Necessity and Determinism in Robert Grosseteste’s De libero arbitrio

Marcin Trepczyński 1
  • 1 University of Warsaw, , Krakowskie Przedmieście 3 Street, 00-927, Warsaw, Poland

Abstract

In this paper, the theory of necessity proposed by Robert Grosseteste is presented. After showing the wide range of various kinds of determination discussed by him (connected with: (1) one’s knowledge about the future, (2) predestination, (3) fate, (4) grace, (5) sin and temptation), a different context of Grosseteste’s use of the notion of necessity is analyzed (within logical and metaphysical approaches). At the heart of his theory lie: the definition of necessity, which is that something lacks the capacity (posse) for its opposite, and the distinction between two perspectives within which we can consider necessity: (1) the one according to which the truthfulness of a dictum determines that it cannot be the opposite, (2) a pre- or atemporal one, as if something had not yet begun. On these grounds, Robert explains that God’s omniscience is compatible with contingency, including human free decisions. Robert’s theory is still relevant and useful in contemporary debates, as it can provide strong arguments and enrich discussions, thanks to the twoperspectives approach, which generates nine kinds of positions on the spectrum of determinism and indeterminism.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • 1. Andreoletti, G. Fatalism and Future Contingents, Analytic Philosophy 60 (3), 2019, pp. 245-258.

  • 2. Boethius. Consolation of Philosophy, transl. by J. C. Relihan, Indianapolis and Cambridge: Hackett Publishing, 2001.

  • 3. Ciuni, R., and C. Proietti. The Abundance of the Future: A Paraconsistent Approach to Future Contingents, Logic and Logical Philosophy 22, 2013, pp. 21-43.

  • 4. Ciuni, R., and C. Proietti. Future Contingents, Supervaluations, and Relative Truth, In L. Bellotti, L. Gili, E. Moriconi, and G. Turbanti (eds.), Third Pisa Colloquium in Logic, Language and Epistemology: Essays in Honour of Mauro Mariani and Carlo Marletti, Pisa: Edizioni ETS, 2019, pp. 69-88.

  • 5. Crombie, A. C. Robert Grosseteste and the Origins of Experimental Science 1100-1700, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1953.

  • 6. Dawson, J. G. Necessity and Contingency in the De libero arbitrio of Grosseteste, In La filosofia della natura nel Medioevo: Atti del terzo Congresso internazionale di filosofia Medioevale, Passo della Mendola (Trento) 31 agosto-5 settembre 1964, Milan: Società editrice Vita e pensiero, 1966, pp. 357-362.

  • 7. Di Nucci, E. Knowing Future Contingents, Logos and Episteme 3 (1), 2012, pp. 43-50.

  • 8. Iwanicki, M. Divine Foreknowledge and Human Freedom: N. Pike contra A. Plantinga, In A. P. Stefańczyk and R. Majeran (eds.), If God Exists… Human Freedom and Theistic Hypothesis: Studies and Essays, Lublin: Towarzystwo Naukowe KUL, 2019, pp. 425-462.

  • 9. Jadacki, J. J. Causal and Functional Determination vs. Foreknowledge about the Future, Roczniki Filozoficzne 66 (4), 2018, pp. 81-98.

  • 10. Jadacki, J. J. O antynomii zdarzeń przyszłych, Przegląd Filozoficzny 3 (99), 2016, pp. 311-329.

  • 11. Kijewska, A. Robert Grosseteste and His De Libero Arbitrio, In A. P. Stefańczyk and R. Majeran (eds.), If God Exists… Human Freedom and Theistic Hypothesis: Studies and Essays, Lublin: Towarzystwo Naukowe KUL, 2019, pp. 133-149.

  • 12. Knuuttila, S. Medieval Approaches to Future Contingents, Roczniki Filozoficzne 66 (4), 2018, pp. 99-114.

  • 13. Lewis, N. The First Recension of Robert Grosseteste’s De libero arbitrio, Mediaeval Studies 53, 1991, pp. 1-88.

  • 14. Lewis, N. Introduction, In Robert Grosseteste, On Free Decision, N. Lewis (ed.), Auctores Britannici Medii Aevi, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017, pp. xiii-cxvi.

  • 15. Lewis, N. Libertas arbitrii in Robert Grosseteste’s De libero arbitrio, In J. Flood, J. R. Ginther, and J. W. Goering (eds.), Robert Grosseteste and His Intellectual Milieu: New Editions and Studies, Papers in Mediaeval Studies 24, Toronto: PIMS, 2013.

  • 16. Łukasiewicz, D. Marcin Tkaczyk’s Ockhamism, or Whether the Theory of Contingentia Praeterita is the only Plausible Solution to the Problem of Futura Contingentia, Roczniki Filozoficzne 66 (4), 2018, pp. 115-134.

  • 17. Pawl, T. A Reply to “The Antinomy of Future Contingent Events”, Roczniki Filozoficzne 66 (4), 2018, pp. 149-157.

  • 18. Robert Grosseteste. On Free Decision, N. Lewis (ed.), Auctores Britannici Medii Aevi, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017.

  • 19. Smith, G. B. Political Philosophy and the Republican Future: Reconsidering Cicero, Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2018.

  • 20. Tkaczyk, M. The Antinomy of Future Contingent Events, Roczniki Filozoficzne 66 (4), 2018, pp. 5-38.

  • 21. Tkaczyk, M. Futura Contingentia, Lublin: Wydawnictwo KUL, 2015.

  • 22. Todd, P., and B. Rabern. Future Contingents and the Logic of Temporal Omniscience, Nous 2019, pp. 1-26.

  • 23. Wawer, J. Branching Time and the Semantics of Future Contingents, PhD dissertation, Kraków, 2016.

  • 24. Wciórka, W. Mitigating the Necessity of the Past in the Second Half of the Twelfth Century: Future-Dependent Predestination, Vivarium 58, 2020, pp. 29-64.

  • 25. Wojtysiak, J. Future Contingents, Ockhamism (Retroactivism) and Thomism (Eternalism), Roczniki Filozoficzne 66 (4), 2018, pp. 159-182.

  • 26. Woleński, J. Is the Past Determined (Necessary)? Roczniki Filozoficzne 66 (4), 2018, pp. 183-195.

  • 27. Woleński, J. Wolność, determinizm, indeterminizm, odpowiedzialność, Śląskie Studia Historyczno-Teologiczne 29, 1996, pp. 176-179.

  • 28. Zagzebski, L., Foreknowledge and Free Will, In E. N. Zalta (ed.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2017 Edition), https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2017/entries/free-will-foreknowledge/.

OPEN ACCESS

Journal + Issues

Search