Augustines Way into the Will: The Theological and Philosophical Significance of De libero arbitrio

Hardcover | November 2, 2006

bySimon Harrison

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Augustine's dialogue De libero arbitrio (On Free Choice) is, with his Confessions and City of God, one of his most important and widely read works. It contains one of the earliest accounts of the concept of 'free will' in the history of philosophy. Composed during a key period in Augustine'searly career, between his conversion to Christianity and his ordination as a bishop, it has often been viewed as a an incoherent mixture of his 'early' and 'late' thinking. Simon Harrison offers an original account of Augustine's theory of will, taking seriously both the philosophical arguments andliterary form of the text. Relating De libero arbitrio to other key texts of Augustine's, in particular the City of God and the Confessions, Harrison shows that Augustine approaches the problem of free will as a problem of knowledge: how do I know that I am free?, and that Augustine uses thedialogue form to instantiate his 'way into the will'.

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Augustine's dialogue De libero arbitrio (On Free Choice) is, with his Confessions and City of God, one of his most important and widely read works. It contains one of the earliest accounts of the concept of 'free will' in the history of philosophy. Composed during a key period in Augustine'searly career, between his conversion to Chris...

Simon Harrison was formerly a Research Fellow of St John's College, Cambridge, and is currently training in medicine.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:208 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.71 inPublished:November 2, 2006Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198269846

ISBN - 13:9780198269847

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction2. Dissecting `de libero arbitrio'3. The integrity of lib.arb.4. Approaching the will5. Understanding, knowledge, and reponsibility6. Facilitas, difficultas, and voluntas7. A cogito-like argument?8. Conclusion