The Classical Quarterly (New Series)

Shorter Notes

Alexander of Aphrodisias, De Fato 190. 26 ff.1

A. A. Longa1

a1 University of Liverpool

Alexander is arguing that our responsibility for what we do (S0009838800033048_inline1) is grounded in the fact that a man is the S0009838800033048_inline2 of his own actions (cf. Aristotle, E.N. 3. 1111a21, 1112b31, etc.). The opponents of this view, he says, hold that nothing performed by a man is such that at the time when he does something he also has the possibility of not doing it, S0009838800033048_inline3 (190. 24–6). One who believes this, he argues, cannot make any moral judgements or do any of the things ‘which ought reasonably to be brought about by those who have believed the possibility also of doing each of the things which they do’. My translation has, I hope, shown the need for a negative in the last clause: ‘the possibility also of not doing’ is the point needed; so insert S0009838800033048_inline4 between S0009838800033048_inline5 and S0009838800033048_inline6. For omission of the negative elsewhere in De fato cf. 165. 1; 179. 21; 189. 6; 195. 26; 202. 12; 207. 19; 211. 18.


1 All references are to the page and line of Ivo Bruns's edition, ‘Alexandri Aphrodisiensis Scripta minora’: Supplementum Aristotelicum ii. 2 (Berlin Academy, 1892).