Locke on the freedom of the will

In G. A. J. Rogers (ed.), Locke's Philosophy: Content and Context. Oxford University Press. pp. 101--21 (1994)
Abstract
Locke was a libertarian: he believed in human freedom. To be sure, his conception of freedom was different from that of many philosophers who call themselves libertarians. Some such philosophers maintain that an agent is free only if her action is uncaused; whereas Locke thought that all actions have causes, including the free ones. Some libertarians hold that no action is free unless it proceeds from a volition that is itself free; whereas Locke argued that free volition, as opposed to free action, is an impossibility. On the other hand, Locke agrees with the typical professed libertarian that free actions depend on volitions - or, as he often puts it, that an agent is free only with respect to the actions she wills, to those that are voluntary. And he also refuses to make voluntariness sufficient for freedom, whereby a free action is merely one that is willed. The free agent, Locke insists, must also be able or have been able to do something other than she does or did. Thus both Locke and the libertarian professor require indifference as well as spontaneity for freedom. But Locke’s freedom is not contra-causal; and he denies that it extends to volition. In this paper I want to focus on just this last component of Locke’s view of freedom: that freedom in willing, far from being required for free agency, is not even possible. I call this ‘the thesis of volitional determinism’. Locke presents an argument for this thesis in the Essay, but scholars have never paid much attention to it: I want to examine it.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 26,641
External links

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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
John Locke on Passion, Will and Belief.Michael Losonsky - 1996 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 4 (2):267 – 283.
Locke's Construction of the Idea of Power.Michael Jacovides - 2003 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 34 (2):329-350.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Free Will.Kevin Timpe - 2006 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Active Control, Agent-Causation and Free Action.Ishtiyaque Haji - 2004 - Philosophical Explorations 7 (2):131-148.
Locke’s Compatibilism: Suspension of Desire or Suspension of Determinism?Charles T. Wolfe - 2010 - In Joseph Keim Campbell, Michael O.’Rourke & Harry Silverstein (eds.), Action, Ethics and Responsibility. MIT Press.
The Freedom of Collective Agents.Frank Hindriks - 2008 - Journal of Political Philosophy 16 (2):165–183.
Locke on the Suspension of Desire. Chappell - 1998 - Locke Studies 29:23-38.

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

175 ( #25,469 of 2,158,189 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #356,322 of 2,158,189 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums