Reasoning Against a Deterministic Conception of the World

  • Liesbeth Huppes-Cluysenaer
Part of the Ius Gentium: Comparative Perspectives on Law and Justice book series (IUSGENT, volume 23)


Aristotle situates freedom in nature and slavery in reason. His concept of freedom is inherently connected with the indeterminist belief in a double impulse of the body.

The deterministic conception of nature – introduced during Enlightenment – has brought a reversal of this relation: nature is slavery, reason is freedom. The double impulse is reduced to one impulse only. The different conceptions of nature result in different conceptions of law.

During the second half of the twentieth century the deterministic conception is rejected. One of the few authors who tried to envisage the ontological consequences of this rejection was Popper in his later work.

This contribution will show how Popper tries to save the idea that reason is freedom within the context of the new indeterminist view on nature. It will compare Popper’s attempt with the view of Aristotle.


Ideal Type Independent Existence Absolute Idea Formative Principle Teleological Explanation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Aristotle. 1933/1935. Metaphysics. Trans. H. Tredennick. Cambridge MA/London: Harvard University Press, Part I 1933, Part II 1935.Google Scholar
  2. Aristotle. 1944. Politics. Trans. H. Rackham. Cambridge MA/London: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Aristotle. 1955. Nicomachean ethics. Trans. J.A.K.Thomson, and H. Tredennick, ed. J. Barnes. Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
  4. Aristotle. 1984. Physics. In The complete works of Aristotle: The revised Oxford translation, ed. J. Barnes and Trans. W.D. Ross. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 315–447.Google Scholar
  5. Averroes. 1969. Averroes middle commentary on Porphyry’s Isagoge and on Aristotle’s Categoriae. Trans. H.A. Davidson. Cambridge, MA: The Mediaeval Academy of America.Google Scholar
  6. Barnes, Jonathan. 1955. Introduction. In Nicomachean ethics. Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin Books, 9–43.Google Scholar
  7. Berger, Peter. 1966. Invitation to sociology, a humanistic perspective. Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin.Google Scholar
  8. Boethius. 1969. The consolation of philosophy. Trans. V.E. Watts. Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin Book.Google Scholar
  9. Briegel, Hans J. 2012. On creative machines and the physical origins of freedom. Scientific Reports 2: 522. doi: 10,1038/srep 00522.Google Scholar
  10. Brinkmann, Klaus. 1996. The consistency of Aristotle’s thought on substance. In Aristotle’s philosophical development, problems and prospects, ed. W. Wians. London: Rowman and Littlefield.Google Scholar
  11. Cicero. 1928. De Re Publica. Trans. Clinton Walker Keyes. London/Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Foucault, Michel. 1979. Discipline and punish, the birth of the prison. New York: Vintage Books.Google Scholar
  13. Foucault, Michel. 1988. The political technology of individuals. In Technologies of the self, ed. Luther H. Martin, Huck Gutman, and Patrick H. Hutton. London: Tavistock Publications.Google Scholar
  14. Graham, D.W. 1987. Aristotle’s two systems. New York: N.Y. Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Habermas, Jürgen. 1981. Theorie des Kommunikativen Handelns. Suhrkamp Verlag: Frankfurt am Main. Band I and II.Google Scholar
  16. Hart, H.L.A. 1961. The concept of law. New York/London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Hempel, Carl G. 1959. The logic of functional analysis. In Readings in the philosophy of science, ed. Baruch A. Brody, 121–147. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  18. Hobbes. 1968. Hobbes Leviathan, ed. C.B. Macpherson. Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
  19. Huppes-Cluysenaer, E.A. 2007. Towards a theory of new natural law as a basis for future legal positivism. In Legal theory, legal positivism and conceptual analysis, ed. José Juan Moreso, pp. 107–117. Proceedings of the 22nd IVR World Congress 2005. Stuttgart: Frans Steiner Verlag.Google Scholar
  20. Huppes-Cluysenaer, E.A. 2008. Turning the state into a household. In Legality, legitimacy & modernity, reconsidering Max Weber’s concept of domination, ed. E.A. Huppes-Cluysenaer et al., 125–156. ‘s-Gravenhage: Reeds Business BV.Google Scholar
  21. Huppes-Cluysenaer, E.A. 2011. The fallacy of continuity. Ethic@, 223–253.Google Scholar
  22. Jaeger, Werner. 1945. Paideia: The ideals of Greek culture, vol. III. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.Google Scholar
  23. Kant, I. 2010. Critique of pure reason. Trans. J.M.D. Meiklejohn, Penn State Electronic Classics Series Publication.
  24. Kenny, Anthony. 1978. Freewill and responsibility; four lectures by Anthony Kenny. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul Books.Google Scholar
  25. Marcuse, Herbert. 1955. Eros and civilisation. Boston: Beacon.Google Scholar
  26. Nagel, Thomas. 1987. ‘Free Will’: What does it all mean? A very short introduction to philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Ockham, G. 1974. Ockham’s theory of terms, Part 1 of the Summa Logica. Trans. Michael J. Loux. Notre Dame/London: University of Notre Dame Press.Google Scholar
  28. Peirce, C.S. 1960. Collected papers of Charles Sanders Peirce. Part I Principles of Philosophy, Part V Pragmatism and Pragmaticism, ed. Ch. Harthorne and P. Weiss. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Popper, K.R. 1972. Objective knowledge, an evolutionary approach. ‘Evolution and the tree of knowledge’ (256–285) and ‘Of clouds and clocks’ (206–256). Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  30. Pullman, Bernard. 1998. The atom in the history of human thought. Trans. A. Reisinger. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Ruler, J.A. van. 1995. The crisis of causality, voetius and descartes on God, nature and change. Doctoral thesis, University of Groningen.Google Scholar
  32. Segalerba, Gianluigi. 2011. Ohne Staz vom Widerspruch keine Entität – der Satz vom Widerspruch als Strukturformel der Realität. Journal of Ancient Philosophy V(2): 1–57.Google Scholar
  33. Sokal, Robert R. 1974. Classification: Purposes, principles progress, prospects. Science 185(4157): 1115–1123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Strawson, P.F. 1973. Freedom and resentment. In Freedom and resentment and other essays, 1–25. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of General Jurisprudence, Faculty of LawUnviersity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations