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THE FANTASTICAL DESIRE OF SHOWING LIBERTY February 11, 2012

Posted by aldelsol in FREE SPIRIT, FREE WILL.
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It would seem, indeed, that men begin at the wrong end of this question concerning liberty and necessity, when they enter upon it by examining the faculties of the soul, the influence of the understanding, and the operations of the will. Let them first discuss a more simple question, namely, the operations of body and of brute unintelligent matter; and try whether they can there form any idea of causation and necessity, except that of a constant conjunction of objects, and subsequent inference of the mind from one to another.

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Feeling new chains February 1, 2012

Posted by aldelsol in FREE SPIRIT, FREE WILL.
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Absence of Feeling of New Chains. —So long as we do not feel that we are in some way dependent, we consider ourselves independent—a false conclusion that shows how proud man is, how eager for dominion. For he hereby assumes that he would always be sure to observe and recognise dependence so soon as he suffered it, the preliminary hypothesis being that he generally lives in independence, and that, should he lose that independence for once in a way, he would immediately detect a contrary sensation.

—Suppose, however, the reverse to be true—that he is always living in a complex state of dependence, but thinks himself free where, through long habit, he no longer feels the weight of the chain? He only suffers from new chains,

and “free will” really means nothing more than an absence of feeling of new chains.

The wanderer-10