Ancient Greek Psychology and Modern Mind-Body Debate - download pdf or read online

By E. Ostenfeld

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NORM ORE It seems to have been assumed right up to the late thirteenth century that there had to be some such end simply given if activity was to be possible at all. The locus classicus for this discussion is a passage in Anselm's De casu diaboli in which he imagines that God has constructed a creature with everything required for a 'willing' (voluntas) except a willing itself. Anselm asks whether such a creature could will. Anselm's student replies that the creature could will if it wanted (vult) to.

Pico is thinking of a scale of beings, where humans can INTRODUCTION 27 choose whether to sink to the level of animal or rise to the heights of God. He clearly thinks that one may freely choose a lower goal with full awareness of higher alternatives. His point follows, thus, the line opened by Olivi and developed by Ockham, where the will can take anything as an end in itself, regardless of how good or bad it is considered to be. It is difficult to find any genuinely new systematic philosophical idea in Pico's text from the viewpoint offreedom of choice with respect to motivational psychology.

But immediately following we find: [A]lthough sometimes different things seem to be called goods through different things. For the horse which is called good because it is strong and the horse which is called good because it is swift seem to be called good through different things. For while it seems to be good through strength and good through swiftness, strength and swiftness do not seem to be the same thing. [But] in truth if the horse is good because it is strong or swift how is that that the strong and swift thief is bad?

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Ancient Greek Psychology and Modern Mind-Body Debate by E. Ostenfeld


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