Eduard von Hartmann asserts that the human will depends on two chief factors, the motives and the character. If one regards men as all alike, or at any rate the differences between them as negligible, then their will appears as determined from without, that is to say, by the circumstances which come to meet them. But if one bears in mind that a man adopts an idea, or mental picture, as the motive of his action only if his character is such that this mental picture arouses a desire in him, then he appears as determined from within and not from without. Now because, in accordance with his character, he must first adopt as a motive a mental picture given to him from without, a man believes he is free, that is, independent of external impulses. The truth, however, according to Eduard von Hartmann, is that, “even though we ourselves first adopt a mental picture as a motive, we do so not arbitrarily, but according to the necessity of our characterological disposition, that is, we are anything but free.
Here again the difference between motives which I allow to influence me only after I have permeated them with my consciousness, and those which I follow without any clear knowledge of them, is absolutely ignored.