9
BOETHIUS

Boethius (c. 480–524), Roman patrician, consul of Rome, and minister to Ostrogoth King Theodoric, was known as “the last of the Roman philosophers and the first of the scholastic theologians.” Next to Augustine he was the most influential thinker in the middle ages prior to Thomas of Aquinas. Until the thirteenth century Aristotle was known only through his translations. He set forth the famous definition of eternity as “perfect possession all at the same time of endless life” as well as the difference between conditional and simple necessity which Boethius discusses in our selection. Apparently a victim of political intrigue, Boethius was falsely accused of treason, tortured, imprisoned, and bludgeoned to death. While in prison he composed The Consolation of Philosophy, which Gibbon called “a golden volume not unworthy of the leisure of Plato or of Tully [Cicero],” from which the following selection is taken.

In Consolation Philosophy appears to Boethius as a woman of awe-inspiring beauty, “her eyes burning and keen beyond the usual power of ordinary mortals, whose color was full of life, and whose strength was still intact though she was so full of years that by no means would it be believed that she was of our generation.” She then begins the process of applying spiritual medicine to Boethius's soul, leading him from his lonely despair to an understanding of and resignation to Providence. The healing process takes the form of a dialogue comparable to one of Plato's. In the last book of Consolation, Philosophy explains the meaning of chance and how free will can be reconciled with divine foreknowledge.


THE CONSOLATION OF PHILOSOPHY

CHANCE, FREE WILL AND FOREKNOWLEDGE

1. PHILOSOPHY DISCUSSES THE NATURE OF CHANCE

Here Philosophy made an end and was steering the conversation to certain other matters when I interrupted her, “I am learning in fact what you stated in words a while ago: the question of Providence is bound up in many others. I would ask you whether you think that chance exists at all, and what you think it is.”

She replied, “I am eager to fulfill my promise and to open for you the way which you may return home. But these things, though very useful to know, are nevertheless rather removed from our proposed path, and we must be careful lest you, wearied of side trips, be not strong enough to complete the main journey.”

“Have no fear about that,” I said, “it will be satisfying to know these things in which I delight so

From The Consolation of Philosophy. Based on the translation of W. V. Cooper (London 1902)

-447-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Classics of Philosophy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Time Line xi
  • Part One - The Ancient Period 1
  • 1: The Pre-Socratics 3
  • 2: Plato 20
  • 3: Aristotle 240
  • 4: Epicurus 357
  • 5: Epictetus 363
  • 6: Sextus Empiricus 374
  • 7: Plotinus 391
  • Part Two - The Medieval Period 405
  • 8: Augustine 407
  • 9: Boethius 447
  • 10: Avicenna 455
  • 11: Anselm and Gaunilo 458
  • 12: Thomas Aquinas 462
  • 13: William of Ockham 486
  • Part Three - The Modern Period 493
  • 14: RenÉ Descartes 495
  • 15: Thomas Hobbes 525
  • 16: Blaise Pascal 566
  • 17: Baruch Spinoza 570
  • 18: Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz 618
  • 19: John Locke 652
  • 20: George Berkeley 690
  • 21: William Paley 723
  • 22: David Hume 726
  • 23: Immanuel Kant 819
  • 24: Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel 914
  • 25: SØren Kierkegaard 922
  • 26: Mary Wollstonecraft 935
  • 27: John Stuart Mill 942
  • 28: Friedrich Nietzsche 1030
  • Part Four - The Contemporary Period 1059
  • 29: W. K. Clifford 1061
  • 30: Charles Sanders Peirce 1066
  • 31: William James 1076
  • 32: Bertrand Russell 1100
  • 33: G. E. Moore 1142
  • 34: Ludwig Wittgenstein 1150
  • 35: Edmund Husserl 1168
  • 36: Martin Heidegger 1185
  • 37: Jean-Paul Sartre 1207
  • 38: A. J. Ayer 1225
  • 39: Thomas Nagel 1234
  • 40: Philippa Foot 1242
  • 41: Nelson Goodman 1249
  • 42: John Rawls 1254
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 1272

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.