Or something like that. This book looks WAY interesting…here’s the blurb from the University of California Press:
The world is configured in ways that seem systematically hospitable to life forms, especially the human race. Is this the outcome of divine planning or simply of the laws of physics? Ancient Greeks and Romans famously disagreed on whether the cosmos was the product of intelligent design or accident. In this book, David Sedley examines this question and illuminates new historical perspectives on the pantheon of thinkers who laid the foundations of western philosophy and science. Versions of what we call the “creationist” option were widely favored by the major thinkers of classical antiquity, including Plato, whose ideas on the subject prepared the ground for Aristotle’s celebrated teleology. But Aristotle aligned himself with the anti-creationist lobby, whose most militant members–the atomists–sought to show how a world just like ours would inevitably form by sheer accident, given only the infinity of space and matter. This stimulating study explores seven major thinkers and philosophical movements enmeshed in the debate: Anaxagoras, Empedocles, Socrates, Plato, the atomists, Aristotle, and the Stoics.
In our current cultural context, the equation of “creationism” and intelligent design is politically tendentious, of course (very useful for public school controversies, hopelessly wrong in most other respects). But that minor terminological caveat aside, I can hardly wait to see this book. Give me a pair of sandals, a clay jug of wine, a pleasant grove in which to stroll and argue: I’m there.
(HT to Ashby Camp for the forthcoming notice from the U of CA press…)