Causation and Creation in Late Antiquity

Causation and Creation in Late Antiquity

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Written by a group of leading scholars, this unique collection of essays investigates the views of both pagan and Christian philosophers on causation and the creation of the cosmos. Structured in two parts, the volume first looks at divine agency and how late antique thinkers, including the Stoics, Plotinus, Porphyry, Simplicius, Philoponus and Gregory of Nyssa, tackled questions such as: is the cosmos eternal? Did it come from nothing or from something pre-existing? How was it caused to come into existence? Is it material or immaterial? The second part looks at questions concerning human agency and responsibility, including the problem of evil and the nature of will, considering thinkers such as Plotinus, Porphyry, Proclus and Augustine. Highlighting some of the most important and interesting aspects of these philosophical debates, the volume will be of great interest to upper-level students and scholars of philosophy, classics, theology and ancient history.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 312 pages
  • 160 x 236 x 22mm | 600g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1107061539
  • 9781107061538
  • 1,817,305

Table of contents

Introduction Anna Marmodoro and Brian D. Prince; Part I. The Origin of the Cosmos: 1. Two early Stoic theories of cosmogony Ricardo Salles; 2. Plotinus' account of demiurgic causation and its philosophical background Riccardo Chiaradonna; 3. Creation and divine providence in Plotinus Christopher Isaac Noble and Nathan M. Powers; 4. Waiting for Philoponus Richard Sorabji; 5. Gregory of Nyssa on the creation of the world Anna Marmodoro; 6. Simplicius on elements and causes in Greek philosophy: critical appraisal or philosophical synthesis? Han Baltussen; Part II. The Origins of Human Agency: 7. Divine and human freedom: Plotinus' new understanding of creative agency Kevin Corrigan; 8. Consciousness and agency in Plotinus D. M. Hutchinson; 9. Neoplatonists on the causes of vegetative life James Wilberding; 10. Astrology and the will in Porphyry of Tyre Aaron P. Johnson; 11. Proclus on the ethics of self-constitution Michael Griffin; 12. Deficient causes: Augustine on creation and angels Gillian Clark; 13. Willed causes and causal willing in Augustine Mark Edwards; References; Index locorum; General index.
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Review quote

'A fascinating investigation by leading experts into the issues of creation and causation (including moral agency) in a selection of late antique philosophers, 'pagan' and Christian alike.' Ilaria Ramelli, Catholic University, Milan 'Causation and Creation in Late Antiquity contains uniformly excellent scholarly articles, collected around the related themes of the respective origins of the cosmos and of human action.' Matthew W. Knotts, Augustiniana
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About Anna Marmodoro

Anna Marmodoro is an Official Fellow in Philosophy at Corpus Christi College, University of Oxford. She is the author of Aristotle on Perceiving Objects (2014), and editor of a number of volumes including The Author's Voice in Classical and Late Antiquity (co-edited with Jonathan Hill, 2013) and The Metaphysics of Powers: Their Grounding and their Manifestations (2010). Brian D. Prince is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Oxford. He has published articles in journals including Apeiron: A Journal for Ancient Philosophy and Science and Plato: The Internet Journal of the International Plato Society.
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