It is argued that acceptance of determinism sits badly with the way we use counterfactual conditionals when considering gains and losses in light of how things would have been if such-and-such had or had not happened; it is further suggested that one type of indeterminism runs into the same difficulty; also that the difficulty may escape notice through failure to distinguish different uses of counterfactuals.
Machine generated contents note: What lies ahead; 1. The separateness of the demiurge; 2. Paradigms and epistemic possibilities; 3. The metaphysics of the paradigm; 4. Immortal intellect under mortal conditions; 5. The Timaeus-Critias Complex; 6. The genesis of the four elements; 7. Divine and natural causation; In conclusion.
Plato's account of the making of the world by a supreme divinity has often been felt to foreshadow the natural theology associated with orthodox western religion. This paper examines some significant ways (having more than merely antiquarian interest, it is hoped) in which the Timaeus scheme differs from more familiar orthodoxy.
Written over a period of thirty-five years, these essays explore the topics of causation, time, fate, determinism, natural teleology, different conceptions of the human soul, the idea of the highest good, and the human significance of leisure. While most of the essays take as their starting-point some theme in Ancient Greek philosophy, they are meant not as exegesis but as distinctive and independent contributions to live philosophizing. Written with clarity, precision without technicality, and philosophical imagination, they will engage a wide (...) range of readers, including scholars and students of Ancient Greek philosophy and others working on more contemporary analytical concerns. (shrink)
Part 1 examines the roles of (a) intelligent cause, (b) empirical materials (fire, earth etc.), and (c) the resulting cosmos, in the account of world-making in the Timaeus. It is argued that the presence of (b) is essential for the distinctness of (a) and (c); and an explanation is proposed for why the biblical idea of creation faces no such problem. Part II shows how different suggestions implicit in Plato's doctrine of the intelligible model give rise to radically different kinds (...) of Platonic metaphysics. (shrink)
Aristotle seems to omit discussing the virtue piety. Such an omission should surprise us. Piety is not covertly dealt with under the more general heading of justice, nor under that of philia. But piety does make a veiled appearance at NE X.8, 1179a22-32. Many interpreters have refused to take this passage seriously, but this is shown to be a mistake.
Abstract We act so as to make things better than they would have been but for the action; we are horrified by an uncontrollable catastrophe because it made things so much worse than they would have been without it. Such attitudes are reasonable only if it is reasonable to make the associated counterfactual conditional judgments. But making such judgments cannot be reasonable if one holds both (1) that this world is absolutely and uniquely actual (?absolute actualism?), and (2) that everything (...) is settled (?ES?). Determinism (strictly understood) figures as the most obvious example of ES theory, but ES can occur in an indeterministic form too: both forms are considered. (shrink)
Amongst the works of Aristotle, the Nicomachean Ethics stands virtually alone in speaking not only to classicists, historians of ideas, and technical philosophers, but to anyone trying to make sense of practical human ideals. -/- In this major new presentation, Aristotle's most engaging work has been freshly translated by Christopher Rowe into perspicuous English. Sarah Broadie's accompanying commentary brings out the subtlety of Aristotle's thought as it develops line by line. (Such close exegesis is indispensable for anyone who seeks a (...) more than superficial understanding of Artistotle's text.) Additionally, a substantial introductory section by Sarah Broadie sets out the main themes and interpretative problems in preambles to each of Aristotle's ten Books. -/- This scholarly and instructive treatment of Aristotle's great work of moral philosophy assumes no knowledge of Greek and will be invaluable to students reading Aristotle's text for the first time. Its emphasis on understanding the import of the text at every point will make this an equally indispensable resource for advanced students and scholars. (shrink)
Though clearly fallacious, the inference from determinism to fatalism (the ``Lazy Argument'''') has appealed to such minds as Aristotle and his disciple, Alexander of Aphrodisias. It is argued here (1) that determinism does entail a rather similar position, dubbed ``futilism''''; and (2) that distinctively Aristotelian determinism entails fatalism for any event to which it applies. The concept of ``fate'''' is examined along the way.
Although they are often grouped together in comparison with non-dualist theories, Plato's soul-body dualism, and Descartes' mind-body dualism, are fundamentally different. The doctrines examined are those of the Phaedo and the Meditations. The main difference, from which others flow, lies in Plato's acceptance and Descartes' rejection of the assumption that the soul (= intellect) is identical with what animates the body.
In this incisive study Sarah Broadie gives an argued account of the main topics of Aristotle's ethics: eudaimonia, virtue, voluntary agency, practical reason, akrasia, pleasure, and the ethical status of theoria. She explores the sense of "eudaimonia," probes Aristotle's division of the soul and its virtues, and traces the ambiguities in "voluntary." Fresh light is shed on his comparison of practical wisdom with other kinds of knowledge, and a realistic account is developed of Aristototelian deliberation. The concept of pleasure as (...) value-judgment is expounded, and the problem of akrasia is argued to be less of a problem to Aristotle than to his modern interpreters. Showing that the theoretic ideal of Nicomachean Ethics X is in step with the earlier emphasis on practice, as well as with the doctrine of the Eudemian Ethics, this work makes a major contribution towards the understanding of Aristotle's ethics. (shrink)
Aristotle connects modality and time in ways strange and perplexing to modern readers. In this book the author proposes a new solution to this exegetical problem. Although primarily expository, this work explores topics of central concern for current investigations into causality, time, and change.