•  6
    Anselm on Free Choice and Character Formation
    Faith and Philosophy 34 (2): 223-234. 2017.
    Character formation is a central theme in Katherin Rogers’s Freedom and Self-Creation: Anselmian Libertarianism. According to Rogers, Anselm holds that the purpose of free choice is to afford creatures the possibility of creating their own characters through their free choices. I argue that Anselm has no doctrine of character formation. Accordingly, he does not hold the view of the purpose of free choice that Rogers attributes to him. Creatures cannot bring about justice in themselves, let alone…Read more
  •  28
    From Metaethics to Action Theory
    In The Cambridge Companion to Duns Scotus, Cambridge University Press. pp. 332-351. 2003.
    Work on Scotus's moral psychology and action theory has been concerned almost exclusively with questions about the relationship between will and intellect and in particular about the freedom of the will itself. In this essay I broaden the scope of inquiry. For I contend that Scotus's views in moral psychology are best understood against the background of a long tradition of metaethical reflection on the relationship between being and goodness. In the first section of this essay, therefore, I ske…Read more
  •  13
    Complexity without Composition in advance
    American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly. forthcoming.
  •  178
    The Philosophy for Children in Schools Project is an ongoing research project to explore the impact of philosophy for children (P4C) on classroom practice. this paper responds on the responses of head teachers, teachers and local educational authority (LA) officers in South Wales, UK, to the initial training programme in P4C carried out by the University School of Education. Achieving change in schools through the embedding of new practices is an important challenge for head teacher.s Interviews…Read more
  •  78
    The Unmitigated Scotus
    Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 80 (2): 162-181. 1998.
    Scotus is notorious for occasionally making statements that, on their face at least, smack of voluntarism, but there has been a lively debate about whether Scotus is really a voluntarist after all. Now the debate is not over whether Scotus lays great emphasis on the role of the divine will with respect to the moral law. No one could sensibly deny that he does, and if such an emphasis constitutes voluntarism, then no one could sensibly deny that Scotus is a voluntarist. As I am using the word, ho…Read more
  •  31
    The libertarian foundations of Scotus's moral philosophy
    The Thomist 62 (2): 193-215. 1998.
    After setting out in part 1 Scotus's libertarian account of the will, I shall discuss two of the most important implications Scotus understood his account to have. First, according to Scotus, the Thomist understanding of the will as intellective appetite is inadequate to provide a libertarian account of freedom. Scotus therefore rejects that understanding and offers an alternative moral psychology. In part 2 of the paper I therefore draw attention to the passages in which Scotus offers his re…Read more
  •  69
    The Cambridge Translations of Medieval Philosophical Texts, Vol. 2: Ethics and Political Philosophy
    with Arthur Stephen McGrade, John Kilcullen, and Matthew Kempshall
    Philosophical Review 111 (4): 576. 2002.
    A review of The Cambridge Translations of Medieval Philosophical Thought, vol. 2
  •  42
    The pitfalls of the Wadding edition of John Duns Scotus illustrate a general feature of the study of medieval philosophy: the gap that separates the authentic words of the medieval thinker one wishes to study from the Latin words one sees on the pages of a printed edition — and further still from the English words one sees in a translation.  The aim of this essay is to make clear both the nature and the size of that gap, not in order to dismay prospective students of medieval philosophy, but in …Read more
  •  47
    Nad metodou historie filosofie
    Studia Neoaristotelica 2 (2): 214-218. 2005.
    reflections on method in the historiography of philosophy
  •  87
    In some passages Scotus seems to endorse a thoroughgoing voluntarism, holding not merely that the moral law is established entirely by God's will, but even that there is no reason why God wills in one way rather than another. In other passages, however, Scotus insists that reason plays an important role in morality—that right reason is an essential element in the moral goodness of an action, and that moral truth is accessible to natural reason. Many commentators have supposed that these two vie…Read more
  •  18
    An overview of the life and works of John Duns Scotus (now largely out of date, thanks to the progress of various editions)
  •  30
    Biblical interpretation
    In Eleonore Stump & Norman Kretzmann (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Augustine, Cambridge University Press. pp. 59--70. 2001.
    This paper examines Augustine's exegetical theory and practice, with particular emphasis on the epistemology that undergirds his Biblical interpretation and the moral constraints on exegesis that Augustine sets forth on De doctrina christiana.
  •  46
    Book reviews (review)
    Mind 105 (418). 1996.
    The Cambridge Translations of Medieval Philosophical Texts are meant to be companions to The Cambridge History of Later Medieval Philosophy,1 which appeared in 1982. They have been slow in coming, however: the first volume, Logic and the Philosophy of Language,2 appeared in 1988, and this second volume, Ethics and Political Philosophy, in 2001. The connection between the History and the Trans- lations is somewhat loose in any case. For example, a volume on Philosophical Theology is planned for t…Read more
  •  64
    Aquinas in Dialogue with Contemporary Philosophy: Eleonore Stump’s Aquinas (review)
    American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 79 (3): 483-491. 2005.
    In her volume on Aquinas for Routledge’s “Arguments of the Philosophers” series, Eleonore Stumps aims at an interpretation of Aquinas that is historically faithful but also responsive to the concerns of contemporary philosophers. I assess her success in attaining this twofold aim by examining in detail Stump’s overview of Aquinas’s metaphysics, which engages with contemporary debates over constitution and identity, and her interpretation of Aquinas’s account of justice, which brings Aquinas into…Read more
  •  6
    Anselm’s Account of Freedom
    with Sandra Visser
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 31 (2): 221-244. 2001.
    According to Anselm's official definition, freedom of choice is ‘the power to preserve rectitude of will for the sake of that rectitude itself.’ From the point of view of contemporary metaphysics, this is one of the most unhelpful definitions imaginable. Does such freedom require alternative possibilities, for example? Is it compatible with causal determination? Is the exercise of such freedom a necessary and sufficient condition for moral responsibility? The definition sheds no light on these q…Read more
  •  123
    I start with a story to convey what I think is the essence of the Platonic outlook that Augustine adopts. Then I’ll show you how various Platonists put the insights that this story encapsulates to work in three different aspects of philosophy. After I’ve laid all that out, I’ll talk about how Augustine transforms this Platonic picture in the light of his Christian faith..
  •  42
    A most methodical lover?: On scotus's arbitrary creator
    Journal of the History of Philosophy 38 (2): 169-202. 2000.
    The paper argues against interpretations that appeal to divine justice and rationality in order to mitigate the apparent arbitrariness of Scotus's God with respect to creation
  •  80
    Recent Work on Saint Augustine
    Philosophical Books 41 (3): 145-153. 2000.
    An overview of major work on Augustine published between 1990 and 2000.
  • The Cambridge Companion to Medieval Ethics (edited book)
    Cambridge University Press. 2018.
    Ethics was a central preoccupation of medieval philosophers, and medieval ethical thought is rich, diverse, and inventive. Yet standard histories of ethics often skip quickly over the medievals, and histories of medieval philosophy often fail to do justice to the centrality of ethical concerns in medieval thought. This volume presents the full range of medieval ethics in Christian, Islamic, and Jewish philosophy in a way that is accessible to a non-specialist and reveals the liveliness and sophi…Read more
  • John Duns Scotus: Selected Writings on Ethics (edited book)
    Oxford University Press. 2017.
    Thomas Williams presents the most extensive collection of John Duns Scotus's work on ethics and moral psychology available in English. This accessible and philosophically informed translation includes extended discussions on divine and human freedom, the moral attributes of God, and the relationship between will and intellect.
  •  41
    William A. Frank and Allan B. Wolter, duns scotus, metaphysician
    International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 43 (2): 125-127. 1998.
  •  20
    John Duns Scotus
    In H. Lagerlund (ed.), Encyclopedia of Medieval Philosophy, Springer. pp. 611--619. 2011.
    An overview of the life and philosophical works of John Duns Scotus
  •  36
    Anselm: Basic Writings
    Hackett. 2007.
    Ranging from his early treatises, the ’Monologion’ (a work written to show his monks how to meditate on the divine essence) and the ’Proslogion’ (best known for its advancement of the so-called ontological argument for the existence of God), to his three philosophical dialogues on metaphysical topics such as the relationship between freedom and sin, and late treatises on the Incarnation and salvation, this collection of Anselm’s essential writings will be of interest to students of the history o…Read more
  •  66
    Review of Brian Dobell, Augustine's Intellectual Conversion
  •  55
    God Who Sows the Seed and Gives the Growth
    Anglican Theological Review 2007 611-627. 2007.
    This paper examines Anselm's pneumatology.
  •  29
    Review of James J. O'Donnell, Augustine: A New Biography (review)
    Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2007 (2). 2007.
  •  59
    Every reader creates a personal version of what is read....This is often the very opposite of what might at first blush be expected: but on consideration it is exactly the way in which a writer of genius should — we perhaps suddenly realise — respond. It is, in short, creative rather than passively parallel, and a matter of unobtrusive decisive omissions followed by the flow of new matter, of demarcation rather than of imitation.
  •  56
    Anselm’s Proslogion
    Topoi 35 (2): 613-616. 2016.
    Up to this point, Anselm has been known for two quite different kinds of work: his devotional writings, which aim to move and inspire the reader and are marked by an ornate style that relies heavily on alliteration and antitheses and suchlike ornaments, and his Monologion, a work of what has come to be known as analytic theology, written in straightforward, unadorned, philosophical prose that aspires only to clarity and precision. In his new work, Proslogion, Anselm attempts to combine the two s…Read more