Canadian Journal of Philosophy 31 (2):221-244 (2001)

Thomas Williams
University of South Florida
In this paper we offer a reconstruction of Anselm’s account of freedom that resolves various apparent inconsistencies. The linchpin of this account is the definition of freedom. Anselm argues that the power to preserve rectitude for its own sake requires the power to initiate an action of which the agent is the ultimate cause, but it does not always require that alternative possibilities be available to the agent. So while freedom is incompatible with coercion and external causal determination, an agent can, under certain circumstances, act freely even though he cannot act otherwise than he does.
Keywords Anselm  freedom  Principle of Alternative Possibilities
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ISBN(s) 0045-5091
DOI 10.1080/00455091.2001.10717566
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Voluntary Action and Rational Sin in Anselm of Canterbury.Tomas Ekenberg - 2016 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 24 (2):215-230.
Freedom Without Choice: Medieval Theories of the Essence of Freedom.Tobias Hoffmann - forthcoming - In Thomas Williams (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Medieval Ethics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 194-216.
Anselm on Ethics.Jeffrey E. Brower - 2004 - In Brian Davies & Brian Leftow (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Anselm. Cambridge University Press. pp. 222-56.

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