Anselm on Freedom and the Will: A Discussion of G. Stanley Kane’s Interpretation of Anselm

Philosophy Research Archives 9:471-493 (1983)

Jasper Hopkins
University of Minnesota
C. Stanley Kane’s book, Anselm’s Doctrine of Freedom and The Will, is the only monograph in English on this topic. It will therefore influence a wide array of students and scholars. The book advances five theses: that Anselm operates with a general ontological principle to the effect that the essential nature of anything is determined by its purpose in existing; that Anselm’s theory of the will is not determinist but a variant of indeterminism; that human freedom, for Anselm, consists in the ability either to do or not do what is unjust; that, on Anselm’s view, God alone directly causes all just volitions in human beings; and that Anselm regards the imparting of grace as solely dependent upon God’s offer and man’s response, without regard to the influencing effect of circumstances.I show that Anselm does not adhere to a single one of these allegedly Anselmian theses
Keywords Contemporary Philosophy  History of Philosophy
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ISBN(s) 0164-0771
DOI 10.5840/pra198398
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