(a) The permanent states just mentioned, when they have been once determined also influence the will. Internal views and dispositions and not simply external presentations, constitute the strength of motives.

(b) These motives often conflict, and though the soul never acts without motive, it does not withstanding choose between motives and so determines the end toward which it will direct its activities.

(c) Motives are not causes, which compel the will, but influences, which persuade it. The power of these motives however is proportioned to the strength of will, which has entered into them and has made them what they are.

?Incentives comes from the souls self: the rest avail not.? The same wind may drive two ships in opposite directions, according as they set their sails. The same external presentation may result in George Washington?s refusing and Benedict Arnold?s accepting the bribe to betray his country. Richard Lovelace of Canterbury: ?Stone walls do not a prison make, Nor iron bars a cage; Minds innocent and quiet take That for a hermitage.? Jonathan Edwards made motives to be efficient causes when they are only final causes. We must not interpret motive as if it were locomotive, it is always a man?s fault when he becomes a drunkard: drink never takes to a man; the man takes to drink. Men who deny demerit are ready enough to claim merit. They hold others responsible, if not themselves. Bowne: ?Pure arbitrariness and pure necessity are alike incompatible with reason. There must be a law of reason in the mind with which volition cannot tamper and there must also be the power to determine ourselves accordingly.? Bowne, Principles of Ethics, 135 ? ?If necessity is a universal thing, then the belief in freedom is also necessary. All grant freedom of thought, so that it is only executive freedom that is deeded.? Bowne, Theory of Thought and Knowledge, 209-244 ? ?Every system of philosophy must invoke freedom for the solution of the problem of error or make shipwreck of reason itself. Our faculties are made for truth, but they maybe carelessly used, or willfully misused and thus error is born. We need not only laws of thought but self-control in accordance with them.?

The will, in choosing between motives, chooses with a motive, namely, the motive chosen. Fairbairn, Philos. Christian Religion, 76 ? ?While motives may be necessary, they need not necessitate. The will selects motives but motives do not select the will. Heredity and environment do not cancel freedom; they only condition it. Thought is transcendence as regards the phenomena of space; will is transcendence as regards the

<- Previous Table of Contents Next ->

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment