Free Will

66 - You Can Chain My Leg: Epictetus

Posted on 5 February 2012

The greatest of the Roman Stoics is Epictetus, arguably the first thinker to discuss the nature of human will, and author of some of the most powerful and demanding ethical writings in history.

22 comments
68 - John Sellars on the Roman Stoics

Posted on 19 February 2012

Peter chats about Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, and Epictetus with John Sellars, an expert on Roman Stoicism and the reception of Stoicism in the early modern era.

10 comments
112 - Help Wanted: Augustine on Freedom

Posted on 20 January 2013

Augustine attempts to reconcile human freedom with God’s foreknowledge and his own claim that we need divine grace to avoid sin.

32 comments
121 - This is a Test: the Mu'tazilites

Posted on 24 March 2013

A first look at the philosophical contributions of Islamic theology (kalām) and its political context, focusing on the Mu'tazilites Abū l-Hudhayl and al-Naẓẓām.

36 comments
137 - God Willing: the Ash'arites

Posted on 14 July 2013

Al-Ash'arī puts his stamp on the future of Islamic theology by emphasizing God’s untrammeled power and freedom.

35 comments
158 - Born Under a Bad Sign: Freedom and Astrology in Jewish Philosophy

Posted on 12 January 2014

Abraham Ibn Ezra, Ibn Daud and Maimonides consider the philosophical implications of astrology as science flourishes in the Jewish culture of Andalusia.

24 comments
210. John Marenbon on Peter Abelard

Posted on 7 February 2015

John Marenbon returns to the podcast to discuss Abelard's views on necessity and freedom.

26 comments
256. Frequently Asked Questions: Henry of Ghent

Posted on 19 June 2016

Henry of Ghent, now little known but a leading scholastic in the late 13th century, makes influential proposals on all the debates of his time.

10 comments
257. Martin Pickavé on Henry of Ghent and Freedom

Posted on 3 July 2016

An interview with Martin Pickavé on voluntarism and the interaction of will and intellect, according to Henry of Ghent.

3 comments
261. To Will or Not to Will: Scotus on Freedom

Posted on 24 September 2016

Scotus develops a novel theory of free will and, along the way, rethinks the notions of necessity and possibility.

2 comments
266. Tom Pink on the Will

Posted on 3 December 2016

A conversation with Tom Pink about medieval theories of freedom and action.

12 comments
267. After Virtue: Marguerite Porete

Posted on 17 December 2016

Marguerite Porete is put to death for her exploration of the love of God, The Mirror of Simple Souls.

17 comments
271. Do As You’re Told: Ockham on Ethics and Political Philosophy

Posted on 12 February 2017

William of Ockham on freedom of action and freedom of thought.

8 comments
276. Back to the Future: Foreknowledge and Predestination

Posted on 23 April 2017

Scotus, Ockham, and Bradwardine ask how we can be free if God knows and chooses the things we will do in the future.

15 comments
282. Portrait of the Artist: John Buridan

Posted on 16 July 2017

The hipster’s choice for favorite scholastic, John Buridan, sets out a nominalist theory of knowledge and language, and explains the workings of free will.

7 comments
292. Say it With Poetry: Chaucer and Langland

Posted on 31 December 2017

Philosophical themes in Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales” and “Troilus and Criseyde,” as well as Langland’s “Piers Plowman.”

0 comments
345. What a Piece of Work is Man: Manetti and Pico on Human Nature

Posted on 22 March 2020

Pico della Mirandola and Giannozzo Manetti praise humans as the centerpiece of the created world. But what about the other animals?

3 comments
371. European Disunion: Introduction to the Reformation

Posted on 25 April 2021

How humanism and scholasticism came together with the Protestant Reformation to create the philosophy of 15 - 16th century Europe.

6 comments
377. One Way or Another: Northern Scholasticism

Posted on 18 July 2021

Trends in Aristotelian philosophy in northern and eastern Europe in the fifteenth century, featuring discussion of the “Wegestreit” and the nominalist theology of Gabriel Biel.

0 comments
378. Faith, No More: Martin Luther

Posted on 1 August 2021

How Luther’s doctrine of justification by faith alone and his attack on the Church relate to the history of philosophy.

4 comments
380. Take Your Choice: Erasmus vs Luther on Free Will

Posted on 26 September 2021

Erasmus clashes with Martin Luther over the question whether our wills are free or enslaved to sin.

3 comments
381. More Lutheran than Luther: Philip Melanchthon

Posted on 10 October 2021

Luther’s close ally Melanchthon uses his knowledge of ancient philosophy and rhetoric in the service of the Reformation.

4 comments
384. We Are Not Our Own: John Calvin

Posted on 21 November 2021

John Calvin's views on predestination and the limits of human reason.

10 comments
385. I Too Can Ask Questions: Protestant Scholasticism

Posted on 5 December 2021

In a surprise twist, some Protestant thinkers embrace the methods of scholasticism, and even find something to admire in the work of Catholic authors like Aquinas.

3 comments
390. Born to Be Contrary: Toleration in the Netherlands

Posted on 13 February 2022

Amidst religious conflict in the Netherlands, Dirck Coornhert pleads for religious toleration and freedom of expression.

6 comments
105. Meeting the Gaze: Frantz Fanon’s Black Skin White Masks

Posted on 24 July 2022

Frantz Fanon combines psychoanalysis and existential phenomenology to diagnose neuroses deriving from the colonial condition.

6 comments