By Michæl Frede, A. A. Long, David Sedley
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Proclus' remark on Plato's discussion Timaeus is arguably an important remark on a textual content of Plato, providing unprecedented insights into 8 centuries of Platonic interpretation. This 2007 version provided the 1st new English translation of the paintings for almost centuries, construction on major advances in scholarship on Neoplatonic commentators.
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This can be essentially the most fascinating of all post-Aristotelian Greek philosophical texts, written at an important second within the defeat of paganism by means of Christianity, advert 529, while the Emperor Justinian closed the pagan Neoplatonist college in Athens. Philoponus in Alexandria was once a super Christian thinker, steeped in Neoplatonism, who grew to become the pagans' principles opposed to them.
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Additional info for A Free Will: Origins of the Notion in Ancient Thought
We 18 / Introduction may decide to cross the street but be run over as we try to do so. We may decide to raise our arm, but the arm does not rise. The doctrine of a free will is certainly not a doctrine to explain how we manage to raise our arm or cross the street. 13 At least for Stoics, Christians, and, to a lesser degree, Platonists, there is also divine providence, which already has settled ab initio whether what we decide to do ﬁts into its plan for the best possible world and hence will be allowed to come to fruition.
They certainly are not a hindrance to our life. This bright view of the world with plenty of space for free action should not delude us into thinking that we have, according to Aristotle, much of a choice in doing what we are doing. Let us look at Aristotelian choice again. We can choose to do Aristotle on Choice without a Will / 29 something, if it is up to us to do it or not to do it. This notion of something’s being up to us will play a crucial role in all later ancient thought. And it will often be interpreted in such a way that, if something is up to us, we have a choice to do it or not to do it.
It is the product of a complete transformation of our innate and nonrational soul into a rational soul, a reason or a mind. This transformation also turns the nonrational desires, with which we grew up and which motivated us as children, into desires of reason. Once we are rational beings, there are no nonrational desires left. They have all become something quite different. To say that these nonrational desires have become something quite different in becoming desires of reason is to acknowledge that there is some continuity.