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The Development of Ethics: Volume 1From Socrates to the Reformation$
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Terence Irwin

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780198242673

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198242673.001.0001

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Aquinas: Freedom

Aquinas: Freedom

Chapter:
(p.475) 18 Aquinas: Freedom
Source:
The Development of Ethics: Volume 1
Author(s):

TERENCE IRWIN

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198242673.003.0018

Thomas Aquinas is an implicit compatibilist rather than a soft determinist. He does not affirm causal determinism, and the aspects of his position that commit him to implicit compatibilism do not commit him to implicit determinism. Reasons that he might offer for rejecting determinism do not affect his compatibilism about freedom, if they do not affect his account of the sufficient conditions for freedom. His defence supports his attempted reconciliation of human free will with the Christian doctrines of original sin and divine grace. The chapter's discussion of Aquinas on free will has included considerable repetition of questions discussed earlier, in the account of his views on the will, happiness, the passions, deliberation, and election. This repetition has tried to make clear the main point of his account of free will. Free will raises no further questions besides those already answered in understanding rational agency. On this point, Aquinas develops and applies the reductive strategy attributed to him.

Keywords:   Thomas Aquinas, determinism, compatibilism, freedom, free will, happiness, passions, deliberation, election

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