— 245 —
      §23. 2. That Willing, or Volition being an Action, and Freedom
consisting in a power of acting, or not acting, a Man in respect of
willing, or the Act of Volition, when any Action in his power is once pro-
posed to his Thoughts, as presently to be done, cannot be free. The reason
whereof is very manifest: For it being unavoidable that the Action
depending on his Will, should exist, or not exist; and its existence,
or not existence, following perfectly the determination, and pref-
erence of his Will, he cannot avoid willing the existence, or not
existence, of that Action; it is absolutely necessary that he will the
one, or the other, i.e. prefer the one to the other: since one of them
must necessarily follow; and that which does follow, follows by the
choice and determination of his Mind, that is, by his willing it: for if
he did not will it, it would not be. So that in respect of the act of
willing, a Man in such a case is not free: Liberty consisting in a
power to act, or not to act, which, in regard of Volition, a Man,
upon such a proposal, has not. For it is unavoidably necessary to
prefer the doing, or forbearance, of an Action in a Man’s power,
which is once so proposed to his thoughts; a Man must necessarily
will the one, or the other of them, upon which preference, or voli-
tion, the action, or its forbearance, certainly follows, and is truly
— 246 —
voluntary: But the act of volition, or preferring one of the two,
being that which he cannot avoid, a Man in respect of that act of
willing, is under a necessity, and so cannot be free; unless Necessity
and Freedom can consist together, and a Man can be Free and
Bound at once.
Locke Hum II, 21, §23, pp. 245-246