Anselm on Freedom
Can human beings be free and responsible if there is a God? Anselm of Canterbury, the first Christian philosopher to propose that human beings have a really robust free will, offers viable answers to questions which have plagued religious people for at least two thousand years: If divine grace cannot be merited and is necessary to save fallen humanity, how can there be any decisive role for individual free choice to play? If God knows today what you are going to choose tomorrow, then when tomorrow comes you have to choose what God foreknew, so how can your choice be free? If human beings must have the option to choose between good and evil in order to be morally responsible, must God be able to choose evil? Anselm answers these questions with a sophisticated theory of free will which defends both human freedom and the sovereignty and goodness of God.
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1 Anselms Classical Theism
2 The Augustinian Legacy
3 The Purpose Definition and Structure of Free Choice
4 Alternative Possibilities and Primary Agency
5 The Causes of Sin and the Intelligibility Problem
6 Creaturely Freedom and God as Creator Omnium
absolutely alternative possibilities angels Anselm argues Anselm of Canterbury Anselm’s analysis Anselm’s understanding Anselm’s view Anselmian Aquinas Aquinas’s aseity Augustine Augustine and Boethius Augustine’s view Augustinian Boethius casu diaboli causal cause Chapter choose claim classical theism compatibilism compatibilist concordia conflict contemporary philosophers created agent created freedom creation Cur deus homo determined discussion divine command theory divine eternity divine foreknowledge divine grace divine simplicity entails Eriugena evil exist foreknows four-dimensionalist free choice free will defense future genuine God’s eternal God’s knowledge holds human agent human freedom Ibid inevitably insists interpretation knows libero arbitrio libertarian freedom metaphysical Molinist Monologion morally responsible morally significant choice morally significant freedom motivation nature necessary Neoplatonic one’s ontological status open options original Oxford Pelagianism position present Proslogion question rational creature rightness S.II salvation seems self-causation Semi-Pelagians sense simply sins sort suggests temporal things traditional ultimate University Press