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 ; 5 . 6 S O M E A S P E C T S OF THE P R O B L E M O F M O R A L R E S P O N S I B I L I T Y A THESIS Submitted as part fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in the Department of Philosophy of The University of British Columbia. by MARTIN LAWTHER BROWN 1 9 5 0 SOME ASPECTS OP THE PROBLEM OF MORAL RESPONSIBILITY (AN ABSTRACT - 390 WORDS) In this thesis an attempt i s made to shew that moral' r e s p o n s i b i l i t y that a man merits praise or blame as he acts well or badly i s compatible with the idea of an omni-potent God and a causal determinism. Moreover, a man's res-p o n s i b i l i t y for his acts depends on t h e i r being his acts; i . e . he has Svvwi|.l, i s free 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 writer considers the best d e f i n i t i o n s of causality, chance, v o l i t i o n , freedom, determin-ism, indeterminism and necessity, A r i s t o t l e ' s systematic p h i l -osophy seeming the most practicable. The C h r i s t i a n concepts of w i l l and predestination receive t h e i r f i r s t explanation i n Saint Augustine. In the succeeding chapters the h i s t o r i c a l approach i s used to set f o r t h the attitudes of various p h i l o -sophers to the problems Involved. Tha b e l i e f appears wide-spread that freedom (which i s e s s e n t i a l i f one i s to have r e s p o n s i b i l i t y ) i s incompatible with determinism; yet A r i s -t o t l e and Spinoza shew that such i s not the case. Indetermin-ism, rather than permitting freedom, makes i t impossible, f o r then, man becomes subject to chance. The majority of the philosophies examined shew inconsistencies with a systematic theology and, although cert a i n truths may be found i n each, are rejected as being either u n f r u i t f u l or incapable of being developed i n the d i r e c t i o n intended. The writer concludes that the most consistent and f r u i t f u l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of moral r e s p o n s i b i l i t y Is given by A r i s t o t l e and Saint Thomas Aquinas. A r i s t o t l e gives us a consistent philosophical system which Saint Thomas interprets i n the l i g h t of Ch r i s t i a n doctrine, and i t i s this philosophy which seems best to correlate with Catholic teaching. For Saint Thomas, that the w i l l i s free and human acts voluntary does not c o n f l i c t with the idea of a divine, omnipotent Being; and necessity, providence and predestinatirin do not c o n f l i c t with free w i l l i n man. Both chance and determinism make freedom i n man possible, 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 deliberate on courses of action. As a l l acts of the w i l l are voluntary, man may be, and is,, commended or cen-sured for h i s acts as they are good or bad. He has choice, and this choice i s free, so that the outcome of his actions Is h i s own r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . As th i s view, despite i t s many d i f f i c u l t i e s , appears tob.be the most complete, i t seems to be the best one on which to b u i l d i n the future* T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S INTRODUCTION 1 CHAPTER I - SOME BASIC CONSIDERATIONS . 4 CHAPTER II - THE CLASSICAL OUTLOOK. 16 CHAPTER III - FURTHER ATTEMPTS AT A SOLUTION 28 A. Benedictus de Spinoza 28 B. Immanuel Kant .. 31 C. John Stuart Mill 33 D. Herman Lotze 35 E". Herbert Spencer 36 F. Thomas H i l l Green 37 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. Benedetto Croce.. 51 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 responsibility. Responsibility i s the belief that a person i s answerable for his voluntary actions, and-, insofar as his actions and in-tentions are-relevant to- the conceptions of the Good'and Bad-, or right and wrong, he i s subject to approval or correction, reward* or punishment. The idea of responsibility 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 i s d i f f i c u l t , in 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. Yet1, despite 1 the fact that responsibility i s assumed in Law, Religion?, and other fields of human activity, there' are; some who ser-iously question-its existence. The fact that i t can be .questioned i n t e l -ligently i s sufficient reason f o r examining' the arguments for respons-i b i l i t y and finding out why we think- as we- do with regard to i t . Is the- idea* of moral responsibility an important one? It i s the'rare- case-that, in courts of justice, in education, and" in orthodox religion, the ideas of reward and-punishment'are not brought into question, and the- 'justice* of a particular case i s a fre-quent consideration-. Yet- the* ideas of reward and' punishment: depend upon a person's being responsible j but this 'being responsible'' i s today ser-iously questioned1 (in 7 some quarters). If there- i s no responsibility i t seems'foolish to> uphold the 'Tightness' of-reward and punishment; for how can one be punished for an action, of, his 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 Hell, or eternal reward and punish-ment are basic to„orthodox Christianity, basic to the traditional Christian-' ethics,. Should there be no responsibility, what a travesty this doctrine would be! Obviously, then, i f we wish to uphold Christianity, moral responsibility becomes a1 very important problem. Now- there' must be^ very good reasons for questioning responsibil-ity-. That .a1 man is responsible assumes that he i s the author of his acts; in fact, that he-is free-or acts voluntarily. Or-, we-might say, he has a w i l l . But see* how this" idea' is* bound up with the problem of e v i l : There'would have been no evi l work, but there was an ev i l will, before; i t ; and what could begin this 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 likes i t s e l f too well, or when1 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 delightful to i t than i t s e l f . This defect i s voluntary. (1) Thus- ,S. Augustine' sees'that the w i l l i s the basis of e v i l — or-iginal' s i n - a s well as- actual: sin. The doctrines overlap. We assume freedom to- sin. Free-will i s a basis'for Christian doctrine, and i s nec-essary for any idea of reward and punishment. However, as; necessary as (2) these ideas of free w i l l and freedom are to religion and justice, they too are sometimes called into question. The reason w i l l be found i n the J.. S. Augustine, The city of God, trans. John Healey, London, J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd., 1945, p. 431. 2. vide L. Muller, S. Sp., Somme de thlologie morale, Paris, 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 is librement. Also: "L'acte morale est imputable, c'est-a-dire a attribuer "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 complete- ment humaine, e'est-a-dire daHbere* et entierement l i b r e . " (#114). So much for the o f f i c i a l Catholic position. 3 . more basic- problems? of < causality and'determinism versus* indeterminism. If the- world is 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 part-ially uncaused) admit of freedom :to the individual? These'are the vital problems'with which we must be concerned. Upon their solution depend the great ethical problems' of: human freedom ;and; moral responsibility. In these' pages we shall seek to shew that responsibility is 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 de-fined. In thes first chapter we will concern^ourselves' briefly with caus-ality, determinism and indeterminism; plus1 definitions :of; the terms: chance, fortune, destiny, freedom, free-will, necessity and-predestination. The procedure In the subsequent chapters will be as follows: in the second and third- chapters we shall very briefly sketch the historical background of our'problem together' with a1 few of the attempts at a solution; in the fourth chapter we will be concerned with the problem of indeterminism and the indeterminacy; principle. The final chapter will deal with the proposed solution and its application. CHAPTER I SOME BASIC CONSIDERATIONS Surrounding the problem of. moral responsibility are? many other important- problems, difficulties- and pseudo*problems which- must be c l a r i -fied?. It would be d i f f i c u l t to discuss a l l at length, so their expose w i l l be very brief, and, we'hope,-to* the* point'. There i s a need to consider causality as this has; a great bear-ing upon" our; problem; and., indeed, some conception of causality i s nec-essary to any idea* of determinism. F i r s t , l e t us look at some defini-tions of causality, and- f i n a l l y decide upon-one* which'; w i l l be accepted as the best for the solution of our d i f f i c u l t i e s . Durant Drake considers causal; laws- as tendencies, directions that events w i l l take insofar as other tendencies are not conjoined with them to produce a convergent result. (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 reality to the next; i.e.', AB, BG, CD, etc. Because he finds d i f f i c u l t y i n explaining intersection of events (what we might for the-moment c a l l 'chance'), he suggests-another form of causation which he calls 'ante-sequential causation' whereby, starting with a possible effect, one may retrace the chain of causes; i.e., D~-C, B, A. This i s causation of a personal' or purposive kind. This l a t t e r type of causation does not* really 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' mind1 of the author.' some- confusion between the 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 in nature? Yet, i f one* sees the value i n some sort of ante-sequential causation, how can one- reject the1 idea of a f i n a l cause? For once one accepts- the; idea of purpose- in causation, then' f i n a l causej i s a sequitur. Again, Palmer speculates, i s chance1 truly, irrational or i s i t merely a- way of stating; ignorance? I t does involve an uncertainty, but where would this uncertainty arise?. Accordingly, i t must involve causal agencies^. Obviously we cannot- explain -this- intersection of events by sequential causation alone, hence*, we must accept ante-sequential causa-tion. Let us again refer to Drake. He implies that certain things are free- from* causality, more particularly •volition'*. The determinist believes that natural law holds in cases' of willing, as well as in every other natural event. The- indeterminist believes- that the act of willing, at least, i s exempt5from the ordinary laws of cause and effect; 'the w i l l ' i s an independent variable inserted-'into the causal nexus ofnature. (4) It would appear to this 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 alone, of a l l the universe should have purpose in his acts. If one accepts religion 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 life', there i s an absolute necessity to 1 explain things' in- terms- of ends1 or« purposes. If we explain everything i n terras of1 purely mechanistic laws', we- leave- the basic problem of l i f e unanswered, viz.,'the'why? or wherefore? Now, i f we build a house, we build i t for a* speciflc ; purpose, to" l i v e ' i n ; hence\ i t does not seem to be unreasonable', at least where Christian doctrine is concerned^,,to apply the analogy of the house to the universe. Further-, both' metaphysics and theol-ogy are- impossible on the level of sheer efficient causality; so some sort of f i n a l cause i s required. .This i s true of ethics, for', in the very idea of volition, purpose i s a requisite. As a result, this writer finds i t . necessary to" think of causality'in ATi'stotelian terms'. For'Aristotle there are?four causes: material, efficient, form-al 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 must be- some shape), and'the end for'the sake of' which- a thing i s . ' (5) Next wef should consider the problem of chance, in the f i r s t place to say what- i t i s not, and in the- seconds' to give the definition which5 we> s h a l l use; as being- the- most f r u i t f u l . •Chance'' generally means an uncaused' event, having somewha-t of an irrational element in i t . For-tune, luck and Providence are closely bound up with chance, but are not to be- regarded- as: synonymous with i t . Fortune .is-generally considered as being-;'luck*; but this idea has no philosophical value. On the other hand-, in the philosophy of S. Thomas, fortune has a specific relation to Providence; so we shall defer i t s discussion to a later chapter. Chance 5. Aristotle, Metaphysics, 1013a 24 - 36. or accident i n the Aristotelian philosophy- i s defined as follows (and this definition is; the one we1 consider' the most valuable): chance i s that which attaches to something: and can be truly asserted, but neither of necessity "nor usually; e.g., i f someone in digging 1 a hole-for a-plant has found treasure. T h i s — - the finding 1 of treasure -- i s for the man who dug- the hole an accident; for neither does the one'come of necessity from- the other or after the'other, nor, i f a man pian*aydoes he us-ually find- treasure .... Therefore since there are attributes'and they attach to subjects, and some of them attach- to these only in a particular place and at a particular time, whatever attaches to a sub-ject, but not because- i t was this subject, or the time this time, or the place this place, w i l l be an accident. Therefore, too, there i s no definite cause for an accident, but a chance cause, i.e. an indefinite' one. (6) Such a- thing as a 'chance cause' would* not necessarily deny: the operation of determinism, but1 would show that, by i t s very indefiniteness, we are unable to= know precisely what causal factors- are at work in any particular case-. Hence-, we>can significantly c a l l such an event accidental or chance, always'remembering- that this classification i s really a confession of our own inability to know perfectly. Next to- be considered' briefly are1 the1 terms v o l i t i o n and w i l l . There is-, i n the-popular* mind*, a great- deal of misconception with regard to the w i l l , treating i t not as- the voluntary, which i t i s , but as an entity. Whether or not the w i l l i s free w i l l depend on our definition of freedom*. In .this essay we are' seeking to show that freedom is- a poss-i b i l i t y , not" in the- commonly~aeeepted> d e f i n i t i o n o f that* term but in a re-stricted sense- consistent with deterministic principles.' The voluntary act i s that act originating'with the intention of the person. It i s de-liberative and purposive, or, in common parlance, i s done 'with the f u l l 6. ibid., 1025a 13-24. 8. - consent' of' the w i l l ' . Now, i n addition to'volition'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.(®) This must be proven consistent with a determinism' of some? sort./ The importance of habits in connection with w i l l i s to be noted. As Dewey states: A l l habits are demands for certain kinds of activity; and they constitute the,self. 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 effective desires and- they furnish .us with our ^working capacities. They rule our thoughts, determining which shall appear and be strong and which shall pass from l i g h t into obscurity. (9) And again: By w i l l , common-sense understands- something practical and moving. It understands the body of habits, of active dispositions which makes a man do. what he does, Will i s thus not something opposed to consequences or severed- from them. It i s a cause of consequences; i t i s causation in i t s personal aspect, the aspect immed-iately preceding action; (10) The importance of intelligence and thought i n the w i l l must be emphasized. 7. In this connection i t is interesting' to note that the Catholic defini-tion of a mortal sin is:' a) that i t must be a grievous matter, b) performed after sufficient reflection, c) performed with the f u l l consent of the w i l l . (See the Catechism, Art. 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. Volition mingled with im-pulse' is>"simply the volition not to re s i s t but to give way to the natural current'of these inner changes." (Vol. I., p. 255). Vol-i t i o n contains Ideation and Feeling, and a peculiar element of mental activity. The content of the w i l l i s the involuntary flow of ideas and feelings. 9. Dewey, John, Human nature and conduct; New York, Henry Holt and Com-pany, 1922; p. 25. 10. i b i d , p. 44. 9 . The glorification of "will" 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 in the harmonies of nature leading straight to disaster. (11) We shall leave the problem of the will for the'moment and look at the- other' problems of determinism',, indeterminism' 'and freedom;. Freedom is not necessarily opposed1 to determinism, nor is i t to be equated with in-determinism, though there is a popular conception to that effect. Deter-minism' is- to> be- defined as belief that a l l events which occur are in ac-cordance* with causal laws-. Indeterminisitr, on" the other hand, is 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' itself. 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. The question we are faced with is 'Is freedom possible?' Freedom must exist i f we consider man as a rational and moral animal. If i t does not, moral phil-osophy 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 5responsibility seem-to be tied, up with-the possibility of 'choice''. Now, according to Weiss-, in order to- be responsible we must exercise free choice. To this we would agree, but with careful qualifica-tions. "Freedom of choice-j" he says, "is not freedom, to action; i t is only its precondition."(12) Unless we can choose freely we are neither 11. ibid./p. 259. 12. 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.1 those- that'prevent one's being-responsible. Now herein lies what seems to be? the- common* error; He goes on- to-say-that choice is either determined- or not, and either alternative denies' responsibility, for in the- f i r s t case- we' lose the fact of freedom and in the second' we lose the fact that' our inclinations .have'janv effect' upon- the choice' we- make. There-fore we need to distinguish between-1) the fact- of choosing and the pos- sibil i t y of choosing, and 2) between a freedom to choose responsibility and- a freedom to- choose- that for which we will be responsible. "To have freedom of choice is to be able to transform a- rejected alternative into a preferable one by making i t an essential part of a desired situation**^ It is 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 is free. Now, ar person may be said- to have made a bad choice* when'he finds he is not willing to accept the whole- of which his choice is a part; thus conscience is 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 is not fairly facing the problem of this' incompatability of' determinism' and; its opposite*with- freedom. What is; necessary is to examine the arguments, for and against determinism before considering the psychological aspects of freedom, though, i t is 13. ibid., p. 188. 11. sound to admit that, as-human freedom-does'not exist absolutely, at least certain- of its 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 is thus bound'to govern-and be governed by his fellows, with or without the law. To imagine that he is self-governing or morally free- is a delusion, for evens when' the bonds of particular obligations break, under conflict, he falls into the more rig-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 is pure fiction that no obliga-tion exists until i t is 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 it; - c-)^  The- concept of •moral freedom' is a confusion, rather, morality is the-antithesis of  freedom'.' While one often has feeling that morality is -precisely as Schneider has described i t , there are- some- who could not accept i t ser-iously. How does one distinguish between freedom1 and- license? 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 'free-doms'. Such expressions as 'freedom of' the press', 'freedom of con-science'' 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 , 1939, pp. 45-56; pp; 55-56. 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* is the* primitive' conception of predestination" and, as at 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 de-terminism- as they so- often are. Let- us examine the distinctions. •Necessity governs a l l * is 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. It is not in this- sense that we use the' word- today. Necessity, for the- logician is- best defined in dis-tinguishing i t from a sufficient condition, with which i t is often con-fused*. 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," is true- (or, what is the same thing, i f "c^  implies p_M is true)....Thus the-proposition that a body or society is sick is 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 will work-. (15) A valuable definition is 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 con-ditions without which good cannot be: or come to be, or without which we cannot get rid or be freed of v evil; e.g., drinking the medicine is necessary in 1 5 . Cohen, Morris R. and Nagel, Ernest; An introduction to logic and  scientific method; New York, Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1934; p. 388. 1 3 . order'that we may be cured of disease...(2) The com-pulsory and compulsion, i.e-., that which impedes and tends to hinder, contrary to impulse*and purpose. For- the' compulsory is called' necessary...and compul-sion is a form of necessary. And necessity is held to be something that cannot be1 persuaded — and rightly, for'it' is contrary to the movement which ac-cords with- purpose' and' with reasoning...(3) We say that that which cannot be otherwise is necessarily as i t is. And from- this sense of 'necessary' a l l others are' somehow derived1; for a thing is said to do or suffer what' is necessary in the sense of com-pulsory, only when i t cannot act according to its impulse because- of the compelling force -— which implies that necessity is that because of which a thing cannot be otherwise. ( 1 6 ) Thus' the conclusion™ in a demonstration' is necessary because of the pre-mises, just as, in« order to live the good l i f e , certain conditions are necessary. It does not seem to be the case that God is 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 in the primary and' strict' sense- is the-_simple;; for this does' not admit of - more- states' than-one, so that i t can-not be in one state and also in another; for i f i t did i t would already be in more than one. If, 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, in 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 1 6 . Aristotle, Metaphysics, Bk. V, Chap. V, p. 1015a20 to p. 1015bl0 (W. D. Ross translation). 1 7 . ibidem, p. 1015bl0-15. 14. its emphasis-on the worth of' the- individual. Concerned as- i t is with the drama of Salvation i t could not do otherwise. Man is the centre of the universe'and' he, as an individual, is 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- in addition to1 the- -stoic- philosophy. S. Augustine held that be-cause5 of Adam's sin, man-, by his very birth, was' unregenerate. Man could obtain' salvation only by the* will of God, and*, 'specifically; by the sacre-ment 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 is, 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 its result. The individual is-powerless to change .an event and, therefore, must submit to the- will 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 be-tween' predestination and- fatalism. In both cases the individual has no control over his' ultimate- end. Here-, really, the similarity ceases, for predestination is, a creed of hope* while fatalism is a creed., of despair. The predestinationist is at-the.disposal of a beneficent and merciful God Whom he, in some measure understands, while the fatalist is like a ball 15. thrown' about by blind, forces' which- are beyond: his* 'comprehension. The former is' all-important while- the- latter- i s a- cypher-. No matter what he does, the-fatalist's 'efforts are abortive. He is. the' unhappy victim of chance, a- dweller in a; completely indeterministic and' irrational; universe. For him to fight-against these1 irrational forces* appears' profitless, so he desists from a l l action; to bemoan his- f at ei-sr vanity', so he'is silent. Fatalism of this extreme1 sort becomes- a- complete- -indeterminism', a' state of mind which makes philosophical speculation and s c i e n t i f i c investigation impos-sible'; Few fa t a l i s t s : are of this extreme sort. With the major part of them indeterminism' becomes- bound up with certain 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. v ' In westerh civ-ilization', fatalism-appears always as an abnormality. Fatalism as i t i s accepted by the Buddhists and their 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-terms1 which bear upon our discussion of moral responsibility we shall proceed,- in the two subsequent chapters, to a brief survey of the philosophical problem involved. 18v Many Christians-are- resigned' in- the< face- of death*, but this resignation i s not to be-considered as a'form-of fatalism; The-doctrines of Pro-vidence -and Faith are- closely linked up here. - Further,- many of us, when faced with impossible'choices, are inclined-to-act in 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; Faith have a role to play. It 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 inclined to creep into our consciousness. CHAPTER 2 THE CLASSICAL OUTLOOK The- more- or* less 1 traditional view of acceptance of moral re-sponsibility is. found in' Plato. Responsibility is bound ,up with retri-bution, and? punishment is- •desired* by the wrong^doer. ...The unjust or' doer of unjust actions' is 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.1 or not* his' analysis -would accord with the; psychological facts: is 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' good5 is-, and will do* everything in his power to attain to i t . He does not satisfactorily' answer the;'problem that - a man may- know what is 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 is difficult to see how a per-son, really aware of the right, could possibly choose what'is wrong, ex-cept* in the-case where he'has* not control of his passions and is forced to- do- wrong by his own desires both physical and psychological; in which case* the- wrong done is performed without the f u l l consent of the will. Such a person's freedom is very much curtailed. 1. Plato, Gorgias, tr. Jowett, New York, Random House, 1937, Vol.1, p.473. IV. In accordance with the' dictum that the wise man is the good man, the degree to which a man is responsible- is dependent' upon his wisdom. Hence1, the guardian, due to his superior wisdom, is held more responsible for his acts than the ordinary citizen would be. It is 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. It 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 1 into' too many channels. 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 in 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 organ-ized upon ethical and spiritual principles as to take on the nature of'ideal reality, that' every human impulse and appetite comes to realize its own highest potential-ities, and thus attain to true inward freedom'. (3). Thus' i t is the inward'freedom that counts, indeed, the only type of free-dom'which could have a-' real meaning- in the human sphere. Since there- exists' i n the immutable- Realm' of Ideas an ideal standard-', then,-moral judgment will be concerned: with- comparing a character or an action with the ideal. Also, this standard will 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 is able to weigh a l l the consequences- of an action and so act as a morally.free agent. One's1 progress in knowledge is a growing awareness of reality, and as we-gradually take reality into our own exper-ience, i t is 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 will, and'the-action cannot be considered as either virtuous or vicious- unless i t is 'voluntary* — i.e. agreeable to- the agent. But this action, to'< be* perfectly vicious or per-fectly virtuousi must proceed from deliberate choice. One is to be held 'responsible-' for.actions done only with his own consent, that is, 'vol-untary 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', is distinct from voluntariness because al 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 is distinct from desires'and impulses as these apply to non-rational-animals6 and are concerned with pleasure while volition is con-cerned chiefly with honor. 'Wishing' does not imply 'willing' since volition is concerned- with what lies- in one/s power and* with the means required to bring about an end which is wished for. 'Wishing' applies only to ends, often impossible ends. Finally, volition is not 'opinion' since' the former is right or wrong, while the latter is true>or false: the sphere of the one is things in our own power, the sphere Of the other, 19. the whole universe. The 'will', then, is what has been defined as voli-tion. (4) The problem-which troubled Plato, viz., how a man knowing the good- could' possibly choose- the evil, is 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- is natural but because the good'man adopts the means voluntarily virtue is volunt-ary, vice'also will be none the- less voluntary; for in the case of the- bad man there- is equally -present that which depends- on- himself in his actions even i f not in his end. If, then, as is asserted, the virtues are vol-untary (for we are ourselves somehow partly responsible for our states of character, and i t is 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 is true of' them....But actions'and states-of character are not voluntary1 in the same way; for we-are masters of our ac-tions .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 is not obvious, any more -than i t is* in 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) Let this suffice for the present. We shall return to a 4". J.G". Clapp,• in the Aristotelian tradition1,* 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 ex-tent'of freedom requires* choice, and-this we-will not deny, this choice implies the- existence of alternatives, albeit that these alter-natives- are- usually of a limited number. Moreover, i t is 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 lib e l laws. Again, deliberation is essen-t i a l to freedom-, and: excellence in deliberation is true reasoning about particular' things. The best way of 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 2. 20. consideration of the basic difficulties -underlying this problem, in accord-ance with the definitions above quoted- with regard' to causality, chance, etc., when we consider the Thomistic position in the final section of this work-. The third classical position which proved1 highly influential is 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 thee, i t was prepared for thee from1 a l l eternity; and the implication of causes was from eternity spinning the thread of thy being, and of that which is incident to i t . (6) This sums up the position of relentless necessity, a- complete1 determinism, yet, despite it's seeming pessimistic approach, i t had for the Stoics, and Marcus Aurelius in particular', the opposite effect of pessimism. Though the universe may be a 'concourse of atoms' or nature a system, the fi r s t thing- to remember'is' that one' is 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) itself.' v ' Therefore, there is no cause for alarm, for-, in remembering that' one is 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 evil to the things which are-parts of herself, and t'6" make them subject to evil and of necessity f a l l into evil, or have- such results happened without her knowing it? (8) This attitude is not to be condemned as a mere 'Pollyanna' view, since i t 6. Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, The Stoic and Epicurean Philosophers, New York, Random House, 1940, p. 563, para. 5. 7. loc. cit., para. 6. 8. loc. cit., para. 7. is a very reasoned attitude and not' simply wishful thinking. Marcus Aur-elius, indeed, ranks very high among moral philosophers, and the Stoic philosophy was thought not unworthy of incorporation" in antique Christ-ianity; 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, lies in the intelligence: The things'are- three of which' thou art1 composed, a l i t t l e body, a l i t t l e breath (life), intelligence. Of these the first two are thine, so far as i t is thy duty to take care of them; but the- third alone is- properly thine. There-fore if' thou shalt separate from thyself, that is, 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 in the breath" (life), which is 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 is within thee). (9) The- one1 idea1 is to gain' peace of mind here and now and- we< must never trouble ourselves with what evils' might be for, in the words of the Bib-li c a l text, 'All things'work together for good1.' Either there* is a fatal necessity and invincible order, or a -kind of Providence-, or a confusion without a purpose and ^ without- a director'. If then there is an invincible necessity, why dost thou' resist? But i f there is a Pro-vidence which allows itself to be propitiated, make thy-self worthy of the help o f the divinity. But i f there is confusion* without a governor, be content' that" in such a tempest- thou-1 hast in* thyself' a* certain ruling intelligence. And even'if the tempest carry thee-away, let i t carry away the poor flesh, the poor breath, everything else; for the intelligence at least i t will not' carry away. (10) Man, by reason'of his intelligence,, is able to rise above- the restrictions of material l i f e and to gain a real freedom. This view of freedom is 9. ibidem pp. 579 - 580 para. 3 . 1 0 . ibidem p. 581 para. 1 4 . 22. certainly implicit' in Aristotle and in many later philosophers, S. Augus-tine, 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 5 of' Pelagian Heresy1 and" his need to defend' orthodoxy against the in-roads of the subversion of• the doctrine of' 'original sin'. The Pelagians, in denying original sin r — stating' that' each infant coming .into the world was free from Adam's- sin — made- the: essential- doctrines of the Incarna-tion and Redemption1 both unnecessary and superfluous-. 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 in 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 the1 Will'. In Book*V, Chapter ix of the- De*Civitate' Dei S. Augustine pro-jects 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 is 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 cer-tain order* of causes in- a l l events-, then' are our1 wills' useless, for each event is- disposed1 by fate-. As a result, Cicero chooses1 freedom, thereby, 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, is 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 in the case of things: now i f there is 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 foreknow-ledge-, 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 is there in God no foreknow-ledge 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 will of God -is a l l in a l l * . The best sense in which we- may use- the word 'fate-' is insofar as i t may be derived1 from ' fari*, 'to speak', in other words, as Godv speaks or com-mands. In a very potent passage-he denies that foreknowledge would pre-clude' free- will: For our very wills are in 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, can-not 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 'fortune1' we» must leave as obscure, ascribing i t to the will of God. However, there is a voluntary ..H. S. Augustine, The city of God, tr. John Healy, London, J.M. Dent & Sons, 1945, p. 153. 12. loc. cit. 13. loc. cit. causation present in angels, men and other creatures that may be set down to will, and that will which is 'the spirit of l i f e ' . Regarding the problem of evil in the-world, S. Augustine brings forth the consideration that God, while He is the Creator of a l l natures and powers, is not the giver of' a l l wills since He cannot create evil. This viewpoint' seems* a l i t t l e difficult, but we might* consider' i t in the following* manner: God creates by willing-. He cannot will evil, 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 cor-ruption'by the operation of the will. Now God, in creating wills, nec-essarily created* them free-,- and being free- they are- subject to error. Herein lies the defect, not a defect in God's workmanship but, rather, a defect contained in the very fact of freedom. This, I should infer, be-cause the freedom of man within the purview of S. Augustine is a limited  freedom, limited in the 3ense of finite, since God' alone is perfectly free and infinite 1. It is 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 will. 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 had1 nothing to- fear from' i t because, as 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 mor-tal natures. One's will is free and'not subject to any necessity which might deprive- i t of freedom; and, one should add in clarification, as is clear' from the above, we- cannot make a- significant act of will against 'necessity' (as here defined) because' such an 'act of will' would not come.- within the realm of freedom. Again, our wills are not unlimited in the sense' that God's is : 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 is something in our wills. Whereby we are- neither compelled to leave our freedom of will 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 itself, 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 is directly responsible- for his- actions, which indeed he must be in any Christian philosophy; but does' this mean that man is 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 is the case of S. Augustine:'s the-same? One mould think that S. Augustine would not so consider i t ; nevertheless he is ob-scure- on this - point. Nor does man sin because God foreknew- that he would sin: nay i t is doubtless he that sins, when he does sin, be-cause 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 will, thus meaning that God also foresaw, just- how a man1 would will either to sin or not to sin. How GOd could, foreseeing a l l , not will 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 will, the creature's will not God's. Man wills his own sal-vation 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' will is the surest means to his enslavement. Speculation' further in the line marked-out by S. Augustine- is- difficult and, probably, unfruitful; but let-us briefly* consider one aspect, the problem'of time-.- The sugges-tion is as- follows': We- are: not- to conclude that, as we- conceive of time as' past, present and future, God is 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 explan-ation, seems: a- fair one, one would think this, the best, light in which to regard S. Augustine's philosophy. In the limiting of our thought processes 16. loc. cit. to time we' cannot see -but equivocally this 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 is 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 first that Spinoza- is a.determinist. A thing which is determined'for*the performance of any-thing was so determined necessarily by God, and a thing which is not determined by God cannot determine itself 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 in 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 is possible. It is best here to give Spinoza's definition of the necessary* and the contingent. Anything1 is said to be necessary* either by- reason i f its essence or its cause'. For the existence' of anything nec-essarily follows either from its' very essence or defini-tion, or from a given effecting cause. A thing is 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. 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 es-sence' 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 its ex-istence, as the- order of causes has escaped us, such a thing can seem neither necessary nor impossible to us: and there-fore we call i t either contingent or* possible. (21) Freedom', i f I t is to be found on the- human: level, will have- to be sought in reason. It is 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 is in no mind absolute or free- will, but the mind is determined for willing this or that by a cause which is determined in its 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 fac-ulty by which the mind affirms or denies what is true or false, and not the desire by which the mind takes a l i k -ing or an aversion to- anything. (6) Will is not something- distinct from the intellect but is 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 is deprived because of •mutilated and confused ideas•.'^ To act with knowledge is synonymous with acting with virtue. Man, in so far as he is determined to do anything, by the fact that he has inadequate ideas cannot absolutely be said to act from virtue, but only in so far as he is determined 2. ibid. 3". ibid*. 4. ibid. 5 . ibid. 6. ibid. 7. ibid. 8. ibid. p.26, Note I. to Prop. XXHII. p.71, Part II., Prop. XLXV. p.30, Appendix to Part Ii p.74, Prop. XLVIII. (Part II.) p.75, Note to Prop. XLVIII. p.76, Corollary to Prop. XLIX. p.76, Note. 30. by the fact that he understands. (9) And- again: To act absolutely according to virtue is 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 is useful to one-self. (10) The great point to be*brought out-with regard to freedom is 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 a l l . A man who- is guided by reason is more free in a state where he lives according to the common law than in sol-itude where he is subject to no law. (11) It is this fact that proves most valuable to us for, knowing the limita-tions 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 is, aware of the fact- that' our own personal freedom lies•in our intellects. Moreover, because of the fact that causality present in the- world is be-yond1 our influencing, i t can have nothing at a l l to do with our own per-sonal freedom. It is this point that escapes most of those who have thought of the- problem of human* freedom'. This- point we<-can' accept with-out, 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 . ibid., p.157, Prop.XXIII. 10. ibid., p.158, Prop.XXIV. 11. ibid., p.190, Prop. LXXIII., in Part IV. In so far as the inind understands a l l things as necessary i t has more power over the emotions or is 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 is clear how much a wise man is in front of and how stronger he- is than an- ignorant one-, who is guided by lust alone-. For an-ignorant man', besides, being'agitated in many ways- by external causes-, never' enjoys one- true satis-faction 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, in so far as he is considered as such, is scarcely moved in spirit: he is 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 will is 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, inde-pendently* of foreign causes determining i t ; just as physical necessity is the property that the causality of a l l irra-tional beings has of being determined to activity by the influence of foreign causes. (14) Though negative, i t leads to a positive- and fruitful conception. ...Although freedom is not a property of the will depend-ing on physical laws, yet i t is not for that reason law-less; on the contrary, i t must be a causality acting ac-cording to immutable laws, but of a peculiar kind; other-wise a free will would be an absurdity. (15) Considering the role of the categorical imperative in the moral philoso-phy of Kant we are not surprised to find that the will is a law to itself. Consider this: The will is 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. loc. err.—*-r±  16. 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 will and a will 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. Moreover, for a rational being', action requires the idea of freedom. Necessity must be brought under the form of freedom. As freedom- is determinism by the moral law, Kant repudiates the idea of freedom of indifference. Free-dom' consists in that ...the conscious subject should determine itself in view of its own universal nature alone, and not by the part-icular-passions of their objects. (19) A self determined by no motives can have no will. 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 spatio-temporal order by an act of will, 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 inde-terminism 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 is right, there is no justification for 17. ibid., p.302. 18-. ibid., p.335. 19. Caird, Edward, The critical philosophy of Kant, Glasgow, James Maclehouse & Sons, 1889; p.265. 33. his-making any statement as to- the probability of future volitions. Thus, (20) there can be no grounds for prediction. This criticism seems to this writer to be warranted, and can be levelled at a l l theories of indetermin-ism. For the very basis of indeterminism is that prediction is not pos-sible; and i f impossible on the material level, how much more impossible on the human levelJ C. John Stuart Mill The best discussion Mill puts forward is 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 accept1 the idea and 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 be-cause 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 foretell his conduct with as much certainty as we can predict any physical event. (22) This is, and perhaps will always remain a big IF, for that is precisely 20. McTaggart, John, M.E., Some dogmas of religion; London, Edward Arnold, 1906; pp.177-182. 21. Mill, John Stuart, A system of logic, London, Longmans, Green, Reader & Dyer, 1868; Vol. II, p.417. 22. Mill, op. cit., p.418. 34. what psychologists are attempting to do, and, i t may be added, with l i t t l e success. Character is 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 is 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 re-morse and1 censure or punishment, at the same time attacking the 'remorse' part of' i t as'being undesirable. Now • as-"a* -choice' is, in this sense, free, he warns, we* may not count character again as- determining-' that choice. To continue: Religious'metaphysicians hold freedom of the will 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 is not the case that necessity is the doctrine that vol-itions 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. Mill thinks- the term 'necessity* is inappropriate as i t implies not only uniformity of'-sequence but also irresistibleness., Again, the doctrine of necessity is far removed from fatalism' (as*was shewn' above), but i t is probably the case that most nec-essarians-are* fatalists in their feelings. It is commonly believed that character is not formed by_ a person but for him, (and this seems very true, 23. Carritt, E.F., The theory of morals, Oxford, University Press, 1928, p. 129. 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: lies 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 is completely free. (24) This interpretation' of' freedom is very important, for i f i t is 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- is well expressed by Lotze: Does not the universal Law of Causality, that every effect will have-a sufficient cause', finally bar1 the way against any doctrine of freedom, and inexorably convert the con-nection of the universe into an endless chain of blind effects? (25') The fallacy, he states, lies 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 actual-ly must in the finite 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 are1 able- to attach- some significance' to-freedom, for we, in exercising volition, are able to add to the causal pattern our-own person-, alities, thus making it.evident that part of ourselves is in the situation. 24. Mill, p.423. 25. Lotze, op. cit., p.259. 26. ibidem, p.260. 36. That effects'follow remorselessly upon'this does not vitally impair free-dom. 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 is a tendency among some philosophers to deny freedom. Such a one is Spencer'who says that* a l l the-freedom5 that'we can have is merely a •seeming- freedom*. For him the real proposition involved in the dogma of free will is that* *everyone is at liberty to desire or not*. This is 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 will, is to say that he determines the cohesions of the psychical states which arouse- the ac-tion; and as these psychical states constitute himself at the moment, this is to say that these psychical states de-termine their own cohesions, which is absurd-. {28') If these so-called psychical states, were al l that constituted the individ-ual 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 ful l personality, nor yet the multitude of other; forces playing upon a person. •Psychical states' iB a misleading phrase. Does-it mean* only the present content of1 consciousness, or does it 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 is the mind to be reduced to nothing but a group of 'psychical' states'*? While this is 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' is 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 will is to be found in the philosophy of Green. To commence with, he states this proposition: In .willing man is his'own object, therefore the will 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 over-coming-the law of his own'being nor-yet by getting the better of necess-ity, but by actually making' the fulfilment of necessity and-the law of his being the object of his-will, as was- shewn by Hegel. To this he opposes objections-. In the first place, freedom can be used metaphorically. Sec-ondly, we find in S. Paul- the conception of freedom from law as an extern-al command. Thirdly, one may be free because he is conscious of himself as being' the author- of* the law he obeys. We cannot-really talk about a general freedom/for i t is really only with regard to individuals that we: can speak' of freedom. In this Hegelian idea- we- cannot validly infer self-determination>or 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 lies an undetermined or an unmot-ivated will. But an unmotivated will is a will without an object, which- is nothing. (30) The way-out" of this difficulty is as follows: There-is no answer to the question-'whether a man is free to will', because1 i t is asked in inappro-priate terms, that is:, the fact of there being an agency behind the will to determine5 i t . There can be no real determination of the will by reason unless both reason and will are operating in one and the same person. (31) In other words, the possibility of the determining of a person's will by a-superior-power is excluded. This I am inclined to agree with, for even in the case of, for example, the will 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 responsibil-ity for his actions arising from such an enforcing.. What is valuable in Green-'s thought is this-, that a person's will cannot-be enforced or de-termined by an outsider's reason, save only by the intervention of the in-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 is 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 is found in both the most' instinctive' and' the most deliberate or selfconscious region of ra-tional experience-. The'Libertarian:, argument is that the; person is 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 is 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 Respons-ibi l i t y is not the Freedom that is only manifested or realized^ in- rational action, but the Freedom to choose be-tween right and wrong which is manifested or realized equally in either choice. (33) Voluntary actions-are'conscious actions', and-a person is held culpable - for these actions in varying-degrees- as- they are deliberate or impulsive, and as regards'their intention,-no-man being held morally culp-able 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. Sidgwick, Henry, The methods of ethics, London, Macmillan and Co., 1907, p.59. 33. ibid, p\58. 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 deter-mined-by precedent states. Physical causality rules in the case of actions originating- unconsciously, and i t becomes increasingly difficult to dis-tinguish 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 is reasonable to assert' that a l l actions may origin-ate unconsciously. 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 is morally bound to do- only what is 'in his power' to do) is '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 will 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 conception1 of" Freedom; (35) Thus the Libertarian-looks at Determinism. However,•says Sidgwick, i t is rarely the case that one is certain that one's deliberate choice is un-wise. 34'. ibid., p.62. 35. ibid., p.67. All 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 alterna-tives. 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 in the former case. From a utilitarian 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 of retributive-punishment, since the-desire to en-courage good and discourage bad conduct will take the place of the desire to requite to one or the-- other. There are some objections to Sidgwick's argument. In the fi r s t place, given an inevitable action following upon a precedent set of cir-cumstances, how is i t possible for an individual to alter his action even with the benefit of corrective- punishment? Or is i t the* case- that the punishment will alter the circumstances for future action? If this latter is the case-, then are we not faced with the problem of the will of one being brought to bear to influence the actions of another? Perhaps we are merely, by means of punishment, altering in some measure- the habits formed by the wrong-doer. We must, then, admit of our ability to change circum-stances. Again, is 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. Sidgwick's arguments for determinism are not at a l l convinc-ing. They seem to stem from a consideration of physical causality alone. 4 2 . From a view of sheer efficient causality is i t possible to avoid a dual-ism? The explanation might prove satisfactory- to a behaviorist, but how is i t possible for rationality, right and wrong, to have any real signif-icance? 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 final causes. With regard to free will, the important thing to consider, ac-cording to Sidgwick, is the question of the alteration of one's tendenc-ies- to future actions. Even a resolution to do a particular act --• i f i t is 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 tenden-cies to act in a certain way on a foreseen future oc-casion. (36) It is commonly thought that, by a powerful exertion of free will, i t is possible to alter our habits, even' when the change is made for the fut-ure. However, the future act is not in one's power in the same sense as a 'present choice of alternatives. This is inconsistent with the doctrine for "if a present volition fully determines- a future action, when the time comes to perform that action, one is 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 first act of freedom-, i f we- really are free, is to affirm i t . There are two things to remember; fi r s t , in theorizing 36. 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 is 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 is only necessity understood, and bondage to the highest is identical with' true freedom. ( 3 7 ) Determinism and indeterminism have one thing in common, that i s , that vol-itions do occur. Indeterminism implies that another'volition could have taken place; determinism, that nothing else could have occured in its place. What divides us into possibility men and anti-possib-i l i t y men is different faiths or postulates — postu-lates of rationality. ( 3 8 - j While- the determinist talks of alternative- possibilities he has an anti-pathy towards chance, meaning by chance that a thing might f a l l out otherwise. Determinism leads either to subjectivism (a form of romantic-ism) or to pessimism; but the only deterministic escape from pessimism is every-where to abandon the judgment of regret. ( 3 9 ) And this abandonment of-regret will alter the feelings aroused by deter-minism which lead to subjectivism or pessimism, either of which alterna-tives 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 3 7 . James, William, The will to believe; London, Longmans Green, 1912; p.149. 3 8 . ibid. p.152. 3 9 . 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 is the only chance we have any motive for supposing to exist. (40) It is, then*, a form of pluralism. Further, James points out, belief in chance and free will is not at a l l incompatible with belief in Providence, ...provided you do not restrict Providence to fulmin-ating* 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 be-fore he- actually creates i t . Suppose him to say, I will lead things to a certain end, but I will not now decide on a l l the steps thereto. At various-points, ambiguous possibilities shall be left 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 is, 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 is 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. 4 5 . are three conditions for responsibility:- (a) The deed must issue from my will; (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 is: is free will 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 will does not square-with the popular views on the subject since- anyone* is as likely to commit a crime as not. However, he gives no proof that this is 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 is the varied*backgrounds, moral or other-wise, of people, and these- backgrounds do determine a person in any part-icular situation*; Thus-, as we see from* our experience, certain people are prone to crime1 while others appear to be totally incapable of i t . To return to Bradley.' He requires a strict interpretation of freedom, i.e., that* no* action* can be predicted. But i t is the case that the ordinary man believes that some actions can-be predicted'. Complete prediction would lead man to doubt his responsibility, at the same time he does not- object'to predictions issuing from his character. I would suggest that there is 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 will), respons-4 3 . 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. 4 6 . i b i l i t y is sheer*nonsense. J . John M. E. McTaggart McTaggart*begins his argument by distinguishing four senses in which freedom is understood: (1) One is free*to do- anything which noth-ing but his own nature prevents him from doing. This is the freedom of self-determination. (20 One is free to do anything which-nothing but his own- will prevents him- from doing'. This is 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 is the Platonic doctrine of the virtuous- (the wise) as free. This is the freedom of self-realization. (4) One is free in any action- i f his choice of that action is not com-pletely determined. This- is freedom of- indetei-mination-, or free-will. Only the-volition is undetermined, but the voluntary act is determined. The indeterminist arguments are as-follows: (1) One has immed-iate'certainty-of' the proposition that my will is free. Against this no argument will prevail. (2) That each volition- is accompanied by a feeling of freedom- in the act of' willing presumes that' the mill is free. McTag-gart thinks we have this feeling because- i n such cases we are really free, but there is no need to accept freedom in the sense of indeterajiination. This sense of freedom ...is. quite accounted for. by the fact that the action is 4 4 . McTaggart, John M.E.; Some dogmas of religion, London, Edward Arnold, 1906; p. 141. 4 5 . ibid., p.142. determined by the will, and that there is no need to hold that the determining volition'is itself undetermined. (46) (3) ) That we recognize' volitions as right or wrong involves a judgment of moral obligation, therefore, i t is necessary to suppose the- will is 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 de-terminist'. This argument is 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 differ-ence to the question of the effect of my will on the re-sult' contemplated-. (47) (4) Falsity of freedom would make- a l l choice absurd; and (5) The dis-astrous consequences which would follow i f i t were not true. These last are answered thusly: Choice' is not absurd at a l l . Determination has noth-ing' to do with fatalism' or pre-ordination. (This we have mentioned in Chapter Two.) As for the' fatalist, He is a- determinist because he believes that, while the event may well be determined by his choice, his choice is in turn completely determined. (48) That choice'is determined does not make choice unreasonable. One's choice has some effect on the event. But we must not confuse this with the belief that the choice'is-impotent to affect the result. In addition, the deter-minist is more likely to pity the wrong-doer than the- indeterminist i s . It is to be noted that approval or disapproval of a volition is 46. ibid., p.148. 4 7 . ibid., p.153. 48. ibid., p.170. 48. not lessened because' i t i s completely determined. Its characteristics are: (0.) the supreme" value- of right volition affirmed 1 by judgment of obligation; (2) the sense-of moral responsibility following those-judgments. Now, the moral quality of an act does not change with complete determinism or incom-plete determinism. McTaggart distinguishes'three types of responsibility. F i r s t , the-responsibility to men, that'is, man is-responsible for defects of w i l l and their results-. One-says-•'it is reasonable for them to punish me'; thus deterrent'punishment i s sanctioned. Second", the responsibility to God. If actions are determined-, i s i t right- for* God to: punish man? If God i s omnipotent1 He cannot punish either the determinist or the- indeterminist because He can choose-to give or1 not give free-will. Therefore, we are not responsible to an omnipotent God", and-, therefore, God cannot be good. A non-omnipotent God could be good. He might create e v i l , not only allow i t . Finally, there i s responsibility to self. And this comes about because of the feelings 1 of shame1 that are-1 aroused; The- important- point in McTaggart's argument for' determinism i s that & determined- choice does not really negate1 choice at a l l . With re-gard to the freedom' of indetermination, or the popular' conception of free-w i l l , we may reject i t as not being workable since' i t is' impossible to shew that a vo l i t i o n i s undetermined, always keeping i n mind the- criterion of Aristotle that volition 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 in the purely psychological;;-feelings which' we may have about i t . McTag-gart's arguments for 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 is pos-sible, not only that but that causation is not reversable.^ 4 9^ There are other limitations to freedom. For- example, duty restricts freedom, but duty may be disobeyed. "A harrow freedom usually attends wide vision".^) This is so in the case* of' the experienced painter; there- is one only pos-sible 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 is restricted in the choice he has to make-. In fact-, he really has no choice. Palmer likens the element of choice to a train on a track. 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. The irreversibility of the sequence is again to be noted. It is determinism in its strictest sense. Once the train has passed the switch i t is on its way to a determined goal, and 49.' 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 is an irradicable tainting of the personality. (2) There arises an inextinguishable desire in the good self — in the bad self also. (3) There is "the-dawning recognition that the self is 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) 50. Palmer, op. cit., p.164. perhaps one totally different from the- other alternative track. In the common-sense view of' libertarian-ism we- are immediately con-scious- of ourselves as creatively active, that i s , free; in Kantian terms Freedom, therefore, the ability to accept or reject among compared alternatives, is involved as a postulate in the structure of the human1 mind. (51) Kant's Categorical Imperative'assumes an 'ought', and as such, implies freedom'on the-part*of the individual to choose. But, continues Palmer, we» are not aware-* of' any obligation in 1 choice. One wishes to ask if this is quite-right. 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 is none or l i t t l e moral sig-nificance' attached'' to the choice? Very often we1 are faced' with alterna-tives* at which an important moral principle is at stake. Is that not sig-nificantly a 'choice' situation, despite the fact that we- may feel ob-liged 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 is 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 is the fact. (53) 51v ibid., p.57. 52. ibid., p.64. 53. ibid., p.82. 51. Actually, he says, for the Libertarian-, responsibility 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 responsibility." The determ-inist's- basis for'responsibility; rests upon the continuity of past forces. But, he concludes, this continuity, while i t i s necessary, i s not suffic-ient. L. Benedetto Croce Croce's theory of freedom is set forth very well by Gertrude (55) Bussey.* ' Volition, for Croce-, i s essentially free. To deny freedom is to deny sp i r i t u a l i t y , for him, the only r e a l i t y . There are two types of freedom: (1) freedom of creative activity, and (2) freedom of self determination. Volition is a continually changing activity and there i s no division into inner intention or external expression of inner intention. The-will i s always effective-, i n one sense-, but never completely success-f u l since the outcome of an action i s never- precisely what was willed since i t i s due to many-other w i l l s . Moreover, real intentions are never abstract. Freedom, intention, and action stand, in the end, for the same reality. Volition, for Croce, i s self-determined' in 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) Volition i s bound by no law or principle which in any sense transcends- i t s own activ-i t y . Will is' not arbitrary but definite and specific, therefore necess-ary. We may distinguish two acts: an act of creative w i l l , and the act -5%.-- ibid., p.199. 55. Bussey, Gertrude C., Croce's theory of freedom, in 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 is the necessary theoretic condition of volition. (56) One's willing an' action- is 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*. Evil is negative, or^that which is not willed. Concrete voli-tion has two forms: (1) The will of the individual, or economic activity; {2) The will of the'universal, or moral activity. One never wills a dis-interested action. It seems- to Croce that determinism and indeterminism are erroneous and one-sided accounts of volition because in any situation there is only one volition, and this volition is both free and necessita-tive. A defect in knowledge leads to a defect in will (the Platonic teaching). For Croce, there- is always a defect in perceptual judgment; for Bosanquet, there is no limitation involved. Volition insures neither good nor happiness, thinks Bosanquet, and, unlike Croce, he believes that no finite 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 its 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 is 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. s s . CHAPTER 4 INDETERMINISM AND INDETERMINACY It is important that we investigate indeterminism and indetermin-acy 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 indeterm-inism 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 is 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 is 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 is 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". We are- nevertheless, he adds, s t i l l faced with two questions: (1) whether voluntary decisions are or are not completely determined, and (2) whether they do or do not themselves deter-mine 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 fruitful. De-terminism is not disproved", but science, is no longer based upon i t . The essential point is that, i f determinism is to have any definable meaning, the domain- of deterministic law must be a closed system; that is to say, a l l data used in pre-dicting 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 over-throw i t . The' scientific doctrine of determinism i s ...not that there exist occasional exceptions to deter-ministic law, but that every phenomenon is 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 is a crucial step in the deliverance of the mind-, quite apart from-the-problem of free wi l l . If physical systems were determinate i t would not be pos-sible 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 its 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. 5 5 . in order to be fruitful, 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 f the metaphysician*-. It is 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 princ-iple-of indeterminacy-, as Jeans points out, our knowledge of the electron is as indeterminate as the electron itself. 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 is completely deter-ministic, 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 in question. There is determinism, but a determinism of a very trivial kind-Just because the wave-mechanics deals- only with probabili-ties and statistical assemblies, its 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 inde-terminism. 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 indeter-minacy, taking as example- David' Miller and the Calendar Theory of Freedom. Miller sees two types of freedom: (1) The Christian, where a free agent is a moral 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. That is, man is determined only by past and external forces. 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, is 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 log-ical 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 its results (ideas) is integrated with the entire act of which i t is 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 is 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 is this rightly an- explanation in terms of the inde-terminacy 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 is not refer-red 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 is 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 respons-ib i l i t y an unwarranted credulity. Eddington himself admits that he does not think that responsibility is a- self-contradictory illusion. ...To me i t seems that responsibility is one of the funda-mental facts of our- nature. ( 1 0 ) He will not step out of his sphere as a physicist to proclaim' on a doc-trine, 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 is 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 phys-ical sciences. 1 0 . 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. In the past, he shews, the strongest ally of determinism was physics-. 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 is the discovery of causal laws, yet, points out Russell, causal laws do not involve complete determinism. Here is the hypothesis of determinism: There are discoverable causal laws such that, given suf-ficient (but not superhuman) powers of calculation, a man who knows a l l that is 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 is 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 re-levant 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 Butter-worth Ltd. , 1935; p.151. 12. ibid., p.153. Unfortunately, continues Russell, the physical laws governing bodies may be merely statistical, for we a l l know that physics knows of no laws governing the behavior of individual atoms. The case for deter-minism* seems to break down, Russell goes on to present the determinist's answer to his argument*. The f i r s t is 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 is : . . . 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 is always statistical in nature, that is, i t is of averages, never of the individual. Hence, we wish to point out; It is not the duty of physics to- describe the, individ-ual atom, nor would i t prove anything i f i t could, for ability to pre-dict 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 will is not disproved, but i t is highly probable that i f uncaused volitions do occur, they are very rare. 13. ibid., p.157. ...The wish is 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 eith-er 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 im-potent. Power consists in being able to have intended effects, and this is neither increased nor diminished by the discovery of causes of' our intentions. (15) It is this last point that this writer wishes to emphasize,. Our voli-tions may have- causes, but the< fact' of their ; having' causes does not in any way lessen our freedom, since1, in the overwhelming majority of cases, we'are certainly oblivious of these causes; nor would our knowledge of such causes lessen the assurance that any decision we made would be as-suredly " 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 will are metaphysical concepts and go beyond what is 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 find out what- light he is able to shine upon our pro-blem'. It is the Thomistic position 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 is a valid conclusion. But note- that the end' of p h i l -osophy i s the better understanding of the Final cause- or the 'primum mobile' which is properly speaking the subject matter of Theology. Nevertheless, i t must be notedr that Saint Thomas did not attempt to construct his 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 this since, i f one i s to have an apologetic for Christian-'doctrine, one had better take the best to hand; and i t is Saint Thomas who- above- every other thinker'has completed a thorough and search-ing synthesis of Theology and philosophy. This chapter- may have a decided theological tinge. That i s unavoidable and no .apology i s made since we are convinced that no compartamentalisation can be made of knowledge for theology, morals and philosophy are a l l working to the same end, for what i s true i n one science cannot be false in another. The writings of Saint Thomas.' are so vast that i t w i l l be impos-sible to cover everything. Rather, the- conclusions relative to this pro-blem w i l l be presented as b r i e f l y as possible, and we trust that this 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 will, and God, being the Supreme Intel-lect, possesses will in its highest form*. Moreover: ...If natural things, in so far as they are perfect, com-municate their good to others, much more does i t pertain to the- divine will to communicate by likeness its 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 it befits the divine goodness that other things should be partakers- therein. (1) The ideas herein expressed are basic to Catholic philosophy*, more partic-ularly, God as the end of the universe and a l l created things. Now God wills some things of necessity (and necessity is understood here in the definition given by Aristotle and quoted above). For example, the good; for God, being good, cannot will evil. ...For the divine will has a necessary relation to the divine goodness, since that is its 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 will is 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 is His own intellect, effects pre-exist in Him after the mode of in t e l l e c t , and therefore proceed fronr Him after the same mode. Consequently, they proceed from- Him after the mode of w i l l , for His i n -clination to put in act what His intellect 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, for there i s nothing greater than the w i l l of God. Note that,' in God, ...to w i l l an end i s not the cause- of His willing the means; yet- He wills the ordering of the means to the end. Therefore He wills this 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 willed. . . . A l l good things that exist God wills to be. If there-fore His w i l l imposes necessity on the things willed, i t follows that a l l good happens of necessity;... (and here i s a point which w i l l be expanded later) ...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 pre-destination. First providence: It 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 or-dained to His own end. Now providence i s just this: the very exemplar of the order of things- to an end. Moreover, a l l things, inasmuch as they participate being, are to that extent subject to divine providence. Further, as some things are, by nature, contingent, divine providence 3Y ibid., a. 4, c. 4. ibid., a. 5, c. 5 . ibid., a. 8, sed contra. 64. does not impose any necessity on those things to destroy that conting-ency. ^  Aa stated- i n the Summa contra^gentiles: Since-, therefore, i t is* evident that some causes are con-tingent, seeing that they can be.hindered from producing their effects, i t i s clearly inconsistent with providence that a l l things should happen of necessity. ( 7 ) The reason for this 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, for generation and; corruption- are- parts- of change. If contingency were removed, men would-no longer be free- to act well or i l l ; thus there would be no justice in reward- or punishment. It i s definitely against the nature of provid-ence to deprive the w i l l of liberty". ( 8 ) Second, predestination: This i s one-of the more d i f f i c u l t parts of Thomism. God directs- things to. a twofold end: eternal l i f e , or the vision of God above the nature- of a l l creatures; and an end propor-tionate to created nature, attained' by created being according to the power of i t s nature. Lacking the: power* to attain an end- by the power of its. own* nature the creature must be- directed by another, and the example of this direction-pre-exists i n God. There i s , in other words, a pre- . existence' of the thing- to be- done in the mind of the doer; •..Hence the exemplar of the aforesaid direction of a rational 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 gentiles, Bk. I l l , Chap.71. 8 1. i bid., chap. 7 2 . 9 . Sum. theol., q. 2 3 , a. 1 , c. 65. •••Predestination i s the foreknowledge of God's benefits. (De Dono Persev., XIV.) But foreknowledge is not in the things foreknown, but in the person who foreknows them. Therefore, predestination i s in the one who predestines, and not in the predestined. (10) This may be seen to be dissimilar from the- Calvanistic, where the pre-destination is i n the- individual. Providence permits certain defects in man so- that there i s a f a l l i n g away of certain men from the end of man. This f a l l i n g away is called 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 sin, and to impose the punishment of damnation because of that sin. (11) Now both the operation of grace and what follows from free choice are ef-fects of predestination, so i t would appear to be obvious that there i s no limiting of free- choice by predestination. Perhaps this one further quotation-will clear*up the problem for purposes of this essay. ...Predestination achieves i t s effect most certainly 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 effect 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; for some things happen from contingency, according to the disposition of the.proximate causes which divine providence has ordained* for such effects. 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 effect of predestination has i t s contingency, i s not destroyed. (IE*) A note on*fortune and chance i s appropriate at this point. Fortune and chance are said of those things which happen seldom. It would be against* the- nature of providence i f nothing happened fortuit-ously. Chance may be said of some agent which i s acting for the sake of 1 0 . ibid., a. 2, sed contra. 1 1 . ibid., a. 3, c. 1 2 . ibid., a. 6, c. some end and fails to attain that end. These chance occurrences are due to the concurrence of two or more causes, that is, 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 will to them. Perfect voluntary belongs to man since he alone, of a l l the ani-mals, 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-will-ing. In other words, we can have- the voluntary without the act.^*) Now follows a section very important and central to responsibility: We 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 is 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, al-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 will, namely, in order that i t be in one's power to consider, to will and to act. (16) There is something further to note, that is, that no violence 13. Summa contra gentiles, Bk III, chap.74. 14. Sum. theol., I-II, q.6, a. 1, 2, & 3. 15'. ibid., a. 3, c. (italics ours) 16. ibid., a. 3, reply to obj. 3. can be done to the w i l l . Any exterior forcing, for example, dragging a man, as we say, "against his w i l l " , does not admit of consent of the w i l l . While the man's members-may consent through infirmity, his w i l l cannot. Even God, though he i s able to move the w i l l of man, cannot use compul-sion. What an act of w i l l i s i s nothing other than an inclination pro-ceeding .from an interior knowing principle. Violence from* any extrinsic (or exterior) principle would result only in involuntariness. Nor does fear cause* the- involuntary absolutely; for whatever may be done through fear actually becomes the.voluntary in attempting to avoid the e v i l feared. U?) Ignorance may cause involuntariness. But Saint Thomas dis-closes three types of ignorance: F i r s t , there i s concomitant ignorance, when there- is ignorance of what i s done, but the knowledge of i t would not alter 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 for sin), or ignorance of neglect (ignorance of e v i l choice). Neither of these two types i s involuntary absolutely. The third type i s ...antecedent to the act of the w i l l when i t i s not vol-untary and yet i s the cause of man's willing what he would not w i l l otherwise. (18) This is involuntary absolutely. One always wills what one. apprehends as good, despite the fact that what one apprehends as good, through some de-fect in-knowledge, may actually be an e v i l . ...Therefore, the actual desire of good i s called w i l l • (volition), meaning thereby the act of the w i l l . ( 1 9 ) 1 7 . i b i d . , a. 4 , 5 , & 6 . 1 8 . ibid., a. 8, c. 1 9 . Sum. theol., I-II, q. 8, a. 1 , reply to obj. 1 . 68. Volition is, properly, of the end itself, 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 will, but such is not the case. Necessity of coercion is re-pugnant' to the will. However, there is a necessity of the end which is not repugnant to the will. Saint Thomas gives the' example of one who wills to cross the sea. From- this arises- in the will the- necessity to de-sire-a ship. This is a matter-of' utility or natural necessity which can by no means be= repugnant. The will of necessity adheres- to the last end which is happiness. We must note here that the- will extends to opposites since i t is through the will that we do good or evil, so there is no nec-essity in a l l desires.(20) What is i t then which moves the will? Omitting the discussion of the type'of movement involved, let us take Aquinas'* conclusion that i t is the intellect which moves the will. For-it is the intellect which presents to the'will the various alternatives' of action. It is the intel-lectual faculty which weighs-evidence and draws conclusions. But i t is not the speculative- intellect which moves but the'practical intellect. It will be seen, then, that there is no necessity in'the moving of the intel-lect. It is the intellect which presents to the will its object. Again, it is a fact that man does evil. For- example, he- may be drawn away from his- object by his concupiscence; but this concupiscence is part of the sensitive appetite of the' soul; therefore the sensitive appetite may move the intellect, and the- intellect in turn move the will. ...Hence both the irascible and concupiscible parts can move counter to the will, and, accordingly, nothing hinders 2 0 . Sum, theol., I, q. 82, a. 1 & 2. the will from being moved by them'at times-. (81) The will, as i t has a volition of a particular end, through that volition moves itself to will the means. It will be seen that the will may- be moved by an exterior princ-iple-; for i t is moved by the object of its own willing, which object is exterior- to itself. One may will something new, but one could not do this without the aid of counsel; or to express i t otherwise, one is given ad-vice- which causes one to alter an end, that is, will something different. ...It is-of the nature of the voluntary act that its principle be- within the agent; but i t is 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, its first principle is from the outside. (22) Saint Thomas concludes^ from- this that there is a need for - a prime mover. This idea is central to Aristotle's teaching; and the prime mover becomes, in Thomistic philosophy, God. It is then God, and God alone Who is the cause of the will, as he says: ...nothing else can be the cause of the will, except God himself, Who is the universal good, while every other good1 is good by participation, and is some part-icular good; and a particular cause does not give a universal inclination. (23) And i t is desirable at this point to remember that the will can will only good, or a- supposed good. The manner of the will's moving is as follows: It can be moved naturally, for i t follows the act of the intellect. Thus 21. Sum. theol., I-II, q.. 9, a. 2, c. 22. ibid., a. 4, reply to obj. 1. 23. ibid., a. 6, c. 70. ...man wills naturally not only the object of the will, 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 in the object of the will as so many particular goods. (24) Moreover, we have noted that the will is not moved necessarily, with the exception of willing of uti l i t y and, more important, willing the last end, which is happiness, God, the good.. Nor does God move of necessity man's will; since He created man with a free wi l l . Closely bound up with volition is the matter of intention. Intention signifies "to tend to something" and i t belongs principally to that which moves to the end. The will, however, moves a l l other powers of the soul to the end; i t follows, therefore, that intention is an act of the will. Intentions are not of the last end' only, for we can see that i f that were the case men would not differ in their intentions, since the last end is 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 is possible for a man to have more than, one intention at the same time.(25) f j 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 is an object do come under the same act), ...but when i t assents to the conclusion beeause of the principles, there is 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. 7 1 . 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 will; for this reason, that choice is 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 is therefore not posessed by i r -rational animals. (27) Now we have seen that volition is of the end (we will some» endv), but choice does not seem to be' of the end — 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 re-gard 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 i t . 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 2 7 . Sum. theol., I-II, q. 13, a. 1 & 2. 2 8 . ibid., a. 3, c. 72. only of possible things.. (29) Finally, we must see whether choice is necessary or free. Here we must note that what is 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 is not of the end, but of the means...it is 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 is a type of enquiry. The reasondoes not pronounce judgment without previous enquiry, and this en-quiry to decide what is to be chosen is called counsel. This counsel can-not be of the end, but is rather of the means, and is, properly speaking, about things done by us.( 3 1) 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 evil. ...Just as- evil is.more comprehensive than sin, so is sin more comprehensive than guilt (culpa). For an act is said to deserve praise or blame (culpabilis) from its 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, evil, 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 is in the power of the will; that i t is right or sinful according as i t is ordered to the end; and that its merit or demerit depends on the recompense for justice or injustice to-wards- 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 evil 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 is necessary. In concluding this exposition of the Thomistic position, let 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 is not able to deliberate about an ac-tion. Man, however-, in contingent matters may follow opposite courses because of the judgment of reason, and is 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 will and to 33. Sum. theol., I-II, q. 21, a. 2, c. 34. ibid., a. 3, c. 35. Sum. theol., I, q. 83, a. 1. 74. elect, will 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 — always keeping in mind that we can will only what is pos-sible — is the act of willing. Finally, we are aware that counsels, exhortations, commands, and so forth can a l l influence our actions. If the will were not free, these would a l l be in vain: but such is 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 is 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 pre-sent state of our knowledge. We are very limited in our ways of knowing; in fact, our ignorance is nothing short of phenomenal. We are so bound by the senses that, in this l i f e at least, i t is doubtful that our know-ledge will ever be more greatly enlarged. We had better confess our human frailty on this point, and admit that i t is 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 — we cannot really prove that such a contradiction exists. 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 is really nothing more than saying we do not know the causes; or, what determined this thing to be we do not know. Human reason is just perverse enough to search for the cause of an "uncaused" event. This is 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 is concerned. In a rigid 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 in order to take his soup; the immediate end is 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 is in company, the oppression of custom being: what i t is, and' he himself being wholly attuned to the social graces, the choice of picking up the bowl of soup and drinking i t is not a real one. He is forced to use a spoon, but which one? 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 is another problem. If he is an ordinary person he will not delib-erate long about i t . He will choose one or the other, but the reason for his- choosing the one he does will 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 is 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 in either case, viz., the eating of the soup. Such an insignificant choice carries with it no moral undertones. Many of our choices are like that. If, 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). If, however, our man knew that one spoon was poisoned but not which one, he would deliberate more care-fully — 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 first 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 is not the case. He has a significant'choice, even though, in this particular case, his choice is determined — o r better, we can see that i t is determined; i.e. he will 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 is that, despite the fact that the choice is determined, there is a choice to be made. Censure falls 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 is imperfectly aware of the end he is pitied. The greatest censure-falls upon the-person who wills evil and through his action does evil. Such a person is respons-ible for his action, as is clear from what Saint Thomas has said about the 77. matter', and the objection that he could not have done otherwise because of his social back-ground i s not a valid one. We are inclined today to take a'more c l i n i c a l attitude towards the criminal, seeking to re-train him-in socially acceptable modes of behavior. That i s commendable, but there is no reason why that should lead to the sentimentalizing of the criminal. The criminal i s s t i l l punished whether we l e t him rot in prison or put him into an institution which w i l l effect his re-educa-tion, for- i n either case his liberty i s taken from him; The laws exist as a tribute- to the fact that man has responsibility for his actions. Whether or not" he were responsible we would incarcerate him. Those persons we> judge not responsible for their actions we place in mental hospital. The fact remains-that the psychotic and the habitual criminal are both mentally i l l , and society owes both the duty of curing them. The difference between the two resides in the fact that the insane per-son does not act- as a rational being', whereas- the criminal does act rationally but his intellect has become-warped, and what he wills i s only an' apparent good (to him) and not an actual good; The fact re-mains that, where1 a person sees the consequences of an act, he is re-sponsible for his act. Where re-education i s necessary i t must be done. If the malefactor w i l l not purify his w i l l he must suffer. This has been a- rather cursory presentation of the problem of moral responsibility 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 responsibility presented by a few of the important philosophers; and we have indicated the philosophy which we are convinced best replies to the d i f f i c u l t i e s , f u l l y aware that the last word has not been written on this problem. B I B L I O G R A P H Y Aristotle: The basic works of Aristotle; edited by Richard McKeon. Random House, New York, 1941. Bradley, F.H.: Ethical studies. The Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1927. Caird, Edward: The critical philosophy of Kant. James Maclehouse & Sons, Glasgow, 1889. 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. The Riverside Press, Cambridge, 1933. Eddington, Sir Arthur: New pathways in science. The University Press, Cambridge, 1935. Green, Thomas H i l l : Philosophical works, Vol. II. Longmans, Green, London, 1886. James, William: The will to believe. Longmans, Green, London, 1912. Jeans, Sir James: The new background of science. The University Press', Cambridge, 1947. Kant, Emmanuel: Kant selections, edited by Theodore Meyer Greene. Charles Scribner's Sons, New* York, 1929. Lodge, R.C: Plato's theory of ethics. Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner and Co., London, 1928. Lotze, Herman: Microcosmus, translated by E. Hamilton and E.E.C. Jones. T. and T. Clark, Edinburgh, 1888. McTaggart, John, M.E.: Some dogmas of religion. Edward Arnold, London, 1906-. Mill, 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. Houghton Mifflin, Cambridge, Mass., 1911. 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. MacMillan and Co., Ltd., London, 1930. Smith, A.H.: Kantian studies. The Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1947. Spencer, Herbert: The principles of psychology. D. Appleton and Co., New York, 1888. Spinoza, Baruch: Ethics, translated by A. Boyle. J.M. Dent and Sons, Ltd., London, 1910. 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: Croce's theory of freedom; Vol. XXXIX, 1930, pp.1-16. 


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