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See also: freewill
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- A person's natural inclination; unforced choice
- 1603, Michel de Montaigne, chapter 12, in John Florio, transl., The Essayes […], book II, London: […] Val[entine] Simmes for Edward Blount […], OCLC 946730821:
- I say therefore, there is no likelyhood, we should imagine, the beasts doe the very same things by a naturall inclination and forced genuitie, which we doe of our owne freewil and industrie.
- c. 1606–1607, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Anthonie and Cleopatra”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act III, scene vi]:
- Good my Lord, / To come thus was I not constrain'd, but did it / On my free-will.
- 1839, Charles Dickens, Nicholas Nickleby:
- I am impelled to this course by no one, but follow it of my own free-will.
- 1983, “Owner of a Lonely Heart”, in 90125, performed by Yes:
- Don't deceive your free will at all / Owner of a lonely heart
- (philosophy) The ability to choose one's actions, or determine what reasons are acceptable motivation for actions, without predestination, fate etc.
- 1869, Emmanuel Swedenborg, R Norman Foster, transl., The True Christian Religion:
- What is free will but the power of volition and action, and of thought and speech, to all appearance as of one's self?
- 2012 January 12, “Free will and politics”, in The Economist:
- The new challenge to free will comes from a different direction: neuroscience's discovery that people's brains are a collection of diversely oriented modules, and that our understanding of our own intentionality is to a great degree a legitimating fiction which one module in the left hemisphere of the brain retroactively imposes over the decisions different modules make.
ability to choose one's actions