Research

I have a few projects on the go. Presently, I am developing my defense of intellectualism, the view of some medieval philosophers that volition is caused by the activity of our cognitive powers, which I started in my dissertation. I am working on one paper about Thomas Aquinas, Thomas of Sutton and the self-motion of the will, and another paper on Godfrey of Fontaines and moral imputability.

Recently, I have also been trying to make sense of some aspects of Peter John Olivi’s theory of the will, such as why he thinks that three kinds of “attention” (aspectus) are necessary for exercising free will, and how it is possible for the activity of the will to be influenced by reasons.

I hope to soon begin a new research project about memory. In general, medieval philosophers distinguished two cognitive powers in human beings, namely, sensation and intellection, and associated memory with each of them. That is, there is both “sensitive” memory (the memory I have of hearing a beautiful song) and “intellective” memory (the memory I have of thinking about whether having the power to do otherwise is essential to exercising free will). I think that the possibility of intellective memory presents many challenges, and this project’s aim would be to examine them.

If you wish to read a copy of any of the presentations on my CV, please feel free to get in touch by email (mszlacht@stfx.ca).

And please click here if you wish to read the abstract of my dissertation.