Freedom of the Will in Plato and Augustine


There has been a recent surge of interest in ancient accounts of free will. It is surprising, then, that there have been virtually no attempts to discuss whether Plato had such an account. Those who have made an attempt quickly deny that such an account is present in the dialogues. I shall argue that if we draw a distinction between two notions of free will, it is plausible that some account of free will is, in fact, present in the dialogues, the Republic in particular. This is the first in depth search into the question and I demonstrate that the defender of a Platonic free will thesis has more resources than she first appears to. It also has the benefit of giving us an obvious source material for Augustine's discussion

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Jonathan Hecht
Indiana University, Bloomington

References found in this work

Free Agency.Gary Watson - 1975 - Journal of Philosophy 72 (April):205-20.
The Sovereignty of Good.Iris Murdoch - 1970 - New York: Schocken Books.
Free Agency.Gary Watson - 2003 - In Free Will. Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work

Our Inalienable Ability to Sin: Peter Olivi’s Rejection of Asymmetrical Freedom.Bonnie Kent - 2017 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 25 (6):1073-1092.
Is Socrates Free? The Theaetetus as Case Study.Andy German - 2017 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 25 (4):621-641.

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