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Will and Desire must not be confounded.       §30. But in the way to it, it will be necessary to premise, that
though I have above endeavoured to express the Act of Volition, by
chusing, preferring, and the like Terms, that signify Desire as well as
Volition, for want of other words to mark that Act of the mind,
whose proper Name is Willing or Volition; yet it being a very simple
Act, whosoever desires to understand what it is, will better find it
by reflecting on his own mind, and observing what it does, when it
wills, than by any variety of articulate sounds whatsoever. This
Caution of being careful not to be misled by Expressions, that do not
enough keep up the difference between the Will, and several Acts
of the mind, that are quite distinct from it, I think the more neces-
sary: Because I find the Will often confounded with several of the
Affections, especially Desire; and one put for the other, and that by
Men, who would not willingly be thought, not to have had very
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distinct notions of things, and not to have writ very clearly about
them. This, I imagine, has been no small occasion of obscurity and
mistake in this matter; and therefore is, as much as may be, to be
avoided. For he, that shall turn his thoughts inwards upon what
passes in his mind, when he wills, shall see, that the will or power of
Volition is conversant about nothing, but our own Actions; ter-
minates there; and reaches no farther; and that Volition is nothing,
but that particular determination of the mind, whereby, barely by
a thought, the mind endeavours to give rise, continuation, or stop
to any Action, which it takes to be in its power. This well con-
sidered plainly shews, that the Will is perfectly distinguished from
Desire, which in the very same Action may have a quite contrary
tendency from that which our Wills sets us upon. A Man, whom I
cannot deny, may oblige me to use persuasions to another, which at
the same time I am speaking, I may wish may not prevail on him.
In this case, ’tis plain the Will and Desire run counter. I will the
Action, that tends one way, whilst my desire tends another, and
that the direct contrary. A Man, who by a violent Fit of the Gout in
his Limbs, finds a doziness in his Head, or a want of appetite in his
Stomach removed, desires to be eased too of the pain of his Feet or
Hands (for where-ever there is pain there is a desire to be rid of it)
though yet, whilst he apprehends, that the removal of the pain may
translate the noxious humour to a more vital part, his will is never
determin’d to any one Action, that may serve to remove this pain.
Whence it is evident, that desiring and willing are two distinct Acts
of the mind; and consequently that the Will, which is but the power
of Volition, is much more distinct from Desire.
Locke Hum II, 21, §30, pp. 249-250