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Faith and Philosophy

Volume 34, Issue 2, April 2017

Thomas Williams
Pages 223-234
DOI: 10.5840/faithphil201741881

Anselm on Free Choice and Character Formation

Character formation is a central theme in Katherin Rogers’s Freedom and Self-Creation: Anselmian Libertarianism. According to Rogers, Anselm holds that the purpose of free choice is to afford creatures the possibility of creating their own characters through their free choices. I argue that Anselm has no doctrine of character formation. Accordingly, he does not hold the view of the purpose of free choice that Rogers attributes to him. Creatures cannot bring about justice in themselves, let alone increase it by their own efforts; any moral progress is divine gift, not creaturely achievement. I offer an alternative account of the purpose of free choice.