Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Cause and Explanation in Ancient Greek Thought$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

R. J. Hankinson

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780199246564

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199246564.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 31 July 2021

Science and Explanation

Science and Explanation

Chapter:
(p.364) XI Science and Explanation
Source:
Cause and Explanation in Ancient Greek Thought
Author(s):

R. J. Hankinson (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199246564.003.0012

Hankinson discusses Ptolemy, whose geometrical model was the most sophisticated development in ancient astronomy, at the beginning of this chapter; but the main focus is on Galen's comprehensive account of causation. Galen insists that antecedent conditions are causes, because the effects are conditioned by them; furthermore, physical dispositions are also preceding causes, and together with the external antecedent conditions they produce the immediate necessary and sufficient containing causes of diseases. Galen combines Aristotle's four causes, except the formal cause, with the instrumental cause of Middle Platonism; he also distinguishes incidental and essential causes. From the Platonic tradition, Galen adopts a directed teleology, and an artisan‐god that is constrained by material necessity. Galen also contributes to the debate on freedom and responsibility: he argues that we remain responsible for what we do even if our actions are determined by causes outside our control.

Keywords:   Aristotle's four causes, astronomy, freedom, Galen, incidental and essential causes, instrumental cause, Middle Platonism, Ptolemy, responsibility, teleology

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .