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his mind, is not at liberty to think, or not to think; no
more than he is at liberty whether his body shall touch
any other or no: but whether he will remove his con-
templation from one idea to another, is many times in
his choice; and then he is in respect of his ideas as
much at liberty, as he is in respect of bodies he rests
on; he can at pleasure remove himself from one to ano-
ther. But yet some ideas to the mind, like some mo-
tions to the body, are such as in certain circumstances
it cannot avoid, nor obtain their absence by the ut-
most effort it can use. A man on the rack is not at
liberty to lay by the idea of pain, and divert himself
with other contemplations: and sometimes a boisterous
passion hurries our thoughts as a hurricane does our
bodies, without leaving us the liberty of thinking on
other things, which we would rather choose. But as
soon as the mind regains the power to stop or continue,
begin or forbear, any of these motions of the body
without, or thoughts within, according as it thinks
fit to prefer either to the other, we then consider the
man as a free agent again.
§. 13. Wherever thought is wholly want-

ing, or the power to act or forbear accord- what.
ing to the direction of thought; there neceg-
sity takes place. This in an agent capable of volition,
when the beginning or continuation of any action is
contrary to that preference of his mind, is called com-
pulsion; when the hindering or stopping any action is
contrary to his volition, it is called restraint. Agents
that have no thought, no volition, at all, are in every
thing necessary agents.
§. 14. If this be so (as I imagine it is) I

Liberty beleave it to be considered whether it may not longs nor to help to put an end to that long agitated, the will. and I think, unreasonable, because unintel ligible question, viz. Whether man's will be free, or no? For if I mistake not, it follows from what I have said, that the question itself is altogether improper; and it is as insignificant to ask, whether man's will be free, as to ask whether his sleep be swift, or his virtue square ; liberty being as little applicable to the will, as


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swiftness of motion is to sleep, or squareness to virtue.
Every one would laugh at the absurdity of such a ques-
tion, as either of these; because it is obvious, that the
modifications of motion belong not to sleep, nor the
difference of figure to virtue: and when any one well
considers it, I think he will as plainly perceive, that
liberty, which is but a power, belongs only to agents,
and cannot be an attribute or modification of the will,
which is also but a power.

9. 15. Such is the difficulty of explain1. ing and giving clear notions of internal actions by sounds, that I must here warn my reader that ordering, directing, choosing, preferring, &c. which I have made use of, will not distinctly enough express volition, unless he will reflect on what he himself does when he wills. For example, preferring, which seems perhaps best to express the act of volition, does it not precisely. For though a man would prefer flying to walking, yet who can say he ever wills it? Volition, it is plain, is an act of the mind knowingly exerting that dominion it takes itself to have over any part of the man, by employing it in, or with-holding it from, any pårticular action. And what is the will, but the faculty to do this ? And is that faculty any thing more in effect than a power, the power of the mind to determine its thought, to the producing, continuing, or stopping any action, as far as it depends on us? For can it be denied, that whatever agent has a power to think on its own actions, and to prefer their doing or omission either to other, has that faculty called will ? Will then is nothing but such a power. Liberty, on the other side, is the power a man has to do or forbear doing any particular action, according as its doing or forbearance has the actual preference in the mind; which is the same thing as to say, according as he himself wills it.

§. 16. It is plain then, that the will is Powers be

nothing but one power or ability, and freelonging to agents.

dom another power or ability : so that to

ask, whether the will has freedom, is to ask whether one power has another power, one ability ano

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ther ability ; a question at first sight too grossly absurd to make a dispute, or need an answer. For who is it that sees not that powers belong only to agents, and are attributes only of substances, and not of powers themselves ? So that this way of putting the question, viz. Whether the will be free? is in effect to ask, Whether. the will be a substance, an agent ? or at least to suppose it, since freedoin can properly be attributed to nothing else. If freedom can with any propriety of speech be applied to power, or may be attributed to the power that is in a man to produce or forbear producing motion in parts of his body, by choice or preference ; which is that which denominates him free, and is freedom itself. But if any one should ask, whether freedom were free, he would be suspected not to understand well what he said; and he would be thought to deserve Midas's ears, who, kuowing that rich was a denomination for the possession of riches, should demand wheiber riches themselves were rich.

5. 17. However the name faculty, which inen have given 10 this power called the will, and whereby they have been led into a way of talking of the will as acting, may, by an appropriation that disguises its true sense, serve a little to palliate the absurdity; yet the will in truth signifies nothing but a power, or ability, to prefer or choose : and when the will, under the name of a faculty, is considered as it is, barely as an ability to do something, the absurdity in saying it is free, or not free, will easily discover itself. For if it be reasonable to suppose and talk of faculties, as distinct beings that can act (as we do, when we say the will Ortlers, and ilie will is free) it is fit that we should make a speaking faculty, and a walking faculty, and a dancing faculty, by which those actions are produced, which are but several modes of motion; as well as we make the will and understanding to be faculties, by which the actions of choosing and perceiving are produced, wlrich are but several modes of thinking : and we may as properly say, that it is the singing faculty sings, and the dancing faculty dances; as that the will chooses, or that the understanding conceives ; or, as is Q3


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usual, that the will directs the understanding, or the understanding obeys, or obeys not the will : it being altogether as proper and intelligible to say, that the power of speaking directs the power of singing, or the power of singing obeys or disobeys the power of speaking.

$. 18. This way of talking, nevertheless, has prevailed, and, as I guess, produced great confusion. For these being all different powers in the mind, or in the man, to do several actions, he exerts them as he thinks fit: but the power to do one action, is not operated on by the power of doing another action. For the power of thinking operates not on the power of choosing, nor the power of choosing on the power of thinking; no more than the power of dancing operates on the power of singing, or the power of singing on the power of dancing; as any one, who reflects on it, will easily perceive: and yet this is it which we say, when we thus speak, that the will operates on the understanding, or the understanding on the will.

$. 19. I grant, that this or that actual thought may be the occasion of volition, or exercising the power a man has to choose ; or the actual choice of the mind, the cause of actual thinking on this or that thing : as the actual singing of such a tune, may be the cause of dancing such a dance, and the actual dancing of such a dance the occasion of singing such a tyne. But in all these it is not one power that operates on another : but it is the mind that operates, and exerts these powers; it is the man that does the action, it is the agent that has power, or is able to do. For powers are relations, not agents : and that wbich has the power, or not the power to operate, is that alone which is or is not free, and not the power itself. For freedom, or not freedom, can belong to nothing, but wbat has or has not a power to act.

$. 20. The attributing to faculties that Liberty be.

which belonged not to thein, has given oclongs not to

' casion to this way of talking: but the intro-
ducing into discourses concerning the mind,


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with the name of faculties, a notion of their operating,
has, I suppose, as little advanced our knowledge in
that part of ourselves, as the great use and inention of
the like invention of faculties, in the operations of the
body, has helped us in the knowledge of physick. Not
that I deny there are faculties, both in the body and
mind: they both of them have their powers of operat-
ing, else neither the one nor the other could operate.
For nothing can operate that is not able to operate;
and that is not able to operate, that has no power to
operate. Nor do I deny, that those words, and the
like, are to have their place in the common use of lan-
guages, that have made them current. It looks like
too much affectation wholly to lay them by: and phi-
losophy itself, though it likes not a gaudy dress, yet
when it appears in public, must have so much com-
placency, as to be clothed in the ordinary fashion and
language of the country, so far as it can consist with
truth and perspicuity. But the fault has been, that
faculties have been spoken of and represented as so
many distinct agents. For it being asked, what it was
that digested the ineat in our stomachs ? it was a ready
and very satisfactory answer, to say, that it was the di-
gestive faculty. What was it that made any thing come
out of the body ? the expulsive faculty. What moved ?
the motive faculty. And so in the mind, the intellec-
tual faculty, or the understanding, understood; and the
elective faculty, or the will, willed or commanded.
This is in short to say, that the ability to digest, di-
gested; and the ability to move, moved; and the abi-
lity to understand, understood. For faculty, ability,
and power, I think, are but different names of the same
things; which ways of speaking, when put into more
intelligible words, will, I think, amount to thus much;
that digestion is performed by something that is able
to digest, motion by something able to move, and un-
derstanding by something able to understand. And in
truth it would be very strange if it should be otherwise ;
as strange as it would be for a man to be free without
being able to be free

$. 21

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