Freedom And Human Will In John Locke's Free Will

823 Words4 Pages
According to John Locke, it is not the Will of a human being that makes him or her free. The Will is simply a faculty of freedom, insofar as a person who expresses Free Will is simply acting freely in accordance with his or her desires. For Locke, It is the person who is free; he proclaims that “free will” is a misleading phrase, whereby “freedom” and the human “will” are two separate categories which must be clearly defined in order to be properly accounted for. A Person who is free may do what he or she wills. Freedom, for Locke, consists in a person’s power or ability to act or not act on his or her will. He states in his essay, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, that “a man in respect of willing, or the act of volition, when any action in his power is once proposed to his thoughts...cannot be free” (§23). That is, a man is not at liberty to decide whether or not to will. For instance, if he is presented with a thought, which leads to the willing of an action or nonaction (that is in his power) in accordance with that thought, he cannot will the existence or nonexistence of that action, he may only prefer one or the other--and he must necessarily do so--“it is absolutely necessary that he will one or the other” (§23). In sections 31 and 32, Locke equates the qualities of pleasure and pain to easiness and uneasiness. Easiness constitutes feelings of joy or delight, whereas uneasiness is the absence of anything that a person would draw pleasure from. Locke goes on

More about Freedom And Human Will In John Locke's Free Will

Open Document