Gradations of Volition in St. Anselm's Philosophical Psychology: An Essay in Honor of Father Joseph Owens, C.Ss.R.

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I demonstrate here that St. Anselm’s account of free will fits neatly into an Aristotelian conceptual framework. Aristotle’s four causes are first aligned with Anselm’s four senses of ‘will’. The volitional hierarchy Anselm’s definition of free will entails is then detailed, culminating in its reconciliation with Eudemonism. The Beatific Vision, as summum bonum, is shown to be the apex of that series of perfections. I conclude by explicating Anselm’s teleological understanding of sin by reference to his semantic recapitulation of Aristotle’s essence-accident distinction.
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First archival date: 2021-07-07
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