The doctrine of philosophical necessity briefly invalidated

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T. Cadell and W. Davies, 1803 - Free will and determinism - 36 pages

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Page 11 - ... words, the moment that the error of any practical principle is discovered, and in such a manner as to present itself to us upon every occasion, it will cease to ope-.rate, and the opposite truth will instantly take place, and influence our conduct accordingly.
Page 10 - This, he thinks, cannot be denied. Examples in real life might be found in abundance to illustrate this supposition, We daily see errors in opinion (or of prejudice) made the foundation of our practice, which, when our minds...
Page 10 - ... (as we find is really the case) operate as a practical principle, and then proceeds to examine the consequence, A practical principle, he observes, for the instant < that it operates, must be seen or felt to be speculatively true, else it could not answer the end in-: tended.
Page 7 - It must likewise be taken for granted, (as it does not admit of proof,) that every action, or exertion, voluntarily made, is with a design, or in hopes of obtaining some end.
Page 11 - ... and the opposite truth will instantly take place, and influence our conduct accordingly. He supposes, likewise, that in a future state our faculties will be enlarged, our understandings enlightened, and our apprehensions quickened in such a degree, that the truths which we now attain to with difficulty and much study, will then appear as axioms, or be classed among the first principles of our knowledge, and hence serve as a basis for making further discoveries by reason. If, therefore, as was...
Page 8 - ... that every action, or exertion, voluntarily made, is with a design, or in hopes of obtaining some end. For, it is evident, that where there is a full conviction of the impossibility of this, no rational being will make any attempt or exertion at all. Axiom 3d. All practical principles must either be founded in truth, or believed to be so, for the moment that. they operate.
Page 10 - ... true of any other. Hence, he observes, this conclusion may be fairly drawn, viz. that where the doctrine of necessity is firmly believed, and made use of as a practical principle, motives cease to operate. But, upon the certain and infallible operation of motives the whole scheme of necessity is founded. This doctrine, therefore, taken in this light, is destructive of itself.; In the next place he supposes the doctrine of necessity to be true, but that it does not (as we find is really the case)...
Page 11 - Assuming, then, that in a future state our faculties will be enlarged, our understandings enlightened, and our apprehensions quickened, he concludes, that a continual progress in knowledge must at length terminate in absolute inactivity ; and this conclusion, that activity, which throughout nature is observed to accompany intelligence, should be destroyed by the rational faculties being enlarged, he justly thinks, is so paradoxical...
Page 8 - All practical principles must either be founded in truth, or believed to be to for the moment that they operate. These axioms being taken for granted, our author supposes the doctrine of necessity to be true, and that its truth is discovered to us in such, a manner, Bb 4 376 MR. DAWSON.
Page 12 - ... this truth, must cease to operate as a practical principle, and give place to ideas of necessity, which, like all intuitive truths, will ever be present to the mind, and, consequently, as has been proved before, reduce us to a state entirely torpid. Here, then, is discovered a barrier, or limit, to which human nature, in its progress in knowledge, can never arrive ; and which the subtile metaphysician, by standing on tiptoe, has already got a sight of. Must we then, Mr.

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