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Freedom of the Will

By Edwards, Jonathan

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Book Id: WPLBN0000694847
Format Type: PDF eBook
File Size: 588.90 KB.
Reproduction Date: 2005

Title: Freedom of the Will  
Author: Edwards, Jonathan
Volume:
Language: English
Subject: Religion, Christianity, Literature
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Historic
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Edwards, J. (n.d.). Freedom of the Will. Retrieved from http://www.worldebookfair.com/


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Religion and Christian Theology Collection

Excerpt
Excerpt: It may possibly be thought, that there is no great need of going about to define or describe the Will; this word being generally as well understood as any other words we can use to explain it: and so perhaps it would be, had not philosophers, metaphysicians, and polemic divines, brought the matter into obscurity by the things they have said of it. But since it is so, I think it may be of some use, and will tend to greater clearness in The following discourse, to say a few things concerning it. And therefore I observe, that the Will (without any metaphysical refining) is, That by which the mind chooses any thing. The faculty of the will, is that power, or principle of mind, by which it is capable of choosing: an act of the will is the same as an act of choosing or choice. If any think it is a more perfect definition of the will, to say, that it is that by which the soul either chooses or refuses, I am content with it; though I think it enough to say, it is that by which the soul chooses: for in every act of will whatsoever, the mind chooses one thing rather than another; it chooses something rather than the contrary or rather than the want or non-existence of that thing. So in every act of refusal, the mind chooses the absence of the thing refused; the positive and the negative are set before the mind for its choice, and it chooses the negative; and the mind?s making its choice in that case is properly the act of the Will: the Will?s determining between the two, is a voluntary determination; but that is the same thing as making a choice. So that by whatever names we call the act of the Will, choosing, refusing, approving, disapproving, liking, disliking, embracing, rejecting, determining, directing, commanding, forbidding, inclining, or being averse, being pleased or displeased with; all may be reduced to this of choosing. For the soul to act voluntarily, is evermore to act electively. Mr. Locke (1) says, ?The Will signifies nothing but a power or ability to prefer or choose.? And, in the foregoing page, he says, ?The word preferring seems best to express the act of volition;? but adds, that ?it does it not precisely; for, though a man would prefer flying to walking, yet who can say he ever wills it?? But the instance he mentions, does not prove that there is any thing else in willing, but merely preferring: for it should be considered what is the immediate object of the will, with respect to a man?s walking, or any other external action; which is not being removed from one place to another; on the earth or through the air; these are remoter objects of preference; but such or such an immediate exertion of himself. The thing next chosen, or preferred, when a man wills to walk is not his being removed to such a place where he would be, but such an exertion and motion of his legs and feet &c, in order to it. And his willing such an alteration in his body in the present moment, is nothing else but his choosing or preferring such an alteration in his body at such a moment, or his liking it better than the forbearance of it.

Table of Contents
Table of Contents About This Book. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. ii Title Page. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 1 p. 2 Part I. Wherein Are Explained and Stated Various Terms and Things Belonging to the Subject of the Ensuing Discourse. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Section I. Concerning the Nature of the Will.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 2 Section II. Concerning the Determination of the Will.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 4 p. 9 Section III. Concerning the Meaning of the Terms, Necessity, Impossibility, Inability, &c and of Contingence.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 14 Section IV. Of the Distinction of Natural and Moral Necessity, and Inability.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Section V. Concerning the Notion of Liberty, and of Moral Agency.. . . . . p. 18 p. 21 Part II. Wherein It Is Considered Whether There Is or Can Be Any Sort of Freedom of Will, as That Wherein Arminians Place the Essence of the Liberty of All Moral Agents; and Whether Any Such Thing Ever Was or Can Be Conceived of.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 21 Section I. Showing the Manifest Inconsistence of the Arminian Notion of Liberty of Will, Consisting in the Will?s Self-Determing Power. . . . . . . . p. 23 Section II. Several Supposed Ways of Evading the Foregoing Reasoning Considered.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 26 Section III. Whether Any Event Whatsoever, and Volition in Particular, Can Come to Pass Without a Cause of Its Existence.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 30 Section IV. Whether Volition Can Arise Without a Cause, Through the Activity of the Nature of the Soul.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 33 Section V. Showing, That If the Things Asserted in These Evasions Should Be Supposed to Be True, They Are Altogether Impertinent, and Cannot Help the Cause of Arminian Liberty; and How, This Being the State of the Case, Arminian Writers Are Obliged to Talk Inconsistently.. . . . . . . . . p. 35 Section VI. Concerning the Will Determining in Things Which Are Perfectly Indifferent in the View of the Mind.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 40 Section VII. Concerning the Notion of Liberty of Will, Consisting in Indifference.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 45 Section VIII. Concerning the Supposed Liberty of the Will, as Opposite to All Necessity.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 47 Section IX. Of the Connexion of the Acts of the Will with the Dictates of the Understanding.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 

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