Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Department 1

Civil War Era Studies

Department 2



The exact nature of the human will is, like the nature of human consciousness, a question so subjective and so interior that no one is ever likely to arrive at a satisfactory judgment about how it functions or even what it is-which may be the best proof that philosophy is not a science, and the best evidence that those social sciences which try to measure, quantify, and control aspects of human consciousness are not sciences either. Still, there is no denying that we are aware of a power or an impulse within us which transJates thought into action, or at least responds ·to perceptions of threat or opportunity. So even if we have difficulty in defining the will, most of us can acknowledge that there is something like that at work as part of human consciousness. [excerpt]

Required Publisher's Statement

Original version is available from the publisher at: