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The Western tradition of philosophy began in Greece with a cluster of thinkers often called the Presocratics, whose influence has been incalculable. They include the early Ionian cosmologists, Pythagoras, Heraclitus, the Eleatics (Parmenides, Melissus, and Zeno), Empedocles, Anaxagoras, the atomists and the sophists. All these thinkers are discussed in this 1999 volume both as individuals and collectively in chapters on rational theology, epistemology, psychology, rhetoric and relativism, justice, and poetics. A chapter on causality extends the focus to include historians and medical writers.
Where does the notion of free will come from? How and when did it develop, and what did that development involve? In Michael Frede's radically new account of the history of this idea, the notion of a free will emerged from powerful assumptions about the relation between divine providence, correctness of individual choice, and self-enslavement due to incorrect choice. Anchoring his discussion in Stoicism, Frede begins with Aristotle--who, he argues, had no notion of a free will--and ends with Augustine. Frede shows that Augustine, far from originating the idea (as is often claimed), derived most of his thinking about it from the Stoicism developed by Epictetus.
The Hellenistic Philosophers, Volume 1: Translations of the Principal Sources, with Philosophical Commentaryby D. N. Sedley A. A. Long
Volume I presents the texts in new translations by the authors, and these are accompanied by a philosophical and historical commentary designed for use by all readers, including those with no background in the classical world. With its glossary and indexes, this volume can stand alone as an independent tool of study.
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