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tical. We in general attribute those things to chance the causes of which we do not understand, both in mind and matter. But as there is a greater latitude and inconstancy in the one than in the other, insomuch that we can hardly ever predict with certainty the effect of particular motives on the mind, the opinion of chance, arbitrary inclination, or self-determination had gained much deeper root with respect to the operations of mind than to those of matter. The fallacy of this opinion Hobbes has exposed in a masterly, and I think unanswerable manner, and without running into those paradoxical conclusions from the first position which later necessarians have deduced from it. He affirms that necessity is perfectly consistent with human liberty; that is, that the most strict and inviolable connexion of cause and effect does not prevent the full, free, and unrestrained development of certain powers in the agent, or take away the distinction between the nature of virtue and vice, praise and blame, reward and punishment, but is the foundation of all moral reasoning. Except Dr Jonathan Edwards, he is the only professed necessarian that I know of who has not been led, by the customary use of language, to quit the original definition of the term, and to slide from a philosophical into a
vulgar and practical necessity. But I will state his reasoning in his own words, which are the best. They are as follows:
My opinion about Liberty and Necessity.
First, I conceive that when it cometh into a man's mind to do or not to do some certain action, if he have no time to deliberate, the doing it or abstaining necessarily follows the present thought he hath of the good or evil consequence thereof to himself; as, for example, in sudden anger the action shall follow the thought of revenge; in sudden fear, the thought of escape; also when a man hath time to deliberate, but deliberateth not, because never any thing appeared that could make him doubt of the consequence, the action follows his opinion of the goodness or harm of it. These actions I call voluntary, because those actions that follow immediately the last appetite are voluntary, are here: where is only one appetite that one is the last.
Secondly, I conceive when a man deliberates whether he shall do a thing or not do it, that he does nothing else but consider whether it be better for himself to do it or not to do it; and to consider an action, is to imagine the consequences of it both good and evil; from whence is to be inferred, that deliberation is nothing else but alternate imagination of the good and
evil sequels of an action, or (which is the same thing) alternate hope and fear, or alternate appetite to do or quit the action of which he deliberateth.
Thirdly, I conceive that in all deliberations, that is to say, in all alternate succession of contrary appetites, the last is that which we call the will, and is immediately next before the doing of the action, or next before the doing of it become impossible. All other appetites to do, and to quit, that come upon a man during his deliberations, are called intentions, and inclinations, but not wills, there being but one will, which also in this case may be called the last will, though the intentions change often.
Fourthly, I conceive that those actions which a man is said to do upon deliberation, are said to be voluntary, and done upon choice and election, so that voluntary action, and action proceeding from election is the same thing; and that of a voluntary agent, it is all one to say, he is free, and to say, he hath not made an end of deliberating.
Fifthly, I conceive liberty to be rightly defined in this manner: liberty is the absence of all the impediments to action that are not contained in the nature and intrinsical quality of the agent, as for example, the water is said
to descend freely, or to have liberty to descend by the channel of the river, because there is no impediment that way, but not across, because the banks are impediments, and though the water cannot ascend, yet men never say it wants the liberty to ascend, but the faculty or power, because the impediment is in the nature of the water, and intrinsical. So also we say, he that is tied wants the liberty to go, because the impediment is not in him, but in his bands; whereas we say not so of him that is sick or lame, because the impediment is in himself.
Sixthly, I conceive that nothing taketh beginning from itself, but from the action of some other immediate agent without itself. And that therefore, when first a man hath an appetite or will to something, to which immediately before he had no appetite nor will, the cause of his will, is not the will itself, but something else not in his own disposing; so that whereas it is out of controversy, that of voluntary actions the will is the necessary cause, and by this which is said, the will is also caused by other things whereof it disposeth not, it followeth, that voluntary actions have all of them necessary causes, and therefore are necessitated.
Seventhly, I hold that to be a sufficient cause, to which nothing is wanting that is needful
to the producing of the effect. The same also is a necessary cause. For if it be possible that a sufficient cause shall not bring forth the effect, then there wanteth somewhat which was needful to the producing of it, and so the cause was not sufficient; but if it be impossible that a sufficient cause should not produce the effect, then is a sufficient cause a necessary cause (for that is said to produce an effect necessarily that cannot but produce it ;) hence it is manifest, that whatsoever is produced, is produced necessarily : for whatsoever is produced hath had a sufficient cause to produce it, or else it had not been; and therefore also voluntary actions are necessi
Lastly, I hold that the ordinary definition of a free agent, namely, that a free agent is that, which, when all things are present which are needful to produce the effect, can theless not produce it, implies a contradiction, and is nonsense; being as much as to say, the cause may be sufficient, that is to say necessary, and yet the effect shall not follow.
For the first five points,
wherein it is explicated-1. what spontaneity is; 2. what deliberation is; 3. what will, propension and appetite are; 4. what a free-agent is; 5. what liberty is; there can no other proof be