Robert Greystones on the Freedom of the Will: Selections from His Commentary on the Sentences

ISBN : 9780197266014

Mark Henninger; Robert Andrews; Jennifer Ottman
400 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Nov 2016
Auctores Britannici Medii Aevi
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If there is a heaven and you get there, could you still sin? If not, why not, if you're still free? If there is a hell and you end up there, why couldn't you choose to repent and get out? If not, why not, if you're still free? However esoteric these questions may seem, they forced thinkers in the fourteenth century to think hard about just what it is to be free. In what, exactly, does human freedom consist? By addressing a number of theological 'limit situations', such as those mentioned above, Robert Greystones, while at Oxford University in the 1320s, developed his own philosophical theory of human freedom, which is remarkably coherent and persuasive. This volume presents for the first time the Latin critical edition of his discussions, with a clear English translation on facing pages, along with an extensive introduction, describing his life and teaching on human freedom. This volume presents the Latin critical edition, with English translation on facing pages, of six questions from Robert Greystones's Sentences commentary. Greystones's discussions provide an excellent window onto debates concerning the will at Oxford in the early 1320s, since he works out his solutions in critical dialogue with contemporaries such as William of Ockham, William of Alnwick, Robert Cowton, Richard Conington, Henry of Harclay, and Peter Aureol. In order to show the cut and thrust of these debates, the editors include many ample quotations from these thinkers, including material found only in manuscript. A clear and extensive introduction describes Greystones's life and doctrine of the will. The editors also provide a complete list of Greystones's numerous questions in the four books of his commentary, found only in Westminster Abbey MS 13.


1 Life of Robert Greystones
2 Works of Robert Greystones
3 Robert Greystones's Doctrine of the Will
4 The manuscript, editorial principles, and translation
Book I, distinction 1, question 2: Utrum fruitio sit actus voluntatis tantum
Book I, distinction 1, question 3: An ultimo fine ostenso per intellectum voluntas necessario fruatur eo
Book II, distinction 4, unique question: Utrum angelus potuit peccare in primo instanti sui esse
Book II, distinction 7, unique question: Utrum deus posset facere naturam rationalem arbitrio liberam, impeccabilem per naturam
Book II, distinction 23, unique question: Utrum damnatus possit aliquid bene velle
Book IV, distinction 49, question 1: Utrum homo ex naturalibus posset visionem beatificam consequi
Index Sacrae Scripturae
Index Auctorum
Index Doctrinalis

About the author: 

Mark Henninger received his PhD in philosophy from the University of California in Los Angeles. He has taught and engaged in research in a number of universities: Loyola University of Chicago, University of Detroit Mercy, Arrupe College and the University of Zimbabwe, the Gregorian University in Rome, and Georgetown University, Washington DC. ; Robert Andrews, born 1955, was educated in Illinois, New Mexico, New York, and Copenhagen. Associate Professor with tenure at The Franciscan Institute of St. Bonaventure University. Visiting Assistant Professor at The University of North Carolina - Asheville. Currently Researcher in the Greystones Manuscript Project, Georgetown University, and associate of the Centre for Medieval Studies, Stockholm University.; Jennifer Ottman has aPhD in History, Yale University, 2003. She has been collaborator on the Richard Rufus of Cornwall Critical Edition since 1999, under various titles; associate editor since 2011. She has been a collaborator on the Greystones Manuscript Project since 2011.

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