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Augustine's Way into the WillThe Theological and Philosophical Significance of De libero arbitrio$
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Simon Harrison

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780198269847

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198269847.001.0001

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(p.1) 1 Introduction
Augustine's Way into the Will

Simon Harrison

Oxford University Press

This chapter sets out the structure and method of this book. Will, evil, and predestination are all problems which have a history, and whose history is relevant to Augustine’s On Free Choice of the Will. This book adopts a rather parsimonious approach to these contexts by focusing upon On Free Choice itself. Rather than attempting to map Augustine’s text onto a contemporary account of these concepts or locating it in an overarching narrative of their development, this book is an enquiry into the way Augustine uses such terms and ideas in the context of this particular text. A related methodological minimalism consists in the leaving out of detailed references to Augustine’s relationship to other historical figures and movements (Manichaeanism, Stoicism, Neoplatonism).

Keywords:   will, evil, predestination, grace, Manichaeanism, Stoicism, Neoplatonism, Descartes

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