David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Phronesis 49 (1):41-71 (2004)
This paper argues that Epicurus held a non-reductionist view of mental states that is in the spirit of Davidson's anomalous monism. We argue for this conclusion by considering the role that normative descriptions play in the peritropē argument from "On Nature" 25. However, we also argue that Epicurus was an indeterminist. We can know that atoms swerve because we can know that we make choices that are up to us and this is incompatible with the ancestral causal determination of mental states by atomic processes. Epicurus escapes the traditional criticism of indeterminist libertarians because the swerve is not meant to explain how choices may be free. The anti-reductionist stance on the mental means that nothing about atomic processes could possibly explain any particular mental event. Moreover, because of the practical and therapeutic nature of Epicurean philosophy, it is not necessary that Epicurus provide an explanation of how the swerve subserves freedom of choice. We know all that we need to know for eudaimonia when we know that some choices are up to us
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
Trevor J. Saunders (1988). Epicurus' Swerve. The Classical Review 38 (02):284-.
Jeffrey Purinton (1999). Epicurus on 'Free Volition' and the Atomic Swerve. Phronesis 44 (4):253-299.
Catherine Atherton (2007). Reductionism, Rationality and Responsibility: A Discussion of Tim O'Keefe, Epicurus on Freedom. Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 89 (2):192-230.
Trevor J. Saunders (1988). Epicurus' Swerve W. G. Englert: Epicurus on the Swerve and Voluntary Action. (American Philological Association: American Classical Studies, 16.) Pp. X + 215; 5 Diagrams in the Text. Atlanta, Georgia: Scholars Press, 1987. $21.95 (Members, $15), Paper, $12.95 (Members, $9). [REVIEW] The Classical Review 38 (02):284-286.
Gianluca Di Muzio (2007). Epicurus' Emergent Atomism. Philo 10 (1):5-16.
Tim O'Keefe (2002). The Reductionist and Compatibilist Argument of Epicurus' On Nature, Book 25. Phronesis 47 (2):153-186.
Stephen A. White (1991). Epicurus on the Swerve and Voluntary Action. Ancient Philosophy 11 (2):455-459.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads8 ( #136,109 of 1,004,390 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #64,617 of 1,004,390 )
How can I increase my downloads?