Scott MacDonald

Norma K. Regan Professor in Christian Studies


Scott MacDonald's research interests include medieval philosophy (especially Augustine and Aquinas), philosophical theology, and issues in philosophy of mind, moral psychology, and the philosophy of action — especially those concerned with free will, moral responsibility, and practical reasoning. He is currently working on themes in the later works of Augustine: the ConfessionsDe trinitate, and the Genesis commentaries.

Research Focus

  • Medieval philosophy (especially Augustine and Aquinas)
  • Philosophical theology
  • Philosophy of mind and cognition
  • Moral psychology and the philosophy of action — especially issues related to free will, moral responsibility, and practical reasoning


  • Aquinas’s Moral Theory: Essays in Honor of Norman Kretzmann, editor (with Eleonore Stump). Cornell University Press, 1999
  • Being and Goodness: The Concept of the Good in Metaphysics and Philosophical Theology, editor. Cornell University Press, 1991
  • “Foundations in Aquinas’s Moral Theory,” Social Philosophy and Policy 25:1 (Winter 2008). Pp. 350-67. (Published simultaneously in Objectivism, Subjectivism, and Relativism in Ethics, edd. Ellen Frankel Paul, Fred D. Miller, Jr., and Jeffrey Paul. Cambridge University Press, 2008. Pp. 350-67.)
  • “The Paradox of Inquiry in Augustine’s Confessions,” forthcoming in Metaphilosophy 39:1 (January 2008)
  • “Augustine and Platonism: The Rejection of Divided-Soul Accounts of Akrasia,” in Uses and Abuses of the Classics: Western Interpretations of Greek Philosophy, edd. Jorge J. E. Gracia and Jiyuan Yu. Ashgate Publishing, 2004. Pp. 75-88
  • “Petit Larceny, the Beginning of All Sin: Augustine’s Theft of the Pears,” Faith and Philosophy 20 (2003). Pp. 393-414 [Reprinted in Augustine’s Confessions: Critical Essays, ed. William E. Mann (Rowman & Littlefield, 2006), Pp. 45-69]
  • “Aquinas’s Ultimate Ends: A Reply to Grisez,” American Journal of Jurisprudence 46 (2001), Symposium on Natural Law and Human Fulfillment. Pp. 37-49
  • “The Divine Nature,” a chapter in the Cambridge Companion to Augustine, edd. Eleonore Stump and Norman Kretzmann. Cambridge University Press, 2001. Pp.  71-90 [Reprinted in Augustine’s Confessions: Critical Essays, ed. William E. Mann (Rowman & Littlefield, 2006), Pp. 85-105]
  • “Gilbert of Poitiers’ Metaphysics of Goodness,” Recherches de Théologie et Philosophie médiévales July, 1999. Pp. 57-77
  • “Practical Reasoning and Reasons-Explanations: Aquinas’s Account of Reason’s Role in Action,” in Aquinas’s Moral Theory, edd. Scott MacDonald and Eleonore Stump. Cornell University Press, 1999. Pp. 133-60
  • “Aquinas’s Libertarian Account of Free Choice,” Revue Internationale de Philosophie 52 (1998). Pp. 309-28
  • “Primal Sin,” in The Augustinian Tradition, ed. Gareth B. Matthews. University of California Press, 1998. Pp. 110-39
  • “What is Philosophical Theology?” in The Presumption of Presence, edd. Peter McEnhill and George B. Hall. Scottish Academic Press, 1996. Pp. 61-84

RELST Courses - Spring 2024