Date of Award

Spring 1963

Document Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




One of my philosophy professors once remarked on the difficulty of labeling ideas once they are in circulation. A philosopher's ideas, newly developed today, may become common currency as time goes on and eventually lose their label, "These thoughts belong to N ••• •" This observation points at the same time to the truth that even though philosophy is theoretical, it nevertheless exerts a change, in men and in their world. Jonathan Edwards illustrates this element of continuity amidst change. Standing on the threshold or America's intellectual history, he both reflects the ideas of another century and another world, and foreshadows later New England thought. It is the ideas that Edwards reflects in his philosophy of freedom that I propose to examine. In particular, it is the purpose of this thesis to discuss the doctrine or freedom or will as Edwards formulated it in the light or the influence of Calvinism, Arminianism, and Lockean psychology. That they were influencing factors in the formulation of Edwards' doctrine is certain from his own references to them. It is the extent of their influence, in so far as it is possible to determine, and the subsequent development of Edwards' position, that is the concern or this thesis.



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