The Stoic Conception of Fate.

 The Stoic Conception of Fate (Inwood & Gerson pp. 179-190) Guide: Reminder: Doing a textual analysis on this material may entail doing some research; in which case, you must acknowledge your sources with a proper citation and reference. Diodorus was not a Stoic but a Megarian philosopher. Diodorus argues that if a future event is not going to happen (e.g., let’s say that you will never live in Los Angeles), then it was equally true in the past that it would not happen. Since every past truth is necessary (proposition 1) it was necessary that in the past it would not happen. But since the impossible cannot follow from the possible (proposition 2), it must have always been impossible for the event to occur. Therefore, if something will not be true, it will never be possible for it to be true, and thus proposition 3 is shown to be false. Note that parallel to this logical argument there are also arguments that appeal to the necessity of causal relations in the natural world. Alexander of Aphrodisias was an Aristotelian who wrote many commentaries on Aristotle’s works. “Argos logos” (p. 182) Greek for ‘lazy argument.’ Questions: **note it is not necessary to answer all of the questions, these are a starting point** Explain and discuss Diodorus Chronos’ initial argument as reported by Epictetus (p. 179, see also Plutarch’s objection p. 181). Plutarch raises a famous objection: if everything is caused by fate and if fate is ordered by god, then god becomes responsible for all the “shameful things” that happen (pp. 180-1). Explain what he means. Can the Stoics resolve this objection? What is the problem raised by the ‘lazy argument’ (see Cicero, p. 182)? Explain and discuss Alexander of Aphrodisias’ argument on p. 184. Aulius Gellius and Cicero report a famous debate between the Stoic Chrysippus and his opponents (see pp. 184-188). The core issue is this: If everything is governed by fate (as the stoics are committed to think), then no one can be blamed for their misdeed; punishing guilty criminals would become unjust since they just were fated to commit their crimes. How did Chrysippus answer the charge and how plausible do you think his response is?

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