Simon Harrison

in Augustine's Way into the Will

Published in print October 2006 | ISBN: 9780198269847
Published online January 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780191713385 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Early Christian Studies


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For Augustine, one’s freedom and responsibility is elucidated by means of a process of calling the notion of will into question (‘I don’t know’). This process gives rise to an understanding of will, freedom, and responsibility as the condition for the possibility of knowledge. It is this process that is most cogito-like. However, it is significantly cogito-unlike in that the argument depends on the very possibility of denying that one has will. Augustine’s account of freedom and responsibility is grounded in a deep notion of subjectivity, and the epistemological significance of the first-person perspective.

Keywords: first-person perspective; will; freedom; responsibility; cogito

Chapter.  689 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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