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Journal ArticleDOI

A Free Will: Origins of the Notion in Ancient Thought

18 Sep 2014-The European Legacy (Routledge)-Vol. 19, Iss: 6, pp 797-798
TL;DR: The origin of free will in Western thought has been investigated in this paper, where the authors offer a radically new answer to the much discussed question of the origin of the free will.
Abstract: This short but wide-ranging book has an ambitious project: it offers a radically new answer to the much discussed question of the origin of the idea of free will in Western thought. The book is bas...
Citations
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01 Jan 2014
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors examine the image of the ancient Iranian prophet Zoroaster in the Shāhnāme based on a closed reading of the story about the Kaynian king Goshtāsp written by Daqiqi (and continued by Ferdowsi).
Abstract: This paper aims to examine the image of the ancient Iranian prophet Zoroaster in the Shāhnāme based on a closed reading of the story about the Kayānian king Goshtāsp written by Daqiqi (and continued by Ferdowsi). For this purpose it will discuss the thematic properties of the Dāstān-e Goshtāsp (Tale of Goshtāsp) in the light of Iranian historical and epic traditions. Given the religious subject matter of the advent of Zoroaster, my aim is also to explore whether Daqiqi’s account primarily has a religious orientation or is the manifestation of a more secular orientation which represents the taste of kings and nobles with an emphasis on heroic events. The question of the Zoroastrian orientation of Daqiqi’s narrative is especially interesting given that the Shāhnāme was commissioned by an Iranian Muslim monarch and primarily addressed an audience of Persian-speaking Muslims albeit conscious of their national heritage. Of specific interest in my presentation is Daqiqi’s handling of the Sistānian heroic tradition and its hostility to Zoroaster’s patron, and whether there are any important ideological differences between Daqiqi and Ferdowsi in this respect.

14 citations


Cites background from "A Free Will: Origins of the Notion ..."

  • ...6 The Neoplatonists took over the definition of Providence proposed by the Stoics that there is a universal divine Providence and a divine order regulating everything which happens in the world down to the smallest detail (Frede 2011: 103)....

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  • ...They also generally held that if a man had decided how to act in a situation, no cosmic power had such power over his mind that it could prevent the will from making the choice it needed to make (Frede 2011: 17)....

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  • ...In short, wisdom governs humanity and leads the whole order among humans . . . 16 The statement that a soul is free if it is wise and virtuous (Frede 2011: 138) is echoed in speech #5 in the Shāhnāme, which states that ‘everyone is made free by wisdom’ (be āzādist az kherad har kasi 1398)....

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Dissertation
01 Feb 2020
TL;DR: In this article, the authors propose a conceptualisation of self-oppression as a form of agency in which the agent, though exercising self-control, compromises her own choices in doing so.
Abstract: This thesis starts from the intuition that it is possible to oppress oneself. On an initial description, self-oppression is a form of agency in which the agent, though exercising self-control, compromises her own choices in doing so. But, as such, self-oppression seems paradoxical and thus impossible: how can an agent be both the oppressor and the oppressed? And how can she compromise her own choices? The headline aim of the thesis is to offer a conceptualisation of self-oppression, thus establishing it as a possible as well as a distinct form of agency. The strategy of the thesis is rather unusual. In the first chapter, drawing on Aristotle’s philosophy of action, I devise the category of hyperkrasia, designed to capture the phenomenon of self-oppression. I propose that, in hyperkrasia, an agent’s practical reason becomes authoritarian. This category is then further developed throughout the thesis, drawing on Augustine, Foucault, and Merleau-Ponty. Augustine’s notion of a corrupted will provides an account of how choice can be compromised without agency being bypassed: the agent with a corrupted will chooses to φ, but cannot but choose φ. Foucault’s notion of domination provides an explanation of how an agent’s will can be corrupted by factors influencing her perception of opportunities. Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenological account of action shows how our perception of opportunities can draw us toward action. Bringing these elements together, I propose that practical reason can influence an agent’s perception of certain opportunities, drawing her so strongly toward them that she cannot but act on them. As such, she makes a choice; but it is compromised, and this by her own practical reason. This resolves the paradox of self-oppression: it is practical reason which becomes the oppressor, and it compromises the agent’s choices by influencing the way she perceives certain opportunities.

13 citations


Cites background or methods from "A Free Will: Origins of the Notion ..."

  • ...We do not have a free will in the sense that we have a will which is actually free to choose’ (Frede, 2011: 167)....

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  • ...If you try to, but cannot, pick the red lolly, the situation would indeed seem quite concerning, and we may start to think your will has indeed 7 Frede speaks of an ‘enslaved’ will (Frede, 2011: 166) in this context....

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  • ...As he puts it, after the Fall ‘our choice is no longer free but forced’ (Frede, 2011: 168, emphasis mine)....

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  • ...But choices are not explained in terms of a will but in terms of […] the exercise of reason’s cognitive abilities to determine how in this situation the good might best be attained’ (Frede, 2011: 27)....

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  • ...It was challenged, for example, by Frede (2011) in his Sather Lectures: Frede argues that Augustine’s notion of the will is essentially adopted from the Stoics (see Frede, 2011: 153 et seq.)....

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, it is argued that if we draw a distinction between two notions of free will, it is plausible that some account of free-will is, in fact, present in the dialogues, the Republic in particular.
Abstract: There has been a recent surge of interest in ancient accounts of free will. It is surprising, then, that there have been virtually no attempts to discuss whether Plato had such an account. Those who have made an attempt quickly deny that such an account is present in the dialogues. I shall argue that if we draw a distinction between two notions of free will, it is plausible that some account of free will is, in fact, present in the dialogues, the Republic in particular. This is the first in depth search into the question and I demonstrate that the defender of a Platonic free will thesis has more resources than she first appears to. It also has the benefit of giving us an obvious source material for Augustine's discussion.

13 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The Letter of Resolution Concerning Origen and the Chief of His Opinions, published anonymously in London in 1661, is the chief testimony of the renaissance of Origen in early modern Cambridge as mentioned in this paper.
Abstract: The Letter of Resolution Concerning Origen and the Chief of His Opinions, published anonymously in London in 1661, is the chief testimony of the renaissance of Origen in early modern Cambridge. Probably authored by George Rust, the later Bishop of Dromore in Ireland, it is the first defence of Origenism, and delineates a rational theology based upon the unshakable foundation of God’s first attribute, his goodness. Trespassing and falling away from God’s goodness, the souls forfeit their original ethereal bodies or ‘vehicles’ and come to inhabit lesser ones made of air and earth. Making responsible use of their freedom, however, they may climb up the ontological ladder again. Rust’s rational theodicy with its stress on God’s universal goodness and the pre-existent soul’s free will is a key document of the Cambridge Platonists’ deeply Origenian philosophy of religion.

10 citations

01 Jan 2019
TL;DR: The authors argue that in both the Institutes and the Conferences of John Cassian (360-435 CE) a distinct separation between monastics and the institutional Church is advocated, and that the monastic discourse formed a closed discursive system, consciously excluding the hierarchical institutional Church.
Abstract: John Cassian (360-435 CE) started his monastic career in Bethlehem. He later traveled to the Egyptian desert, living there as a monk, meeting the venerated Desert Fathers, and learning from them for about fifteen years. Much later, he would go to the region of Gaul to help establish a monastery there by writing monastic manuals, the Institutes and the Conferences. These seminal writings represent the first known attempt to bring the idealized monastic traditions from Egypt, long understood to be the cradle of monasticism, to the West. In his Institutes, Cassian comments that “a monk ought by all means to flee from women and bishops” (Inst. 11.18). This is indeed an odd comment from a monk, apparently casting bishops as adversaries rather than models for the Christian life. In this paper, therefore, I argue that Cassian, in both the Institutes and the Conferences, is advocating for a distinct separation between monastics and the institutional Church. In Cassian’s writings and the larger corpus of monastic writings from his era, monks never referred to early Church fathers such as Irenaeus or Tertullian as authorities; instead they cited quotes and stories exclusively from earlier, venerated monks. In that sense, monastic discourse such as Cassian’s formed a closed discursive system, consciously excluding the hierarchical institutional Church. Furthermore, Cassian

9 citations

References
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DissertationDOI
01 Jan 2019
TL;DR: Theological significance of the relation of freedom and time in the SCIENCES and human beings is discussed in this paper. But the focus of this paper is on the relationship between freedom, freedom, and time.
Abstract: THE THEOLOGICAL SIGNIFICANCE OF THE RELATIONS OF FREEDOM AND TIME IN THE SCIENCES AND HUMANITIES: AN EVALUATION OF THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF DAVID BOHM AND PAULI PYLKKÖ by Michael F. Younker Adviser: Martin Hanna ABSTRACT OF GRADUATE STUDENT RESEARCHOF GRADUATE STUDENT RESEARCH

172 citations

BookDOI
23 Feb 2016
TL;DR: Sellars as discussed by the authors discusses the role of Stoicism in the Renaissance and the Reformation of the Italian Renaissance and discusses the influence of the Stoic Themes in Modern English Literature.
Abstract: Introduction John Sellars Part 1: Antiquity and the Middle Ages 1. Stoicism in Rome Gretchen Reydams-Schils 2. Stoicism in Early Christianity Troels Engberg-Pedersen 3. Plotinus and the Platonic Response to Stoicism Lloyd Gerson 4. Augustine's Debt to Stoicism in the Confessions Sarah Byers 5. Boethius and Stoicism Matthew Walz 6. Stoic Themes in Peter Abelard and John of Salisbury Kevin Guilfoy 7. Stoic Influences in the Later Middle Ages Mary Beth Ingham Part 2: Renaissance and Reformation 8. The Recovery of Stoicism in the Renaissance Ada Palmer 9. Stoicism in the Philosophy of the Italian Renaissance Jill Kraye 10. Erasmus, Calvin, and the Faces of Stoicism in Renaissance and Reformation Thought Barbara Pitkin 11. Justus Lipsius and Neostoicism Jacqueline Lagree 12. Shakespeare and Early Modern English Literature Andrew Shifflett Part 3: Early Modern Europe 13. Medicine of the Mind in Early Modern Philosophy Guido Giglioni 14. Stoic Themes in Early Modern French Thought Michael Moriarty 15. Spinoza and Stoicism Jon Miller 16. Leibniz and the Stoics: Fate, Freedom, and Providence David Forman 17. The Epicurean Stoicism of the French Enlightenment Edward Andrew 18. Stoicism and the Scottish Enlightenment Christian Maurer 19. Kant and Stoic Ethics Jose Torralba and Daniel Doyle Part 4: The Modern World 20. Stoicism in Nineteenth Century German Philosophy Michael Ure 21. Stoicism and Romantic Literature Simon Swift 22. Stoicism in Victorian Culture Heather Ellis 23. Stoicism in America Kenneth Sacks 24. Stoic Themes in Contemporary Anglo-American Ethics Christopher Gill 25. Stoicism and Twentieth Century French Philosophy Thomas Benatouil 26. The Stoic Influence on Modern Psychotherapy Donald Robertson. Index

123 citations

Jens Høyrup1
01 Jan 2017
TL;DR: In this article, the authors introduce a notion of the "price of production" which is mathematically equivalent to what Marx had developed on the foundation of the labour value theory in volume III of Das Kapital (published only in 1894 by Engels) when confronting the problem of real market prices.
Abstract: claims with real quantified laws). In order to solve this problem, one has to introduce a notion of the “price of production”, for which it holds true that producers will continue to supply the market with such goods that can be produced in unlimited quantity as long as the price they anticipate exceeds their price of production. Such a notion was introduced by Alfred Marshall in 1890 in his Principles of Economics [Marshall 1949]. As it turns out, Marshall’s determination of this price is mathematically equivalent to what Marx had developed on the foundation of the labour value theory in volume III of Das Kapital (published only in 1894 by Engels) when confronting the problem of real market prices (more precisely, the equilibrium prices toward around which real prices fluctuate – Marx’s thinking was dynamic, that of Marshall static). Ideology and political whitewashing were thus no longer the only determinants of the content and results of theory. Marshall’s general aim was still to prove that the prevailing economic system was optimal. He did so by combining arguments from mathematical curves with verbal exposition (shifting to the latter when the outcome of his mathematics threatened to make conflicts with his intended conclusion too glaring. But even Marshall was not the end point of the marginalist development. In 1933, Marshall’s most brilliant student Joan Robinson showed in her Economics of Imperfect competition (second edition [J. Robinson 1969]) that his methods and arguments when taken seriously lead to a conclusion that diverges strongly from what Marshall had believed. As she shows, an economy where each sector is dominated by a small number of agents (since decades the actual situation in the capitalist economy) will 1662 In one such case, Marshall [1949: 380 n.1] claims that “abstract reasonings [...] are apt to be misleading, not only in detail, but even in their general effect [...]. Some [...] follow their mathematics boldly, but apparently without noticing that their premises lead inevitably to the conclusion that, whatever firm first gets a good start will obtain a monopoly of the whole business of its trade in its district”. What made Marshall reject this conclusion was not that it was contradicted by empirical evidence; monopolization was indeed the unmistakeable trend since decades when Marshall wrote. The problem was that this “inevitable” conclusion following from “bold” use of Marshall’s mathematics not only contradicted his ideal picture but also eliminated the basis for many of his arguments. A brief postlude 1243 never operate optimally on global terms if each agent optimizes his behaviour according to his private interests. Beyond providing monopolists with conceptual tools that allow them to determine better than by instinct alone what their private interests ask for, Joan Robinson’s theory thus showed that the “invisible hand” is less beneficial than proclaimed by Jevons and Marshall. Though no full theory of the economic crisis that had broken out, Joan Robinson provided part of the explanation. The optimistic aspect of the moral is thus that even a mediocre contribution which gains undeserved prestige may, if only further work is done seriously and critically – that is, in agreement with the general norms for decent scientific work – become fruitful in the longer run. Done seriously and critically, scientific practice may then provide both functioning technical knowledge and such insights as can serve enlightenment purposes. (The pessimistic aspect is of course that may does not entail must.) One may like or dislike the uses to which the technical knowledge is put, but we must recognize that the production of applicable knowledge has been seen since the 17th century as one of the properties that characterizes valid science. Whoever does not welcome insights that can serve enlightenment purposes does not deserve the name of an intellectual.

92 citations

Book
05 Oct 2017
TL;DR: In this article, a collection of essays dealing with perceptions of wisdom, femaleness, and their interconnections in a wide range of ancient sources, including papyri, Nag Hammadi documents, heresiological accounts and monastic literature is presented.
Abstract: Women and Knowledge in Early Christianity offers a collection of essays that deal with perceptions of wisdom, femaleness, and their interconnections in a wide range of ancient sources, including papyri, Nag Hammadi documents, heresiological accounts and monastic literature.

85 citations