Considerations about the Reception of Alexander of Aphrodisias’ On Fate in the Renaissance Thought

Danilo Facca

This article is dedicated to the reception of Alexander of Aphrodisias’ treatise On fate (Peri heimarmenes) in the 16th and 17th century, as a part of the Renaissance‘ return” to the ancient literature and philosophy. Despite of several editions and Latin translations (and despite the fact that the problem of fate and predestination was largely debated at the epoch), Alexander’s work was generally rejected by representatives of university philosophy as theoretically in adequate. The article refers the case of P. Pomponazzi, G. Cardano and S. Porzio and shows the reasons of their negative attitude towards Alexander’s theories of contingency and „free will”. No ne the less the On fate lived a second life outside universities and outside peripatetic philosophy, as it had a noteworthy success among the humanists, especially among those who were engaged in – confessional and religious polemics.

Keywords: Alexander of Aphrodisias · Renaissance · Pomponazzi · Cardano · Porzio · fate

Danilo Facca — born in Pordenone (Italy) in 1961, is Associate Professor at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Co-Editor of the „Archives of the History of Philosophy and Social Thought”. He is currently engaged in an extensive study of peripatetic tradition during the Renaissance and the early modern age.   »  

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