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or no: he must necessarily prefer one or the other of 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: ber of voluntary actions that succeed one another every moment that we are awake in the course of our lives, there are but few of them that are thought on or proposed 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, wherein consists liberty. The mind in that case has not a power to forbear willing; it cannot avoid some determination 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 pleases, 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 deterınined ideas of the things under consideration. If the ideas of liberty and volition were well fixed in the understandings, and carried along with us in our minds, as they ouplit, through all the questions
ad that are raised about them, I suppose a great part of the difficulties that perplex men's thoughts, and entangle their understandings, would be much easier resolved ; and we should perceive where the confused signification of terms, or where the nature of the thing caused the obscurity.
. 27. First then, it is carefully to be re. Freedom. membered, that freedom consists in the dependence of the existence, or pot existence of any action, upon our volition of it; and not in the dependence of any action, or its contrary, on our preference. A man standing on a cliff, is at liberty to leap twenty yards downwards into the sea, not because he has a power to do the contrary action, which is to leap twenty yards upwards, for that he cannot do : but he is therefore free because he has a power to leap or not to leap. But if a greater force than his either holds bim fast, or tumbles him down, he is no longer free in that case; because the 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, 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.
Ý. 29. Thirdly, The will being nothing What deter. 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 : 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 exercising the power it has, that particular way. If this answer satisfies not, it is plain the meaning of the question, 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 present satisfaction in it; the motive to change, is always 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. Lut, in the way to it, it will be sire must not necessary to premise, that though I have be confound. above endeavoured to express the act of voed.
lition by choosing, preferring, and the like terms, that signify desire as well as volition, for want of other words to mark that act of the mind, whose proper name is willing or volition ; yet it being a very simple act, whosoever desires to understar:d what it is, mill better find it by reflecuing on his own mind, and observing what it does when it wills, than by any variety of articulate sounds whatsoever. I bis caution of being careful not to be inisled by expressions that do not enough keep up the difference 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, especialiy desire, and one put for the other; and that by men, who would not willingly be thought not to liave had very distinct notions of things, and not to have
writ very clearly about thein. This, I imagine, has been no small occasion of obscurity and mistake in this matter; and therefore is, as much as may be, to be avoided. For he that shall turn is thoughts inwards upon what passes in his mind when he wills, shall see that the will or power of volition is conversant about nothing, but that particular determination of the mind, whereby barely by a thought the mind endeavours to give rise, continuation, or stop, to any action which it takes to be in its power. This well considered, plainly shows that the will is perfectly distinguished from de sire; which in the very same action may have a quite contrary tendency from that which our will sets us upon. A man whom I cannot deny, may oblige me to use persuasions to another, which, at the same tiine I am speaking, I may wish may not prevail on him. In this case, it is plain tlie will and desire run counter. I will the action that tends one way,
desire tends another, and that the direct contrary way. A man who by a violent fit of the gout in his limbs finds a doziness in his head, or a want of appetite in his stomach removed, desires to be eased too of the pain of his fect or hands (for wherever there is pain, there is a desire to be rid of it) though yet, whilst he apprehends that the reinoval of the pain may translate the noxious humour to a more vital part, his will is never determined to any one action that may serve to remove this pain. Whence it is evident that desiring and willing are two distinct acts of the mind; and consequently that the will, which is but the power of volition, is much more distinct from desire.
§. 31. To return then to the inquiry, Uneasiness What is it that determines the will in re
determines gard to our actions ? And that, upon second the will. thoughts, I am apt to imagine is not, as is generally supposed, the greater good in view; but some (and for the most part the most pressing) uneasiness a man is at present under, This is that which successively deterinincs the will, and sets us upon those actions we perform. This uneasiness we may call, as it is, desire: which is an uneasiness of the mind for want
of some absent good. All pain of the body, of what sort soever, and disquiet of the mind, is uneasiness : and with this is always joined desire, equal to the pain or uneasiness felt, and is scarce distinguishable from it. For desire being nothing but an uneasiness in the want of an absent good, in reference to any pain felt, ease is that absent good ; and till that ease be attained, we may call it desire, no-body feeling pain that he wishes not to be cased of, with a desire equal to that pain, and inseparable from it. Besides this desire of ease from pain, there is another of absent positive good; and here also the desire and uneasiness are equal. As much as we désire any absent good, so much are we in pain for it. But here all absent good does not, according to the greatness it has, or is acknowledged to have, cause pain equal to that greatness; as all pain causes desire equal to it itself: because the absence of good is not always a pain, as the presence of pain is. And therefore absent good may be looked on, and considered without desire. But so much as there is any where of desire, so much there is of uneasiness.
§. 39. That desire is a state of uneasiness, Desire is uneasiness.
everyone who reflects on himself will
quickly find. Who is there, that has not felt in desire what the wise man says of hope, (which is not much different from it) " that it being deferred makes the heart sick?” and that still proportionable to the greatness of the desire: which sometines raises the uneasiness to that pitch, that it makes people cry out, Give me children, give me the thing desired, or I die? Life itself, and all its enjoyments, is a burden cannot be born under the lasting and unremoved pressure of such an uneasiness. The uneasi.
§. 33. Good and evil, present and abness of desire sent, it is true, work upon the mind: but determines that which immediately determines the the will.
will, from time to time, to every voluntary action, is the uneasiness of desiré, fixed on some absent good ; either negative, as indolence to one in pain; or positive, as enjoyment of pleasure. That it is this uneasiness that determines the will to the succes.