Fate, Providence and Moral Responsibility in Ancient, Medieval and Early Modern Thought

Studies in Honour of Carlos Steel

Edited by Pieter D'hoine and Gerd Van Riel

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Essays on key moments in the intellectual history of the West.

This book forms a major contribution to the discussion on fate, providence and moral responsibility in Antiquity, the Middle Ages and Early Modern times. Through 37 original papers, renowned scholars from many different countries, as well as a number of young and promising researchers, write the history of the philosophical problems of freedom and determinism since its origins in pre-socratic philosophy up to the seventeenth century. The main focus points are classic Antiquity (Plato and Aristotle), the Neoplatonic synthesis of late Antiquity (Plotinus, Proclus, Simplicius), and thirteenth-century scholasticism (Thomas Aquinas, Henry of Ghent). They do not only represent key moments in the intellectual history of the West, but are also the central figures and periods to which Carlos Steel, the dedicatary of this volume, has devoted his philosophical career.

This publication is GPRC-labeled (Guaranteed Peer Reviewed Content).

Contributors: Lambros Couloubaritsis (Université Libre de Bruxelles), Pierre Destrée (FNRS/Université Catholique de Louvain), Sylvain Delcomminette (Université Libre de Bruxelles), John Dudley (KU Leuven), Jörn Müller (Universität Würzburg), Frans De Haas (Leiden University), Keimpe Algra (Utrecht University), Jan Opsomer (KU Leuven), Luc Brisson (CNRS, UPR 76, Paris), Riccardo Chiaradonna (Università di Roma Tre), Alessandro Linguiti (Università di Siena), John Dillon (Trinity College Dublin), Bert van den Berg (Leiden University), Christoph Helmig (Universität zu Köln), Antonio L.C. Vargas (Humboldt Universität Berlin), Danielle A. Layne (Georgia Southern University), Alain Lernould (CNRS, Lille III), Geert Roskam (KU Leuven), Gary Gabor (Hamline University), Claudio Moreschini (Università di Pisa), Caroline Macé (KU Leuven), Michele Trizio (Università degli Studi di Bari Aldo Moro), Peter Van Deun (KU Leuven), Erika Gielen (KU Leuven), Daniel De Smet (CNRS, UMR 8584, Paris), Jules Janssens (KU Leuven), Richard Taylor (Marquette University), Wu Tianyue (Beijing University), Valérie Cordonier (CNRS, Laboratoire SPHERE, UMR 7217), Andreas Speer (Universität zu Köln), Rudi Te Velde (Tilburg University), Pasquale Porro (Università degli Studi di Bari Aldo Moro), Marialucrezia Leone (KU Leuven), Gordon Wilson (University of North Carolina, Asheville), Jean-Michel Counet (Université Catholique de Louvain), Kent Emery, jr (University of Notre Dame), Demmy Verbeke (KU Leuven), Filips Defoort (KU Leuven), and Guy Guldentops (Thomas Institut, Köln)
Gerd Van Riel (KU Leuven) & Pieter d’Hoine (KU Leuven): Fate, Providence and Moral Responsibility. An Introduction

Part 1: Plato and Aristotle
1. Lambros Couloubaritsis (Université Libre de Bruxelles): Émergence de la thématique de la providence divine de Diogène d’Apollonie à Platon
2. Pierre Destrée (FNRS/Université catholique de Louvain): Comment être responsable de son destin ? Platon et le mythe d’Er
3. Sylvain Delcomminette (Université Libre de Bruxelles): Liberté et caractère dans le mythe d’Er
4. John Dudley (KU Leuven): The Fate of Providence and Plato’s World Soul in Aristotle
5. Jörn Müller (Universität Würzburg): Was Aristotle an Ethical Determinist? Reflections on His Theory of Action and Voluntariness

Part 2: Hellenistic and Early Imperial Philosophy 
6. Frans A.J. de Haas (Leiden University): Presuppositions of Moral Action in Aristotle and Alexander of Aphrodisias
7. Keimpe Algra (Utrecht University): Plutarch and the Stoic Theory of Providence
8. Jan Opsomer (KU Leuven): The Middle Platonic Doctrine of Conditional Fate

Part 3: Plotinus
9. Luc Brisson (CNRS, Paris/Villejuif): The Question of Evil in the World in Plotinus
10. Riccardo Chiaradonna (Università ‘Roma Tre’): Plotinus’ Metaphorical Reading of the Timaeus: Soul, Mathematics, Providence
11. Alessandro Linguiti (Università di Siena): Choice, Self-Determination and Assimilation to God in Plotinus

Part 4: The Neoplatonic Commentators
12. John Dillon (Trinity College Dublin): Signs and Tokens: Do the Gods of Neoplatonism Really Care?
13. Robbert M. van den Berg (Leiden University): A Problem concerning Providence: Proclus and Plutarch on Inherited Guilt and Postponed Punishment
14. Christoph Helmig (Universität zu Köln) & Antonio L.C. Vargas (HU Berlin/Princeton): Ascent of the Soul and Grades of Freedom. Neoplatonic Theurgy between Ritual and Philosophy
15. Danielle A. Layne (Georgia Southern University): A Fatal or Providential Affair? Socrates and Alcibiades in Proclus’ Commentary on the Alcibiades I
16. Alain Lernould (CNRS, Lille III): Le cycle triadique de la causalité démiurgique : Bonté, Vouloir, Providence. L’interprétation proclienne de Timée 29e1-30c2
17. Geert Roskam (KU Leuven): Hermias of Alexandria on Socrates’ Divine Sign
18. Gary Gabor (Hamline University): When Should a Philosopher Consult Divination? Epictetus and Simplicius on Fate and What Is Up to Us

Part 5: Greek Patristics and the Byzantine Tradition 341
19. Claudio Moreschini (Università degli Studi di Pisa): Goodness, Evil and the Free Will of Man in Gregory of Nyssa
20. Caroline Macé (KU Leuven): Édition d’un fragment Contre les astronomes, contenant une contribution à la théorie des quatre humeurs et des tempéraments
21. Michele Trizio (Università degli Studi di Bari Aldo Moro): A Late Antique Debate on Matter-Evil Revisited in 11th-Century Byzantium: John Italos and His Quaestio 92
22. Peter Van Deun (KU Leuven) & Erika Gielen (KU Leuven): The Metochion, Holy Sepulchre 363 Manuscript and an Unpublished Byzantine Opuscule on Predetermination

Part 6: The Arabic Tradition
23. Daniel De Smet (CNRS, Paris): La Providence selon le “Livre de la réprimande adressée de l’âme” attribué à Hermès Trismégiste. Un document néoplatonicien arabe oublié
24. Jules Janssens (KU Leuven): What about Providence in the Best of All Possible Worlds? Avicenna and Leibniz
25. Richard Taylor (Marquette University/KU Leuven): Providence in Averroes

Part 7: The Medieval Latin Tradition
26. Tianyue Wu (Peking University): Are First Movements Venial Sins? Augustinian Doctrine and Aquinas’s Reinterpretation
27. Valérie Cordonier (CNRS, UMR 7219/Université Paris Diderot/KU Leuven): La doctrine aristotélicienne de la providence divine selon Thomas d’Aquin
28. Andreas Speer (Universität zu Köln): Divine Government and Human Freedom
29. Rudi te Velde (Tilburg University): Thomas Aquinas on Providence, Contingency and the Usefulness of Prayer
30. Pasquale Porro (Università degli Studi di Bari Aldo Moro/Université Paris-Sorbonne): Divine Predestination, Human Merit and Moral Responsibility. The Reception of Augustine’s Doctrine of Irresistible Grace in Thomas Aquinas, Henry of Ghent and John Duns Scotus
31. Marialucrezia Leone (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin): Henry of Ghent and the Ethics of Intention
32. Gordon Wilson (University of North Carolina, Asheville): Henry of Ghent on Fatalism and Naturalism 591
33. Jean-Michel Counet (Université catholique de Louvain): Voir la Providence. Autour du De Visione Dei de Nicolas de Cues
34. Kent Emery, jr (University of Notre Dame): Fate, Providence and Predestination in the Sapiential Project of Denys the Carthusian

Part 8: Early Modern Thought
35. Demmy Verbeke (KU Leuven): Human Nature and Moral Responsibility in the Work of Juan Luis Vives
36. Guy Guldentops (Thomas Institut, Köln): L’anti-fatalisme de Julius Sirenius
37. Filips Defoort (KU Leuven): Jacob Boehme (1575-1624) on Predestination, Providence and Free Will

Bibliography
1. Editions and Translations
2. Studies
Indices
1. Index of Primary Sources
2. Index of Secondary Authorities

Format: Edited volume - ebook

ISBN: 9789461661456

Publication: March 5, 2014

Series: Ancient and Medieval Philosophy - Series 1 49

Languages: English

Gerd Van Riel is Professor of Ancient Philosophy at the KU Leuven Institute of Philosophy. His main research areas are Plato and the Platonic tradition, especially later Neoplatonism (Proclus, Damascius), and saint Augustine.
Pieter d'Hoine is docent antieke wijsbegeerte en intellectuele geschiedenis aan het Hoger Instituut voor Wijsbegeerte van de KU Leuven. Hij is mee verantwoordelijk voor de ‘Lessen voor de eenentwintigste eeuw'. Pieter d’Hoine is Assistant Professor of Ancient Philosophy and Intellectual History at the Institute of Philosophy, KU Leuven.

This is an expansive, multifaceted collection of thirty-seven scientific essays in French and English in honor of Carlos Steel at the occasion of his retirement. The thematic unity of this volume is particularly strong, especially for a Festschrift. The editors trace the broad development of fate and providence from Plato and Aristotle to the notions of moral responsibility as they appear in early modern thought, although the bulk of the articles treat classical and medieval thinkers. The articles cohere as they focus, in part, on philosophical debates on providence from the 5th century BCE to the 17th century CE, particularly with respect to changing views on the role human nature plays in the question of moral responsibility. This focus on providence allows the reader to see how the tension between fate and moral responsibility undergoes transformation. The topic of providence, then, was a wise choice as it allows for a wide range of articles, thus, illustrating the breadth of Steel's own scholarship in antique, late antique, medieval, and early modern philosophy.
Sarah Klitenic Wear, The International Journal of the Platonic Tradition 10 (2016) 109-150


 

The book is a well-arranged collection of papers, many of which were delivered at a conference in November 2010 to mark the occasion of Carlos Steel's retirement. [...] To sum up, unlike many Festschriften, the volume is very well organized thematically. It also contains an extensive bibliography and two indices, of ancient and modern authors.
Reviewed by Peter Lautner, Pázmány Péter Catholic University, BMCR 2015.02.30