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The Foundations of Freedom in Later Medieval Philosophy: Giles of Rome and his Contemporaries

From: Journal of the History of Philosophy
Volume 44, Number 3, July 2006
pp. 353-376 | 10.1353/hph.2006.0038


This article explores the philosophical and theological context in which later medieval debates surrounding the foundations of freedom emerged. In particular, the article establishes that Aquinas's famous pupil Giles of Rome (1243/47-1316) was less indebted to St. Thomas himself on the question of human freedom than has commonly been supposed. Rather, his teachings on the will and human freedom owe more to such Franciscan thinkers as John of la Rochelle and Walter of Bruges. This interpretation challenges the received view, which goes back to Henry of Ghent, and continues to be prominent in the contemporary literature.

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