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But to the $. 21. To return then to the inquiry agent or about liberty, I think the question is not man. . proper, whether the will be free, but whether a man be free. Thus, I think,
1. That so far as any one can, by the direction or choice of his mind, preferring the existence of any aca tion to the non-existence of that action, and vice versa, make it to exist or not exist; so far he is free. For if I can, by' a thought directing the motion of my finger, make it move when it was at rest, or vice versa ; it is evident, that in respect of that I am free: and if I can, by a like thought of my inind, preferring one to the other, produce either words or silence, I am at liberty 'to speak, or hold my peace; and as far as this power 'reaches, of acting, or not acting, by the determination of his own thought preferring either, so far is a inan free. For how can we think any one freer, than to have the power to do what he will ? And so far as any one can, by preferring any action to its not being, or rest to any action, produce that action or rest, so far can he do what he will. For such a preferring of action to its absence, is the willing of it; and we can scarce tell how to imagine any being freer, than to be able to do what he wills. So that in respect of actions within the reach of such a power in him, a man seems as free, as it is possible for freedom to make him. In respect of of $. 22. But the inquisitive mind of man,
9:22. But the in willing, a willing to shift off from himself, as far as man is not he can, all thoughts of guilt, though it be
by putting himself into a worse state than that of fatal necessity, is not content with this : freedom, unless it reaches farther than this, will not serie the turn: and it passes for a good plea, that a man is not free at all, if he be not as frce to will, as he is lo act what he wills. Concerning a man's liberty, there yet therefore is raised this farther question, Whether a man be free to will? which I think is what is meant, when it is disputed whether the will be free. And as to that I imagine, .
$. 23. That willing, or volition, being an action, and freedom consisting 'in a power of acting or not
acting, a man in respect of willing or the act of volition, when any action in his power is once proposed to his thoughts, as presently to be done, cannot be free. The reason whereof is very manifest: for it being unavoidable that the action depending on his will should exist, or not exist : and its existence, or not existence, following perfectly the determination and preference of his will; he cannot avoid willing tile existence, or not esistence of that action; it is absolutely necessary that lie will the one, or the other; i. e. prefer the one to the other: since one of them must necessarily follow; and that which does follow, follows by the choice and deterinination of his mind, that is, by his willing it: for if he did not will it, it would not be. So that in respect of the act of willing, a man in such a case is not free: liberty consisting in a power to act, or not to act; which, in regard, of volition, a man, upon such à proposal, has not. For it is unavoidably necessary to prefer the doing or forbearance of an action in a man's power, which is once so proposed to his thoughts; a man must necessarily will the one or the other of them, upon which preference or volition, the action or its forbearance certainly follows, and is truly voluntary. But the act of volition, or preferring one of the two, being that which he cannot avoid, a man in respect of that act of willing is under a necessity, and so cannot be free; unless necessity and freedom can consist together, and a man can be free and bound at once.
. 24. This then is evident, that in all proposals of present action, a man is not at liberty to will or not to will, because he cannot forbear willing : liberty consisting in a power to act or to forbear acting and in that only. For a man that sits still is said yet to be at liberty, because he can walk it he wills it. But if a man sitting still has not a power to remove himself, he is not at liberty; so likewise a man falling down a precipice, though in motion, is not at liberty, because he cannot stop that motion if he would. This being so, it is plaii; that a man that is walking, to whom it is pro
posed to give off walking, is not at liberty whether 2. he will determine limuself to walk, or give off walking,
or no: he must necessarily prefer one or the other of are them, walking or not walking; and so it is in regard of all other actions in our power so proposed, which are the far greater number. For considering the vast num. Lies ber of voluntary actions that succeed one another every terms moment that we are awake in the course of our lives, there are but few of thein that are thought on or pro, posed to the will, till the time they are to be done: and in all such actions, as I have shown, the mind in respect of willing has not a power to act, or not to act, our wherein consists liberty. The mind in that case has not a power to forbear willing ; it cannot avoid some deterinination concerning them, let the consideration be as short, the thought as quick as it will; it either leaves the man in the state he was before thinking, or changes it; continues the action, or puts an end to it. Whereby it is manifest, that it orders and directs one, in preference to or with neglect of the other, and thereby either the continuation or change becomes unavoidably voluntary. The will de. . 25. Since then it is plain, that in most termined by cases a man is not at liberty, whether he something will, or no; the next thing demanded, is, without it.. whether a man be at liberty to will which of the two he plcases, motion or rest? This question carries the absurdity of it so manifestly in itself, that one might thereby sufficiently be convinced that liberty concerns not the will. For to ask, whether a man be at liberty to will either motion or rest, speaking or silence, which he pleases; is to ask, whether a man can will what he wills, or be pleased with what he is pleased with? A question which, I think, needs no answer ; and they who can make a question of it, must suppose one will to determine the acts of another, and another to determine that; and so on #infinitum.
$. 26. To avoid these and the like absurdities, nothing can be of greater use, than to establish in our minds determined ideas of the things under considera. tion. If the ideas of liberty and volition were well fixed in the understandings, and carried along with us in our minds, as they ought, through all the questions
e cele that are raised about them, I suppose a great part of the in 19 difficulties that perplex men's thoughts, and entangle müde their understandings, would be much easier resolved ; vast it and we should perceive where the confused signification other e of terms, or where the nature of the thing caused the Oui obscurity. on 63 $. 27. First then, it is carefully to be re. Freedom. be di membered, that freedom consists in the deDE TAL pendence of the existence, or pot existence of any action, niet tot upon our volition of it; and not in the dependence of. die bis any action, or its contrary, on our preference. A man OLEH standing on a cliff, is at liberty to leap twenty yards a toate downwards into the sea, not because he has a power to There do the contrary action, which is to leap twenty yards or upwards, for that he cannot do : but he is therefore free
is because he has a power to leap or not to leap. But if a in greater force than his either holds bim fast, or tụmbles
him down, he is no longer free in that case; because the parte doing or forbearance of that particular action is no
longer in his power. He that is a close prisoner in a room twenty feet square, being at the north side of his chamber, is at liberty to walk twenty feet southward, because he can walk or not walk it; but is not, at the same time, at liberty to do the contrary, i. e. to walk twenty feet northward.
In this then consists freedom, viz. in our being able to act or not to act, according as we shall choose or will.
§. 28. Secondly, we must remember, that volition or willing is an act of the mind,
what. directing its thought to the production of any action, and thereby exerting its power to produce it. To avoid multiplying of words, I would crave leave here, under the word action, to comprehend the forbearance too of any action proposed : sitting still, or holding one's peace, when walking or speaking are proposed, though mere forbearances, requiring as much the determination of the will, and being as often weighty in their consequences as the contrary actions, inay, on that consideration, well enough pass for actions too: but this I say, that I may not be mistaken, if for brevity sake I speak thus.
- $. 29. Thirdly, The will being nothing mines the but a power in the mind to direct the opewill. ; rative faculties of a man to inotion or rest,
. as far as they depend on such direction: ltd. to the question, What is it determines the will ? the true and proper answer is, The mind. For that which determines the general power of directing to this or that particular direction, is nothing but the agent itself to exercising the power it has, that particular way. If this answer satisfies not, it is plain the meaning of the ques. tion, What determines the will ? is this, What moves the mind, in every particular instance, to determine its general power of directing to this or that particular motion or rest ? And to this I answer, the motive for continuing in the same state or action, is only the pre- pers sent satisfaction in it; the motive to change, is always sea some uneasiness; nothing setting us upon the change of state, or upon any new action, but some uneasiness. This is the great motive that works on the mind to put it upon action, which for shortness sake we will call determining of the will; which I shall more at large explain. Will and de
$. 30. But, in the way to it, it will be if sire must not necessary to preinise, that though I have be confound. above endeavoured to express the act of vo. ed. lition by choosing, preferring, and the like terms, that signify desire as well as volition, for want actiu of other words to mark that act of the mivd, whose evil proper name is willing or volition ; yet it being a very picf th simple act, whosoever desires to understard what it is a che Milí letter find it by reflecting on his own mind, and observing what it does when it wills, than by any vari. 1931. ety of articulate sounds whatsoever. I bis caution of is being careful not to be inisled by expressions that do fillo on not enough keep up the diffcrence between the will and several acts of the mind that are quite distinct from it, I think the more necessary ; because I find the will often confounded with several of the affections, espe. cialiy desire, and one put for the other; and that by de men, who would not willingly be thought not to have had very distinct notions of things, and not to have