— 236 —
Faculties.       §6. These Powers of the Mind, viz. of Perceiving, and of Preferring,
are usually call’d by another Name: And the ordinary way of
Speaking is, That the Understanding and Will are two Faculties of the
mind; a word proper enough, if it be used as all Words should be,
— 237 —
so as not to breed any confusion in Mens Thoughts, by being
supposed (as I suspect it has been) to stand for some real Beings
in the Soul, that performed those Actions of Understanding and
Volition. For when we say the Will is the commanding and superior
Faculty of the Soul; that it is, or is not free; that it determines the
inferior Faculties; that it follows the Dictates of the Understanding,
etc. though these, and the like Expressions, by those that carefully
attend to their own Ideas, and conduct their Thoughts more by the
evidence of Things, than the sound of Words, may be understood
in a clear and distinct sense: Yet I suspect, I say, that this way of
Speaking of Faculties, has misled many into a confused Notion of so
many distinct Agents in us, which had their several Provinces and
Authorities, and did command, obey, and perform several Actions,
as so many distinct Beings; which has been no small occasion of
wrangling, obscurity, and uncertainty in Questions relating to them.
Locke Hum II, 21, §6, pp. 236-237