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Aristotle & Augustine on Freedom: Two Theories of Freedom, Voluntary Action, & Akrasia cover
  • ISBN: 9780312124670
  • ISBN10: 0312124678

Aristotle & Augustine on Freedom: Two Theories of Freedom, Voluntary Action, & Akrasia

by Chappell, T. D. J.

  • List Price: $59.95
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publish date: 12/01/2008
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Description
Aristotle's and Augustine's famous discussions of freedom of action are more alike than has been recognized. Both are more concerned to describe freedom than to prove its existence. Both describe freedom of action by describing voluntary action. Both conclude that abandoning belief in freedom means abandoning belief in voluntary action too - which very few are willing to do. Again, it is striking that both their descriptions of voluntary action show that voluntary actions must be: uncompelled; not ignorant; and done in pursuit of perceived attainable goods. But don't agents sometimes act voluntarily in pursuit of perceived attainable evils? Aristotle says not: any such actions would be inexplicable as voluntary actions. Augustine, agreeing that such actions are inexplicable, still insists that they can occur. This - Dr Chappell argues - is the true place, in Augustine's theory of freedom, of his famous 'theory of will'. It is also the real point of contrast between Aristotle and Augustine.
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