David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In the first edition of the Essay concerning Human Understanding, Locke claims that human beings have freedom of action - that is, that some of their actions are free - but that they do not have freedom of will - that is, that none of their volitions are free. Volitions themselves are actions for Locke; they are operations of the will and hence acts of willing. And volitions give rise to other actions: an action that follows and is caused by a volition is thereby a voluntary action. But volitions are not subject to the will; they cannot be caused by acts of willing and so cannot themselves be voluntary actions. This doctrine, that acts of willing cannot be voluntary, is one of Locke’s reasons for thinking that they are not free. (He also has a reason for holding this doctrine, and a second reason for thinking that acts of willing cannot be free, both of which I’ll be considering later on.) Locke follows not only the scholastics but also Descartes and Hobbes in holding that being voluntary is a prerequisite for being free. But unlike Descartes and Hobbes, though not unlike the scholastics, Locke does not make voluntariness sufficient for freedom. In addition to being voluntary, a free action must be one its agent can avoid - avoid, that is, merely by willing, whether by willing not to do it or by willing to do something else that is incompatible with doing it.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Gilberto Gomes (1999). Volition and the Readiness Potential. Journal of Consciousness Studies 6 (8-9):59-76.
Julie Walsh (2010). 'Things for Actions': Locke's Mistake in 'Of Power'. Locke Studies 10 (2010):85-94.
Keith Hossack (2003). Consciousness in Act and Action. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 2 (3):187-203.
Sabine Maasen, Wolfgang Prinz & Gerhard Roth (eds.) (2003). Voluntary Action: Brains, Minds, and Sociality. Oxford University Press.
W. Matthews Grant (2010). Can a Libertarian Hold That Our Free Acts Are Caused by God? Faith and Philosophy 27 (1):22-44.
C. G. Pulman (2011). Where is the Free Agency in Personal Agency? Philosophical Quarterly 61 (244):630-632.
Tito Magri (2000). Locke, Suspension of Desire, and the Remote Good. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 8 (1):55 – 70.
Charles T. Wolfe (2010). Locke’s Compatibilism: Suspension of Desire or Suspension of Determinism? In Joseph Keim Campbell, Michael O.’Rourke & Harry Silverstein (eds.), Action, Ethics and Responsibility. MIT Press.
Vere Chappell (1994). Locke on the Freedom of the Will. In G. A. J. Rogers (ed.), Locke's Philosophy: Content and Context. Oxford University Press. 101--21.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads62 ( #26,204 of 1,100,144 )
Recent downloads (6 months)6 ( #51,421 of 1,100,144 )
How can I increase my downloads?