Free will

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  • It Could Have Been Otherwise: Contingency and Necessity in Dominican Theology at Oxford, 1300-1350 Hester Goodenough Gelber, BRILL, 1 Jan 2004.
  • Hume: "Few are capable of distinguishing betwixt the liberty of spontaneity, as it is call'd in the schools, and the liberty of indifference; betwixt that which is oppos'd to violence, and that which means a negation of necessity and causes. The first is even the most common sense of the word; and as ‘tis only that species of liberty, which it concerns us to preserve, our thoughts have been principally turn'd towards it, and have almost universally confounded it with the other." (T,–8) "Hume's key point here is that free actions are those that are caused by the agent's willings and desires. " "the spontaneity argument seeks to establish that free action is to be distinguished from unfree action not by the absence of cause (as is suggested by conceptions of liberty of indifference) but rather by a different type of cause." "Kant, famously, describes this account of moral freedom as a “wretched subterfuge” and suggests that a freedom of this kind belongs to a clock that moves its hands by means of internal causes. " "Hume's remarks suggest that traditional “metaphysical” theories of causation have encouraged a fundamental confusion between the notion of an event being caused and that of an event being compelled. On the basis of such an erroneous conception of causation, many philosophers have arrived at the equally mistaken conclusion that there must be an incompatibility between determinism and freedom."
  • Actio spontanea
  • Eriugena on predestination
  • Sentences commentary (Pope innocent 1225 – 22 June 1276) "quia quaedam opera humana cogi possunt, impeditur enim homo per metum (?), per violentiam, ergo non sunt sub libero arbitrio hominis.
  • Milton's Theology of Freedom Benjamin Myers, Walter de Gruyter, 2006.
  • IEP "Another substantial work [by Pomponazzi] is De fato, de libero arbitrio et de praedestinatione (Five Books on Fate, Free Will and Predestination), which is regarded as one of the most important works on the problems of freedom and determinism in the Renaissance. Pomponazzi considers whether the human will can be free, and he considers the conflicting points of view of philosophical determinism and Christian theology.
  • SEP on Pomponazzi.
  • Honderich's site
  • The Cambridge History of Seventeenth-century Philosophy Volume 2, Daniel Garber, Michael Ayers, "Determinism and human freedom, Sleigh et at, 1195-1278.
    • p.1209 – definition of spontaneity as performed by the agent on its own without being forced by any external factor. p.1217 - Hobbes the only one to make explicit reference to 'determinism'.p.1225 – definition of a free agent: "that, which, when all things are present which are needful to produce the effect, can nevertheless not produce it". First formulated by Molina. Hobbes says it implies a contradiction, and is nonsense. The schoolmen "especially in the maintenanceof free-will, when they talk of libery of exercise, specification, contrariety, contradiction, acts elicite and exercite, and the like [is] but jargon, or that ... which the scripture in the first chaos callet Tohu and Bohu".
  • SEP future contingents
  • Medieval Theories of Free Will (IEP)
  • Swartz on free will
  • Freddoso, A.J., "Accidental Necessity and Logical Determinism", Journal of Philosophy 80 (1983): 257-278



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