Download Agency and Integrality: Philosophical Themes in the Ancient by Michael J. White (auth.), Michael J. White (eds.) PDF

By Michael J. White (auth.), Michael J. White (eds.)

It isn't very amazing that it used to be no much less precise in antiquity than it's this present day that grownup humans are held to be accountable for so much in their activities. certainly, almost all cultures in all historic sessions appear to have had a few perception of human supplier which, within the absence of sure responsibility-defeating stipulations, involves such accountability. Few philosophers have had the temerity to take care of that this entailment is trivial simply because such responsibility-defeating stipulations are regularly current. one other now not very stunning truth is that historic thinkers tended to ascribe integrality to "what is" (to on). that's, they generally appeared "what is" as a cosmos or complete with distinguishable components that healthy jointly in a few coherent or cohesive demeanour, instead of both as a "unity" with out components or as a suite containing contributors (ta onta or "things that are") status in no "natural" kinfolk to each other. 1 The philoso­ phical challenge of determinism and accountability might, i feel, top be characterised as follows: it's the challenge of maintaining the phenomenon of human employer (which would appear to require a undeniable separateness of person people from the remainder of the cosmos) while one units in regards to the philosophical or medical activity of explaining the integrality of "what is" by way of the improvement of a concept of causation or clarification ( options that got here to be lumped jointly via the Greeks less than the time period "aitia") .

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Extra info for Agency and Integrality: Philosophical Themes in the Ancient Discussions of Determinism and Responsibility

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Yet, as we have seen, the "rationalistic" conception of necessitation or conditional/hypothetical necessity is not Aristotle's only conception. There is also his "proto-empiricist," temporal-frequency conception: B is conditionally necessary, given A, if whenever A obtains, so does B or, equivalently, if it is never the case that A obtains without B's also obtaining. If, in terms of his "rationalistic" syllogistic-implication model of conditional necessity, Aristotle has some basis for his claim that accidental causes do not stand in a relation of conditional necessity to their effects, does he also have grounds for the analogous 'Claim in terms of his "empiricist" model of conditional necessity?

And this was not due to the fact that he frequented the place often or of necessity. Nor is the end effected, the recovery [of the money], a cause present in the individual- it belongs to the class of things that are chosen and the result of thought. , when the foregoing conditions are satisfied] said to have gone there "by chance" (apo tuches) .... It is the case that what occurs by chance occurs accidentally, and chance is a cause considered as an accident. , without qualification] of anything (kata symbebekos gar gignetai, kai estin aition has symbebekos; he tuche has d'haplas oudenos).

For example, the capacity of a cow for moving about is also the capacity for refraining from moving about. However, it seems Aristotle holds that rational potentialities do not necessitate their effects even relative to certain types of causal contexts. In the passage from Meta. 5 previously quoted, he appears to be considering potentialities qua actualized in a given type of causal context. 93 So the upshot seems to be that Aristotle holds, that at least with respect to things possessing rational THE LEGACY OF ARISTOTLE 41 potencies, there is genuine indeterminacy: in the case of such a potency, its actualization, even in a fully specified set of attendant circumstances or causal context, will not always result in the same effect.

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