Alexander of Aphrodisias was a Peripatetic philosopher and the most celebrated of the Ancient Alexander’s dedication of On Fate to Septimius Severus and Caracalla, in gratitude for his position at Athens, indicates a date between and. Alexander of Aphrodisias’ Ethical Problems R. W. Sharples (Tr.): Alexander of Aphrodisias, Ethical Problems. (Ancient Commentators on Aristotle.) Pp. Alexander of Aphrodisias on Fate: Text, Translation, and Commentary. Alexander (ed.) Alexander of Aphrodisias in Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy.

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The problem aphroxisias free will, human responsibility, and determinism is one that has fascinated philosophers and laymen alike from antiquity to the present day, and which is far from settled yet. A full bibliography will be posted on Blackboard. Alexander also presents, albeit in a dialectical fashion intended to lead to the defeat of the Stoic tenets, the arguments used by the Stoics in their defense of contingency, chance, and human responsibility.

Alexqnder is it not absurd to say that the causes and the sequence and successive connection of them extend to infinity, so that there is nothing alexandee is first or last? Lynch, Aristotle’s SchoolBerkeley,p. He is reading Aristotle as denying the Leucippean necessity.

For as motions and times have some cause indeed, though the cause of a motion is not the previous motion nor of a time the previous time, so it is with the things that come to be in them and through them.

For we see alexanedr not all the things which succeed one another in time come to be because of those which have come to be earlier and before them.

The intellectual level of these discussions is uneven and the titles oon the treatises are sometimes misleading. In his emphasis on a naturalist point of view he appears remarkably free from the increasingly spiritualistic and mystical tendencies of his own time.

Alexander of Lycopolis – – Brill. Though its long, and at times inelegant, passages do not make for easy reading, this alexader no doubt the essay that is most interesting for a general public cf.

Of the commentaries, the following are extant: Well then, they say that this universe, which is one and contains in itself all that exists, and is organised by a Nature which is alive, rational and intelligent, possesses the organisation of the things that are, which is eternal and progresses according to a certain sequence and order; the things which come to be first are causes for those after them, and aphtodisias this way all things are bound together with one another. And knowledge too would be done away with by this argument, if knowledge in the proper sense is acquaintance with the first causes, but according to them there is no first aphrodisiass among causes.


Metaphysics, Soul, and Aohrodisias New findings on seven hundred years of the ancient commentatorsLondon: The finding of treasure by someone who was digging in order to plant has the digging as a cause, indeed, but it is not [a cause] proper to it and did not come to be on account of it.

Alexander of Aphrodisias, On Time. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Alexander of Aphrodisias on Fate: Alexander Of Aphrodisias: Bristol Classical Press

While his presentation is not free from repetition and while the order of the arguments leaves something to be desired, it is an interesting text that displays a lively engagement with the issues and quite some philosophical sophistication. But if this is true, when the next day arrives the proposition that ‘a sea-battle came to be of necessity’ will be true; and if of necessity, not contingently. So if one argues in this way it follows that one both says that nothing comes to be without a cause and preserves the coming-to-be of some things as a result of luck and fortuitously, and the existence of what depends on us and aphrodissias contingent, in the realm of facts and not just as expressions.

IXEpicurus, and the Stoics. You can unsubscribe from newsletters at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in any newsletter. It is unclear when and by whom these collections were put together. For the continuity of the things that come to be has a cause, and it is on account of this that the universe is one and eternal, always organised in one and the same way; aphtodisias one should look for this and not leave the cause aside.

Given the amount and scope of his writing he must have been an active teacher with a flourishing school.

Alexander of Aphrodisias

It is unclear whether there had been a genuinely Peripatetic contribution to this debate before Alexander. University of California Press D. In other projects Wikimedia Commons. Nothing comes to be in the universe in such a way that there is not something else which follows it with no alternative and is attached to it as to a cause; nor, on the other hand, can any of the things which come to be subsequently be disconnected from the things which have come to be previously, so as aphrdisias to follow some one of them as if bound to it.


His Problems and Solutions Quaestionesin three books, are collections of short essays, which were apparently grouped together in different books already in antiquity. Commentaria in Aristotelem Graeca: Though the dedication to the emperors tells us that Alexander was appointed to a chair in philosophy, there is not sufficient evidence as to whether, as is often asserted, he obtained one of the four chairs, representing the four traditional schools, established in Athens by Marcus Aurelius in CE.

Sharples translation [The Stoics] say that this universe, which is one and contains in itself all that exists, and is organised by a Nature which is alive, rational and intelligent, possesses the organisation of the things that are, which is eternal and progresses according to a certain sequence and order; the things which come to be first are causes for those after them, and in this way all things are bound together with one another.


The resit will consists of one examination, a paper. Classics and Ancient Civilizations research: He argues that truly free action requires that at the time one acts, it is open to one both to do and not to do what one does in fact then do.

It was thought by many to demonstrate the necessity of fate. The Hellenistic background also explains the fact that Alexander pays special attention to logical and physical distinctions in connection with ethical problems.

And they say that for something to come to be without a cause is similar to, and as impossible as, the coming to be of something from what is not. Unfortunately, Alexander does not see that the role of chance is merely to generate these possibilities, creating new causal chains which can be evaluated for the best choice of action.

But certain indications of critical attacks on his contemporary Galen — CE suggest that he was engaged in controversy with other contemporaries as well.

His native city was probably the Aphrodisias in Caria, an inland city of southwestern Asia Minor.

He defended a view of moral responsibility we would call libertarianism today. Causation and the unity of the universe. Mirror Sites Alexanderr this site from another server: There are also mere paraphrases or summaries of certain texts, collections of arguments for a certain position, and sketches of larger projects that were never worked out.

De FatoXV, From these points it is obvious to those who want to see the truth and are able [to do so] that, just as not all that has potential exercises it, so not everything that might become a cause either aphrodisis already a cause or has become one or will become one; indeed, it is not the case apyrodisias everything that has come to be is at once, in virtue of its being, already the cause of something that will be in the future.

Alexander as philosopher As a philosopher, Alexander presents in his writings an Aristotelian point of view that apjrodisias in many ways the conditions of his own time, on questions that were not or not extensively discussed by Aristotle himself.