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American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly

Volume 77, Issue 1, Winter 2003

John A. Laumakis
Pages 37-55

Weisheipl’s Interpretation of Avicebron’s Doctrine of the Divine Will
Is Avicebron a Voluntarist?

In his interpretation of Avicebron’s doctrine of the divine will, Weisheipl claims that Avicebron is a voluntarist because he holds that God’s will is superior to God’s intelligence. Yet, by reexamining his Fons vitae, I argue that Avicebron is not a voluntarist. For, according to Avicebron, God’s will can be considered in two ways—(1) as inactive or (2) as active—and in neither case is God’s will superior to God’s intelligence. I conclude by noting that if, as Weisheipl contends, Avicebron—and not Augustine—was the source of the voluntarism that characterized thirteenth-century Augustinianism, that was the case only because thirteenth-century Christian thinkers misunderstood—as Weisheipl has—Avicebron’s doctrine of the divine will. For, in fact, Avicebron is not a voluntarist.