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thier 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, li liether. the will be a substance, an agent ? or at least to suppose it, since freedon 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, knowing that rich was a denomination for the possession of riches, should demand whether riches theinselves were rich.

§. 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 orders, and the 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 bat several modes of motion; as well as we make the will and understanding to be faculties, by twhich the actions of choosing and perceiving are pro. duced, which 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 QS



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 tune. 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 what has or has not a power to act.

Ş. 20. The attributing to faculties that Liberty be. longs not to

which belonged not to them, has given octhe will. casion to this way of talking: but the introducing 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 operațing, 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 languages, that have made them current. It looks like too much affectation wholly to lay them by: and philosophy itself, though it likes not a gaudy dress, yet when it appears in public, must have so much complacency, 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 meat in our stomachs ? it was a ready and very satisfactory answer, to say, that it was the digestive 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 intellectual 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, digested; and the ability to move, moved; and the ability to understand, understood. For faculty, ability, and power, I think, are but different names of the same thinys; 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 understanding 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,

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§. 21

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But to the §. 21. To return then to the inquiry agent or about liberty, I think the question is not

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, preterring the existence of any acz 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 man 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

§. 29. But the inquisitive mind of man, 'willing, a willing to shift off trom himself, as far as man is not he can, all thoughts of guilt, though it be free.

by putting himself into a worse state than that of fatal necessity, is not content with this : freedom, unless it reaches farti:er than this, will not serve the turn: and it passes for a good plea, that a man is not free at all, if he be not as free to will, as he is to 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


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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 the existence, or not existence of that action; it is absolutely necessary that he 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 deterınination 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 a 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 bis 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 cau 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 plaili that a man that is walking, to whom it is proposed to give off walking, is not at liberty whether he will determine himself to walk, or give off walking,


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