Weakness of the Will in Medieval Thought
This book sets out to examine the medieval understanding of Aristotle's famous discussion of “weakness of the will” (akrasia, incontinentia) in the seventh book of his Nicomachean Ethics.
The medieval views are outlined primarily on the basis of the commentaries on Aristotle's Ethics by Albert the Great, Thomas Aquinas, Walter Burley, Gerald Odonis and John Buridan. An investigation of the earlier Augustinian discussion concerning reluctant actions (invitus facere) rounds out the study.
The recent studies of weakness of the will have neglected the medieval philosophers. The present volume fills this gap in historical research and shows that especially the conceptual refinement of the fourteenth-century discussion makes contributions that are comparable to those of twentieth-century philosophers.