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Having now shewed ye unsatisfactorynesse of ye vulgar Doctrine concerning L: A: or Freewill wch makes ye Essence of it to consist in nothing but indifferency to act or not act wch is commonly called Liberty of Contradiccion & indifferency to doe this or yt Good or Evill yt is called Liberty of Contrariety & yt ^\so yt this Indifferēcy still remaines/ after all thinges are put wch a|we|re requisite to accon, & not withstanding all Motives & engagemts to determine one way rather than another yt ye Will continu{eth}|ing| still Ꝑfectly ^\thus/ indiffert ill yt very momt in wch it hath detemined|th| it selfe; wch is all one as to place Freewill in an infinite Contingency &fortuitousnesse of acting wch these Philosophers also make to be ye greatest Ꝑfection of any Being. Wee shall proceed in ye ^\next/ place to give a more satisfactory & intelligible acct of this {natul} Power or Faculty called Freewill.

First therfore it is plain yt Freewilled Beings are such things as are not wholly passive to ^\other/ Agents without them & mocons &\or/ impulses made upon them as inanimate Bodys are, machins & Neurospasts, wch are all prefectly ἑτεροκίνητα. But Freewill implys Autokinesy, wch indeed it were superfluous to mencon; were it not for this, yt ye Greatest Antagonists of Freewill both Antient & Moderne, lay their foundacon here, yt all Mocon & action in ye World wtsoever, is Heterokinesy & yt there is noe Originall action any where yt Springs from ye Agent it selfe, but yt \it/ all action takes its beginning from some other beginning without ye Agent, & therefore yt not onely Brutes, but yt Men also are meer Machins & Neurospasts.

But wee have shewed before yt ther is aking of Autokinesy in all Cogitacons, & therefore if Brutes be not meer senselesse Machins, but are Cogitative they must needs have some action or Energie wch springs from within themselves wch is all one as to say yt they must have somthin in them above \{local motiōs}/ Matter & Body. But this doth not yet reach to ye nature of L: A: or adequately expresse ye same, because all Cogitative Beings are not Freewilled frewill being an higher kind of Autokinesie yt is peculiar to some Cogitative Beings onely.

Wherefore in ye next place Freewilled Beings are not onely elevanted above ye Condicon of meer corporeall Machins wch is a priviledge yt belongs to ye Lowest kind of Cogitative Beings wch we call Brutes, but they have \allso/ a Higher Autokinesie or Selfe-actvitie in them {whereby they are} \being/ elevated above yt low Dull & Stupid Life of Brutes, wch are led by the {illeg} by Ꝑticular phansys & Hormetick inclinacons passions or appetites

Cite as: Ralph Cudworth, A Discourse concerning Liberty and Necessity: Phase 1 Part 2 (excerpt: p. 1 of 53) [British Library Additional MS 4982(3)] (c.1658-c.1663),, accessed 2023-12-01.