Boethius Boethius Free Will

1532 Words7 Pages
In Christian tradition, the existence of God is central to the religion and the practices and beliefs associated with it. In this tradition, God can be conceived of as an all powerful, immortal and transcendent being who governs and creates the world as it is known. During the Medieval Era Christianity dominated Europe, leading to an extensive amount of philosophical and scholarly works related to God and how to properly conceive of him. As a result, many philosophical topics and theories were brought under examination in an attempt to combine them with Christian ideologies and conceptions of God and the world. One of the many topics brought under consideration was free will. Free will is an important components of the human experience and…show more content…
In Book Five of his text Consolation of Philosophy Boethius addresses divine foreknowledge in a conversation with Lady Philosophy. Boethius presents similar problems as outlined in Augustine’s text, where divine foreknowledge and human will seem to contradict one another. Boethius points out that divine foreknowledge also undermines the significance of prayer, punishment and reward because if all actions are predetermined then humans cannot be responsible for their actions, and their prayer are essential useless. To overcome this problem Boethius identifies different types of knowledge and how they apply to humans and the divine. To begin, Boethius discusses four different types of knowledge; sense, imagination, reason and intelligence. Sense knowledge refers to knowing matter as it is presented to us, imagination knowledge refers to the ability to grasp the figure of an object apart from matter and reason is characteristic of human beings accounting for universal features, and intelligence is of the divine, looking beyond the universe toward eternal truths. These types of knowledge exist hieratically, ascending from organisms to animals to humans to the divine, where each ascending level of knowledge is capable of understand the levels beneath it not that above. This in turn means that human’s do not possess the…show more content…
However, Boethius’s views on God’s knowledge more strongly illustrate this point because they place a greater distinction between God’s knowledge and our will, by placing God outside of the temporal world, changing the conception of foreknowledge. Both theories are successful in accounting for human free will and the excellence of God, blending the two idea to allow human beings to determine their own live within the space provided by the all powerful

More about Boethius Boethius Free Will

Open Document