UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Some aspects of the problem of moral responsibility Brown, Martin Lawther 1950

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6;  SOME  5.6  A S P E C T S OF THE  P R O B L E M  OF  MORAL  R E S P O N S I B I L I T Y  A THESIS Submitted as part fulfilment of the requirements f o r the degree of Master of Arts i n the Department of Philosophy of The University of B r i t i s h Columbia.  by MARTIN LAWTHER BROWN  19 5 0  SOME ASPECTS OP THE  PROBLEM OF MORAL RESPONSIBILITY  (AN ABSTRACT - 390 WORDS) In t h i s t h e s i s an attempt responsibility  that a man  acts w e l l or b a d l y potent God  i s made to shew that moral'  m e r i t s p r a i s e or blame as he  i s compatible w i t h the i d e a of an omni-  and a c a u s a l determinism.  Moreover, a man's r e s -  p o n s i b i l i t y f o r h i s acts depends on t h e i r being h i s a c t s ; i . e . he has  Svvwi|.l, i s f r e e to choose, and acts v o l u n t a r i l y .  Chapter one  sets f o r t h what the w r i t e r c o n s i d e r s the b e s t  d e f i n i t i o n s of c a u s a l i t y , chance, v o l i t i o n , ism, indeterminism  approach i s used sophers  The  Christian  and p r e d e s t i n a t i o n r e c e i v e t h e i r f i r s t  S a i n t Augustine.  determin-  and n e c e s s i t y , A r i s t o t l e ' s s y s t e m a t i c p h i l -  osophy seeming the most p r a c t i c a b l e . of w i l l  freedom,  concepts  explanation i n  In the succeeding chapters the h i s t o r i c a l to set f o r t h the a t t i t u d e s of v a r i o u s p h i l o -  to the problems I n v o l v e d .  Tha b e l i e f appears  spread that freedom (which i s e s s e n t i a l i f one  wide-  i s to have  r e s p o n s i b i l i t y ) i s incompatible w i t h determinism; t o t l e and Spinoza shew t h a t such i s not the case.  yet A r i s Indetermin-  ism, r a t h e r than p e r m i t t i n g freedom, makes i t i m p o s s i b l e , f o r then, man  becomes s u b j e c t to chance.  The m a j o r i t y of the  p h i l o s o p h i e s examined shew i n c o n s i s t e n c i e s w i t h a s y s t e m a t i c theology and,  although c e r t a i n t r u t h s may  be found i n each,  are r e j e c t e d as b e i n g e i t h e r u n f r u i t f u l or i n c a p a b l e of b e i n g developed  i n the d i r e c t i o n  The w r i t e r concludes  intended.  that the most c o n s i s t e n t and  fruitful  i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f moral r e s p o n s i b i l i t y Is g i v e n by A r i s t o t l e and  S a i n t Thomas Aquinas.  A r i s t o t l e g i v e s us a c o n s i s t e n t  p h i l o s o p h i c a l system which S a i n t Thomas i n t e r p r e t s i n the l i g h t o f C h r i s t i a n d o c t r i n e , and i t i s t h i s p h i l o s o p h y seems best  to c o r r e l a t e w i t h C a t h o l i c t e a c h i n g .  For Saint  Thomas, t h a t the w i l l i s f r e e and human acts v o l u n t a r y not  which  does  c o n f l i c t w i t h the i d e a o f a d i v i n e , omnipotent Being; and  n e c e s s i t y , providence and p r e d e s t i n a t i r i n do not c o n f l i c t w i t h f r e e w i l l i n man.  Both chance and determinism make freedom  i n man p o s s i b l e , more e s p e c i a l l y as man has i n t e l l e c t and reason to d e l i b e r a t e on courses o f a c t i o n . the w i l l are v o l u n t a r y , sured and  As a l l acts o f  man may be, and i s , , commended o r cen-  f o r h i s acts as they are good o r bad.  t h i s choice  i s f r e e , so that the outcome o f h i s a c t i o n s  Is h i s own r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . difficulties,  He has choice,  As t h i s view, d e s p i t e i t s many  appears tob.be the most complete, i t seems to be  the b e s t one on which to b u i l d i n the f u t u r e *  T A B L E  OF  C O N T E N T S  INTRODUCTION CHAPTER I - SOME BASIC CONSIDERATIONS  1 .  4  CHAPTER I I - THE CLASSICAL OUTLOOK.  16  CHAPTER I I I - FURTHER ATTEMPTS AT A SOLUTION  28  A.  Benedictus de Spinoza  B.  Immanuel Kant  C.  John Stuart Mill  28 .. 31 33  D. Herman Lotze  35  E". Herbert Spencer  36  F.  37  Thomas H i l l Green  G. Henry Sidgwick  39  H.  William James  42  I.  F. H. Bradley  44  J.  John M. E. McTaggart  46  K. George Herbert Palmer  49  L.  51  Benedetto Croce..  CHAPTER IT - INDETERMINISM AND INDETERMINACY  55  CHAPTER V - FREE WILL AND RESPONSIBILITY IN THOMISM  61  BIBLIOGRAPHY  1.  INTRODrjCTION In the f i e l d of Ethics one of the most important problems i s that of moral r e s p o n s i b i l i t y .  Responsibility i s the b e l i e f that a person i s  answerable f o r his voluntary actions, and-, insofar as h i s actions and i n tentions are-relevant to- the conceptions of the Good'and Bad-, or r i g h t and wrong, he i s subject to approval or correction, reward* or punishment.  The  idea of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i s such a universal idea-- i n western thought that f ew, i f they thought about i t at a l l , would- question i t .  It is difficult,  i n the*popular; mind, to see that i t poses a> problem, and a very d i f f i c u l t problem at that.  Yet , despite the f a c t that r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i s assumed i n 1  1  Law, Religion?, and other f i e l d s of human a c t i v i t y , there' are; some who seriously question-its existence.  The fact that i t can be .questioned i n t e l -  l i g e n t l y i s s u f f i c i e n t reason f o r examining' the arguments f o r responsi b i l i t y and f i n d i n g out why we think- as we- do with regard to i t . Is the- idea* of moral r e s p o n s i b i l i t y an important one? I t i s the'rare- case-that, i n courts of j u s t i c e , i n education, and" i n orthodox r e l i g i o n , the ideas of reward and-punishment'are not brought into question, and the- 'justice* of a p a r t i c u l a r case i s a f r e quent consideration-.  Yet- the* ideas of reward and' punishment: depend upon  a person's being responsiblej but t h i s 'being responsible'' i s today seriously questioned ( i n some quarters). 1  seems'foolish  7  I f there- i s no r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i t  to> uphold the 'Tightness' of-reward and punishment; f o r how  can one be punished f o r an action, of, h i s for, which, he i s not responsible? The case* of orthodox-religion is the chief consideration here', and i t w i l l serve as an i l l u s t r a t i o n .  Heaven and H e l l , or eternal reward and punish-  ment are basic to„orthodox C h r i s t i a n i t y , basic to the t r a d i t i o n a l  Christian-' ethics,.  Should there be no r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , what a travesty t h i s  doctrine would be!  Obviously, then, i f we wish to uphold C h r i s t i a n i t y ,  moral r e s p o n s i b i l i t y becomes a very important problem. 1  Now- there' must be^ very good reasons f o r questioning r e s p o n s i b i l ity-.  That .a man i s responsible assumes that he i s the author of h i s 1  acts; i n f a c t , that he-is free-or acts v o l u n t a r i l y . has a w i l l .  Or-, we-might say, he  But see* how this" idea' is* bound up with the problem of e v i l :  There'would have been no e v i l work, but there was an e v i l will, before; i t ; and what could begin t h i s e v i l w i l l but pride, that i s 'the beginning of: a l l sin'? ..... This i s when' i t l i k e s i t s e l f too well, or when i t sp>loves i t s e l f that i t w i l l abandon that unchangeable Good which ought to be more d e l i g h t f u l to i t than i t s e l f . This defect i s voluntary. (1) 1  Thus- ,S. Augustine' sees'that the w i l l i s the basis of e v i l — original' s i n - a s well as- actual: s i n . freedom to- s i n .  The doctrines overlap.  We assume  F r e e - w i l l i s a b a s i s ' f o r Christian doctrine, and i s nec-  essary f o r any idea of reward and punishment.  However, as; necessary as  (2) these ideas of free w i l l and freedom too are sometimes c a l l e d into question. J.. 2.  are to r e l i g i o n and j u s t i c e , they The reason w i l l be found i n the  S. Augustine, The c i t y of God, trans. John Healey, London, J.M. Dent & Sons L t d . , 1945, p. 431. vide L. Muller, S. Sp., Somme de thlologie morale, P a r i s , Desclee & Cie, 1936; "L'acte morale est un acte pose* librement. avec connaissance de sa conformite ou non conformite avec l a r&gle des moeurs." (#109) The-key-word" here i s librement. Also: "L'acte morale est imputable, c'est-a-dire a a t t r i b u e r "a 1'agent comme a son auteur<responsable, s ' i l est pose^ avec 1'attention, base's sur l a connaisance, au moins vague a sa moralit6; i l n'est done pleinement imputable que s ' i l est completement humaine, e'est-a-dire daHbere* et entierement l i b r e . " (#114). So much f o r the o f f i c i a l Catholic p o s i t i o n .  3.  more basic- problems? of < causality and'determinism versus* indeterminism.  If  the- world i s deterministic or causally ordered-, how is- i t possible to act volitionallyy or be» free, or be responsible for one's actions? Would an indeterministic world (i.e., one where events-were either totally or parti a l l y uncaused) admit of freedom :to the individual? problems'with which we must be concerned.  These'are the v i t a l  Upon their solution depend the  great ethical problems' of: human freedom ;and; moral responsibility.  In  these' pages we shall seek to shew that responsibility i s possible and that our conceptions of freedom and moral responsibility are* not myths. These' problems of causality, determinism, and indeterminism will concern us most nearly here; but there are- a few terms/which must be clarified at the outset, such terms as are often equivocal or badly defined.  In the f i r s t chapter we will concern^ourselves' briefly with causs  ality, determinism and indeterminism; plus definitions :of; the terms: 1  chance, fortune, destiny, freedom, free-will, necessity and-predestination. The procedure In the subsequent chapters w i l l be as follows:  in the second  and third- chapters we shall very briefly sketch the historical background of our'problem together' with a few of the attempts at a solution; i n the 1  fourth chapter we will be concerned with the problem of indeterminism and the indeterminacy; principle. solution and i t s application.  The final chapter w i l l deal with the proposed  CHAPTER  SOME  BASIC  I  CONSIDERATIONS  Surrounding the problem of. moral r e s p o n s i b i l i t y are? many other important- problems, d i f f i c u l t i e s - and pseudo*problems which- must be fied?.  clari-  I t would be d i f f i c u l t to discuss a l l at length, so t h e i r expose  w i l l be very b r i e f , and, we'hope,-to* the* point'. There i s a need to consider c a u s a l i t y as t h i s has a great bear;  ing upon" our problem; and., indeed, some conception of c a u s a l i t y i s nec;  essary to any idea* of determinism.  F i r s t , l e t us look at some d e f i n i -  tions of c a u s a l i t y , and- f i n a l l y decide upon-one* which'; w i l l be accepted the best for the solution of our d i f f i c u l t i e s .  as  Durant Drake considers  causal; laws- as tendencies, d i r e c t i o n s that events w i l l take insofar as other tendencies are not conjoined with them to produce a convergent r e s u l t . (1) In his 'Problem of Freedom*' Palmer speaks of ordinary causation as -  •se-  quential causation' (the sense most often held i n the popular mind), a progression from one r e a l i t y to the next; i.e.', AB, BG, CD, etc.  Because  he f i n d s d i f f i c u l t y i n explaining i n t e r s e c t i o n of events (what we might for the-moment c a l l 'chance'), he suggests-another form of causation which he c a l l s 'ante-sequential causation' whereby, s t a r t i n g with a possible e f f e c t , one may  retrace the chain of causes; i . e . , D~-C,  causation of a personal' or purposive kind.  B, A.  This i s  This l a t t e r type of causation  does not* r e a l l y e x p l a i n , o r rather explain away, chance, unless, as we 1,. , Drake,, Durant,, Invitation to Philosophy, Cambridge:, The Riverside Press, 1933, p. 269. 2.  Palmer, G-.H., The Problem of Freedom, Cambridge, Houghton M i f f l i n , 1911, pp. 96-98.  suspect, there- exists i n the' mind of the author.' some- confusion between the 1  simple statement'of - sequential causation and the popular idea of a cause which, somehowv brings'about an effect'. No event, he says, occurs without a cause, but the future i s as great a storehouse of causation as the- past. (3) Now,  i f we-onca admit of this- purposive' type- of causation, can!" we deny,  as Palmer- does-, i n the* face of a l l evidence, that there i s a personal w i l l i n nature?  Yet, i f one* sees the value i n some sort of ante-sequential  causation, how  can one- reject the idea of a f i n a l cause? 1  For once one  accepts- the i d e a of purpose- i n causation, then' f i n a l cause i s a sequitur. ;  j  Again, Palmer speculates, i s chance truly, i r r a t i o n a l or i s i t 1  merely a- way of stating; ignorance? where would t h i s uncertainty a r i s e ? . agencies^.  I t does involve an uncertainty, but Accordingly, i t must involve causal  Obviously we cannot- explain -this- i n t e r s e c t i o n of events by  sequential causation alone, hence*, we must accept ante-sequential causation.  L e t us again refer to Drake.  He implies that c e r t a i n things are  free- from* c a u s a l i t y , more p a r t i c u l a r l y •volition'*. The determinist believes that natural law holds i n cases' of w i l l i n g , as well as i n every other natural event. The- indeterminist believes- that the act of w i l l i n g , at l e a s t , i s exempt from the ordinary laws of cause and e f f e c t ; 'the w i l l ' i s an independent variable inserted-'into the causal nexus o f n a t u r e . (4) 5  I t would appear to t h i s writer that philosophers; such as the above are avoiding the' need: to accept the conception of f i n a l cause. One expresses' wonder that man purpose i n his acts.  alone, of a l l the universe should have  I f one accepts r e l i g i o n as something, not super-  's,  i b i d . , pv 109-.  4.  Drake, op. c i t . , pp. 396-397.  6.  added to? l i f e , but'the summation-of l i f e ' , there i s an absolute necessity to explain things' in- terms- of ends or« purposes. 1  1  I f we explain everything  i n terras of purely mechanistic laws', we- leave- the basic problem of l i f e 1  unanswered, viz.,'the'why? or wherefore?  Now,  i f we b u i l d a house, we  b u i l d i t f o r a* s p e c i f l c purpose, to" l i v e ' i n ; hence\ i t does not seem to be ;  unreasonable', at l e a s t where Christian doctrine is analogy of the house to the universe.  concerned^,,to apply the  Further-, both' metaphysics and theol-  ogy are- impossible on the l e v e l of sheer e f f i c i e n t c a u s a l i t y ; so some sort of f i n a l cause i s required.  .This i s true of e t h i c s , for', i n the very idea  of v o l i t i o n , purpose i s a r e q u i s i t e .  As a r e s u l t , t h i s writer f i n d s i t .  necessary to" think of c a u s a l i t y ' i n ATi'stotelian terms'. F o r ' A r i s t o t l e there are?four causes:  material, e f f i c i e n t , form-  a l and f i n a l ; that from which a- thing*comes into'.being, 'that from which the change or resting' from- change' f i r s t begins, the- pattern (since there (5)  must be- some shape), and'the end for'the sake of' which- a thing i s . ' Next we should consider the problem of chance, i n the f  first  place to say what i t i s not, and i n the- seconds' to give the d e f i n i t i o n -  which we> s h a l l use; as being- the- most f r u i t f u l . 5  •Chance'' generally means  an uncaused' event, having somewha-t of an i r r a t i o n a l element i n i t .  For-  tune, luck and Providence are c l o s e l y bound up with chance, but are not to be- regarded- as synonymous with i t . :  Fortune .is-generally considered  being-;'luck*; but this idea has no philosophical value.  as  On the other  hand-, i n the philosophy of S. Thomas, fortune has a s p e c i f i c r e l a t i o n to Providence;  5.  so we s h a l l defer i t s discussion to a l a t e r chapter.  A r i s t o t l e , Metaphysics, 1013a  24 - 36.  Chance  or accident i n the A r i s t o t e l i a n philosophy- i s defined as follows (and t h i s d e f i n i t i o n is; the one we consider' the most valuable): 1  chance i s  that which attaches to something: and can be t r u l y asserted, but neither of necessity "nor usually; e.g., i f someone i n digging a hole-for a-plant has found treasure. T h i s — - the finding of treasure -- i s f o r the man who dug- the hole an accident; f o r neither does the one'come of necessity from- the other or a f t e r the'other, nor, i f a man pian*aydoes he usu a l l y find- treasure .... Therefore since there are attributes'and they attach to subjects, and some of them attach- to these only i n a p a r t i c u l a r place and at a p a r t i c u l a r time, whatever attaches to a subj e c t , but not because- i t was t h i s subject, or the time t h i s time, or the place t h i s place, w i l l be an accident. Therefore, too, there i s no d e f i n i t e cause f o r an accident, but a chance cause, i . e . an indefinite' one. (6) 1  1  Such a- thing as a 'chance cause' would* not necessarily deny: the operation of determinism, but would show that, by i t s very indefiniteness, we 1  are  unable to= know p r e c i s e l y what causal factors- are at work i n any p a r t i c u l a r case-.  Hence-, we>can s i g n i f i c a n t l y c a l l such an event accidental or chance,  always'remembering- that t h i s c l a s s i f i c a t i o n i s r e a l l y a confession of our own  i n a b i l i t y to know p e r f e c t l y . Next to- be considered' b r i e f l y are the terms v o l i t i o n and w i l l . 1  1  There is-, i n the-popular* mind*, a great- deal of misconception  with regard  to the w i l l , t r e a t i n g i t not as- the voluntary, which i t i s , but as an entity. freedom*.  Whether or not the w i l l i s free w i l l depend on our d e f i n i t i o n of In .this essay we are' seeking to show that freedom is- a poss-  i b i l i t y , not" i n the commonly~aeeepted> d e f i n i t i o n o f that* term but i n a re-  s t r i c t e d sense- consistent with d e t e r m i n i s t i c p r i n c i p l e s . ' The voluntary act  i s that act originating'with the intention of the person.  I t i s de-  l i b e r a t i v e and purposive, or, i n common parlance, i s done 'with the f u l l 6.  i b i d . , 1025a 13-24.  8.  - consent' of' the w i l l ' .  Now,  i n addition t o ' v o l i t i o n ' s being the act of  the w i l l (voluntas), v o l i t i o n w i l l imply attitudesj desires or appetites, and impulses'leading to action.(®) T h i s must be proven consistent with a determinism' of some? sort./ The importance of habits i n connection with w i l l i s to be noted. As Dewey states: A l l habits are demands f o r c e r t a i n kinds of a c t i v i t y ; and they constitute t h e , s e l f . In any i n t e l l i g i b l e sense of the word w i l l , they are w i l l . They form our e f f e c t i v e desires and- t h e y f u r n i s h .us with our ^working capacities. They rule our thoughts, determining which s h a l l appear and be strong and which s h a l l pass from l i g h t into obscurity. (9) And again: By w i l l , common-sense understands- something p r a c t i c a l and moving. I t understands the body of habits, of active dispositions which makes a man do. what he does, W i l l i s thus not something opposed to consequences or severed- from them. I t i s a cause of consequences; i t i s causation i n i t s personal aspect, the aspect immedi a t e l y preceding action; (10) The importance of i n t e l l i g e n c e and thought i n the w i l l must be  emphasized.  7.  In t h i s connection i t i s interesting' to note that the Catholic d e f i n i t i o n of a mortal s i n is:' a) that i t must be a grievous matter, b) performed a f t e r s u f f i c i e n t r e f l e c t i o n , c) performed with the f u l l consent of the w i l l . (See the Catechism, A r t . 53.)  8.  Lotze (Lotze, Herman;. Microcosmus, translation by E. Hamilton and E.C. Janes; Edinburgh, T. & T. Clarke, 1888) notes .that impulse i s just the apprehension of being impelled. V o l i t i o n mingled with impulse' is>"simply the v o l i t i o n not to r e s i s t but to give way to the natural current'of these inner changes." (Vol. I . , p. 255). Voli t i o n contains Ideation and Feeling, and a p e c u l i a r element of mental a c t i v i t y . The content of the w i l l i s the involuntary flow of ideas and f e e l i n g s .  9.  Dewey, John, Human nature and conduct; New York, Henry Holt and Company, 1922; p. 25.  10. i b i d , p. 44.  9.  The glorification of " w i l l " apart from thought turns out either a commitment to blind: action which serves the purpose of those' who guide their deeds by narrow plans, or else a sentimental, romantic faith i n the harmonies of nature leading straight to disaster. (11) We shall leave the problem of the w i l l for the'moment and look at the- other' problems of determinism',, indeterminism' 'and freedom;.  Freedom i s  not necessarily opposed to determinism, nor i s i t to be equated with i n 1  determinism, though there i s a popular conception to that effect.  Deter-  minism' is- to> be- defined as belief that a l l events which occur are i n accordance* with causal laws-.  Indeterminisitr, on" the other hand, i s the  belief that .certain- events happen without cause.  A -total --indeterminism  (rare) would state that a l l events happen without cause, that this world is only'a 'chance' world. A moderate indeterminism would state that only certain-events happen without cause, such as coincidence-, or the act of •willing' i t s e l f .  Freedom, for'man, i f i t exists at a l l , must be found  within- the framework of one or the other type of universe. we are faced with i s 'Is freedom possible?'  The question  Freedom must exist i f we  consider man as a rational and moral animal. If i t does not, moral philosophy would seem to me to be superfluous, or, at the best, a mere appendix to psychology; But does such a thing as 'absolute freedom' exist in the human sphere?  Freedom' and responsibility seem-to be tied, up with-the possibility 5  of 'choice''. Now, according to Weiss-, i n order to- be responsible we must exercise free choice. To this we would agree, but with careful qualifications.  "Freedom of choice-j" he says, " i s not freedom, to action; i t i s  only i t s precondition."(12) Unless we can choose freely we are neither 11. 12.  i b i d . / p . 259. Weiss, Paul, Freedom of choice, Ethics, Vol.LII, 1941, pp. 186-199;  10.  free-nor responsible-.- Moreover, in the act of choosing we are aware that we could have chosen otherwise; but the reasons' compelling one's choice are. those- that'prevent one's being-responsible. 1  seems to be? the- common* error;  Now herein l i e s what  He goes on- to-say-that choice i s either  determined- or not, and either alternative denies' responsibility, for i n the- f i r s t case- we' lose the fact of freedom and i n the second' we lose the fact that' our inclinations .have'janv effect' upon- the choice' we- make. Therefore we need to distinguish between-1) the fact- of choosing and the poss i b i l i t y of choosing, and 2) between a freedom to choose responsibility and- a freedom to- choose- that for which we w i l l be responsible.  "To have  freedom of choice i s to be able to transform a- rejected alternative into a preferable one by making i t an essential part of a desired situation**^ It i s not necessary that the desired' situation be known, only necessary that i t be possible for us?to know the desired- situation.  We have the  power' to- change the appeal that a rejected alternative now has for us by placing i t in a wider situation. Thus we know that our choice i s free. Now, a person may be said- to have made a bad choice* when'he finds he i s r  not willing to accept the whole- of which his choice i s a part; thus conscience i s the feeling of inconsistency.  Only the 'moral man' has  this because he- accepts-a* set of obligations not consistent with the choices his' inclinations prompt.  This may be- very well for an element-  ary psychological analysis, but Weiss i s not f a i r l y facing the problem of this' incompatability of' determinism' and; i t s opposite*with- freedom. What is; necessary i s to examine the arguments, for and against determinism before considering the psychological aspects of freedom, though, i t i s 13.  ibid., p. 188.  11.  sound to admit that, as-human freedom-does'not exist absolutely, at least certain- of i t s aspects must lie- inrthe psychological sphere. Again, we*have another-popular opinion: Responsibility i s socially created and need not be> supposed- to- be< an inherent quality in either party' independent of their social bondage....Man i s thus bound'to govern-and be governed by his fellows, with or without the law. To imagine that he i s self-governing or morally free- i s a delusion, for evens when' the bonds of particular obligations break, under conflict, he f a l l s into the more r i g orous demands of equity, right, or law. (14) Schneider holds to the view that responsibility does'exist, but exists only outside of 'moral freedom'; and i t i s pure fiction that no obligation exists until i t i s freely assumed; Further:  a| Obligation can be  described' as a' natural relation prior to the- psychological problem of how obligations are known* or sensed; b) The state of obligation can be explained? as a natural fact-' without evaluating i t ; - c-)^ The- concept of •moral freedom' i s a confusion, rather, morality i s the-antithesis of freedom'.' While one often has  feeling that morality i s -precisely as  Schneider has described i t , there are- some- who could not accept i t seriously.  How does one distinguish between freedom and- license? 1  It seems  to me- that' Schneider has- not even the basis for' a- theory of freedom.  If  we must look for a philosophical definition" of freedom', we? are not going -  to find- i t in; the popular conception of particular, ill-defined 'freedoms'. Such expressions as 'freedom of' the press', 'freedom of conscience'' are-mere words, or-at the best, particular 'liberties' or •rights' requiring a special definition, and are not, as such, the basis of the definition of freedom. 14.  Schneider, Herbert W., Moral Obligation, Ethics Vol. L, pp. 45-56; pp; 55-56.  1939,  12.  Some terms which are often confused, and, for purposes of this essay, require definition-are-:  necessity, predestination (or preordina-  tion), fatalism, destiny ('moira' or- fate), and fortune'.  'Destiny* i s  the* primitive' conception of predestination" and, as a t does not; concern us here, we may omit discussion of i t .  Necessity, predestination, and fatal-  ism' are by no means synonymous: terms' nor are they to be confused with determinism- as they so- often are.  Let- us examine the distinctions.  •Necessity governs a l l * i s an oft-quoted statement of the Stoics.  As ;they believed i t , necessity was a' destiny which-drove the in-  dividual on to his pre-determined goal. use the' word- today.  It i s not i n this- sense that we  Necessity, for the- logician is- best defined i n dis-  tinguishing i t from a sufficient condition, with which i t i s often confused*. A proposition states a sufficient" condition for another proposition• i f implies g!'is true. A proposition p_ states a necessary condition for another proposition £ i f "not-p implies not-q," i s true- (or, what i s the same thing, i f "c^ implies p_ i s true)....Thus the-proposition that a body or society i s sick i s necessary for the proof of the desirability of some remedy or reform, but clearly not- sufficient. To prove the desirability we need further knowledge as to how the remedy or reform w i l l work-. (15) M  A valuable definition i s given by Aristotle.  He discusses the necessary  as follows-: We call 'necessary* 1) that without which, as a condition, a thing cannot live-; e.g., breathing and food are necessary for an'animal...(b) the conditions without which good cannot be: or come to be, or without which we cannot get r i d or be freed of v e v i l ; e.g., drinking the medicine is necessary i n 15.  Cohen, Morris R. and Nagel, Ernest; An introduction to logic and scientific method; New York, Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1934; p. 388.  13.  order'that we may be cured of disease...(2) The compulsory and compulsion, i.e-., that which impedes and tends to hinder, contrary to impulse*and purpose. For- the' compulsory i s called' necessary...and compulsion i s a form of necessary. And necessity i s held to be something that cannot be persuaded — and rightly, for'it' is contrary to the movement which accords with- purpose' and' with reasoning...(3) We say that that which cannot be otherwise i s necessarily as i t i s . And from- this sense of 'necessary' a l l others are' somehow derived ; for a thing i s said to do or suffer what' i s necessary in the sense of compulsory, only when i t cannot act according to i t s impulse because- of the compelling force - — which implies that necessity i s that because of which a thing cannot be otherwise. ( 1 6 ) 1  1  Thus' the conclusion™ in a demonstration' i s necessary because of the premises, just as, in« order to l i v e the good l i f e , certain conditions are necessary.  It does not seem to be the case that God i s subject to nec-  essity a s i a r e " created things, for: Now some things' owe- their necessity to something other than themselves'; others do not, but are the source of necessity in other things. Theref.orerthe> necessary i n the primary and' strict' sense- i s the-_simple;; for this does' not admit of - more- states' than-one, so that i t cannot be in one state and also in another; for i f i t did i t would already be in more than one. I f , then, there /are things that are eternal and immovable, nothing compulsory or against .their nature- attaches -to. them. ( 1 ? ) -  Let this suffice for- the- present with regard to necessity, except to remark'that" necessity, i n the pejorative sense, implies, as does fatalism, that the individual counts for nothing. Finally we shall consider predestination.  Predestination gains  its' protestant meaning and fullest application in: the- theology of John Calvin.  It differs considerably from the stoical doctrine of necessity by  16.  Aristotle, Metaphysics, Bk. V, Chap. V, p. 1015a20 to p. 1015bl0 (W. D. Ross translation).  17.  ibidem, p. 1015bl0-15.  14.  its emphasis on the worth of' the- individual.  Concerned as- i t i s with the  drama of Salvation i t could not do otherwise.  Man i s the centre of the  -  universe'and' he, as an individual, i s predestined'from'all ages to heaven or -to- hell, driven to i t , however, in no less a degree than the Stoic to his fate.  The roots of' Calvin's doctrine l i e in the-moral doctrines of S.  Augustine- i n addition to the- -stoic- philosophy. 1  S. Augustine held that be-  cause of Adam's sin, man-, by his very birth, was' unregenerate. Man could 5  obtain' salvation only by the* w i l l of God, and*, 'specifically; by the sacrement of - Baptism.  In' other words, there was a- company of the elect who  were- ordained.' to be- saved-, and i t was- God- alone^ who decided who were to partake'of*the'Beatific Vision. The doctrine of predestination as we know i t today originated with the Protestant Revolution'.  Calvin thought that  the course of each individual's- life- was fore-ordained from a l l time to a l l time; that i s , that each moment and'decision-of a person's l i f e —  unlike  S. Augustine who- thought that one's; ultimate salvation or- damnation alone was' predetermined-' —  was once- andi for a l l decided and< ordained;.  Any choice  an individual, might make-had'already been-determined' along with i t s result. The individual is-powerless to change .an event and, therefore, must submit to the- w i l l of God.  God Himself, as He acts consistently, cannot change  that event having once decreed i t . On the surface, there appears to*be*a good deal of similarity between' predestination and- fatalism. control over his' ultimate- end.  In both cases the individual has no  Here-, really, the similarity ceases, for  predestination is, a creed of hope* while fatalism i s a creed., of despair. The predestinationist i s at-the.disposal of a beneficent and merciful God Whom he, in some measure understands, while the fatalist i s like a ball  15.  thrown' about by blind, forces' which- are beyond: his* 'comprehension. is' all-important while- the- latter- i s a- cypher-. t h e - f a t a l i s t ' s 'efforts are abortive.  The former  No matter what he does,  He is. the' unhappy v i c t i m of chance,  a- dweller i n a completely indeterministic and' i r r a t i o n a l ; universe. ;  For him  to fight-against these i r r a t i o n a l forces* appears' p r o f i t l e s s , so he desists 1  from a l l action; to bemoan his- f at ei-sr vanity', so he'is s i l e n t .  Fatalism  of t h i s extreme sort becomes- a- complete- -indeterminism', a' state of mind 1  which makes philosophical speculation and s c i e n t i f i c investigation impossible'; Few f a t a l i s t s : are of t h i s extreme sort.  With the major part of  them indeterminism' becomes- bound up with c e r t a i n questions' of choice,  part-  {18) i c u l a r l y with regard to the matters of l i f e - and death. ilization', fatalism-appears always as an abnormality.  v  ' In westerh c i v Fatalism as i t i s  accepted by the Buddhists and t h e i r fore-runners, the Yogi of India, would appear to lead-, not to despair, but to a peaceful  state of mind, completely  beyond" the comprehension of' people of western culture-. Having outlined'the'definitions-of these? few-terms which bear 1  upon our discussion of moral r e s p o n s i b i l i t y we s h a l l proceed,- i n the two subsequent chapters, to a b r i e f survey of the philosophical problem involved. 18v  Many Christians-are- resigned' in- the< face- of death*, but t h i s resignation i s not to be-considered as a'form-of fatalism; The-doctrines of Providence -and F a i t h are- closely linked up here. - Further,- many of us, when faced with impossible'choices, are inclined-to-act i n a way that would imply that the- decision -we- have made- r e a l l y does not matter a great deal. Once again, Providence and; F a i t h have a r o l e to play. I t is-, however, when we reach the stage that we believe we are no longer directed by a higher power that a f a t a l i s t i c indeterminism i s i n c l i n e d to creep into our consciousness.  CHAPTER 2 THE  CLASSICAL  OUTLOOK  The- more- or* less traditional view of acceptance of moral re1  sponsibility is. found in' Plato.  Responsibility i s bound ,up with r e t r i -  bution, and? punishment is- •desired* by the wrong^doer. ...The unjust or' doer of unjust actions' i s miserable in' any case,- — more miserable*, however, i f he be not punished and'does not'meet with retribution, and less miserable i f he be punished and meets with retribution at' the* hands of gods and men. (1) This implies a recognition* and assumption of responsibility on the part of any moral creature'. Just whether. or not* his' analysis -would accord 1  with the; psychological facts: i s rather dubious-.  Plato beliyes, as a nat-  ural concommitant of his Realm of Ideas', in a universal* good-. The wise man will know what* this- objective' good is-, and w i l l do* everything in his 5  power to attain to i t . He does not satisfactorily' answer the;'problem that a man may- know what i s right yet* consciously, choose the- wrong. How-  ever, that argument' may be'solved' on- his own- ground': ^ the- man who chooses the'wrong, knowing the right, might*truly be*deficient in wisdom or in knowledge of that particular problem.  It i s d i f f i c u l t to see how a per-  son, really aware of the right, could possibly choose what'is wrong, except* i n the-case where he'has* not control of his passions and i s forced to- do- wrong by his own desires both physical and psychological; in which case* the- wrong done i s performed without the f u l l consent of the w i l l . Such a person's freedom i s very much curtailed. 1.  Plato, Gorgias, t r . Jowett, New York, Random House, 1937, Vol.1, p.473.  IV.  In accordance with the' dictum that the wise man i s the good man, the degree to which a man i s responsible- i s dependent' upon his wisdom. Hence , the guardian, due to his superior wisdom, i s held more responsible 1  for his acts than the ordinary citizen would be.  It i s through one's  knowledge and the proper balance'of a l l factors contributing to the makeup of the wise-man that*one-attains to freedom. I t can be seen that this would entail various levels of freedom, the philosopher king being the most free and the- slave- the-least-free.  In an effort to gain freedom in this  sense, a grave mistake' one' could make would be to attempt to direct one's efforts into' too many channels. 1  One would come to identify information  with knowledge, thus '...the path to freedom via many-sidedness leads to (2) slavery and one-sidedness after a l l . ' Freedom, in Plato, may be seen i n the training of the wise man. Lodge summarizes': The training here consists...in reasoning, in appealing to the rational element inherent in our appetites.-.. .It is precisely in the higher type-of personality, so organized upon ethical and spiritual principles as to take on the nature of'ideal reality, that' every human impulse and appetite comes to realize i t s own highest potentiali t i e s , and thus attain to true inward freedom'. (3). Thus' i t i s the inward'freedom that counts, indeed, the only type of freedom'which could have a-' real meaning- i n the human sphere. Since there- exists' i n the immutable- Realm' of Ideas an ideal standard-', then,-moral judgment w i l l be concerned: with- comparing a character or an action with the ideal.  Also, this standard w i l l imply the  2.  Lodge, R.C., Plato's theory of ethics, London, Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & C , 1928, p. 151.  3.  ibidem, pp. 152-153.  18.  acceptance or rejection of a proposed- action.  Hence, i t will be only the  truly wise man who i s able to weigh a l l the consequences- of an action and so act as a morally.free agent.  One's progress in knowledge i s a growing 1  awareness of reality, and as we-gradually take reality into our own experience, i t i s reality itself that becomes the Judge of our' actions. Another traditional view is-to be found in Aristotle.  In Book  III of the Nicomachean Ethics we find his statement of the problem.  He  is- concerned' here with the voluntary. Virtue implies an assent of the w i l l , and'the-action cannot be considered as either virtuous or vicious- unless i t i s 'voluntary* — i.e. agreeable to- the agent.  But this action, to'< be* perfectly vicious or per-  fectly virtuousi must proceed from deliberate choice.  One i s to be held  'responsible-' for.actions done only with his own consent, that i s , 'voluntary actions'.  The conditions of voluntary action are:  absence of  constraint,. both physical and- moral, and- a f u l l knowledge of the nature of one's acts.  Volition', however', i s distinct from voluntariness because  a l l sentient creatures- are not capable" of moral purpose or rational choice, even though they do- act voluntarily, for volition- implies purpose. Also, i t i s distinct from desires'and impulses as these apply to nonrational-animals and are concerned with pleasure while volition i s con6  cerned chiefly with honor.  'Wishing' does not imply 'willing' since  volition is concerned- with what lies- i n one/s power and* with the means required to bring about an end which i s wished for. only to ends, often impossible ends.  'Wishing' applies  Finally, volition i s not 'opinion'  since' the former i s right or wrong, while the latter i s true>or false: the sphere of the one i s things in our own power, the sphere Of the other,  19.  the whole universe. tion.  The 'will', then, i s what has been defined as v o l i -  (4) The problem-which troubled Plato, viz., how a man knowing the  good- could' possibly choose- the e v i l , i s resolved" thus' in Aristotle: Whether, then, i t is not. by nature that the end appears to each man such as i t does appear, but something also depends upon him, or the end- i s natural but because the good'man adopts the means voluntarily virtue is voluntary, vice'also will be none the- less voluntary; for in the case of the- bad man there- i s equally -present that which depends- on- himself in his actions even i f not in his end. If, then, as i s asserted, the virtues are voluntary (for we are ourselves somehow partly responsible for our states of character, and i t i s by being persons of a certain kind that we assume- the end to be so and so), the vices'also will be- voluntary: for- the same i s true of' them....But actions'and states-of character are not voluntary in the same way; for we-are masters of our actions .from- the beginning' right to' the- end, i f we know the particular facts, but though we control the beginning of our states of character*the gradual progress i s not obvious, any more -than i t is* i n illnesses; because i t was in our power, however, to act in this way or hot in this way, therefore- the states are voluntary. (5) ;  1  Let this suffice for the present.  We shall return to a  4".  J.G". Clapp,• in the Aristotelian tradition ,* comments'on the f i r s t five chapters of the third book of the-Ethics (Journal of.. Philosophy, Vol. 40, 1943, pp. 85-100) as follows (we summarize): The 'voluntary and Involuntary' refer-to the-moment and circumstance- of• the action. Wow, the actions of a man may be voluntary but not'free, as in the case of one's being brought to face an-impossible choice. But as-the f u l l extent'of freedom requires* choice, and-this we-will not deny, this choice implies the- existence of alternatives, albeit that these alternatives- are- usually of a limited number. Moreover, i t i s impossible to deny that' there are restrictions to freedom, but in the practical application we see that many of these restrictions actually protect freedom, as in the case'of l i b e l laws. Again, deliberation is essent i a l to freedom-, and: excellence in deliberation i s true reasoning about particular' things. The best way o f considering human freedom, then, seems to.be in connection with 'rational habits'. Therefore, our best definition of freedom will, be 'excellence in deliberation'.  5.  Aristotle, Ethics Bk. I l l , Ch. 5, p.1114b 17 - p. 1115a  1  2.  20.  consideration of the basic difficulties -underlying this problem, in accordance with the definitions above quoted- with regard' to causality, chance, etc., when we consider the Thomistic position in the f i n a l section of this work-. The third classical position which proved highly influential i s 1  that of the Stoics.  It may be- disposed of briefly..  I shall quote from  Marcus Aurelius' asvhe expresses the essence of stoical thought. Whatever may happen to from a l l eternity; and from eternity spinning that which i s incident 1  thee, i t was prepared for thee the implication of causes was the thread of thy being, and of to i t . (6)  This sums up the position of relentless necessity, a- complete determinism, 1  yet, despite i t ' s seeming pessimistic approach, i t had for the Stoics, and Marcus Aurelius i n particular', the opposite effect of pessimism.  Though  the universe may be a 'concourse of atoms' or nature a system, the f i r s t thing- to remember'is' that one' i s a' part of' that' system and' a l l natures have that common principle.  Secondly, the- nature of the- universe 'cannot  be compelled even by any external cause to generate anything: harmful to (7) i t s e l f . ' ' Therefore, there i s no cause for alarm, for-, in remembering v  that' one i s part of such a whole, one can be content with everything that happens'. That everything must of nature'perish must be understood in the sense of undergoing change. Again, this cannot be evil For whether- did nature- herself design to do e v i l to the things which are-parts of herself, and t'6" make them subject to evil and of necessity f a l l into e v i l , or have- such results happened without her knowing i t ? (8) This attitude is not to be condemned as a mere 'Pollyanna' view, since i t 6. 7. 8.  Marcus Aurelius, New York, Random loc. c i t . , para. loc. c i t . , para.  Meditations, The Stoic and Epicurean Philosophers, House, 1940, p. 563, para. 5. 6. 7.  is a very reasoned attitude and not' simply wishful thinking. Marcus Aurelius, indeed, ranks very high among moral philosophers, and the Stoic philosophy was thought not unworthy of incorporation" i n antique Christianity; indeed, St.Paul was very partial to the Stoic philosophy. The key to the. inner-peace of mind, and also the sense in which freedom may be understood, l i e s in the intelligence: The things'are- three of which' thou art composed, a l i t t l e body, a l i t t l e breath ( l i f e ) , intelligence. Of these the f i r s t two are thine, so far as i t is thy duty to take care of them; but the- third alone is- properly thine. Therefore if' thou shalt separate from thyself, that i s , from thy "understanding,' whatever others do-or' say, an whatever thou hast done or said thyself, and whatever future things trouble thee because they may happen, and'whatever in the body which envelops thee or i n the breath" ( l i f e ) , which i s by nature associated with- the body...if'thou wilt separate, I say, from-this ruling-faculty the things-which are attached to i t by the' impress-ions of sense. ..then thou wilt be able to pass- that-portion of l i f e which remains- for thee up to the time of thy death,, free from preturbations, nobly,.and obedient to thy own daemon (to the god that i s within thee). (9) 1  The- one idea i s to gain' peace o f mind here and now and- we< must never 1  1  trouble ourselves with what evils' might be for, in the words of the Bibl i c a l text, 'All things'work together for good .' 1  Either there* i s a fatal necessity and invincible order, or a kind of Providence-, or a confusion without a purpose and ^without- a director'. If then there i s an invincible necessity, why dost thou' resist? But i f there i s a Providence which allows i t s e l f to be propitiated, make thyself worthy of the help o f the divinity. But i f there i s confusion* without a governor, be content' that" in such a tempest- thou- hast in* thyself' a* certain ruling intelligence. And even'if the tempest carry thee-away, l e t i t carry away the poor flesh, the poor breath, everything else; for the intelligence at least i t will not' carry away. (10) -  1  Man, by reason'of his intelligence,, i s able to rise above- the restrictions of material l i f e and to gain a real freedom. 9. 10.  ibidem pp. 579 - 580 para. 3 . ibidem p. 581 para. 1 4 .  This view of freedom i s  22.  certainly implicit' in Aristotle and in many later philosophers, S. Augustine, S. Thomas, and- Spinoza among them.. Finally in this chapter, I wish to discuss S. Augustine who sums up the early Christian tradition, and, as.the f i r s t significant Christian philosopher, sets' the tone for the- Neo-Platonic movement- of the Middle Ages.- His concern with the problem of moral responsibility-stems from the -  rise of' Pelagian Heresy and" his need to defend' orthodoxy against the i n 5  1  roads of the subversion of• the doctrine of' 'original sin'.  The Pelagians,  in denying original sin —  stating' that' each infant coming .into the world  was free from Adam's- sin —  made- the: essential- doctrines o f the Incarna-  r  tion and Redemption both unnecessary and superfluous-. 1  In seeking to stem  this heresy which, i f i t had taken hold-, would have- swept* the Christian Church into- oblivion, S. Augustine* involved'himself i n a* controversy which is* s t i l l going on.  This controversy was- one of the seeming opposition be-  tween God's 'foreknowledge-' and-man's 'freedom'of the Will'. 1  In Book*V, Chapter ix of the- De*Civitate' Dei S. Augustine projects a criticism' of Cicero who rejects* foreknowledge (and' that against the Stoics'' conception of fate) and believes foreknowledge and freedom of' election- to be incompatible ideas.  Cicero's- fear i s that in yielding  to foreknowledge one must also yield to fate, or a complete: determinism. I f God had prescience of the order of' things and, consequently, the certain order* of causes in- a l l events-, then' are our wills' useless, for each 1  event is- disposed by fate-. As a result, Cicero chooses freedom, thereby, 1  1  as says S. Augustine, instead-of making man free, making him blasphemous. As far as he sees, the religious mind must choose both freedom and foreknowledge.  23.  Tully s argument, in the form of a sorites, i s set forth by ,  S. Augustine: If there be any freedom of the-will, a l l things do not follow destiny: i f a l l things follow not destiny, then is there' no set order i n the case of things: now i f there i s no set order.in the cause of a l l things, then is there-no set order of the things themselves in God's foreknowledge, since they come from their causes. If there be- not a set order of a l l things- in God's foreknowledge-, then a l l things f a l l not out according to the said knowledge'. Now i f a l l things f a l l not out as He had His foreknowledge of them, then i s there in God no foreknowledge of things to come-. (11.) One can readily see* the fallaciousness' of this-argument which goes so far as to deny causation.  S. Augustine gets to the point quickly:  'We hold,'  he says, 'not that a l l things, but rather that nothing follows f a t e . ' ^ ^ We' cannot deny causation 'wherein-the w i l l of God -is a l l in a l l * .  The  best sense in which we- may use- the word 'fate-' i s insofar as i t may be derived from ' f a r i * , 'to speak', i n other words, as God speaks or com1  v  mands. In a very potent passage-he denies that foreknowledge would preclude' free- w i l l : For our very wills are i n that order of causes, which God knows so surely and has in His-prescience; human wills being- the cause of human actions: so that He that keeps-a knowledge of the causes of a l l things, cannot leave-men's wills out of that knowledge, knowing them to be the causes of their actions. For Tully's own words-: "Nothing comes to pass without an efficient cause", is sufficient alone to sway down this matter quite against himself. (13) We cannot deny causation; but that causal nexus of which we are ignorant and to which we often give the name of 'fortune ' we» must leave as obscure, 1  ascribing i t to the will of God.  However, there i s a voluntary  ..H. S. Augustine, The city of God, t r . John Healy, London, J.M. Dent & Sons, 1945, p. 153. 12. loc. c i t . 13. loc. c i t .  causation present in angels, men and other creatures that may be set down to w i l l , and that will which i s 'the spirit of l i f e ' . Regarding the problem of evil i n the-world, S. Augustine brings forth the consideration that God, while He i s the Creator of a l l natures and powers, i s not the giver of' a l l wills since He cannot create e v i l . This viewpoint' seems* a l i t t l e d i f f i c u l t , but we might* consider' i t i n the following* manner: God creates by willing-.  He cannot will e v i l , therefore  evil must' come from' some other quarter; yet* i t certainly could not come from nature-which He created but must come from-some defect'in men or the angels.. Man He endowed with-reason, and this reason is-capable of corruption'by the operation of the w i l l .  Now God, i n creating wills, nec-  essarily created* them free-,- and being free- they are- subject to error. Herein l i e s the defect, not a defect in God's workmanship but, rather, a defect contained in the very fact of freedom. This, I should infer, because the freedom of man within the purview of S. Augustine i s a limited freedom, limited in the 3ense of f i n i t e , since God' alone i s perfectly free and infinite . 1  It i s clear*, then, from S. Augustine that the  creature may be subject- to his own and other wills, such as those of the angels, and a l l are subject to God's w i l l . To conclude'against Cicero, S. Augustine states that to reject the prescience-of (Bod one must really reject God'Himself.  God has per-  mitted us to exercise power by our wills, knowing' Himself what they should be, and this by His foreknowledge which cannot be deceived.  In  using the word 'fate', then, we can apply i t to the weaker, while to the stronger•we. apply 'will'. In Chapter X S. Augustine takes up the problem of necessity,  stating that the Stoics really had nothing to- fear from' i t because, as 1  far as- he could define i t , i t certainly did not contradict 'freedom*. He defines necessity as:  'that whereby a thing must f a l l out', citing  as example 'death', in other words, the natural consequences of our mortal natures.  One's will i s free and'not subject to any necessity which  might deprive- i t of freedom; and, one should add in clarification, as i s clear' from the above, we- cannot make a- significant act of w i l l against 'necessity' (as here defined) because' such an 'act of w i l l ' would not come.- within the realm of freedom. Again, our wills are not unlimited in the sense' that God's i s : Our wills are not useless, because God foresees what will be in them: He that foresaw i t whatever i t be, foresaw somewhat: and i f He did foreknow somewhat, then by His foreknowledge there i s something in our wills. Whereby we are- neither compelled to leave our freedom of w i l l by retaining God's foreknowledge, nor by holding our will's freedom to deny God's foreknowledge. (14) S. Augustine's answer-fails to satisfy us'completely.  It dir-  ectly prefigures Luther's doctrine of justification by Divine Grace and Calvin's doctrine of predestination, neither of which-is an;' answer to the problem'but rather leads us into a greater morass.  Indeed, S. Aug-  ustine's doctrine of foreknowledge is predestination i t s e l f , though less crude than Calvin's.  He even has recourse' to the term:  'Good deeds  has He-predestined to reward, and evil to punishment.'(^We see in this that man i s directly responsible- for his- actions, which indeed he must be in any Christian philosophy; but does' this mean that man  i s con-  demned to hell by God? The latter would seem to be the implication of  14.  ibidem p.  155.  15.  ibidem p.  156.  Calvin's doctrine; but i s the case of S. Augustine:'s the-same?  One mould  think that S. Augustine would not so consider i t ; nevertheless he i s obscure- on this point. -  Nor does man sin because God foreknew- that he would sin: nay i t i s doubtless he that sins, when he does sin, because God, whose knowledge cannot be mistaken, foresaw that neither fate nor fortune, nor anything else, but the man himself would sin, who i f he had not been willing, he had not sinned: but whether he should be unwilling to sin or no, that also did God foreknow.,- (jl-6?) It is clear from this that God does not' predestine (nor coerce) a man to sin; He merely foresees- i t .  The word 'unwilling.'* must imply an act of  w i l l , thus meaning that God also foresaw, just- how a man would w i l l either 1  to sin or not to sin. How GOd could, foreseeing a l l , not w i l l a man to damnation becomes less and- less clear as we' consider'it.  However, i t ap-  pears that S., Augustine intends' to leave the problem' entirely within the realm of the w i l l , the creature's w i l l not God's. Man wills his own salvation or destruction'not God", and man's will contains the seeds of his own-destruction.  Paradoxically, man's very freedom', by the-operation of  his' w i l l i s the surest means to his enslavement.  Speculation' further in  the line marked-out by S. Augustine- is- d i f f i c u l t and, probably, unfruitful; but let-us briefly* consider one aspect, the problem'of time-.- The suggestion i s as- follows': We- are not- to conclude that, as we- conceive of time :  as' past, present and future, God i s limited to this conception.  God sees  a l l time- as an eternal present, and past, present and future are a l l one to him, so that he-sees each-individual's l i f e as a 'now'. If this explanation, seems: a- f a i r one, one would think this, the best, light i n which to regard S. Augustine's philosophy.  16.  loc. c i t .  In the limiting of our thought processes  to time we' cannot see -but equivocally t h i s seeming paradox of God's foreseeing our ultimate end and yet, somehow, not predestining that end.  CHAPTER III  FURTHER ATTEMPTS AT A SOLUTION  A great'number?of' philosophers have dealt with" the problems of freedom and moral responsibility, and some of their solutions have proven to be more or less satisfactory.  It i s manifestly impossible in an essay  of this; type' to set forth' a l l the ideas' expressed',- so here- we will limit ;  ourselves to a very brief examination of the attempted solutions of a few of these philosophers. A.  Benedictus de Spinoza.  We must note f i r s t that Spinoza- i s a.determinist. A thing which i s determined'for*the performance of anything was so determined necessarily by God, and a thing which i s not determined by God cannot determine i t s e l f to do anything. (1) Nor can we conceive of any effects of God without their'causes.  Again,  we can grant nothing contingent, for divine nature- determines,by necessity a l l things for existing'and'acting i n a particular way. Will, moreover, is not a free cause but a- necessary one*, and i t follows' that God does not act from- freedom of the will but produces things in the only manner and order that i s possible.  It i s best here to give Spinoza's definition of  the necessary* and the contingent. Anything i s said to be necessary* either by- reason i f i t s essence or i t s cause'. For the existence' of anything necessarily follows either from its' very essence or definition, or from a given effecting cause. A thing i s said to be impossible by reason of these same causes: clearly for that i t s essence or definition involves a contradiction, or that no external cause can be given determined for the production, of such a thing. But anything can in no wise 1  1.  Spinoza, Ethics, trans, by A. Boyle; London, J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd., 1910; Prop. XXVI, p. 21.  be* said to be contingent save- in respect to the imperfection of our knowledge'. For when- we- are not aware that the essence' of a thing .involves a contradiction, or when we are quite certain that i t does not involve a contradiction, and yet can affirm nothing with certainty concerning i t s existence, as the- order of causes has escaped us, such a thing can seem neither necessary nor impossible to us: and therefore we call i t either contingent or* possible. (2) 1  Freedom', i f I t i s to be found on the- human: level, w i l l have- to be sought in reason.  It i s the nature of reason to regard things as- necessary not (3)  as contingent. Men think that they are free, being conscious of their volitions and desires at the' same time that they are ignorant of the causes* of these volitions and desires. (4)  There i s in no mind absolute or free- w i l l , but the mind i s determined for willing this or that by a cause which i s determined i n i t s turn by another cause, and this one again by another-, and so- on to infinity. (5) In the note to the above proposition' Spinoza adds: ...I understand-by will the faculty, not the desire, of affirming and denying: I understand, I repeat, the faculty by which the mind affirms or denies what i s true or false, and not the desire by which the mind takes a l i k ing or an aversion to- anything. (6) Will i s not something- distinct from the intellect but i s identical with i t , for- these are nothing but individual volitions and- ideas (which are really :  one and the same- thing^'l' Falsity arises when knowledge i s deprived because of •mutilated and confused ideas•.'^ To act with knowledge i s synonymous with acting with virtue. Man, i n so far as he i s determined to do anything, by the fact that he has inadequate ideas cannot absolutely be said to act from virtue, but only i n so far as he i s determined 2. ibid. 3". ibid*. 4. ibid. 5 . ibid. 6. ibid. 7. ibid. 8. ibid.  p.26, p.71, p.30, p.74, p.75, p.76, p.76,  Note I. to Prop. XXHII. Part II., Prop. XLXV. Appendix to Part I i Prop. XLVIII. (Part II.) Note to Prop. XLVIII. Corollary to Prop. XLIX. Note.  30.  by the fact that he understands.  (9)  And- again: To act absolutely according to virtue i s nothing else in us than to act under the guidance of reason,, to live so, and to preserve one's being (these three have the same meaning) on the basis of seeking what i s useful to oneself. (10) The great point to be*brought out with regard to freedom i s that, accord-  ing to Spinoza, one i s free insofar as- one submits, to law and has reason to see that the subservience to law does not really affect his freedom at all. A man who- i s guided by reason i s more free in a state where he lives according to the common law than in solitude where he i s subject to no law. (11) It i s this fact that proves most valuable to us for, knowing the limitations of our- freedom, and knowing that no amount' of willing on our part can possibly alter circumstances, we will accept the world for what i t i s , aware of the fact- that' our own personal freedom l i e s • i n our intellects. Moreover, because of the fact that causality present i n the- world i s beyond our influencing, i t can have nothing at a l l to do with our own per1  sonal freedom.  It i s this point that escapes most of those who have  thought of the- problem of human* freedom'. This- point we<-can' accept without, at the same time, accepting the whole of Spinoza's metaphysics and psychology. Again, says Spinoza, we can be free from subjection to our emotions. 9. 10. 11.  ibid., p.157, Prop.XXIII. ibid., p.158, Prop.XXIV. ibid., p.190, Prop. LXXIII., i n Part IV.  In so far as the inind understands a l l things as necessary i t has more power over the emotions or i s less passive to them. (12) Spinoza' sums up with regard to the power of the mind over emotions or the freedom* of' the- mind: ...It i s clear how much a wise man i s in front of and how stronger he- i s than an- ignorant one-, who i s guided by lust alone-. For an-ignorant man', besides, being'agitated in many ways- by external causes-, never' enjoys one- true satisfaction of the mind: he lives,*moreover, almost unconscious of himself, of God-, and things, as soon as he ceases to be passive, ceases to be. On the contrary, the wise man, i n so far as he i s considered as such, i s scarcely moved in spirit: he i s conscious of himself, of God, and things by a certain eternal necessity, he never ceases to be, and a l ways enjoys satisfaction of mind. (13) 3.  Immanuel Kant  Kant considers freedom as- first' and foremost a' negative idea. The w i l l i s a kind of causality belonging to living beings in so far as they are rational, and freedom* would be this property of such causality that i t can*be efficient, independently* of foreign causes determining i t ; just as physical necessity i s the property that the causality of a l l i r r a tional beings has of being determined to activity by the influence of foreign causes. (14) Though negative, i t leads to a positive- and f r u i t f u l conception. ...Although freedom i s not a property of the will depending on physical laws, yet i t i s not for that reason lawless; on the contrary, i t must be a causality acting according to immutable laws, but of a peculiar kind; otherwise a free w i l l would be an absurdity. (15) Considering the role of the categorical imperative in the moral philosophy of Kant we are not surprised to find that the will is a law to i t s e l f . Consider this: The will i s conceived as a faculty of .determining oneself to action in accordance with the conception of certain laws. (l6) ' .12...: ibid., p.205, Prop. TI"., in Part V. 13. ibid., p.224. 14. Kant, Theory of Ethics, in Kant selections, p.334. 15.  16.  loc. err.—*-  r±  ibid., p.307.  32.  and' again- this maxim:, • Act as i f the maxim of thy action were to become by thy will a* universal law of nature. (17) So the formula for- the categorical imperative- is such '...that a free w i l l and a w i l l subject to moral laws are one and. the same. * ^ ^ 8  In a know-  ledge of the. self as object we can find nothing to' determine i t as free. Therefore we-must regard ourselves as both subject and object. for a rational being', action requires the idea of freedom.  Moreover,  Necessity  must be brought under the form of freedom. As freedom- i s determinism by the moral law, Kant repudiates the idea of freedom of indifference. Freedom' consists in that ...the conscious subject should determine i t s e l f in view of i t s own universal nature alone, and not by the particular-passions of their objects. (19) A self determined by no motives can have no w i l l .  The liberty of indif-  ference- is nothing but the liberty of the void, and caprice is not freedom at' a l l but turns- into the opposite. Kant thinks of causal necessity in terms of phenomenal events which present themselves to us in a given order; thus- we consider them objective and'causally related. That we are-unable to alter the spatiotemporal order by an act of w i l l , the necessity of the sequence of these events becomes purely relative.  This leads to a type-of ;  indeterminism.  McTaggart objects- to this criticism of determinism,-first, because indeterminism is inconsistent with the validity of morality;  Secondly, Kant  admits the possibility of the prediction of the possible actions of men. If, says McTaggart, indeterminism i s right, there i s no justification for 17. 18-. 19.  ibid., p.302. ibid., p.335. Caird, Edward, The c r i t i c a l philosophy of Kant, Glasgow, James Maclehouse & Sons, 1889; p.265.  33.  his-making any statement as to- the probability of future volitions. (20) there can be no grounds for prediction.  Thus,  This criticism seems to this  writer to be warranted, and can be levelled at a l l theories of indeterminism.  For the very basis of indeterminism i s that prediction i s not pos-  sible; and i f impossible on the material level, how much more impossible on the human levelJ C.  John Stuart M i l l  The best discussion M i l l puts forward i s in the section, "Of Liberty and Necessity" in the logic.  He* holds very decidedly to necess-  ity, believing that the unwillingness of the mind-to accept the idea and 1  the difficulties that idea involves are due to the misleading terms which we use in describing i t . The metaphysical theory of free will...was invented because the supposed alternative of admitting human actions to be necessary was deemed inconsistent with everyone's instinctive consciousness, as well as humiliating to the pride and even degrading- to the moral nature of man. (21) Now,  as to what he means by necessity, we read- further: ...given the motives which are present to an individual's mind, and given likewise the character and disposition of the individual, the manner in which he will act might be unerringly inferred: that i f - we knew the' person thoroughly, and knew a l l the inducements which are acting upon him, we could f o r e t e l l his conduct with as much certainty as we can predict any physical event. (22)  This i s , and perhaps will always remain a big IF, for that i s precisely 20.  McTaggart, John, M.E., Some dogmas of religion; Arnold, 1906; pp.177-182.  London, Edward  21.  M i l l , John Stuart, A system of logic, London, Longmans, Green, Reader & Dyer, 1868; Vol. II, p.417.  22.  M i l l , op. c i t . , p.418.  34.  what psychologists are attempting to do, and, i t may be added, with l i t t l e success.  Character i s such an involved concept, and the forces-playing  upon a person are- so varied that i t would appear impossible to take cognizance of them'all.  Apropos of the role of character/in freedom, i t would be well  to quote Carritt.  He considers character as a determiner of action:  Acts are free i f they spring of necessity from our own "nature and character, that i s to say, from our desires and from the beliefs which may have conditioned those desires. (23) He allows- for the distinction of right and' wrong andv the' validity of remorse and censure or punishment, at the same time attacking the 'remorse' 1  part of' i t as'being undesirable.  Now • as-"a* -choice' i s , in this sense, free,  he warns, we* may not count character again as- determining-' that choice. To continue:  Religious'metaphysicians  hold freedom of the w i l l  to be consistent with divine foreknowledge- of our-actions. ;  (This we have  seen- in the- case- of' S. Augustine', and shall see in connection with S. Thomas.) But i t i s not the case that necessity i s the doctrine that volitions and actions- are' invariable consequents of' our antecedent states of mind.  That fact appears to- be self-evident. Causation involves more than  that.  Some- believe that cause and effect is 'mere constancy of succes-  sion'.  That appears'not to be the case. M i l l thinks- the term 'necessity*  is inappropriate as i t implies not only uniformity of'-sequence but also irresistibleness., Again, the doctrine of necessity i s far removed from fatalism' (as*was shewn' above), but i t is probably the case that most necessarians-are* fatalists in their feelings.  It is commonly believed that  character i s not formed by_ a person but for him, (and this seems very true, 23.  Carritt, E.F., The theory of morals, Oxford, University Press, p. 129.  1928,  35.  for'is not' i t one-of the bases of our educational system?) but man has the power to' alter his- character. The key to freedom: l i e s in the' moral sphere: A person feels- morally free who- feels that his habits or his temptations are not his masters, but he theirs.... None but a person of confirmed virtue i s completely free. (24) This interpretation' of' freedom is very important, for i f i t i s to mean anything', freedom must somehow relate to the' processes- of reasoning or to morality.  In this way, freedom has some significance at the human level. D.  Herman Lotze  The great difficulty* most people find-with a doctrine of freedom which must take cognizance of causal laws- i s well expressed by Lotze: Does not the universal Law of Causality, that every effect w i l l have-a sufficient cause', finally bar the way against any doctrine of freedom, and inexorably convert the connection of the universe into an endless chain of blind effects? (25') 1  The fallacy, he states, l i e s in our notion of 'fixed causes', and ignores the introduction-of other concommitant factors. What constitutes the' absolute authority of the Causal Law is not that every part-of the- finite sum- of things actuall y must in the f i n i t e sphere be produced by fixed causes, according to*universal laws, but that each constituent once introduced into this actual course continues to act according to these-laws-. (26) Now,  taking account of these' elements- introduced into this system of caus-  al laws, we are able- to attach- some significance' to-freedom, for we, in 1  exercising volition, are able to add to the causal pattern our-own person-, a l i t i e s , thus making it.evident that part of ourselves i s in the situation. 24. 25. 26.  M i l l , p.423. Lotze, op. c i t . , p.259. ibidem, p.260.  36.  That effects'follow remorselessly upon'this does not v i t a l l y impair freedom. The meaning of causality, for Lotze, consists-most essentially ...in i t s securing to every element of the*'actual world, springing from no-matter*what source, means of acting energetically on the other constituents of the world to which i t now belongs, at the same time preventing i t from acting within that world otherwise than in harmony with the universal laws regulating a l l that takes place in i t . (27) E.  Herbert' Spencer'  There i s a tendency among some philosophers to deny freedom. Such a one i s Spencer'who says that* a l l the-freedom that'we can have i s 5  merely a •seeming- freedom*. For him the real proposition involved in the dogma of free will i s that* *everyone i s at liberty to desire or not*. This i s false-, he thinks, and in* his analysis of consciousness he tends to negate this viewpoint.  Speaking about the individual and his action he  says: But to say that the performance of the action'is, therefore, the result of his free w i l l , is to say that he determines the cohesions of the psychical states which arouse- the action; and as these psychical states constitute himself at the moment, this i s to say that these psychical states determine their own cohesions, which i s absurd-. {28') If these so-called psychical states, were a l l that constituted the individual or- the self, Spencer*s conclusion.would follow.  Assuredly, these  states must*be taken into account and are extremely important, but surely they do not take into-account the f u l l personality, nor yet the multitude of other; forces playing upon a person. phrase.  •Psychical states' i B a misleading  Does-it mean* only the present content of consciousness, or does 1  i t comprise far more than that? It seems to verge on the meaningless and 27.' ibidem, pp.260-261. 28.  Spencer, Herbert, The principles of psychology, New York, D. Appleton & Co., 1888, Vol. I, pp.501-502.  37.  had better be avoided.  Is not Spencer omitting a l l consideration of the  role- of the intellect?  Or i s the mind to be reduced to nothing but a  group of 'psychical' states'*? While this i s probably a fair opinion, I do not think that i t will prove of value to us.  For; though he denies free-  dom, he admits of a 'seeming freedom', and this 'seeming'freedom' i s really very important because i t is actually a very important type of freedom. F.  Thomas. H i l l Green'  A very important'contribution to a l l that has been written on the w i l l i s to be found in the philosophy of Green. To commence with, he states this proposition: In .willing man i s his'own object, therefore the w i l l is' free.  One is not bound- to carry out the- will of another, and  from this' bondage one emerges into a true freedom, and' this not by overcoming-the law of his own'being nor-yet by getting the better of necessity, but by actually making' the fulfilment of necessity and-the law of his being the object of his-will, as was- shewn by Hegel. objections-.  To this he opposes  In the f i r s t place, freedom can be used metaphorically.  Sec-  ondly, we find in S. Paul- the conception of freedom from law as an external command. Thirdly, one may be free because he i s conscious of himself as being' the author- of* the law he obeys. We cannot-really talk about a general freedom/for i t i s really only with regard to individuals that we can speak' of freedom. :  Hegelian idea- we- cannot validly infer self-determination>or  In this  indeterminism.  To say that'a man-has power over determinations of his will is naturally taken to mean that he can change his will while he himself remains the same. (29) 29.  Green, Thomas H i l l , Philosophical works, Vol. II., London, Longmans, Green, 1886, p.319.  38. »  In other words, behind everything there l i e s an undetermined or an unmotivated w i l l . But an unmotivated w i l l i s a will without an object, which- i s nothing. (30) The way-out" of this difficulty i s as follows:  There-is no answer to the  question-'whether a man i s free to w i l l ' , because i t i s asked in inappro1  priate terms, that is:, the fact of there being an agency behind the w i l l to determine i t . 5  There can be no real determination of the w i l l by reason unless both reason and w i l l are operating in one and the same person. (31) In other words, the possibility of the determining of a person's w i l l by a-superior-power i s excluded.  This I am inclined to agree with, for even  in the case of, for example, the w i l l of God- operating upon the reason of an individual does not' alter the case, for the individual s t i l l must by his own-reason determine his own-will, and even- the enforcing of God's will upon the individual' does not excuse that individual from responsibility for his actions arising from such an enforcing.. What i s valuable i n Green-'s thought i s this-, that a person's will cannot-be enforced or determined by an outsider's reason, save only by the intervention of the i n dividual's own- reason-.  This makes for responsibility-and does not give  the individual liberty to 'put the blame' for his actions-upon another, since- he- determined his own' will by his- own- reason. . The possibility of mal-influencing of his reason by an outsider's reason i s not really to be considered here.  30.  ibid.  31.  ibid., p.332.  G.  Henry Sidgwick  The key question in the problem of freedom for Sidgwick seems to be the following: Can we say, then, of the- wilful wrongdoer that his wrong choice was 'free*, in the- sense that he might have chosen rightly, not merely i f the antecedents of his volition, external and internal, had been different, but supposing these antecedents unchanged? (32) It seems- that the most strictly disinterested action i s found in both the most' instinctive' and' the most deliberate or selfconscious region of rational experience-.  The'Libertarian:, argument i s that the person i s ident;  ified- with rational self and the passions and appetites which are present somehow or other do not- belong to the-person, and rational action i s to be identified'with freedom. This, says Sidgwick, is not the case.  If we  use 'freedom'-in this sense-we'cannot also use 'free' in the same sense to denote actions; that- are irrational, however valuable that may be to bolster the relationship-between  freedom and'moral responsibility.  It is obvious that- the Freedom thus connected with Responsi b i l i t y i s not the Freedom that i s only manifested or realized^ in- rational action, but the Freedom to choose between right and wrong which i s manifested or realized equally in either choice. (33) Voluntary actions-are'conscious actions', and-a person i s held culpable - for these actions in varying-degrees- as- they are deliberate or impulsive, and as regards'their intention,-no-man being held morally culpable for the unforeseen results of an action provided his intention was •right'. The substantial dispute relates to the completeness of the.causal dependence of any volition upon the state of 32. 33.  Sidgwick, Henry, The methods of ethics, London, Macmillan and 1907, p.59. ibid, p\58.  Co.,  things at the preceeding instant, whether we specify these as 'character and circumstances', or 'brain and environing forces'. (34) He finds the arguments heavily on the side of the determinist not the l i b ertarian, that, with the exception-of' human volition, events are determined-by precedent states. Physical causality rules in the case of actions originating- unconsciously, and i t becomes increasingly d i f f i c u l t to distinguish between actions which originate this way and those which are conscious and voluntary.  Moreover, as actions pass from the' conscious to  the unconscious, i t i s reasonable to assert' that a l l actions may ate unconsciously.  origin-  Against this we have- the evidence of consciousness at  the point of deliberate choice.  The commonly-accepted interpretation of  •what I ought to-do I can do' (since, as the determinist says, one i s morally bound to do- only what i s 'in his power' to do) i s 'can do i f I choose', not 'can choose to do'.  The question i s , can one choose what  one believes is right? ...I inevitably conceive that I can- choose; however, I can suppose myself to regard this conception as illusory, and to judge, inferring the future from the'past, that I certainly shall not choose, and accordingly that such choice is- not really possible to me. This being supposed, i t seems to me' undeniable that this judgment w i l l exclude or weaken the operation of the moral motive in the case of the act contemplated: I either shall not judge i t reasonably to choose to do what I should otherwise so judge-, or i f I do pass the judgment, I shall also judge the conception of duty applied in i t to the illusory, no less than the conception of" Freedom; (35) -  1  Thus the Libertarian-looks at Determinism.  However,•says Sidgwick, i t i s  rarely the case that one is certain that one's deliberate choice i s unwise. 34'.  ibid.,  p.62.  35.  ibid.,  p.67.  A l l our actions must be determined by unvarying- laws, i f not, our' reasoning- is liable to- error.  On the other hand, Determinist concep-  tions are- irrelevant when we are faced with a choice between two alternatives.  In either case, Theology aside-, the consideration of the Free-will  controversy has no place here.  The reasons for right action in the case  of the Determinist and the Libertarian may remain the same, except that remorse will be missing i n the former case.  From a u t i l i t a r i a n point of  view, the Determinist alone can give the only suitable meaning- to ' i l l desert* and 'responsibility*.  For the Determinist, reformatory punishment  will take'the place o f retributive-punishment, since the-desire to encourage good and discourage bad conduct w i l l take the place of the desire to requite to one or the-- other. There are some objections to Sidgwick's argument. In the f i r s t place, given an inevitable action following upon a precedent set of c i r cumstances, how i s i t possible for an individual to a l t e r his action even with the benefit of corrective- punishment?  Or i s i t the* case- that the  punishment will alter the circumstances for future action?  I f this latter  is the case-, then are we not faced with the problem of the w i l l of one being brought to bear to influence the actions of another? Perhaps we are merely, by means of punishment, altering i n some measure- the habits formed by the wrong-doer. We must, then, admit of our ability to change circumstances.  Again, i s there a need to deny freedom?  It would appear that  Sidgwick has-not fully faced-the problem of freedom, for cannot freedom have as much meaning to the Determinist as to the Libertarian? One more objection. ing.  Sidgwick's arguments for determinism are not at a l l convinc-  They seem to stem from a consideration of physical causality alone.  4 2 .  From a view of sheer efficient causality i s i t possible to avoid a dualism?  The explanation might prove satisfactory- to a behaviorist, but  how  is i t possible for rationality, right and wrong, to have any real significance?  It seems to me that we s t i l l have a need, at least where these  problems are concerned, for concepts such as transcendental causes or f i n a l causes. With regard to free w i l l , the important thing to consider, according to Sidgwick, i s the question of the alteration of one's tendencies- to future actions. Even a resolution to do a particular act --• i f i t i s worth while to make i t , as experience shows i t to be — must be supposed to produce a change of this kind in the person who makes i t : i t must somehow modify his present tendencies to act in a certain way on a foreseen future occasion. (36) It i s commonly thought that, by a powerful exertion of free w i l l , i t i s possible to alter our habits, even' when the change i s made for the future.  However, the future act i s not in one's power in the same sense as  a 'present choice of alternatives. This i s inconsistent with the doctrine for "if a present volition fully determines- a future action, when the time comes to perform that action, one i s no longer-free.  Therefore, we must  conclude- that such resolutions have only a limited -effect, though they may break- old habits by introducing new motives on the side of reason or actually weaken the- impulsive force of habit. H.  William James* ;  For James,, the f i r s t act of freedom-, i f we- really are free, i s to affirm i t .  36.  There are two things to remember; f i r s t , in theorizing  ibid., p.74.  43.  about the world', we do so to attain a conception of things' that will give subjective satisfaction; second', the more rational of two conceptions i s to be regarded as the- true.  James finds that he must reject the word  freedom because of its- eulogistic associations. He contrasts the old hard' determinism with the new soft determinism which repudiates fatality, necessity and- predeterminism.  For both types of - determinists  Freedom i s only necessity understood, and bondage to the highest i s identical with' true freedom. ( 3 7 ) Determinism and indeterminism have one thing in common, that i s , that volitions do occur.  Indeterminism implies that another'volition could have  taken place; determinism, that nothing else could have occured in i t s place. What divides us into possibility men and anti-possibi l i t y men i s different faiths or postulates — postulates of rationality. ( 3 8 - j While- the determinist talks of alternative- possibilities he has an antipathy towards chance, meaning by chance that a thing might f a l l out otherwise. Determinism leads either to subjectivism (a form of romanticism) or to pessimism; but the only deterministic escape from pessimism i s everywhere to abandon the judgment of regret. ( 3 9 ) And this abandonment of-regret w i l l alter the feelings aroused by determinism which lead to subjectivism or pessimism, either of which alternatives greatly offends James'.' As a result, he--tends- to uphold the popular conception of free will as a type of indeterminism based on the judgment 37. 38.  James, William, The w i l l to believe; London, Longmans Green, 1912; p.149. ibid. p.152.  39.  ibid. p.162.  44.  of regret.  Thus chance- becomes for him*  .  ...that in moral respects the future may be other than the past has been. This i s the only chance we have any motive for supposing to exist. (40) It i s , then*, a form of pluralism. Further, James points out, belief i n chance and free w i l l is not at a l l incompatible with belief in Providence, ...provided you do not restrict Providence to fulminating* nothing but fatal decrees. (41) He- compares finite-, free-agents and the infinite mind to, respectively, novices-* and an expert' in a chess game-. Suppose the latter to be* thinking out his universe before he- actually creates i t . Suppose him to say, I will lead things to a certain end, but I w i l l not now decide on a l l the steps thereto. At various points, ambiguous possibilities shall be l e f t open, either of which, at a given instant, may become actual. But whichever branch of these-bifurcations becomes real, I know what I shall do at the next bifurcation to keep things from drifting away from the final result I intend. (42) -  Some possibilities, then, are contingently determined; that i s , decision would wait until i t was seen how matters of absolute chance f e l l out. The final result would be completely determined. I.  F. H. Bradley  The- vulgar definition of* responsibility i s that a man may have to answer for a l l his acts-. Moreover, i t .is right that he shall be subject to*the'moral tribunal.  One's acts are part*of one's self, and that we must  answer for our deeds implies some form of reward and punishment. There 40.  ibid. p.179.  41.  ibid. p.180.  42.  ibid. pp.181-182.  45.  are three conditions for responsibility:-  (a) The deed must issue from my  w i l l ; (b) the doer must be supposed intelligent; (c) responsibility implies a moral agent*. In* order to avoid* responsibility for a particular act either of omission or commission the entailed incapacity must- not be imputable to act or wilful'omission.  "An act translates mere thoughts into correspond-  ing external existence."**»^) The question Bradley asks i s : i s free w i l l compatible with the- ordinary- notions on the subject?  In order that free  will have a meaning we- need* a freedom* to do and** a freedom to choose.  He  concludes that the doctrine of free w i l l does not square-with the popular views on the subject since- anyone* i s as likely to commit a crime as not. However, he gives no proof that this i s at a l l possible.  I suggest that  we might say that certain of us are more prone to commit a crime than others, for what Bradley ignores i s the varied*backgrounds, moral or otherwise, of people, and these- backgrounds do determine a person in any particular situation*; Thus-, as we see from* our experience, certain people are prone to crime while others appear to be totally incapable of i t . 1  To return to Bradley.' He requires a strict interpretation of freedom, i.e., that* no* action* can be predicted.  But i t i s the case that  the ordinary man believes that some actions can-be predicted'. prediction would lead man  Complete  to doubt his responsibility, at the same time he  does not- object'to predictions issuing from his character.  I would suggest  that there i s l i t t l e fear that a l l of a person's actions could possibly be predicted.  Bradley concludes this essay with an Important statement that  without a personal identity (in the sense of an existing w i l l ) , respons43.  Bradley, F.H., Ethical studies, Oxford, the Clarendon Press, 1927, Essay I. The vulgar notion of responsibility in connexion with the theories of free-will and necessity, p. 7.  46.  i b i l i t y i s sheer*nonsense. J.  John M. E. McTaggart  McTaggart*begins his argument by distinguishing four senses in which freedom i s understood:  (1)  One i s free*to do- anything which noth-  ing but his own nature prevents him from doing. This i s the freedom of self-determination.  (20  One i s free to do anything which-nothing but his  own- will prevents him- from doing'.  This i s freedom of self-direction and  is more common'. "I am free-because I act as I choose, whether the choice is completely determined or not."  (3)  One may act according to the  ultimate ideal of his nature, that i s , in absence of- limitation.  "No per-  son can be- completely free- from such constraint except by attaining the ultimate ideal of his n a t u r e . q ^ i a i s the Platonic doctrine of the virtuous- (the wise) as free. (4)  This i s the freedom of self-realization.  One i s free i n any action- i f his choice of that action i s not com-  pletely determined.  This- i s freedom of- indetei-mination-, or free-will.  Only the-volition i s undetermined, but the voluntary act i s determined. The indeterminist arguments are as-follows: iate'certainty-of' the proposition that my will i s free. argument will prevail.  (2)  (1)  One has immed-  Against this no  That each volition- i s accompanied by a feeling  of freedom- in the act of' willing presumes that' the mill i s free.  McTag-  gart thinks we have this feeling because- i n such cases we are really free, but  there i s no need to accept freedom in the sense of indeterajiination.  This sense of freedom ...is. quite accounted for. by the fact that the action i s 44.  McTaggart, John M.E.; Some dogmas of religion, London, Edward Arnold, 1906; p. 141.  45.  ibid., p.142.  determined by the w i l l , and that there i s no need to hold that the determining volition'is i t s e l f undetermined. (46) (3)) That we recognize' volitions as right or wrong involves a judgment of moral obligation, therefore, i t i s necessary to suppose the- will i s free. However-, judgment of * moral obligation really only attaches to volitions not-to actions. If a determinist ought not to make judgments of obligation, then we deny the consistency of' the judgments.  The truth or falsity of  a judgment does not depend upon its - statement by an indeterminist or a determinist'.  This argument i s supposed the strongest one for free-will, but,  queries McTaggart, are judgments of obligation valid anyhow? The' complete determination of my will can make no difference to the question of the effect of my will on the result' contemplated-. (47) (4)  Falsity of freedom would make- a l l choice absurd; and (5)  astrous consequences which would follow i f i t were not true. are answered thusly:  Choice' i s not absurd at a l l .  ing' to do with fatalism' or pre-ordination. Chapter Two.)  The disThese last  Determination has noth-  (This we have mentioned in  As for the' fatalist,  He is a- determinist because he believes that, while the event may well be determined by his choice, his choice i s in turn completely determined. (48) That choice'is determined does not make choice unreasonable. has some effect on the event.  One's choice  But we must not confuse this with the belief  that the choice'is-impotent to affect the result.  In addition, the deter-  minist i s more likely to pity the wrong-doer than the- indeterminist i s . It i s to be noted that approval or disapproval of a volition i s 46.  ibid., p.148.  47.  ibid., p.153.  48.  ibid., p.170.  48.  not lessened because' i t i s completely determined.  I t s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s are:  (0.)  the supreme" value- of right v o l i t i o n affirmed by judgment of obligation;  (2)  the sense-of moral r e s p o n s i b i l i t y following those-judgments.  1  Now,  the  moral q u a l i t y of an act does not change with complete determinism or incomplete determinism. McTaggart distinguishes'three types of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . t h e - r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to men, and t h e i r results-.  First,  t h a t ' i s , man is-responsible f o r defects of w i l l  One-says-•'it i s reasonable f o r them to punish me';  deterrent'punishment i s sanctioned.  thus  Second", the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to God.  I f actions are determined-, i s i t right- for* God to: punish man?  I f God i s  omnipotent He cannot punish either the determinist or the- indeterminist 1  because He can choose-to give or not give f r e e - w i l l . 1  Therefore, we are not  responsible to an omnipotent God", and-, therefore, God cannot be good. non-omnipotent God could be good.  A  He might create e v i l , not only allow i t .  F i n a l l y , there i s r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to s e l f .  And this comes about because of  the feelings of shame that are- aroused; 1  1  1  The- important- point i n McTaggart's argument for' determinism i s that & determined- choice does not r e a l l y negate choice at a l l . 1  With re-  gard to the freedom' of indetermination, or the popular' conception of f r e e w i l l , we may reject i t as not being workable since' i t is' impossible to shew that a v o l i t i o n i s undetermined, always keeping i n mind the- c r i t e r i o n of A r i s t o t l e that v o l i t i o n must remain within the realm of the possible.  Free-  w i l l may have a meaning outside the sphere of 'freedom of indetermination'; and again, that freedom i s to be found i n the reason- i t s e l f , not merely i n the purely psychological;;-feelings which' we may have about i t .  McTag-  gart's arguments f o r non-res^onsib.ility toward God bear l i t t l e weight.  S. Augustine's arguments were more convincing.  We shall not discuss this  further here. K.  George- Herbert Palmer  We have given above the types of causality admitted by Palmer. He thinks that with determinism nothing- but sequential causation i s possible, not only that but that causation i s not reversable.^ ^ 49  There are  other limitations to freedom. For- example, duty restricts freedom, but duty may be disobeyed.  "A harrow freedom usually attends wide v i s i o n " . ^ )  This is so in the case* of' the experienced painter; there- i s one only possible way of doing a particular' thing.  Palmer does not mention the ob-  vious parallel in* the moral sphere. A person of a highly trained conscience or with a very rigid code of ethics i s restricted in the choice he has to make-. In fact-, he really has no choice. choice to a train on a track.  Palmer likens the element of  In the train track metaphor we find a train  being switched from the main track to another, then to another, and so on. The* switch was the 'choice', and once made,- the train was on another track until faced with another choice. again to be noted.  The irreversibility of the sequence is  It i s determinism in i t s strictest sense.  Once the  train has passed the switch i t i s on i t s way to a determined goal, and 49.'  50.  Apropos of" the-irreversibility of causation, Turner (Turner, J.E., Causation and moral experience; Journal of Ethics, Vol. 39, 1928-29, pp. 481-493) mentions four results. (1) There i s an irradicable tainting of the personality. (2) There arises an inextinguishable desire i n the good self — in the bad self also. (3) There i s "thedawning recognition that the self i s in the grip of a relentless causal' sequence-which can no-more be relaxed than can heredity or gravitation although i t may be alleviated," (4) The better the self the clearer the recognition of these conditions, (pp. 491-492) Also, he points'out the little-realized fact that causation, operating over a long period of time and on a sufficiently large scale, becomes definitely selective, (p.484) Palmer, op. c i t . , p.164.  perhaps one totally different from the- other alternative track. In the common-sense view of' libertarian-ism we- are immediately conscious- of ourselves as creatively active, that i s , free; in Kantian terms Freedom, therefore, the ability to accept or reject among compared alternatives, i s involved as a postulate i n the structure of the human mind. (51) 1  Kant's Categorical Imperative'assumes an 'ought', and as such, implies freedom'on the-part*of the individual to choose. we» are not aware-* of' any obligation in choice.  One wishes to ask i f this  1  is quite-right.  But, continues Palmer,  It is true that in many instances-where choice occurs -  we feel no obligation to choose one alternative in preference to another, but does this not- occur- in cases where there i s none or l i t t l e moral significance' attached'' to the choice?  Very often we are faced' with alterna1  tives* at which an important moral principle i s at stake.  Is that not sig-  nificantly a 'choice' situation, despite the fact that we- may feel obliged to choose- one of the-alternatives over another?.  One does not see  that obligation need in any way imply determinism. Palmer' continues:  "To the determinist, regret can be only a  consciousness of unavoidable damage."^2) i  n  the old Libertarian view,  the- value of* prediction was placed very high. If conduct i s predictable in proportion to knowledge and has no reference to any freedom involved in the formation of character-, then we should be likely to predict our own conduct with extreme certainty though doubtful about that of those around: Yet something like the reverse of this i s the fact. (53) 51v  ibid., p.57.  52.  ibid., p.64.  53.  ibid., p.82.  51.  Actually, he says, f o r the Libertarian-, r e s p o n s i b i l i t y disappears when dual p o s s i b i l i t i e s cease.  But, says the determinist,  "freedom conceived  in the libertarian-sense quite abolishes r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . "  The determ-  inist's- basis for'responsibility; rests upon the continuity of past forces. But, he concludes, t h i s continuity, while i t i s necessary, i s not s u f f i c ient.  L.  Benedetto Croce  Croce's theory of freedom i s set f o r t h very well by Gertrude  (55) Bussey.*  ' V o l i t i o n , f o r Croce-, i s e s s e n t i a l l y f r e e .  i s to deny s p i r i t u a l i t y , f o r him, the only r e a l i t y . of freedom:  To deny freedom  There are two types  (1) freedom of creative a c t i v i t y , and (2) freedom of s e l f  determination.  V o l i t i o n i s a continually changing a c t i v i t y and there i s  no d i v i s i o n into inner intention or external expression of inner intention. The-will i s always effective-, i n one sense-, but never completely successf u l since the outcome of an action i s never- p r e c i s e l y what was w i l l e d since i t i s due to many-other w i l l s . abstract.  Moreover, r e a l intentions are never  Freedom, intention, and action stand, i n the end, for the same  reality. V o l i t i o n , for Croce, i s self-determined' i n two senses:  (1)  There i s no external control which can-compel i t . One cannot, therefore, disown- one's acts-, nor can one blame- circumstances.  (2) V o l i t i o n i s  bound by no law or p r i n c i p l e which i n any sense transcends- i t s own a c t i v ity.  W i l l is' not a r b i t r a r y but d e f i n i t e and s p e c i f i c , therefore necess-  ary.  We may distinguish two acts:  an act of creative w i l l , and the act  -5%.-- i b i d . , p.199. 55.  Bussey, Gertrude C., Croce's theory of freedom, i n Philosophical Review, Vol. XXTIX, 1930; pp. 1-16.  52.  of reflection upon i t . A defect in perceptual judgment necessarily involves a;defect in willing. Continuous perception and continuous change, that i s the necessary theoretic condition of volition. (56) One's willing an' action- i s really identical with judging i t to be good. To say-that one-wills the* good-is tautologous.  Passions-are habits of vol-  ition and, as such-, constitute temperament, and freedom rests on these habits*. E v i l is negative, or^that which i s not willed. tion has two forms: {2)  (1)  The w i l l of the individual, or economic activity;  The w i l l of the'universal, or moral activity.  interested action.  Concrete v o l i -  One never wills a dis-  It seems- to Croce that determinism and indeterminism  are erroneous and one-sided accounts of volition because in any  situation  there i s only one volition, and this volition i s both free and necessitative. A defect in knowledge leads to a defect in w i l l (the Platonic teaching).  For Croce, there- i s always a defect in perceptual judgment;  for Bosanquet, there i s no limitation involved.  Volition insures neither  good nor happiness, thinks Bosanquet, and, unlike Croce, he believes that no f i n i t e will succeeds in completely overcoming obstruction.  He requires  a stable standard or ideal, an external value, while Croce sees freedom or spiritual activity as essentially progressive, as he says: Progress involves no criterion or standard of the good, since each volition is i t s own good. (57) The basic difference between Bosanquet and Croce, as Bussey. sees i t , is that Croce attempts to avoid the slightest suggestion of transcendence, as does Bosanquet. It i s an attempt to work out a philosophy of sheer immanence. There is no coherant principle. _ r  56-.'* ibid., p.5; quoted from Philosophy of the practical, pp.294ff. 57.  ibid., p.15.  ss.  CHAPTER 4 INDETERMINISM AND INDETERMINACY  It i s important that we investigate indeterminism and indeterminacy to see what light these may throw on the problem-of freedom. We had best begin with a comparison of the definitions of determinism and indeterminism as set forth by the contemporary English philosopher, C. D. Broad. He defines- determinism as follows: Let S be-any Substance,Y any characteristic, and t any moment. Suppose that S i s in fact in the state <r with respect to *f at t. Then the compound supposition that everything else' in the world should have been exactly as i t in fact was and that S should instead have been in one of the other two alternative states with respect to Y i s an impossible one. (1) Indeterminism he- defines thus: There is at least one substance S, one characteristic Y and one moment t, such that, although S was in fact in the state <r with respect to Y at't, yet the compound supposition-that everything else in the world should have been exactly as i t in fact was up to this moment and that S should instead have been in one of the other two alternative states with respect to Y at that moment i s a possible one. (2) The idea that rational beings are exceptions to determinism and that their voluntary decisions might have been different than' they actually were he calls "volitional indeterminism". faced with two questions:  We are- nevertheless, he adds, s t i l l  (1) whether voluntary decisions are or are not  completely determined, and (2) whether they do or do not themselves determine effects. 1.  Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Vol.X., Broad, CD., Indeterminacy and indeterminism, p.136.  2.  ibid., p.138.  54.  Eddington, expressing the view of the modern'physicist believes that there is no question of proving determinism or indeterminism, for the physicist has neither no need nor no evidence for determinism.  In  classical physics i t may have been desirable to consider the universe as deterministic and to use the causal method, but today, Eddington points out, the rejection of the- causal method makes science more f r u i t f u l .  De-  terminism i s not disproved", but science, i s no longer based upon i t . The essential point i s that, i f determinism i s to have any definable meaning, the domain- of deterministic law must be a closed system; that i s to say, a l l data used in predicting must'themselves be capable of being-predicted. (3) Eddington takes exception to Broad's definition of determinism.  A single  example of - an- indeterministic phenomena would be quite sufficient to overthrow i t .  The' scientific doctrine of determinism i s ...not that there exist occasional exceptions to deterministic law, but that every phenomenon i s to a greater or lesser extent indeterminate. (4)  Eddington' places- the value of determinism in predictability.  Moreover,  the admission-of the indeterminism-of bodily actions i s a crucial step in the deliverance of the mind-, quite apart from-the-problem of free w i l l . If physical systems were determinate i t would not be possible for a physical system to symbolize a being possessing volition. (5) There seems to be l i t t l e cause for quarrel with Eddington's evaluation of causation and determinism-with respect to modern*physics, for he admits that the causal method has lost i t s value, and that science, 3.  Eddington, Sir Arthur, New pathways in science, Cambridge, The University Press, 1935; pp.86-87.  4.  Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Vbl.X, Eddington, p. 163.  5.  ibid., p.178.  55.  in order to be f r u i t f u l , has adopted' other means. But the fact that science- does not use the- concepts- of causality and determinism does not discredit these- concepts in the eyes of the philosopher. They are s t i l l very useful concepts for the metaphysician*-. f  It i s clear that Eddington  would have* nothing to say to the philosopher's use of these concepts. Let us now-consider the*Heisenberg Principle of Indeterminacy. By examination of photons and* waves, the physicist arrives at this principle-of indeterminacy-, as Jeans points out, our knowledge of the electron is as indeterminate as the electron i t s e l f .  Waves represent subjective  probabilities. If we*know electric conditions at any one instant, we are able, through these-equations, to determine these conditions throughout a l l future time. The wave-equation of an electron implies an exactly similar determinism.... Yet this does not mean that nature i s completely deterministic, since, on the only interpretation we have yet been able to devise, both the of Schrodinger's equation and the electric forces of the Maxwell equations are not determined by nature but by our knowledge -of nature. (6) Jeans would remove this distinction between nature and knowledge of nature, for i t would shew complete determination'in respect of the-particular phenomenon i n question. There i s determinism, but a determinism of a very t r i v i a l kindJust because the wave-mechanics deals- only with probabilities and statistical assemblies, i t s apparent determinism may only be another way of expressing the law of averages: The determinism may be of a purely statistical kind, like that relied upon by an Insurance Company or the Bank of Monte Carlo. (7) Jeans sees'no-reason why there should not be a complete objective indeterminism.  In support, he points out that the particle picture, in that  6.  Jeans, Sir James, The new background of science, Cambridge, The University Press, 1947; pp.258-259.  7.  ibid., p.260.  56.  phenomenon known as the Brownian Movement, shews' no determinism. The apparent determinism of the wave picture may conceal any amount of true objective indeterminism in matters of detail. (8) Let us now- look at an application of this' doctrine of indeterminacy, taking as example- David' Miller and the Calendar Theory of Freedom. Miller sees two types of freedom: is a moral agent.  (1) The Christian, where a free agent  It presupposes a faculty 'will* and requires a choice  between pre-established ends.  (2) Mechanism, where there is a substitu-  tion- of' a logical' necessity for a fated or divinely planned order of events, or, time- and history are unfoldings of a- primordial stuff with changeless- qualities. forces.  That i s , man i s determined only by past and external  Freedom- does not really seem to be possible, except that we have  a loophole; and', concludes-Miller, this loophole-is Heisenberg's principle of-Indeterminacy!  The point of indeterminacy is- that man has a conception  of time-, the Calendar-Theory.  The problem of freedom,*he says, i s to shew  that man's freedom consists, in the coordination of thought and action. It is just this capacity to present to one's self the logical structure of the entire act that makes man free, for his conduct'is thereby controlled'(or-determined) by that which is not here-now in a mechanical sense or an efficient cause-, but is here-now- in a posited future, i.e., as an idea of- a- later present. Therefore-man controls his conduct by ideas, and since ideas are qualitatively different from the mechanical world or are- mental, man's intelligent conduct is determined (or controlled) by something he creates, or there is self-determination-. Since thinking- or i t s results (ideas) is integrated with the entire act of which i t i s a part, man can act as a whole and is said to be free. (9) Now i t seems to be clear that our conception of time i s a sign 8.  ibid., p. 261.  9.  Miller, David L., The calendar theory of freedom, in the Journal of Philosophy, Vol.41, 1944, pp.320-328; p.325.  57.  of our freedom, but i s this rightly an- explanation i n terms of the indeterminacy principle?  One thinks not, and for this reason:  The physicist  limits this principle of indeterminacy to physical phenomenon, which seems to be evident from what Eddington has said.  Human freedom, with which we  are concerned- in this essay, is. a metaphysical and ethical concept, not a physical one.  The indeterminacy principle refers to particular instances  of unpredictability of certain sub-microscopic entities, and i s not referred by the- physicist to other than physical phenomenon. It would not be fair to- the physicist to apply such a principle to a sphere of knowledge wherein he i s not capable* of making generalizations.  We must avoid con-  fusing this principle of indeterminacy with indeterminism-, for they are not the same thing.  If we could apply the Heisenberg-principle to meta-  physics; and ethics we might find- that freedom was a chimera- and responsi b i l i t y an unwarranted credulity.  Eddington himself admits that he does  not think that responsibility i s a- self-contradictory illusion. ...To me i t seems that responsibility i s one of the fundamental facts of our- nature. ( 1 0 ) He will not step out of his sphere as a physicist to proclaim' on a doctrine, or the supposed-- implications of' a doctrine^ in another sphere, which applies only in his own sphere. -  Indeterminacy has no real value for us  as far- as this problem of freedom and responsibility i s concerned.  If a  physicist should say that, as we cannot predict the reaction of a single particle, therefore, other things of a more-complex nature are necessarily indetermined, our retort ought to be 'So what?' Let us not confuse the metaphysician's description of the cosmos with the method of modern physical sciences. 10.  Eddington, New pathways in science, p.90.  58.  Before we leave this chapter, i t would be best to present the conclusions of the English philosopher, Bertrand Russell, since he, better than anyone else, can sum up modern'thought. Russell thinks that, at the present stage of development of science, freedom' can be neither proved nor disproved. was physics-.  In the past, he shews, the strongest a l l y of determinism Determinism has a two-fold character:  (1) a practical maxim  for the guidance of scientific investigation; (2) a general doctrine as to the nature of the universe.  The above maxim'assumes that the role of  science i s the discovery of causal laws, yet, points out Russell, causal laws do not involve complete determinism. Here i s the hypothesis of determinism: There are discoverable causal laws such that, given sufficient (but not superhuman) powers of calculation, a man who knows a l l that i s happening within a certain sphere at a certain time can predict a l l that will happen at the centre of the sphere during the time that i t takes light to travel from the circumference of the sphere to the centre. (11) Now argues Russell, though i t might seem that the arguments put forth against determinism (derived, as they are, from observation of the behavior of atoms) almost completely rest upon our present ignorance and may possibly be refuted in the future through the discovery of a new  law.  This i s true only up to a point. No one can deny that laws may be discovered which will show why an atom chooses one possibility on one occasion and another on another'. At present, we know of no relevant difference in the antecedents of the two different choices, but some such difference may be found some day. If we had any strong reason to believe in determinism this argument would carry great weight. (12) 11.  Russell, Bertrand, Religion and Science, London, Thornton Butterworth Ltd. , 1935; p.151.  12.  ibid., p.153.  Unfortunately, continues Russell, the physical laws governing bodies may be merely s t a t i s t i c a l , for we a l l know that physics knows of no laws governing the behavior of individual atoms. The case for determinism* seems to break down, Russell goes on to present the determinist's answer to his argument*. The f i r s t i s as follows:  Occurences which had not seemed to  conform to law were later found to do so, and, where this had not yet occured, one must look for the answer in the- complication of the subject matter.  By the laws of probability, large bodies are almost certain to  behave in accordance with traditional mechanics; therefore there are no grounds'for excepting the perfect regularity of individual atoms.  The  second argument i s : . . . i f there are'statistical regularities where large numbers of atoms are. concerned', that must be because there are laws which determine what each separate atom will do. If there were not such laws, the determinists may argue, there-would be no statistical laws either. (13) To add to the above, this writer would wish to remark that we should never-lose sight-of the fact that science i s always s t a t i s t i c a l in nature, that i s , i t i s of averages, never of the individual.  Hence, we  wish to point out; It i s not the duty of physics to- describe the, individual atom, nor would i t prove anything i f i t could, for ability to predict does not necessarily involve a knowledge- of causes.  The determin-  ists' replies as given-by Russell s t i l l seem to this writer to be valid. Now,  what about free will?  Russell draws the conclusion from  psychology and physiology' that free w i l l i s not disproved, but i t i s highly probable that i f uncaused volitions do occur, they are very rare. 13.  ibid., p.157.  ...The wish i s the cause of action, even i f the wish i t self has causes. We cannot do what we would rather not do, but i t seems unreasonable to complain of this limitation. (14) Moreover, he continues, i t matters l i t t l e to us that our wishes are either caused or uncaused; but, in the last analysis, we see that volitions indeed must have causes. Nor does determinism warrant the feeling- that we are impotent. Power consists in being able to have intended effects, and this i s neither increased nor diminished by the discovery of causes of' our intentions. (15) It i s this last point that this writer wishes to emphasize,.  Our v o l i -  tions may have- causes, but the< fact' of their having' causes does not i n ;  any way lessen our freedom, since , i n the overwhelming majority of cases, 1  we'are certainly oblivious of these causes; nor would our knowledge of such causes lessen the assurance that any decision we made would be assuredly " ours" . Russell, seemingly cannot go any further in this line and has to conclude' (unhappily for himself, but happily for ourselves) that both determinism and free w i l l are metaphysical concepts and go beyond what i s scientifically ascertainable.  Any real' attempts to reconcile determinism  and freedom'to Russell seem'merely sophistical.  So, i t appears, we have  gleaned a l l the help we- can hope for from Russell.and must pass on to a consideration of our final doctrine.  14>  ibid., p.163.  15.  ibid., p.164.  61.  CHAPTER V FREE WILL AND RESPONSIBILITY IN THOMISM  In this- chapter we propose- to look at the philosophy of Saint Thomas Aquinas and f i n d out what- l i g h t he i s able to shine upon our problem'.  I t i s the Thomistic p o s i t i o n that the present writer wishes to put  forward as- being- the best answer to the d i f f i c u l t i e s .  The reader i s apt  to say that Saint Thomas was concerned with Theology and not with p h i l osophy, and- that i s a v a l i d conclusion.  But note- that the end' of p h i l -  osophy i s the better understanding of the F i n a l cause- or the 'primum mobile' which i s properly speaking the subject matter of Theology.  Nevertheless,  i t must be notedr that Saint Thomas did not attempt to construct h i s Theology out of whole cloth; rather he' knew that he must present to the world a Theology firmly rooted in- a -solid basis of systematic philosophy. Our feelings- concur with t h i s since, i f one i s to have an apologetic f o r Christian-'doctrine, one had better take the best to hand; and i t i s Saint Thomas who- above- every other thinker'has completed ing synthesis of Theology and philosophy. theological tinge.  a thorough and search-  This chapter- may have a decided  That i s unavoidable and no .apology i s made since we  are convinced that no compartamentalisation can be made of knowledge f o r theology, morals and philosophy are a l l working to the same end, f o r what i s true i n one science cannot be f a l s e i n another. The writings of Saint Thomas.' are so vast that i t w i l l be imposs i b l e to cover everything.  Rather, the- conclusions r e l a t i v e to t h i s pro-  blem w i l l be presented as b r i e f l y as possible, and we trust that t h i s w i l l serve our purpose.  62  The Prima Pars of the Summa Theologica deals properly with the first*Person of the Trinity, God As Creator.  Since will is one of the  big problems in theology, Saint Thomas* devotes some: time to the discussion of will in God.  God, he- concludes, possesses will as well as intellect,  for a l l intellectual beings have w i l l , and God, being the Supreme Intellect, possesses will i n i t s highest form*. Moreover: ...If natural things, in so far as they are perfect, communicate their good to others, much more does i t pertain to the- divine w i l l to communicate by likeness i t s own good to others as much as possible. Thus, then, He wills both Himself to be, and other things to be; but Himself as the end, and other things as ordained to that end, inasmuch as i t befits the divine goodness that other things should be partakers- therein. (1) The ideas herein expressed are basic to Catholic philosophy*, more particularly, God as the end of the universe and a l l created things.  Now God  wills some things of necessity (and necessity i s understood here in the definition given by Aristotle and quoted above).  For example, the good;  for God, being good, cannot will e v i l . ...For the divine will has a necessary relation to the divine goodness, since that i s i t s proper object. Hence God wills the being-of his own goodness necessarily.... (2) But God does not will other things of necessity, for the willing of created things was an act of pure love, since God, being perfect, needs no created things for His own perfection. God's w i l l i s the cause of* a l l things.  In the Aristotelean  definition of causality, effects pre-exist in their cause after the mode 1.  Summa theologies, I, q. 19, a. 2, corpus. (The translations of the works of Saint Thomas used here will be found in "Basic writings of St.Thomas Aquinas", edited by Anton C. Pegis, Random House, New*York, 1945.  2.  ibid., a. 3, c.  63.  of the cause. ...Therefore,, since the divine being i s His own i n t e l l e c t , e f f e c t s pre-exist i n Him a f t e r the mode of i n t e l l e c t , and therefore proceed fronr Him a f t e r the same mode. Consequently, they proceed from- Him a f t e r the mode of w i l l , f o r His i n c l i n a t i o n to put i n act what His i n t e l l e c t has conceived pertains to the w i l l . Therefore the w i l l of God i s the cause of things. (3) But, however, there i s no cause of the w i l l of God, f o r there i s nothing greater than the w i l l of God.  Note that,' i n God,  ...to w i l l an end i s not the cause- of H i s w i l l i n g the means; yet- He w i l l s the ordering of the means to the end. Therefore He w i l l s t h i s to be the means to that; but He does not w i l l this because of that. (4) The other marks'of the w i l l of God are that i t i s always f u l f i l l e d and does not change.  But He does not impose necessity on the things w i l l e d .  . . . A l l good things that e x i s t God w i l l s to be. I f therefore His w i l l imposes necessity on the things w i l l e d , i t follows that a l l good happens of necessity;... (and here i s a point which w i l l be expanded l a t e r ) ...and thus there i s an end of free choice, counsel, and a l l other such' things. (5*) Important also are the- matters of divine providence and predestination.  F i r s t providence:  I t was intimated above that a l l things  are ordained for'an end and that end i s God; but God himself i s not o r dained to His own end.  Now providence  of the order of things- to an end.  i s just t h i s :  the very exemplar  Moreover, a l l things, inasmuch as  they p a r t i c i p a t e being, are to that extent subject to divine providence. Further, as some things are, by nature, contingent, divine providence 3Y  i b i d . , a. 4, c.  4.  i b i d . , a. 5, c.  5.  i b i d . , a. 8, sed contra.  64.  does not impose any necessity on those things to destroy that contingency. ^  Aa stated- i n the Summa contra^gentiles: Since-, therefore, i t is* evident that some causes are contingent, seeing that they can be.hindered from producing t h e i r e f f e c t s , i t i s c l e a r l y inconsistent with providence that a l l things should happen of necessity. ( 7 )  The reason f o r t h i s i s that being may be divided- into two groups: the :  contingent  and the necessary.  The necessary (quod est  necessarlus)  exists' always; - nothing which i s corrupt exists always, f o r generation and; corruption- are- parts- of change.  I f contingency were removed, men  would-no longer be free- to act well or i l l ; i n reward- or punishment.  thus there would be no j u s t i c e  I t i s d e f i n i t e l y against the nature of provid-  ence to deprive the w i l l of liberty". ( 8 ) Second, predestination: parts of Thomism.  This i s one-of the more d i f f i c u l t  God directs- things to. a twofold end:  eternal l i f e , or  the v i s i o n of God above the nature- of a l l creatures; and an end proportionate to created nature, attained' by created being according to the power of i t s nature.  Lacking the: power* to a t t a i n an end- by the power of  its. own* nature the creature must be- directed by another, and the example of t h i s direction-pre-exists i n God.  There i s , i n other words, a pre- .  existence' of the thing- to be- done i n the mind of the doer; •..Hence the exemplar of the aforesaid d i r e c t i o n of a r a t i o n a l creature towards the end of l i f e eternal i s called predestination. ( 9 ) Or as Saint Augustine puts i t : '6.  Sum*, theol., I, q. 2 2 .  7.  Summa contra g e n t i l e s , Bk. I l l , Chap.71.  8.  i b i d . , chap. 7 2 .  9.  Sum. theol., q. 2 3 , a. 1 , c.  1  65.  •••Predestination i s the foreknowledge of God's benefits. (De Dono Persev., XIV.) But foreknowledge i s not i n the things foreknown, but i n the person who foreknows them. Therefore, predestination i s i n the one who predestines, and not i n the predestined. (10) This may  be seen to be d i s s i m i l a r from the- C a l v a n i s t i c , where the pre-  destination i s i n the- i n d i v i d u a l . man  Providence permits certain defects i n  so- that there i s a f a l l i n g away of c e r t a i n men  This f a l l i n g away i s called  from the end of  man.  reprobation.  ...As predestination includes the w i l l to confer grace, and glory, so also reprobation includes the w i l l to permit a person to f a l l into s i n , and to impose the punishment of damnation because of that s i n . (11) Now  both the operation of grace and what follows from f r e e choice are ef-  fects of predestination, so i t would appear to be obvious that there i s no l i m i t i n g of free- choice by predestination.  Perhaps this one further  quotation-will clear*up the problem f o r purposes of t h i s essay. ...Predestination achieves i t s e f f e c t most c e r t a i n l y and i n f a l l i b l y , and yet i t does not impose any necessity, such that i t s e f f e c t should take place from necessity. For i t was said above that predestination was a part of providence-. But not a l l things subject to providence are necessary; f o r some things happen from contingency, according to the d i s p o s i t i o n of the.proximate causes which divine providence has ordained* f o r such e f f e c t s . Yet the order of* providence i s i n f a l l i b l e , as was shown above. So also i s the order of predestination certain; and yet free choice, from which the e f f e c t of predestination has i t s contingency, i s not destroyed. (IE*) A note on*fortune and chance i s appropriate at t h i s point. Fortune and chance are said of those things which happen seldom.  It  would be against* the- nature of providence i f nothing happened f o r t u i t ously.  Chance may  be said of some agent which i s acting f o r the sake of  10.  i b i d . , a. 2, sed  11.  i b i d . , a. 3, c.  12.  i b i d . , a. 6, c.  contra.  some end and f a i l s to attain that end.  These chance occurrences are due  to the concurrence of two or more causes, that i s , when some end which was not intended happens from the- concurrence- of some cause. Moreover, i t (13 must be- noted- that god's providence does extend to singular contingents: In the prima secundae Saint Thomas expands Aristotle's theory of volitions.  In the f i r s t place, human beings are moved by a principle  within the- agent, that i s , they are moved voluntarily.  An imperfect vol-  untary belongs to the other animals, but that is not to impute w i l l to them. Perfect voluntary belongs to man since he alone, of a l l the animals, is able to deliberate about the end of an act.  Voluntary in man  implies willing and acting', but i t also implies non-acting and non-willing.  In other words, we can have- the voluntary without the act.^*)  follows a section very important and central to responsibility:  We  Now may  attribute the sinking of a ship to the helmsman who neglected to steer. But we must take note that the cause of what follows from- the failure to act i s not always the agent as not acting, but only then when the agent can and ought to act. For i f the helmsman' were unable to steer the ship, or i f the ship's helm were- not entrusted to him, the sinking of. the ship would not be attributed to him, a l though i t might be due to his absence from the helm. (15) And note ...Voluntariness requires an act of knowledge in the same way as i t requires an act of w i l l , namely, in order that i t be in one's power to consider, to w i l l and to act. (16) There is something further to note, that i s , that no violence 13.  Summa contra gentiles, Bk III, chap.74.  14.  Sum.  15'.  ibid., a. 3, c. ( i t a l i c s ours)  16.  ibid., a. 3, reply to obj. 3.  theol., I-II, q.6, a. 1, 2, & 3.  can be done to the w i l l .  Any e x t e r i o r forcing, f o r example, dragging a  man, as we say, "against h i s w i l l " , does not admit of consent of the w i l l . While the man's members-may consent through i n f i r m i t y , his w i l l cannot. Even God, though he i s able to move the w i l l of man, cannot use compulsion.  What an act of w i l l i s i s nothing other than an i n c l i n a t i o n pro-  ceeding .from an i n t e r i o r knowing p r i n c i p l e .  Violence from* any e x t r i n s i c  (or exterior) p r i n c i p l e would r e s u l t only i n involuntariness.  Nor does  fear cause* the- involuntary absolutely; f o r whatever may be done through fear a c t u a l l y becomes the.voluntary feared.  i n attempting to avoid the e v i l  U?) Ignorance may cause involuntariness.  closes three types of ignorance:  But Saint Thomas d i s -  F i r s t , there i s concomitant ignorance,  when there- i s ignorance of what i s done, but the knowledge of i t would not a l t e r the act.  Second, ignorance consequent to the act-of the w i l l , as  affected* ignorance (willing not to know, to have an- excuse f o r s i n ) , or ignorance of neglect (ignorance types i s involuntary absolutely.  of e v i l choice).  Neither of these two  The t h i r d type i s  ...antecedent to the act of the w i l l when i t i s not v o l untary and yet i s the cause of man's w i l l i n g what he would not w i l l otherwise. (18) This i s involuntary absolutely.  One always w i l l s what one. apprehends as  good, despite the fact that what one apprehends as good, through some defect in-knowledge, may a c t u a l l y be an e v i l . ...Therefore, the actual desire of good i s c a l l e d w i l l • ( v o l i t i o n ) , meaning thereby the act of the w i l l . ( 1 9 ) 17.  i b i d . , a. 4 , 5 , & 6 .  18.  i b i d . , a. 8, c.  19.  Sum. theol., I - I I , q. 8, a. 1 , reply to obj. 1 .  68.  Volition i s , properly, of the end i t s e l f , but means are good and are willed only as referred to the end. Now i t might be argued that necessity would do violence to or coerce the w i l l , but such i s not the case. pugnant' to the w i l l .  However, there i s a necessity of the end which i s  not repugnant to the w i l l . wills to cross the sea. sire-a ship.  Necessity of coercion is re-  Saint Thomas gives the' example of one who  From- this arises- in the w i l l the- necessity to de-  This i s a matter-of' u t i l i t y or natural necessity which can  by no means be= repugnant. which i s happiness.  The will of necessity adheres- to the last end  We must note here that the- w i l l extends to opposites  since i t i s through the will that we do good or e v i l , so there i s no necessity in a l l d e s i r e s . ( 2 0 ) What is i t then which moves the will?  Omitting the discussion  of the type'of movement involved, l e t us take Aquinas'* conclusion that i t i s the intellect which moves the w i l l .  For-it i s the intellect which  presents to the'will the various alternatives' of action.  It i s the intel-  lectual faculty which weighs-evidence and draws conclusions.  But i t i s  not the speculative- intellect which moves but the'practical intellect.  It  will be seen, then, that there i s no necessity in'the moving of the i n t e l lect.  It i s the intellect which presents to the w i l l i t s object.  i t i s a fact that man does e v i l .  Again,  For- example, he- may be drawn away from  his- object by his concupiscence; but this concupiscence i s part of the sensitive appetite of the' soul; therefore the sensitive appetite may move the intellect, and the- intellect i n turn move the w i l l . ...Hence both the irascible and concupiscible parts can move counter to the w i l l , and, accordingly, nothing hinders 20.  Sum, theol., I, q. 82, a. 1 & 2.  the will from being moved by them'at times-. (81) The w i l l , as i t has a volition of a particular end, through that volition moves itself to w i l l the means. It w i l l be seen that the w i l l may be moved by an exterior princ-  iple-; for i t is moved by the object of i t s own willing, which object i s exterior- to i t s e l f .  One may w i l l something new, but one could not do this  without the aid of counsel; or to express i t otherwise, one i s given advice- which causes one to alter an end, that i s , will something different. ...It is-of the nature of the voluntary act that i t s principle be- within the agent; but i t i s not necessary that this inward principle be a f i r s t principle unmoved by another. Therefore, though the voluntary act has an inward proximate principle, nevertheless, i t s f i r s t principle i s from the outside. (22) Saint Thomas concludes^ from- this that there is a need for a prime mover. -  This idea i s central to Aristotle's teaching; and the prime mover becomes, in Thomistic philosophy, God. It i s then God, and God alone Who i s the cause of the w i l l , as he says: ...nothing else can be the cause of the w i l l , except God himself, Who i s the universal good, while every other good is good by participation, and i s some particular good; and a particular cause does not give a universal inclination. (23) 1  And i t i s desirable at this point to remember that the w i l l can will only good, or a- supposed good. The manner of the will's moving is as follows: naturally, for i t follows the act of the intellect. 21.  Sum. theol., I-II, q.. 9, a. 2, c.  22.  ibid., a. 4, reply to obj. 1.  23.  ibid., a. 6, c.  Thus  It can be moved  70.  ...man wills naturally not only the object of the w i l l , but also other things that are appropriate to the other powers, such as the knowledge of truth, which befits the intellect, and to be and to live and other like things which regard his natural well-being, — a l l of . which are included i n the object of the will as so many particular goods. (24) Moreover, we have noted that the w i l l i s not moved necessarily, with the exception of willing of u t i l i t y and, more important, willing the last end, which i s happiness, God, the good.. Nor does God move of necessity man's will; since He created man with a free w i l l . Closely bound up with volition i s the matter of intention. Intention signifies "to tend to something" and i t belongs principally to that which moves to the end.  The w i l l , however, moves a l l other powers  of the soul to the end; i t follows, therefore, that intention i s an act of the w i l l .  Intentions are not of the last end' only, for we can see  that i f that were the case men would not differ i n their intentions, since the last end i s happiness.  But we know that men do differ in. their inten-  tions, so some intentions' must be of ends other than the last end. More;  over, i t i s possible for a man to have more than, one intention at the same time.(25)  fj  o w  the intellect,  . . . i f i t considers principle and conclusion absolutely, i t considers each by a distinct act;... (and an object and that by reason of which i t i s an object do come under the same act), ...but when i t assents to the conclusion beeause of the principles, there i s but one act of the intellect. (26) 24.  Sum. theol., I-II, q. 10, a. 1, c._  25,.  Sum. theol., I-II, q. 12, a. 1, 2, & 3.  26.  ibid., a. 4, C.  71.  Therefore, the intention of the end appears to be the same movement as the willing of the means. If a man is to be a responsible agent i t seems obvious, from a l l that we have said, that he must have choice.  Choice is substantially  not'an act of reason, but an. act of- the w i l l ; for this reason, that choice i s accomplished by a movement of the soul towards a. chosen good; so is evidently an act of• the appetitive power. Choice is the act of taking one thing in preference to another, and',: as i t belongs properly to will and not the sensitive appetite, i t i s therefore not posessed by i r rational animals.  (27) Now we have seen that volition i s of the end will some» end ), but choice does not seem to be' of the end — v  (we  for, having  once achieved an end, we can no longer make a choice with regard to that end. ...Thus in the work of a physician health is the end, and so i t is not a matter of choice for a physician, but a matter of principle. But the health of the body is ordained to the good of the soul, and, consequently, with'one who has charge of the soul's health, health or sickness may be a matter of choice....But the last end is in no way a matter of choice. ( 2 8 ) Choice, then, is clearly of the means. Moreover, choice is always in regard to human acts, for, i f the' end Is a thing, some human action must intervene; also the means must be an action or a thing, there being some action whereby a man* either makes the thing (the means), or somehow uses it.  Aristotle shews that there can be no choice of the impossible.  The  object in choosing a thing is that i t might be conducive to an end, but nothing impossible can be conducive to an end; therefore choice can be 27.  Sum.  theol., I-II, q. 13, a. 1 & 2.  28.  ibid., a. 3, c.  72.  only of possible things.. (29) Finally, we must see whether choice i s necessary or free.  Here  we must note that what i s possible not to be cannot be of necessity, so man does not choose of necessity.  The reason for this may be found in  the power of the reason, for the will tends to what the reason apprehends as good. But the perfect good, or happiness cannot be apprehended as evil. Consequently, man wills happiness of necessity, nor can he will not to be happy, or to be unhappy;. Now since choice i s not of the end, but of the means...it i s not of the perfect good, which is happiness, but of other and particular goods. Therefore, man chooses, not of necessity, but freely. (30) Now-to some minor matters.  Counsel i s a type of enquiry.  The  reasondoes not pronounce judgment without previous enquiry, and this enquiry to decide what i s to be chosen i s called counsel. This counsel cannot be of the end, but i s rather of the means, and i s , properly speaking, about things done by us.( ) 31  Consent, as an affection belonging to the  appetitive power-, also concerns only the means. It may be defined as that which takes place when one approves and accepts the judgment of his counsel.(^2) On the consequences of human acts, Saint Thomas concludes that they deserve praise or blame through being good or e v i l . ...Just as- evil is.more comprehensive than sin, so i s sin more comprehensive than guilt (culpa). For an act is said to deserve praise or blame (culpabilis) from i t s 29.  ibid., a. 4 & 5.  30.  ibid., a. 6, c.  31.  Sum.theol., I-II, q. 14.  32.  Sum. theol., I-II, q. 15.  73.  being imputed to the agent, since to praise or to blame means nothing else than to impute to someone the malice or goodness of his act....It follows that, in voluntary acts alone, good and evil constitute the nature of praise or blame; and in such acts, e v i l , sin and guilt are one and the same thing. (33) Or more clearly stated: ...It is therefore evident that a good or evil act de-. serves praise or blame in so far as i t i s in the power of the w i l l ; that i t i s right or sinful according as i t is ordered to the end; and that i t s merit or demerit depends on the recompense for justice or injustice towards- another. (34) Saint Thomas is very conscious of the social consequences of an action. Should an injustice be done to one member, that injustice redounds to the whole society; also, i f one transgresses another member or the whole society, retribution is owing to him.  A man's good or e v i l acts i f not  ordered to the good or i l l of another individual, are, nevertheless, ordered to the good or i l l of society as a whole. Retribution thus i s necessary. In concluding this exposition of the Thomistic position, l e t us consider again the matter of free choice, since i t is so important for moral responsibility.  Some things act without judgment, or from in-  stinct, such as an animal which i s not able to deliberate about an action.  Man, however-, in contingent matters may follow opposite courses  because of the judgment of reason, and i s not determined to one action merely.  Consequently, i t is necessary that he have free choice.  Aquinas considers free choice as an appetitive power, or the power which permits one to elect. As i t belongs to the same power to w i l l and to 33.  Sum.  34.  ibid., a. 3, c.  35.  Sum.  theol., I-II, q. 21, a. 2, c.  theol., I, q. 83, a. 1.  74.  elect, w i l l and free choice are not two powers but one.  There is no dif-  ficulty here as to whether or not the will is free; since that very act of choosing — sible —  always keeping in mind that we can will only what i s pos-  i s the act of willing.  Finally, we are aware that counsels,  exhortations, commands, and so forth can a l l influence our actions. the will were not free, these would a l l be in vain:  If  but such i s not the  case; therefore the will is free. It- seems to us that Saint Thomas, before- any other philosopher, has most satisfactorily resolved the difficulties inherant in the free will vs. determinism controversy.  He is primarily a determinist, since  any philosophy which i s to be an apology for a theology, particularly a theology of the stamp of Catholicism, must take account of the notion of a supreme, omnipotent Being.  That there are fortuitous events in the  world does not detract from determinism, for the question of the causes involved in any such concurrence of events cannot be resolved at the present state of our knowledge. We are very limited in our ways of knowing; in fact, our ignorance i s nothing short of phenomenal. We are so bound by the senses that, in this l i f e at least, i t i s doubtful that our knowledge will ever be more greatly enlarged.  We had better confess our  human f r a i l t y on this point, and admit that i t i s impossible for us to know a l l the causes involved.  Free will does not really contradict de-  terminism; at least, until we are appraised of a l l the facts in the case in short, until we know of a certainty a l l the causes operating upon any particular event — exists.  we cannot really prove that such a contradiction  We feel, at times, that a contradiction does-exist; so perhaps  it-would do no harm to accept a moderate form of indeterminism, saying  that such an event appears to be undetermined. It i s really nothing more than saying we do not know the causes; or, what determined this thing to be we do not know. Human reason i s just perverse enough to search for the cause of an "uncaused" event. This i s healthy.  There can be only  one uncaused cause, and i t makes l i t t l e difference whether one calls i t the prime mover or God, as far as philosophy i s concerned. In a r i g i d determinism we can s t i l l speak significantly about chance and fortune. Aristotle and Saint Thomas have* made this clear. Let us take the case of the man who has before him on the table two similar spoons. He has to choose one i n order to take his soup; the immediate end i s the consumption of the soup. He wills the consumption of the soup to his body's health.  Necessarily he must use a spoon to take  the soup from his plate to his mouth. Of course, he might drink i t , and might conceivably do so i f he were alone; but as he i s in company, the oppression of custom being: what i t i s , and' he himself being wholly attuned to the social graces, the choice of picking up the bowl of soup and drinking i t i s not a real one. which one?  He i s forced to use a spoon, but  If both spoons were an equal.distance from him, there would  seemingly be nothing to determine which one he would use. He has to make a choice.  If he were a psychotic he might not be able to choose; but  that i s another problem.  If he i s an ordinary person he will not delib-  erate long about i t . He w i l l choose one or the other, but the reason for his- choosing the one he does w i l l not be apparent, even to himself, unless he has used "Eenie, meenie, minie-mo" or some-such stratagem. We are- ignorant of the causes involved and can call this a chance event. The important point i s this, however: Either spoon would have served as  76.  well as the other.  The choice, then, was not really of importance, since  the end. would be gained i n either case, viz., the eating of the soup. Such an insignificant choice carries with i t no moral undertones. Many of our choices are like that.  I f , however, one of the spoons were  poisoned, the choice would be very significant indeed', significant for the person who did the poisoning but not for the- chooser (provided that he was- ignorant of the circumstances).  I f , however, our man knew that  one spoon was poisoned but not which one, he would deliberate more carefully — provided' he did not alter his end and choose not to take the soup'•—but the choice of either of the spoons would be no way different from the f i r s t example.  It would s t i l l not be a moral act {provided  that he were compelled to eat the soup). Again, i f the man knew which spoon was poisoned, any choice he would make would be a moral one. One might say that, as he had no intention of dying, he "had no choice"; but the latter i s not the case. He has a significant'choice, even though, in this particular case, his choice i s determined — o r better, we can see that i t is determined; i.e. he w i l l die of necessity i f he uses the poisoned spoon.  If he wished to do away with himself he could. But  the point to emphasize here i s that, despite the fact that the choice i s determined, there i s a choice to be made. Censure f a l l s upon a person who chooses wrongly, where he could see the consequences of his choice and where he deliberately chose what was wrong. When one' chooses the wrong because he i s imperfectly aware of the end he i s pitied.  The greatest censure-falls upon the-person who  wills evil and through his action does e v i l .  Such a person i s respons-  ible for his action, as i s clear from what Saint Thomas has said about the  77.  matter', and the objection that he could not have done otherwise because of his s o c i a l back-ground i s not a v a l i d one.  We are inclined today to  take a'more c l i n i c a l attitude towards the criminal, seeking to r e - t r a i n him-in s o c i a l l y acceptable modes of behavior. there i s no reason why criminal.  That i s commendable, but  that should lead to the sentimentalizing of the  The criminal i s s t i l l punished whether we l e t him rot i n  prison or put him into an i n s t i t u t i o n which w i l l e f f e c t his re-education, for- i n e i t h e r case his l i b e r t y i s taken from him; as a tribute- to the f a c t that man  The laws exist  has r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r his actions.  Whether or not" he were responsible we would incarcerate him.  Those  persons we> judge not responsible f o r t h e i r actions we place i n mental hospital.  The fact remains-that the psychotic and the habitual criminal  are both mentally  ill,  and society owes both the duty of curing them.  The difference between the two resides i n the f a c t that the insane person does not act- as a r a t i o n a l being', whereas- the criminal does act r a t i o n a l l y but his i n t e l l e c t has become-warped, and what he w i l l s i s only an' apparent good (to him) and not an actual good;  The f a c t re-  mains that, where a person sees the consequences of an act, he i s re1  sponsible f o r his a c t .  Where re-education  i s necessary i t must be done.  I f the malefactor w i l l not p u r i f y his w i l l he must s u f f e r . This has been a- rather cursory presentation of the problem of moral r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and makes no attempt to be complete.  We have  attempted to place before the reader some of the solutions of the various problems-bound up with moral r e s p o n s i b i l i t y presented by a of the important philosophers; and we have indicated the philosophy  few which  we are convinced best r e p l i e s to the d i f f i c u l t i e s , f u l l y aware that the l a s t word has not been written on t h i s problem.  BIBLIOGRAP H Y  Aristotle: The basic works of Aristotle; edited by Richard McKeon. Random House, New York, 1941. Bradley, F.H.: Ethical studies. Oxford, 1927.  The Clarendon Press,  Caird, Edward: The c r i t i c a l philosophy of Kant. & Sons, Glasgow, 1889.  James Maclehouse 1  Cohen, Morris R. and Nagel, Ernest: An introduction to logic and scientific method. Harcourt, Brace and Company, New York, 1934. Dewey, John: Human nature and conduct. Henry Holt and Co., New York, 1922. Drake, Durrant: Invitation to philosophy. Cambridge, 1933.  The Riverside Press,  Eddington, S i r Arthur: New pathways i n science. Press, Cambridge, 1935.  The University  Green, Thomas H i l l : Philosophical works, Vol. II. Longmans, Green, London, 1886. James, William: 1912.  The will to believe.  Longmans, Green, London,  Jeans, Sir James: The new background of science. Press', Cambridge, 1947.  The University  Kant, Emmanuel: Kant selections, edited by Theodore Meyer Greene. Charles Scribner's Sons, New* York, 1929. Lodge, R.C: Plato's theory of ethics. Trubner and Co., London, 1928.  Kegan Paul, Trench,  Lotze, Herman: Microcosmus, translated by E. Hamilton and E.E.C. Jones. T. and T. Clark, Edinburgh, 1888. McTaggart, John, M.E.: London, 1906-.  Some dogmas of religion.  Edward Arnold,  M i l l , John Stuart: A system of logic, Vol. II. Longmans, Green, Reader and- Dyer*, London, 1868. Muller,.L., S. Sp. Somme de theologie morale. Ste S. Jean L'Evangeliste, Desclee & Cie, Paris, 1939.  Palmer, George Herbert: The problem of freedom. Cambridge, Mass., 1911.  Houghton Mifflin,  Plato: The dialogies of Plato, translated by B. Jowett (two volumes). Random House, New York, 1892. Russell, Bertrand: Religion and science. Thornton Butterworth Ltd., London, 1935. Saint Augustine: The City of God, translated by John Healey. J.M. Dent, London, 1903. Saint Thomas Aquinas: The basic writings of Saint Thomas Aquinas, edited by Anton C. Pegis. Random House, New York, 1945. Sidgwick, Henry: The methods of ethics. Ltd., London, 1930. Smith, A.H.: Kantian studies. 1947.  MacMillan and Co.,  The Clarendon Press, Oxford,  Spencer, Herbert: The principles of psychology. New York, 1888. Spinoza, Baruch: Ethics, translated by A. Boyle. Ltd., London, 1910.  D. Appleton and Co., J.M. Dent and Sons,  The Stoic and Epicurean Philosophers, edited by Whitney J. Oates. Random House, New York, 1940. The Catechism of the Catholic Church. JOURNAL ARTICLES Aristotelian Society: Harrison and Sons, London. Indeterminism, formalism and value. Supplementary Vol. X., 1931. Ethics: Turner, J.E.: Causation and moral experience; Vol. XXXIX, 1928, pp.481-493. Schneider, Herbert, W.: Moral obligation; Vol. L, 1939, pp.45-56. Weiss, Paul: Freedom of choice; Vol. LII, 1941, pp.186-199. Journal of Philosophy: Clapp, J.G.: Vol. 40, 1943, pp.85-100. Miller, David L.: The calendar theory of freedom; Vol. 41, 1944, 320-328. Philosophical Review: Bussey, Gertrude C : 1930, pp.1-16.  Croce's theory of freedom; Vol. XXXIX,  

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