In this 2005 book, Tim O'Keefe reconstructs the theory of freedom of the ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus (341-271/0 BCE). 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. His original and provocative book will be of interest to a wide range of readers in Hellenistic philosophy.
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Number of pages: 188
Weight: 280 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 11 mm
'The book makes an important contribution to scholarship and deserves to be read carefully by all who work in this field.' British Journal of the History of Philosophy
'... a benchmark for everyone who wants to become familiar with the arguments and wants to develop them further. It is bound to play a fundamental role in current debates about the problem of free will and determinism in Epicurean philosophy.' Rhizai
"O'Keefe is a helpful and masterful guide through the complex philosophical issues and fragmentary pieces of evidence relevant to Epicurus, determinism, and the swerve."
Mi-Kyoung Lee, Journal of the History of Moral Philosophy