Determinism and Free Will in Alexander of Aphrodisias and the Arabic Tradition

Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 81:161-177 (2007)
  Copy   BIBTEX


The Arabic tradition knew Alexander’s treatises On Fate and On Providence. Alexander criticizes the Stoic determinism with some peripatetic arguments. In those treatises we can find, at least, two positions: the peripatetic and “libertarian” position represented by Alexander, and Stoic determinism. A very similar discussion can be found in Islamic tradition. As S. Van den Bergh has insisted, Islamic theological schools had some Stoic influences. One of the issues in which we can find some common views is, precisely, the problem of determinism and free will. The aim of this paper is to show that the kasb (acquisition)doctrine of the Islamic theologians Asharites is very similar to Stoic determinism in its compatibilist version: both, Stoics and Asharites, conceive a causal network established by the fate or the providence. From this point of view we have to discuss which is the true agent of the natural and human acts that happen in this world. If the providence guides every act, the natural causality and the free will should be denied. On the one hand, I will present some arguments from the most representative Asharite theologian, al-Ghazali, to support a kind of compatibilist determinism; from the other hand, I will evaluate Averroes peripatetic arguments against determinism. Is Averroes more consistent than Alexander or do we have to conclude that al-Ghazali and the Asharites have stronger arguments in order to support the kasb doctrine?



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 86,412

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Arguments for incompatibilism.Kadri Vihvelin - 2003/2017 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Stoics Against Stoics In Cudworth's A Treatise of Freewill.John Sellars - 2012 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 20 (5):935-952.
Early Stoic Determinism.Susanne Bobzien - 2005 - Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 4 (4):489-516.
Determinism, Free Will, and Moral Responsibility.Gerald Dworkin (ed.) - 1970 - Englewood Cliffs, N.J.,: Prentice-Hall.
From necessity to fate: A fallacy.Sarah Broadie - 2001 - The Journal of Ethics 5 (1):21-37.
Determinism and freedom in stoic philosophy.Susanne Bobzien - 1998 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Stoic Conceptions of Freedom and their Relation to Ethics.Susanne Bobzien - 1997 - Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies 41 (S68):71-89.
Determinism, chance, and freedom.Mauro Dorato - 2002 - In Harald Atmanspacher & Robert C. Bishop (eds.), Between Chance and Choice: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Determinism. Thorverton UK: Imprint Academic. pp. 321--38.


Added to PP

52 (#259,383)

6 months
1 (#868,485)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Luis Lopez-Farjeat
Universidad Panamericana Sede México

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references