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26. Libertie (1694)

Section 1 (of 1)

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Libertie

As to the determination of the will we may take it under three considerations

1 The ordinary and successive uneasinesses which take their turnes in the common cause of our lives and these are what for the most part determine the will but with a power still of suspending. 2 Violent uneasinesse which the minde cannot resist nor away with. These constantly determin the will without any maner of suspension where there is any view of a possibility of their removeal. 3 A great number of litle and very indifferent actions which mix themselves with those of greater moment and fill up as it were the litle empty spaces of our time. In these the will may be said to determin it self without the preponderancy of good or evill or the motive of uneasinesse on either side. as whether a man should put on his right or left shoe first. whether he should fold a margent or noe in the paper wherein he is goeing to write a letter to his friend, whether he should sit still or walke or scratch his head whilst he is in a deep meditation there are a thousand such actions as these which we doe every day which are certainly voluntary and may be ascribed to the will determining it self, but there is soe litle thought preceeds them because of the litle consequence that attends them that they are but as it were appendixes to the more weighty and more voluntary actions to which the minde is determind by some sensible uneasinesse and therefor in these the minde is determind to one or tother side not by the preferable or greater good it sees in either, but by the desire and necessity of dispatch that it may not be hinderd in the pursuit of what is judgd of more moment by a lingring suspense between equall and indifferent things and by a deliberation about trifles in these the uneasinesse of delay is sufficient to determin and give the preference to one it matters not which side Memorandum. This writ to Mr Le Clerc. 9º Oct. 94 in answer to his of 12º Aug.

Diplomatic

115v

Libertie

As to the determination of the will we may take it under three considerations

1 The ordinary and successive uneasinesses which take their turnes in the ordinary common cause of our lives and these are what for the most part determine the will but it is with a power still of suspending. 2 Violent uneasinesse which the minde cannot resist nor support away with. wh These constantly determin the will without any maner of suspension where there is any view of any a possibility of the.. its their removeal. 3 A great number of litle and very indifferent actions which come in between mix themselves with those of greater moment and fill up as it were the litle empty spaces of our time. In these the will may be said to determin it self without the preponderancy or motive of good or evill or the motive of uneasinesse on either side. as whether a man should put on his right or left shoe first. whether he should fold a margent or noe in the paper wherein he is goeing to write a letter to his friend, whether he should sit still or walke or scratch his head whilst he is in a deep meditation there are a thousand such actions as these which we doe every day that whether the body or habit or the will determin which are certainly voluntary and may be ascribed to the will determining it self, but there is soe litle thought preceeds them because of the litle consequence that attends them that they are but as it were appendixes to the more weighty and more voluntary actions to which the minde is determind by some sensible uneasinesse and soe therefor in these the minde is determind to one or tother side not by the preferable good or greater good it sees in either, but by the desire and necessity of dispatch that it may not be hinderd in the pursuit of what is judgd of more moment by a lingring suspense between indiff<erent> equall and indifferent things and by a long deliberation about trifles and in these the uneasinesse of delay is sufficient to determin. and give the preference to one it matters not which side Memorandum. This writ to Mr Le Clerc. 9º Oct. 94 in answer to his of 12º Aug.


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On uneasiness and the will see also ‘Voluntas’ and Essay, II.xxi.29-73, pp. 249-287.
The margin has an insertion in pencil, probably not in Locke’s hand, that ends with the letters -dex.
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