Free Will and Determinism

Plato and Boethius

Two Perspectives on Justice, Free Will, and the Good

Re-membering Plato — What is Justice?

Cross Currents: What is Justice? Are we free or determined? What would justice look like in a predestined world?

In this module, we will review the major ideas that we’ve studied in Plato thus far, and a few more, in an attempt to trace themes that comprise the Platonic worldview, as it developed and transformed from its inception in Classical Antiquity to the time of Boethius in the Early Christian Era.

Specifically, we will review the development of Plato’s epistemological method and then see how he uses it to justify his metaphysical view of justice; human freedom and determinism; social justice and civil disobedience; and eschatology: his vision of how bodies and immortal souls become bound together by Necessity in an eternal dance with the harmony of the spheres.

Finally, we will see how this vision is interpreted through the mind of another philosopher, Boethius, in his Consolation of Philosophy.(1)

Overview on Free Will and Determinism

Please read Free will from Wikipedia. Read only Western Philosophy. (104)

Reading Selection, from 7th Letter: Plato

Philosophical Digression

On this point I intend to speak a little more at length; for perhaps, when I have done so, things will be clearer with regard to my present subject. There is an argument which holds good against the man ventures to put anything whatever into writing on questions of this nature; it has often before been stated by me, and it seems suitable to the present occasion. (105)