A free will : origins of the notion in ancient thought by Michæl Frede, A. A. Long, David Sedley

By Michæl Frede, A. A. Long, David Sedley

Where does the proposal of unfastened will come from? How and whilst did it boost, and what did that improvement contain? In Michael Frede's significantly new account of the background of this concept, the proposal of a loose will emerged from robust assumptions in regards to the relation among divine windfall, correctness of person selection, and self-enslavement because of unsuitable selection. Anchoring his dialogue in Stoicism, Frede starts off with Aristotle--who, he argues, had no concept of a loose will--and ends with Augustine. Frede indicates that Augustine, faraway from originating the assumption (as is usually claimed), derived so much of his considering it from the Stoicism built via Epictetus.

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Rather, I am interested, as I said at the outset, in trying to find out when and why a notion of a free will arose in the first place and what notion this was. I will then try to trace the history of this notion to see whether and how it changed in the course of the discussions to which it gave rise in antiquity. In this way, I hope, we shall also be able to identify the ancestor of Dihle's favored notion of a free will or, for that matter, the ancestors of any later notion of a free will. It is in this sense that I plan to talk about the origins of the notion of a free will.

Sather classical lectures ; v. 68) “An edited version of the six lectures Michael Frede delivered as the 84th Sather Professor of Classical Literature at the University of California, Berkeley, in the Fall semester of 1997/98”—Pref. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-0-520-26848-7 (cloth : alk. paper) 1. Free will and determinism—History. 2. Philosophy, Ancient I. Long, A. A. II. Title. F7F74 2011 1237'·5093—dc22 2010020858 Manufactured in the United States of America 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 This book is printed on Cascades Enviro 100, a 100% post consumer waste, recycled, de-inked fiber.

One may be hungry, no matter what one thinks or believes. One may be hungry, even though one believes that it would not be a good thing at all to have something to eat. One might be right in believing this. Hence a nonrational desire may be a reasonable or an unreasonable desire. Similarly, though, it might be quite unreasonable for one to believe that it would be a good thing to have something to eat. Hence a desire of reason too might be a reasonable or an unreasonable desire. Therefore the distinction between reasonable and unreasonable desires is not the same as the distinction between desires of reason, or rational desires, and desires of the nonrational part of the soul, or nonrational desires.

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