Ancient and Medieval Background

Risto Saarinen

in Weakness of Will in Renaissance and Reformation Thought

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780199606818
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729614 | DOI:
Ancient and Medieval Background

More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • History of Western Philosophy


Show Summary Details


This chapter identifies the complex variety of older philosophical traditions available during the Renaissance and the Reformation. Plato has two different views on weakness of will: in addition to a strictly intellectualist view in which the mind remains united, he also discusses cases in which the soul is divided between reason and emotions. The latter view is called ‘commonplace Platonism’, and it plays a prominent role in later reception history. After the treatment of Aristotle’s akrasia, the views of Stoicism, Paul, and Augustine are presented extensively, reflecting the outcome of many new studies. It is argued that Augustine’s action theory contains some distinctively Stoic features. The discussion of the medieval period summarizes the outcome of the studies of last fifteen years. The chapter closes with a systematic inventory of the different explanatory models of weakness of will.

Keywords: intellect; will; emotions; philosophy of mind; early Christianity; scholasticism

Chapter.  18331 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.