Childrens' book philosophy 17: Causal determinism in "The House that Jack Built"

This is the house that Jack built.
This is the malt that lay in the house that Jack built.
This is the rat that ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.

This is the cat that killed the rat
That ate the malt that lay in the house that Jack built.
This is the dog that worried the cat
That killed the rat that ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.

This is the cow with the crumpled horn
That tossed the dog that worried the cat
That killed the rat that ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.

This is the maiden all forlorn
That milked the cow with the crumpled horn
That tossed the dog that worried the cat
That killed the rat that ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.

This is the man all tattered and torn
That kissed the maiden all forlorn
That milked the cow with the crumpled horn
That tossed the dog that worried the cat
That killed the rat that ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.

This is the priest all shaven and shorn
That married the man all tattered and torn
That kissed the maiden all forlorn
That milked the cow with the crumpled horn
That tossed the dog that worried the cat
That killed the rat that ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.

This is the cock that crowed in the morn
That waked the priest all shaven and shorn
That married the man all tattered and torn
That kissed the maiden all forlorn
That milked the cow with the crumpled horn
That tossed the dog that worried the cat
That killed the rat that ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.

This is the farmer sowing his corn
That kept the cock that crowed in the morn
That waked the priest all shaven and shorn
That married the man all tattered and torn
That kissed the maiden all forlorn
That milked the cow with the crumpled horn
That tossed the dog that worried the cat
That killed the rat that ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built!

Hermes's picture

Peter, I was looking at the

Peter, I was looking at the timeline and the Later Antiquity section ends at Maximus the Confessor. But where do the mysterious Alexandrian philosophers/commentators Elias and David, and the very interesting Stephen of Alexander, sit in this timeline. Apparently, they were pupils of Olympiodorus, which would mean they came before Maximus and would not be in the Byzantine philosophy timeline which would probably start at Leo the Mathematician, but authorship is contested. The location of these time and place of these thinkers would suggest they were an important link in the Greek Arabic translation movement.

Peter Adamson's picture

Actually I was planning to

Actually I was planning to mention them in the Byzantine series, despite the time warp issue you mention. Obviously they could go in late antiquity too, but I couldn't squeeze them in while writing those episodes. Of course in a sense it is silly to divide "late antiquity" from the Byzantine tradition, since that is a continuous sequence of philosophy in Greek - this was the "fork in the road" problem I mentioned in the first Islamic episode.

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