Forthomme Bernard ,
La redÚcouverte du concept de volontÚ,
Antonianum, 86/2 (2011) p. 361-382
Summary: Having engaged with the late emergence of the concept of will in human thought, and further, the emergence of the will as freedom (voluntas id est libertas) explicitly distinct from the will called natural (not only as desire, but as appetitus intellectus), this study examines the impact of neurosciences on the question of the will and of the frequent prejudice that consists in identifying the will with (intentional) psychological consciousness, while thought in the mediaeval universities does not consider this question of consciousness (the ability to distinguish that which is “mine” from that which is “thine”), if not as the vector of the dominium that constitutes the free power of arbitrium (Bonaventure). Hence a study of the impact of the neurosciences on the roots of philosophical reflection on the will (the political, law and the tragic) and an analysis of the major obstacles to the emergence of the concept of the will, no longer only as a faculty or liberum arbitrium (in the manner of Tertullian and above all, Augustine), but as freedom properly so called, the free power of the contraries (Duns Scotus): The political context, the ethical insertion, the tragic myth, the juridical-religious brakes, the metaphysical screen, the theological imagery, the Christological safety catch. The rediscovery of the concept of the will by the neurosciences as an experimental artifact raises once more the pertinence of renewed enquiry regarding the first mover of volition and the power of a priori perversion of the will, successively voluntarist, intellectualist or naturalist.