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Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie

Ed. by Horn, Christoph / Serck-Hanssen, Camilla

Together with Mercer, Christia

4 Issues per year

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Reductionism, Rationality and Responsibility: A Discussion of Tim O'Keefe, Epicurus on Freedom

Catherine Atherton1

1

Citation Information: Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie. Volume 89, Issue 2, Pages 192–230, ISSN (Online) 1613-0650, ISSN (Print) 0003-9101, DOI: 10.1515/AGPH.2007.009, December 2007

Publication History

Published Online:
2007-12-04

Abstract

O'Keefe's contention that Epicurus devised the atomic swerve to counter a threat to the efficacy of reason posed by the thesis that the future is fixed regardless of what we do, is not supported by the evidence he adduces. Epicurus' own words in On nature XXV, and testimony from Lucretius and Cicero, tell far more strongly in favour of the traditional view, that Epicurus' concerns were causal determinism and its threat to moral responsiblity for our actions and characters.

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