Chapter 1 Section 5 & 6

Submitted by Tom Last on Fri, 02/09/2007 - 10:26am.



1.5) MATHEMATISM (Gemini)
[7] This leads us straight to the standpoint from which the subject will be considered here. Have we any right to consider the question of the freedom of the will by itself at all? And if not, with what other question must it necessarily be connected?

[8] If there is a difference between a conscious motive of action and an unconscious urge, then the conscious motive will result in an action which must be judged differently from one that springs from blind impulse. Hence our first question will concern this difference, and on the result of this enquiry will depend what attitude we shall have to take towards the question of freedom proper.

[9] What does it mean to have knowledge of the reasons for one's action? Too little attention has been paid to this question because, unfortunately, we have torn into two what is really an inseparable whole: Man. We have distinguished between the knower and the doer and have left out of account precisely the one who matters most of all -- the knowing doer.

Topic: Consciousness Of The Motive
  • The question of free will must be linked with what other question?
  • What is the difference between an action that is the result of a conscious motive and one that springs from blind urge?
  • What does it mean to have knowledge of the reasons for one's action?
  • We have distinguished between the doer and the knower but left out the one who matters most -- the knowing doer or one who acts out of knowledge.
Question: Have there been times when you had knowledge of the reason to act and not acted and other times when you impulsively acted without knowing why? Then again, have there been occasions of acting out of knowledge?

Match-up Quiz



1.6) RATIONALISM (Taurus)

[10] It is said that man is free when he is controlled only by his reason and not by his animal passions. Or again, that to be free means to be able to determine one's life and action by purposes and deliberate decisions.

[11] Nothing is gained by assertions of this sort. For the question is just whether reason, purposes, and decisions exercise the same kind of compulsion over a man as his animal passions. If without my co-operation, a rational decision emerges in me with the same necessity with which hunger and thirst arise, then I must needs obey it, and my freedom is an illusion.

Topic: Free When Controlled By Reason
  • Freedom is to obey reason alone and not animal passions.
  • Freedom is being able to determine one's life and action by purposes and decisions.
  • But if without my cooperation, a rational decision emerges with the same necessity as hunger and thirst, freedom is an illusion.
Question: Why is successfully determining one's life according to goals not necessarily an indication of freedom?

Match-up Quiz

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