Seminar on Freedom and Free Will

Seminar on Freedom and Free Will
14 Jan 2020, 16:30 to 14 Jan 2020, 17:30
Warburg Institute, Woburn Square, London WC1H 0AB

Seminar 4: Anselm of Canterbury, On the Freedom of Choice (Chapters I-VII)


Freedom is an important and yet precarious idea. A seminar devoted to a multifaceted discussion of the notion of freedom and free will, as argued through four key texts from the medieval to the early modern period, is therefore both appropriate and timely. In different forms, the same concerns and anxieties articulated by Augustine, Anselm, Thomas and Spinoza are voiced today. Participants will engage with the ideas that have shaped Christian theology and philosophy through the centuries, and, prompted by the texts, will gain a fuller appreciation of the issues at stake. 

The Seminar will focus on the concepts of freedom and free will by analysing four key-texts:  
On Grace and Free Will [De gratia et libero arbitrio] (426 or 427), by Augustine of Hippo (354–430 AD)
On the Freedom of Choice [De Libertate Arbitrii] (1080–1086), by Anselm of Canterbury (1033/4–1109)
Summa Theologica (1265–1274), by Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274)
Ethics (1664–1665), by Baruch Spinoza (1632–1677)

Participants will be provided with extracts in advance.

Organised by Warburg Institute PhD students Fabio Tononi and Vito Guida.

The Seminar is open to postgraduate students. If you would like to attend, please email Fabio Tononi:


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