Philosophical Inquiry 41 (2-3):67-79 (2017)

Although Aristotle’s name is regularly mentioned when it comes to the question of where the notion of the will historically derives from and although one of the most influential exponents of philosophical theories of the will, Thomas Aquinas, seems to think that he is just applying the Aristotelian theory, many historians of philosophy explicitly deny that Aristotle had a notion of the will. If we think that the notion of the will is among the notions that have been gradually developed in the history of philosophy, nothing is strange about saying that some philosophers prior to this development lacked this particular notion. However, Aristotle’s case is peculiar, because the same historians, who are reluctant to describe such a notion to Aristotle, admit that he played some role in the formation of the same notion. The line-up of more or less recent philosophers and scholars who are of the opinion that Aristotle had no notion of the will is a very remarkable one. This could almost be called a standard or default position, while the list of exponents of the opposed position, i.e. that Aristotle did have a notion or theory of the will, is much shorter.
Keywords Ancient Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy
Categories No categories specified
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ISBN(s) 1105-235X
DOI 10.5840/philinquiry2017412/316
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