Reason as the Faculty of Thinking in the Service of the Will, Will as the Faculty of Making Choices according to the Judgement of Reason: Controversies about Subject, Cause and Conditions of Human Freedom in the Twelfth Century Anthropology

  • Jan Kiełbasa Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Faculty of Philosophy
Keywords: will; free choice; freedom; intellect; appetite; judgment


A starting point of this paper is a consideration and confrontation of the various meanings of the term “will” formulated and discussed in twelfth century anthropology. A significant part of this historical research is devoted to such issues as the characteristics and specific activity of the human will, its relation to the whole domain of the desire, particularly that of the sensual desire, and especially the mutual—functional and hierarchical—relationship between will and reason as the cognitive faculty. On the ground of the critical and comparative analysis of the text-sources (including the works of Anselm of Canterbury, Bernard of Clairvaux, Hugh of Saint-Victor, as well as the collections of sentences of known and unknown authors), author of the paper explores the views of just mentionnned and other thinkers of this time on the belonging of the will to the domain of human rationality, on the participation of the intellect in the will’s decisions and choices, one the one hand, and on will’s autonomy and its possibility of self-moving, on the other. He focuses his scrutiny on how the twelfth century thinkers try to explicate a phenomenon of free choice or free decision and to answer to a questions concerning a proper subject, source, efficient cause or necessary and sufficient condition of the human freedom in the context of the medieval disputes between voluntarism and intellectualism in the domain of anthropology.


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