Anselm's Definition of Free Will

Anselm defines free will as “the ability to keep uprightness of will for the sake of uprightness itself ” rather than as the ability to sin or not sin. I fulfill two objectives pertaining to his definition. First, I show that his definition should be interpreted as a hierarchical account of free will, one that emphasizes the idea that an agent’s will is free if she is able to have the will she wants to have. The interpretationis based on Anselm’s hierarchical account of the structure of the will. Secondly, I show that Anselm’s theory of ultimate responsibility, when added to the hierarchical interpretation of his definition, provides an answer to one of the primary objections to the hierarchical approach to free will
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  History of Philosophy  Philosophy and Religion
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ISBN(s) 1051-3558
DOI 10.5840/acpq200680247
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