Augustine on the Free Choice of the Will: Outline

1. Augustine: On Free Choice of the Will

Augustine on the free choice of the will indicated that the mind cannot be forced to be a slave to lust. He outlined that the mind should not corrupt itself on behalf of its body. This is because; it is only when the two are in agreement that a man can perform righteous or evil actions. He added that if the body lusts and the soul concurs, then sin has been committed. However, if the body lusts and the soul does not agree, then there is no sin. Therefore, it is the free choice of the will that decides whether an action is sinful or not.

2. Outline

– Introduction
– Augustine on the free choice of the will

– Self-defense
– Human beings
– Augustine, S. and Williams, T. (12-126)
– Evodius
– Question
– God’s will
– Killing in self-defense
– Driven by unwarranted desires
– Saint Augustine
– Wrong kind of justification
– Freedom
– Righteous or evil actions
– Rewards
– Blames or punishments
– Conclusion


Augustine means that our will is free in the sense that we have the power to choose what we want. We are not determined by outside forces, but rather we make our own choices.

Augustine's view of freedom differs from other philosophical views in that he believes that our will is the only thing that is truly free. Other philosophers believe that there are other things that are also free, such as our mind or our body.

The implications of Augustine's view of freedom for moral responsibility are significant because it means that we are responsible for our own choices and actions. We cannot blame anyone else for our mistakes or bad decisions; we must take responsibility for them ourselves.

Someone might respond to Augustine's argument by saying that while our will may be free, it is not always possible for us to act on our desires due to outside constraints such as laws or social norms.