PHIL 752

Ancient/Medieval Philosophy 1

Please note: this is archived course information from 2020 for PHIL 752.


One of the oldest of philosophical problems was first raised by Aristotle and has been debated intensively ever since. If we maintain that the claims we make about the future are true or false, then it seems to follow that what will happen is already determined. Aristotle argued that the world is not logically determined in this way and that one solution to the argument is that our claims about the future are neither true nor false. Medieval Christian philosophers could not accept this since they held that god is omniscient and that our history is the realisation of the divine providential plan. They were thus presented with the problem of explaining how divine foreknowledge and providence are compatible with the freedom of human action required to ground moral responsibility.

In this course we will consider the classical problem of logical determinism as formulated by Aristotle and the various ingenious solutions to it and to the arguments for theological determinism proposed by a number of medieval philosophers. The seminars will alternate between reading the work of ancient and medieval philosophers and the work of contemporary philosophers discussing the same issues.


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Availability 2020

Semester 2


Coordinator(s) Associate Professor Chris Martin


PHIL 752: 15 points