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Chapter 10 studies theories of demonic obstinacy, the state in which the fallen angels or demons are unable to avoid sinning and have a limited ability to do good. The external cause of obstinacy is God’s refusal to offer them the grace of repentance and of justification. Beginning with Aquinas, theologians searched in addition for an internal, psychological cause of their obstinacy – a great challenge, given their shared belief that the angels’ will is by nature oriented to the good. Aquinas traces their obstinacy to the fixity of their cognition, and Henry of Ghent to the forcefulness of their will. Certain Franciscan thinkers explain the demons’ obstinacy by means of a divine intervention, binding their will to evil (Olivi), causing their immoderate self-love (Scotus), causing in them a habit of wickedness (Auriol), or even causing in them hatred of God (Ockham). Durand of St. Pourçain returns to the standard account prior to Aquinas, which explains the demons’ obstinacy by a divine decision, with no reference to their psychological condition. In addition to the cause of obstinacy, theologians discussed whether the demons, though necessarily obstinate, are nevertheless free.
Chapter 5 concerns the free will debate in the early fourteenth century. It thoroughly discusses the Franciscans Duns Scotus and William of Ockham, who make a sharp distinction between will and nature, that is, between a free power or cause that controls its act and one whose act is determined by external circumstances. Scotus and Ockham make the will more independent from a cognized good than previous thinkers. Using unedited texts, the chapter also presents what may well be the strongest statement of intellectualism at the time, by John of Pouilly, who builds on Godfrey of Fontaines to explain why, although our choices are moved by the cognized object, we control our choices. More briefly, the Dominicans Hervaeus Natalis and Durand of St. Pourçain are considered, whose general approach resembles Pouilly’s. As a thinker developing an intermediary theory, the chapter studies Peter Auriol, according to whom the will controls directly which judgment considered during deliberation becomes the final judgment that causes one’s choice. The dividing issue among these thinkers is, at bottom, whether the will controls its acts directly or only by means of deliberation.
Chapter 9 examines explanations of the angelic fall by voluntarists and thinkers holding an intermediary theory of free will. These nonintellectualist accounts agree – contrary to intellectualists – that there was deficient willing before there was deficient cognition. For some voluntarists, the discussion of angelic sin serves above all as confirmation of their own theories of free will (e.g., Henry of Ghent) or as proof that their adversaries are wrong (e.g., John Pecham). Others go further and try to give a plausible account of how the evil angels could intentionally make their choice (Peter Olivi), and to explain how their will could be defective while their cognition was unflawed (Duns Scotus). Among thinkers professing an intermediary theory of free will, the chapter considers Giles of Rome, whose account of angelic sin fits nicely with his general theory of the relation of ignorance and evil, and Peter Auriol, whose explanation of angelic sin does not sit comfortably with his theory of free will.
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