On Free Choice of the Will

By Augustine; Thomas Williams | Go to book overview

Reconsiderations
Book One, Chapter Nine

Near the end of his career, Augustine undertook to review all his works, establish their chronology, and reexamine them in the light of his views at the time. He called this survey Retractationes, from the Latin retractare, to rehandle or take up again. It is a mistake to call them Retractions, since often Augustine is perfectly satisfied with what he finds in his earlier writings. A better English title would be Reconsiderations.

In his Reconsiderations of On Free Choice of the Will, Augustine is chiefly concerned to distance himself from the Pelagians, a heretical group that had claimed to find support for their views in Augustine's writings on free choice.

While we were still waiting in Rome, we decided to discuss1.

the origin of evil. We carried on the discussion in such a way that reason would raise the things that we already believed on divine authority to the level of understanding, to the extent that we could do so with God's help. And since, after careful discussion, we agreed that the sole origin of evil is the free choice of the will, the three books that grew out of that discussion were entitled On Free Choice. I finished Books Two and Three, as well as I could at the time, after I had been ordained a priest at Hippo Regius.

So many things were discussed in these books that quite a few2.
issues arose that I could not elucidate, or that would have required an extended discussion. Whenever a question admitted of more than one solution, and we could not determine which of these was closest to the truth, we postponed the question with the understanding that, whatever might turn out to be the truth, we could believe, or even prove, that God ought to be praised.

We took up this discussion in order to refute those who deny that the origin of evil lies in the free choice of the will and therefore contend that we should blame evil on God, the Creator of all natures. In keeping with this perverse error, these men, the Manichees, wish to assert the existence of an unchangeable principle

-124-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
On Free Choice of the Will
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Note on the Translation ix
  • Introduction xi
  • Selected Bibliography xxi
  • Book One 1
  • Book Two 29
  • Book Three 70
  • Reconsiderations Book One, Chapter Nine 124
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 136

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.