David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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International Philosophical Quarterly 48 (4):517-535 (2008)
Arendt and others have regarded Augustine as “the first philosopher of the Will,” considered in a broadly naturalistic sense. However, the Stoicism that influenced the young Augustine has a better claim to have “invented” such a will. His own thinking about will was profoundly affected by the Neoplatonism that facilitated his reconversion to Christianity. On the one hand, Augustine envisaged the near negation of will through the irrationality of sin and the fall. On the other, he came to believe that through grace will could be re-identified with charity and with reason, human and divine. From a philosophical point of view, he thus rationalized, and in effect nullified, the concept of will with which he began
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