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BOOK REVIEWS 56~ Readers may also be frustrated by the near absence of scholarly apparatus or misled by its absence. For instance, in the fourth chapter and in the appendix, Lloyd presents material from the Quaestiones et solutiones without making it clear that the authorship of this work is disputed and that one cannot simply assume that a position found there is that of Alexander of Aphrodisias. The book is of value because Lloyd takes a look at Aristotle's theory of universals from a fresh perspective and he gives a comprehensive account of form, universal and thought in the Aristotelian corpus. The discussion is instructive in revealing some of the pitfalls that await a philosopher who attempts such an ambitious undertaking. D. K. Modrak University of Rochester Richard Sorabji. Necessity, Cause, and Blame: Perspectives on Aristotle's Theory. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 198o. Pp. xv + 326. $38. This attractively produced book sets out as a study of Aristotle's treatment of determinism and culpability, but in the process does a great deal more. Sorabji's thesis is that Aristotle was an indeterminist, and not as has alternatively been held, either a compatibilist or someone oblivious to the problem. Defining determinism wisely in terms of necessity rather than causation--as "the view that whatever happens has all along been necessary, that is fixed or inevitable" (p. ix)--Sorabji is free to examine the relationship between determinism and causation , and to show, correctly I believe, that for Aristotle actions "up to us" are caused by us yet non-necessitated.' To establish his thesis Sorabji examines what Aristotle has to say about necessity and its relationship to such diverse topics as cause, explanation , possibility, time, natural teleology, the essence of kinds, human action, and blame. The book is thus extraordinarily wide-ranging, and because Sorabji gives much attention to Aristotle's relationship to his predecessors and (especially) successors , and to contemporary authors, and thinks that on some issues Aristotle's position is superior to anything in the current literature, its appeal will not be restricted to Aristotelians. Part I, on "Necessity and Cause", seeks "to drive a wedge between necessity and causation" (p. xi). Starting from a detailed analysis of Aristotle's extremely difficult discussion of coincidences in Metaphysics E.3, Sorabji argues that he held that coincidences lack causes. This is quite understandable, Sorabji maintains, given Aristotle's very astute analysis of a cause as fundamentally a type of explanation. Not until the Stoics, Sorabji carefully argues, do we find an approach to the modern view that causation is to be connected most immediately with laws and necessity. In Part II, on "Necessity and Time", Sorabji explores the notorious Sea Battle and other determiReaders should be warned that on Sorabji's definition of determinism, indeterminism becomes the thesis that some events are non-necessitated, and not, as is more usuaL, that some events are uncaused. 56~ JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY 9t: 4 OCT ~983 nistic arguments from past truth, from the necessity of the past, and from foreknowledge, and deterministic and indeterministic accounts of possibility in Aristotle and his successors. Sorabji is partly concerned with establishing Aristotle's indeterminism, and partly with showing the weaknesses of these deterministic arguments. (He is himself inclined to indeterminism, and one function of the book is to show the surprising strength of that position.) Part III, on "Necessity and Purpose in Nature", steps back from the question of determinism to explore quite generally what Aristotle has to say about necessity in nature, and to what extent its presence is compatible with final causation. Sorabji's thesis is that for the most part (though not consistently) Aristotle maintained that outcomes in nature occur of necessity, even when they also occur for the sake of something. When events or features of organisms occur for a "purpose" (as, regrettably , Sorabji usually terms even nonconscious ends), they also occur of necessity, but their occurring of necessity does not here explain their presence. Sorabji examines critically but sympathetically the views of Ross, Balme and others, and makes refreshingly wide reference to the biological works. He argues that Aristotle distinguishes several types of teleological explanations and explores how each...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
pp. 561-563
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-01
Open Access
No
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