By Michael J. White (auth.), Michael J. White (eds.)
It isn't amazing that it used to be no much less precise in antiquity than it truly is this day that grownup people are held to be liable for so much in their activities. certainly, almost all cultures in all old sessions appear to have had a few notion of human supplier which, within the absence of sure responsibility-defeating stipulations, includes such accountability. Few philosophers have had the temerity to keep up that this entailment is trivial simply because such responsibility-defeating stipulations are regularly current. one other now not very astonishing truth is that historic thinkers tended to ascribe integrality to "what is" (to on). that's, they often seemed "what is" as a cosmos or entire with distinguishable elements 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" relatives to each other. 1 The philoso phical challenge of determinism and accountability may possibly, i believe, most sensible be characterised as follows: it's the challenge of conserving the phenomenon of human organization (which would appear to require a definite separateness of person people from the remainder of the cosmos) while one units concerning the philosophical or medical job of explaining the integrality of "what is" by way of the advance of a conception of causation or clarification ( thoughts that got here to be lumped jointly by means of the Greeks below the time period "aitia") .
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Additional info for Agency and Integrality: Philosophical Themes in the Ancient Discussions of Determinism and Responsibility
The narrower version locates indeterminacy solely in those things possessing "rational potencies" (dynameis meta logou). A broader version admits indeterminacy elsewhere in nature, as well, locating it in the "instability" of matter. (i) Indeterminacy solely with respect to "what is up to us" (to eph' hemin). , the capacity both of doing X and of refraining from doing X (or doing the "contradictory" of X) especially in rational beings. A particularly relevant passage occurs in Meta. 5: since that which is capable is capable of something at some time and in some w~y, and with respect to whatever other qualifications it is necessary to add to the definition, and since some things are capable of changing in conformity to a rational formula (meta logou) and their potentialities involve such a formula, while other things are non-rational and their potencies are non-rational, it is necessary that the former potencies be in an animate thing, while the latter may be in both [the animate and the inanimate].
He adds that the problem offatalism has "nothing to do with cause and effect; it has to do instead with true and false. "72 I extend the term to include the view that from the omniscience alone of some omniscient being, it follows that all true propositions are necessary (again, in the sense of necessity of unpreventability), all false ones impossible in the analogous sense. Although this extension of the term is perhaps not standard, I believe that it is justified by the fact that many of the "standard" classical (and contemporary) arguments invoked in support of both these views are instances of the modal fallacy of the inferrence of necessitas consequentis from necessitas consequentiae (or "Sleigh's fallacy," as it is often called in contemporary analytic philosophical circles).
Demonst. - If they have nothing mutually in common with one another, they cannot (Ax. 5) through one another be mutually understood, and therefore (Ax. 'H Aristotle's temporal-frequency conception of conditional necessity represents a different, usually competing conception of causation characterized by J. H. Randall, Jr. as "an inherent, nonrelation 'power' or 'force' to produce certain effects that are observable. "7~ This conception of causation, although often denominated as "empiricist," is certainly not confined to the thought of the classical Modern empiricists.