Article

The Ancient Greeks

Sarah Broadie

in The Oxford Handbook of Causation

Published in print November 2009 | ISBN: 9780199279739
Published online January 2010 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199279739.003.0002

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

The Ancient Greeks

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There are various motives for refining the notion of cause. Aristotle's was an interest in providing the most informative and illuminating method of explaining the central natural phenomena of his universe. A different sort of motive is created by problems of free will and responsibility, of which readers may have been reminded by the reference to indeterminism. The thought that our free and responsible behaviour is caused by factors over which we have no control has often seemed impossible to accept and impossible to reject. The challenge then is to refine the notion of cause either so that the thought becomes more acceptable or so that it becomes more rejectable.

Keywords: notion of cause; Aristotle; ancient Greeks; indeterminism; responsible behaviour; free will

Article.  9326 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Metaphysics ; Classical Philosophy

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