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date: 15 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Hobbes’s views on free will and action were radically revisionary of a well-established scholastic theory of the ethical significance of freedom and of freedom’s relation to law. At the heart of this scholastic theory was an account of freedom as a multiway power to determine alternatives and of human action as a distinctively practical mode of exercising reason. The chapter explains this theory as developed by Suarez and, following Suarez, by Bramhall, and examines Hobbes’s attack on the theory’s basis—the theory of freedom as a metaphysical power and of action as a distinctively practical mode of exercising reason.

Keywords: Hobbes, liberty, action, free will, law, reason, ethical significance, Suarez, Bramhall, metaphysical power

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