By Michael Frede
The place does the suggestion of loose will come from? How and while did it enhance, and what did that improvement contain? In Michael Frede's appreciably new account of the heritage of this concept, the thought of a loose will emerged from robust assumptions concerning the relation among divine windfall, correctness of person selection, and self-enslavement as a result of flawed 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 exhibits that Augustine, faraway from originating the belief (as is usually claimed), derived so much of his wondering it from the Stoicism built via Epictetus.
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Additional info for A Free Will: Origins of the Notion in Ancient Thought (Sather Classical Lectures)
But, given that, it is also easy to see why the impressions even of the same object will differ among different people, reﬂecting the difference between different minds. This is bound to be the case, for instance, because not all people have precisely the same concepts or the same habits of thinking about things, the same experiences, or the same beliefs. So it is perfectly true that an impression is something which we ﬁnd ourselves with. But it is by no means true that we are completely innocent of the particular details of the impressions we individually form.
So long as one acts wisely, one lives a life of (for us) unimaginable satisfaction and bliss, whatever may happen to one, whether one gets tortured or maimed or killed. The wise person will normally be concerned to avoid such things, but, if they do happen, they will make no difference to him, as he is just concerned to act wisely, by giving assent when appropriate and refusing assent when inappropriate. So the whole focus of one’s life now is on one’s inner life. And there is a further factor which reinforces this focus, namely, the assumption that the course of the world outside is predetermined.
But they have developed this notion of the mind in opposition to Plato’s and Aristotle’s notion of the mind, or rather of the soul. Second, we should reassure ourselves that we have understood not only that Aristotle does not have a notion of a free will but also why he does not have a notion of a free will. Third, there will come a time in late antiquity when Aristotle is studied again with great care by philosophers and when at least some of his writings are recommended, if not required, reading for any highly educated person.
A Free Will: Origins of the Notion in Ancient Thought (Sather Classical Lectures) by Michael Frede