoachean Ethics. Journal of Philosophical Research 33:19-32.
Aristotle (1971). Aristotle's "Metaphysics", Books [Gamma], [Delta], and [Epsilon]. Oxford,Clarendon Press.
Aristotle (1993). Metaphysics: Books Gamma, Delta, and Epsilon. Clarendon Press.
Jon Miller (ed.) (2011). Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics: A Critical Guide. Cambridge University Press.
Joseph Owens (2007). Aristotle's Gradations of Being in Metaphysics E-Z. St. Augustine's Press.
Christopher P. Long (2003). The Ethical Culmination of Aristotle's Metaphysics. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy 8 (1):121-140.
Nicholas O. Pagan (2008). Configuring the Moral Self: Aristotle and Dewey. [REVIEW] Foundations of Science 13 (3-4):239-250.
Karen Nielsen (2007). Dirtying Aristotle's Hands? Aristotle's Analysis of 'Mixed Acts' in the Nicomachean Ethics III, 1. Phronesis 52 (3):270-300.
Filip Grgic (1998). Aristotle Against the Determinist: Metaphysics 6.3. International Philosophical Quarterly 38 (1998):127-136.
Michael Pakaluk (2005). Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics: An Introduction. Cambridge University Press.
Uri D. Leibowitz (2013). Particularism in Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics. Journal of Moral Philosophy 10 (2):121-147.
Added to index2012-10-17
Total downloads9 ( #165,736 of 1,102,037 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #192,049 of 1,102,037 )
How can I increase my downloads?