Aquinas on Free Will and Intellectual Determinism

Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
From the early reception of Thomas Aquinas up to the present, many have interpreted his theory of liberum arbitrium to imply intellectual determinism: we do not control our choices, because we do not control the practical judgments that cause our choices. In this paper we argue instead that he rejects determinism in general and intellectual determinism in particular, which would effectively destroy liberum arbitrium as he conceives of it. We clarify that for Aquinas moral responsibility presupposes liberum arbitrium and thus the ability to do otherwise, although the ability to do otherwise applies differently to praise and blame. His argument against intellectual determinism is not straightforward, but we construct it by analogy to his arguments against other deterministic threats. The non-determinism of the intellect’s causality with respect to the will results from his claims that practical reasoning is defeasible and that the reasons for actions are not contrastive reasons.
Keywords
No keywords specified (fix it)
PhilPapers/Archive ID
HOFAOF
Revision history
Archival date: 2017-08-04
View upload history
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Added to PP index
2017-07-01

Total downloads
456 ( #4,905 of 37,144 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
306 ( #877 of 37,144 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.