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signification, extending to things present and absent. ' Desire respects something absent. I may prefer my present situa, tion and posture, suppose, sitting still, or having my eyes open, and so may will it. But yet I cannot think they are so entirely distinct, that they can ever be properly said to run counter. A man never, in any instance, wills any thing con trary to his desires, or desires any thing contrary to his Will. The forementioned instance, which Mr. Locke produces, does not prove that he ever does. He may, on some consid. eration or other, will to utter speeches which have a tendency to persuade another, and still may desire that they may not persuade him : But yet his Will and Desire do not run counter. The thing which he wills, the very same he desires ; and he does not will a thing, and desire the contrary in any particular. In this instance, it is not carefully observed, what is the thing willed, and what is the thing desired : If it were, it would be found that Will and Desire do not clash in the least. The thing willed on some consideration, is te utter such words ; and certainly, the same consideration, so influences him, that he does not desire the contrary : All things considered, he chooses to utter such words, and does not desire not to utter them. And so as to the thing which Mr. Locke speaks of as desired, viz. That the words, though they tend to persuade, should not be effectual to that end, his Will is not contrary to this; he does not will that they should be effectual, but rather wills that they should not, as he desires. In order to prove that the Will and Desire may run counter, it should be shown that they may be contrary one to the other in the same thing, or with respect to the very same object of Will or Desire : But here the objects are two ; and in each, taken by themselves, the Will and Desire agree. And it is no wonder that they should not agree in different things, however little distinguished they are in their nature. The Will may not agree with the Will, nor Desire agree with Desire, in different things. As in this very instance which Mr. Locke mentions, a person may, on some consideration, desire to use persuasions, and at the same time may desire they may not prevail; but yet nobody will say, that De:
sire runs counter to Desire ; or that this proves that Desire is perfectly a distinct thing from Desire.... The like might be observed of the other instance Mr. Locke produces, of a man's desiring to be eased of pain, &c.
But not to dwell any longer on this, whether Desire and Will, and whether Preference and Volition be precisely the same things or no; yet, I trust it will be allowed by all, that in every act of Will there is an act of choice ; that in every volition there is a preference, or a prevailing inclination of the soul, whereby the soul, at that instant, is out of a state of perfect indifference, with respect to the direct ob. ject of the volition. So that in every act, or going forth of the Will, there is some preponderation of the mind or inclination, one way rather than another; and the soul had rather have or do one thing than another, or than not have or do that thing; and that there, where there is absolutely no preferring or choosing, but a perfect continuing equilibrium, there is no volition.
Concerning the Determination of the Will.
BY determining the Will, if the phrase be used with any t' meaning, must be intended, causing that the act of the Will
or choice should be thus, and not otherwise : And the Will is said to be determined, when, in consequence of some action or influence, its choice is directed to, and fixed upon a particular object. As when we speak of the determination of motion, we mean causing the motion of the body to be such a way, or in such a direction, rather than another.
To talk of the determination of the Will, supposes an effect, which must have a cause. If the Will be determined, there is a determiner. This must be supposed to be intend. ed even by them that say, the Will determines itself. If it be so, the Will is both determiner and determined; it is a
cause that acts and produces effects upon itself, and is the object of its own influencé and action.
With respect to that grand enquiry, What determines the Will, it would be very tedious and unnecessary at present to enumerate and examine all the various opinions which have been advanced concerning this matter ; nor is it needful that I should enter into a particular disquisition of all points debated in disputes on that question, whether the Will always follows the last dictate of the understanding. It is sufficient to my present purpose 10 say, it is that motive, which, as it stands in the view of the mind, is the strongest, that deter-, mines the Will. But it may be necessary that I should a lit. tle explain my meaning in this.
By motive, I mean the whole of that which moves, excites or invites the mind 10 volition, whether that be one thing singly, or many things conjunctly. Many particular things may concur and unite their strength to induce the mind ; and, when it is so, all together are as it were one complex motive. And when I speak of the strongest motive, I have respect to the strength of the whole that operates to induce to a particular act of volition, whether that be the strength of one thing alone, or of many together.
Whatever is a motive, in this sense, must be something that is extant in the view or apprehension of the understanding, or perceiving faculty. Nothing can induce or invite the mind to will or act any thing, any further than it is perceiv. ed, or is some way or other in the mind's view; for what is wholly unperceived, and perfectly out of the mind's view, cannot affect the mind at all. It is most evident, that nothing is in the mind, or reaches it, or takes any hold of it, any oth: erwise than as it is perceived or thought of.
And I think it must also be allowed by all, that every thing that is properly called a motive, excitement or inducement to a perceiving, willing agent, has some sort and degree of tendency or advantage to move or excite the Will, previous to the effect, or to the act of the Will excited. This previous tendency of the motive is what I call the strength of the mor tive. That motive which has a less degree of previous ad.
vantage or tendency to move the Will, or that appears less inviting, as it stands in the view of the mind, is what I call a weaker motive. On the contrary, that which appears most inviting, and has, by what appears concerning it to the unders standing or apprehension, the greatest degree of previous tendency to excite and induce the choice, is what I call the strongest motive. And in this sense, I suppose the Will is always determined by the strongest motive.
Things that exist in the view of the mind have their strength, tendency or advantage to move or excite its Will, from many things appertaining to the nature and circumstances of the thing viewed, the nature and circumstances of the mind that views, and the degree and manner of its view ; of which it would perhaps be hard to make a perfect enumeration. But so much I think may be determined in general, without room for controversy, that whatever is perceived or apprehended by an intelligent and voluntary agent, which has the nature and influence of a motive to volition or choice, is considered or viewed as good ; nor has it any tendency to invite or engage the election of the soul in any further degree than it appears such. For to say otherwise, would be to say, that things that appear have a tendency by the appearance they make, to engage the mind to elect them, some other way than by their appearing eligible to it; which is absurd. And therefore it must be true, in some sense, that the Will always is as the greatest apparent good is. For the right une derstanding of this, two things must be well and distinctly observed.
1. It must be observed in what sense I use the term good ; namely, as of the same import with agreeable. To appear good to the mind, as I use the phrase, is the same as to appear agreeable, or seem pleasing to the mind. Certainly nothing appears inviting and eligible to the mind, or tending to engage its inclination and choice, considered as evil or disa. grecable ; nor, indeed, as indifferent, and neither agreeable nor disagreeable. But if it tends to draw the inclination, and
. move the Will, it must be under the notion of that which suits the mind. And therefore that must have the greatest
tendency to attract and engage it, which, as it stands in the mind's view, suits it best, and pleases it most; and in that sense, is the greatest apparent good : To say otherwise, is little, if any thing, short of a direct and plain contradiction.
The word good, in this sense, includes in its signification, the removal or avoiding of evil, or of that which is disagreeable and uneasy. It is agreeable and pleasing to avoid what is disagreeable and displeasing, and to have uneasiness removed. So that here is included what Mr. Locke supposes determines the Will. For when he speaks of uneasiness as determining the Will, he must be understood as supposing that the end or aim which governs in the volition or act of preference, is the avoiding or removal of that uneasiness; and that is the same thing as choosing and seeking what is more easy and agreeable. 2. When I say, the Will is as the greatest apparent good:
I is, or, (as I have explained it) that volition has always for its object the thing which appears most agrecable ; it must be carefully observed, to avoid confusion and needless objection, that I speak of the direct and immediate object of the act of volition ; and not some object that the act of Will has not an immediate, but only an indirect and remote respect to. Many acts of volition have some remote relation to an object, that is different from the thing most immediately willed and chosen. Thus, when a drunkard has his liquor before him, and he has to choose whether to drink it or no; the proper and immediate objects, about which his present volition is conversant, and between which his choice now decides, are his own acts, in drinking the liquor, or letting it alone; and this will certainly be done according to what, in the present view of his mind, taken in the whole of it, is most agreeable to him. If he chooses or wills to drink it, and not to let it alone ; then this action, as it stands in the view of nis mind, with all that belongs to its appearance there, is more' agreeable and pleasing than letting it alone.
But the objects to which this act of volition may relate more remotely, and between which his choice may determine more indirectly, are the present pleasure the man expects by