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Document Details :

Title: Richard Knapwell and Medieval Moral Dilemma Theory
Author(s): DOUGHERTY, M.V.
Journal: Recherches de Théologie et Philosophie Médiévales
Volume: 80    Issue: 2   Date: 2013   
Pages: 225-258
DOI: 10.2143/RTPM.80.2.3005398

Abstract :
Throughout the later medieval period, many theologians and canonists questioned whether it is possible for an agent to face a necessary choice between sinful options. In the mid-1280s, the English Dominican Richard Knapwell entered these discussions by authoring a Quodlibet that contains a short quaestio on the subject of moral dilemmas. There Knapwell presents four traditional moral dilemmas found in the earlier medieval literature, and these four can be designated as the Crucifiers of Christ Dilemma, the Innocent Fugitive Dilemma, the Drinker Dilemma, and the Unrepentant Priest Dilemma. The present paper considers Knapwell’s contribution to this interdisciplinary debate on moral dilemmas by situating his analysis within earlier medieval theorizing found in both theology and canon law and proposes that Knapwell’s account is a distinctive contribution to the medieval debate over moral dilemmas.

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