Epicurus on Freedom

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Cambridge University Press, Jul 28, 2005 - History - 175 pages
In this book, Tim O'Keefe reconstructs the philosopher Epicurus' (341 271/0 BCE) theory of freedom. Epicurus' theory has attracted much interest, but our attempts to understand it have been hampered by reading it anachronistically as the discovery of the modern problem of free will and determinism. O'Keefe argues that the sort of freedom which Epicurus wanted to preserve is significantly different from the 'free will' which philosophers debate today, and that in its emphasis on rational action it has much closer affinities with Aristotle's thought than with current preoccupations.
 

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Contents

What sort of an incompatibilist is Epicurus?
10
Lucretius on the swerve and voluntas
26
Aristotle and Epicurus on the origins
48
Epicurus reductionist response
65
The swerve and collisions
110
The swerve and fate
123
Epicurus and the invention of libertarian free will
153
Some texts
163
Index
174
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Tim O'Keefe is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Georgia State University. Since 2001 he has been the Ancient Philosophy Area Editor for the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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