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Fate, Freedom, and Happiness

Clement and Alexander on the Dignity of Human Responsibility


In what particular manner human beings are free moral agents and to what extent they can reasonably expect to attain a good life are two intertwined questions that rose to prominence in antiquity and have remained so to the present day. This book analyzes and compares the approaches of two significant authors from different schools at the turn of the third century CE, Alexander of Aphrodisias and Clement of Alexandria. These contemporaries utilize their respective Peripatetic and Christian commitments in their employment of the shared Greek classics toward these shared ethical questions.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-4632-3928-2
  • *
Publication Status: In Print
Publication Date: Aug 13,2019
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 334
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-4632-3928-2
$149.50
Your price: $104.65

In what way are we humans controlled by fate or free to make our own choices, and to what extent can we reasonably expect to attain a good life? These intertwined questions rose to prominence in antiquity and have remained puzzling to the present day. This book analyzes and compares the approaches of two significant authors from different schools at the turn of the third century CE, Alexander of Aphrodisias and Clement of Alexandria. These contemporaries utilize their respective Peripatetic and Christian commitments in their employment of the shared Greek classics toward these shared ethical questions. This comparative analysis reveals a common concern for safeguarding concepts of responsibility, human dignity and cosmic justice in both philosophical traditions. To this end, these authors each developed a novel model of indeterminist free will marking a distinct trajectory for later Greek thought.

REVIEWS

"Is the concept of free will a result of Christian reflection, or does it emerge from pre-Christian or non-Christian philosophy?...The present monograph is fascinating. It excels in providing a concise and well-researched overview of the various philosophical accounts and conceptions of free will in the first three centuries. More important, it clearly and precisely identifies and explains the consequences that flow from these various philosophical concerns. Researchers and students will benefit from this book. Robinson manages to compare two philosophical models convincingly and clearly and to draw meaningful conclusions."
-- Excerpt from Frédérique Dantonel, Berlin/Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, RBL 10/21

In what way are we humans controlled by fate or free to make our own choices, and to what extent can we reasonably expect to attain a good life? These intertwined questions rose to prominence in antiquity and have remained puzzling to the present day. This book analyzes and compares the approaches of two significant authors from different schools at the turn of the third century CE, Alexander of Aphrodisias and Clement of Alexandria. These contemporaries utilize their respective Peripatetic and Christian commitments in their employment of the shared Greek classics toward these shared ethical questions. This comparative analysis reveals a common concern for safeguarding concepts of responsibility, human dignity and cosmic justice in both philosophical traditions. To this end, these authors each developed a novel model of indeterminist free will marking a distinct trajectory for later Greek thought.

REVIEWS

"Is the concept of free will a result of Christian reflection, or does it emerge from pre-Christian or non-Christian philosophy?...The present monograph is fascinating. It excels in providing a concise and well-researched overview of the various philosophical accounts and conceptions of free will in the first three centuries. More important, it clearly and precisely identifies and explains the consequences that flow from these various philosophical concerns. Researchers and students will benefit from this book. Robinson manages to compare two philosophical models convincingly and clearly and to draw meaningful conclusions."
-- Excerpt from Frédérique Dantonel, Berlin/Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, RBL 10/21
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ContributorBiography

Daniel Robinson

Daniel Robinson is a lecturer in Ancient History at California State University East Bay and has taught occasional courses on Eastern Christian philosophy at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley and the Pappas Patristics Institute of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. He is also an invited lecturer at local church events including the Lenten Lecture Series at the Greek Orthodox Ascension Cathedral of Oakland, CA. His scholarship and teaching follow the trajectory of Greek ethics from the Hellenistic period into the Christian era.

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