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22. Voluntas (1693-1694)

Section 1 (of 1)

Normalized

Voluntas

That which has very much confounded men about the Will and its determination has been the confounding of the notion of Moral Rectitude and giveing it the name of Moral good. The pleasure that a man takes in any action or expects as a consequence of it is indeed a Good in it self able and proper to move the will. But the moral Rectitude of it considerd barely in it self is not good or evill nor any way moves the will but as pleasure and pain either accompanies the action itself or is looked on to be a consequence of it: which is evident from the punishments and rewards which god has annexed to Moral rectitude or pravity as proper motives to the will. which would be needlesse if moral rectitude were in it self good and moral pravity evil JL

Diplomatic

11v

Voluntas

That which has very much confounded discourses men about the Will and its determination has been the calling confounding of the notion of Moral rRectitude and giveing it the name of Moral good. The pleasure that a man takes in any action or expects as a consequence of it is indeed a Good in it self able and proper to move the will. But the moral Rectitude o.f it considerd barely in it self is not good or evill nor any way moves the will but as pleasure and pain either accompanies the action itself or is looked on to be a consequence of it: which is evident from the punishments and rewards which god has annexed to Moral rectitude or pravity as proper motives to the will. which would be needlesse if moral rectitude were in it self good and moral pravity evil JL


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Cf. deleted passage on ‘Morall rectitude and goodnesse’ in Locke, ‘Of Ethick in General’ in Goldie, p. 301, n. 64: ‘The moral rectitude, which when considered is but conformity to the natural laws of God, whould signify nothing, and moral goodness be no reason to direct my action, were there not really pleasure that would follow from the doing of it and pain avoided greater than is to be found in the action itself.’
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