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In Self-Determination the Will Is Seen as an Essential of the Person

A complete description of the will cannot refer simply to the moment of "willing" alone, neither to the exercise nor to the experience of "I will," in which is contained the moment of freedom identifiable with the experience of "I may but I need not." Although these experiences are an essential element of the action - as well as of morality - the will and the inner freedom of man have still another experiential dimension. In it the will manifests itself as an essential of the person, whose ability to perform actions derives directly from the possession of this essential rather than from some inherent feature of the action performed by the person. It is even possible to reverse this relation and to say it is the person who manifests himself in the will and not that the will is manifested in or by the person. Every action confirms and at the same time makes more concrete the relation, in which the will manifests itself as a feature of the person and the person manifests himself as a reality with regard to his dynamism that is properly constituted by the will. It is this relation that we call "self-determination."

Self-determination is related to the becoming mentioned in the last section of the preceding chapter. It is that becoming of the person which both has its own specific nature which may be disclosed in a phenomenological way, and indicates its own, separate ontic identity, while in morality it stands out as an existential fact characteristic of man. This is why in the conclusion to the preceding chapter attention was drawn to morality. Self-determination, which is the proper dynamic basis for the development of the person, presupposes a special complexity in the structure of the person. Only the one who has possession of himself and is simultaneously his own sole and exclusive possession can be a person. (In a different order of things, the person as a creature may be seen as "belonging to God," but this relation does not eliminate or overshadow that inner relation of self-possession or self-ownership which is essential for the person. It is not without reason then that medieval philosophers expressed this relationship in the phrase, persona est sui iuris.)

Self-Determination Shows the Structure of Self-Governance and Self-Possession as Essential to the Person

Owing to the will, self-possession finds its manifestation and its confirmation in action. The simple experience of "I will" can never be correctly interpreted in the dynamic, complex whole without reference to man's specific complexity, which is introduced by self-possession and is proper only to the person. Self-determination is possible only on the ground of self-possession. Every authentically human "I will" is an act of self-determination; it is so not in abstraction and isolation from the dynamic personal structure but, on the contrary, as the deep-rooted content of this structural whole. Because "I will" is an act of self-determination at a particular moment it presupposes structural self-possession. For only the things that are man's actual possessions can be determined by him; they can be determined only by the one who actually possesses them. Being in the possession of himself man can determine himself. At the same time the will, every genuine "I will," reveals, confirms, and realizes the self-possession that is appropriate solely to the person - the fact that the person is his own judge.

Self-possession has as its consequence still another relation that occurs in the very structure of man as a person and is most strictly connected with the will. It is the relation of self-governance, which is indispensable for the understanding and the interpretation of self-determination. Self-governance may also be expressed in terms of a specific complex whole: the person is, on the one hand, the one who governs himself and, on the other, the one who is governed. "'Self-governance" is here used in a different sense than the "self-control" of colloquial speech: self-control is the power to control oneself and applies only to one of the functions of the dynamism appropriate to man, to one of his powers or virtues, or to a set of these. Self-governance, on the other hand, is something far more fundamental and far more strictly related to the inner personal structure of man who differs from all other structures and all other existents in that he is capable of governing himself. Thus self-governance is man's power to govern himself and not only to control himself.

Self-Possession Is Presupposed in Self-Governance

Since man's power to govern himself is his distinctive property it presupposes self-possession and is in a way one of its aspects or its more concrete manifestations. The self-governance that is found in the person is possible only when there is self-possession that is proper to the person. Self-determination is conditioned by one as well as by the other. Both are realized in an act of self-determination, which is constituted by every real human "I will." Because of self-determination every man actually governs himself; he actually exercises that specific power over himself which nobody else can exercise or execute. In virtue of this self-determinating agency man is encapsulated, closed within his own "reasons." This network of exclusively his own "reasons" for life decisions makes him incommunicable to his fellowman. The actual meaning of the expression incommunicable'' has an even richer content than that with which we are here concerned, though this is also included in it. Man owes his structural "inalienability" (incommunicability) to the will to the extent to which self-governance is realized by the will, and in acting this is expressed and manifested as self-determination. If this structural trait of the whole person were to be left out of our discussion, it would be impossible to understand the will correctly and to interpret it adequately.

Indeed, it is impossible to understand or interpret the will except within the personal structure. It is only in this structure that it operates and can manifest its true nature. In nonpersonal beings, whose dynamism is achieved solely at the level of nature, there are no reasons for the existence of the will. Self-determination, on the other hand, is specific to the person; it is self-determination that at the level of the person binds together and integrates the different manifestations of the human dynamism. It also constantly constitutes, defines, and brings into view this level as such. Because of it, in experience - primarily in self-experience - man is given as the person. In self-determination the will is present first of all as the essential of the person and only then as a power.38 When we consider this difference more fully below, its meaning will explain itself. Then also the relation between person and nature - as revealed by the experience of freedom that is contained in self-determination - will be seen more clearly.




The Reference to the Ego as Object Is Essential to Self-Determination

Self-determination, that is, the will as an essential of the person rooted in self-governance and self-possession, reveals in the dynamic order the objectiveness of the person or, in other words, of every concrete, consciously acting ego. We are not concerned here solely with ontological objectiveness, with the fact a person is objectively and really a being, somebody actually existing, for this was the object of our account in the preceding chapter. What we are now concerned with is that in this action the person is, owing to self-determination, an object for himself, in a peculiar way being the immanent target upon which man's exercise of all his powers concentrates, insofar as it is he whose determination is at stake. He is in this sense, the primary object or the nearest object of his action.

Every actual act of self-determination makes real the subjectiveness of self-governance and self-possession; in each of these interpersonal structural relations there is given to the person as the subject - as he who governs and possesses - the person as the object -as he who is governed and possessed. This objectiveness is, as may be seen, the correlate of the person's subjectiveness and, moreover, seems to bring out in a specific manner subjectiveness itself. At the same time, this objectiveness constitutes an essential correlate of that complexity which, together with the structure of self-governance and self-possession, manifests itself in man, in the human person.

The objectiveness we are now considering is realized by and also manifested in self-determination. In this sense we may speak of an "objectification" that is introduced together with self-determination into the specific dynamism of the person. This objectification means that in every actual act of self-determination - in every "I will" - the self is the object, indeed the primary and nearest object. This is contained in the concept itself, and the term expressing it - "self-determination" - means that one is determined by oneself. The concept as well as the word expressing it contain simultaneously and correlatively both the subject and the object. The one as well as the other is the ego.

Nevertheless, the objectification of the subject does not have an intentional character in the sense in which intentionality is to be found in every human willing. When I will, I always desire something. Willing indicates a turn toward an object, and this turn determines its intentional nature. In order to turn intentionally to an object we put the object, as it were, in front of us (or we accept its presence). Obviously it is possible to put in this position our own ego as the object and then to turn to it by a similar volitional act, the act of willing. But this kind of intentionality does not properly appertain to self-determination. For in self-determination we do not turn to the ego as the object, we only impart actuality to the, so to speak, ready-made objectiveness of the ego which is contained in the intrapersonal relation of self-governance and self-possession. This imparting of actuality is of fundamental significance in morality, that specific dimension of the human, personal existence which is simultaneously both subjective and objective. It is there that the whole reality of morals, of moral values, has its roots.

Objectification Is More Fundamental than the Intentionality of Volitions

The objectification that is essential for self-determination takes place together with the intentionality of the particular acts of the will. When I will anything, then I am also determined by myself. Though the ego is not an intentional object of willing its objective being is contained in the nature of acts of willing. It is only thus that willing becomes self-determination. Self-determination does not mean merely proceeding from the ego, as the source and initial point of willing and choice; it means also the specific returning to that same ego which is its primary and basic object and with regard to which all intentional objects - everything and anything one wills or wants - are in a way more remote, transitory and just as external. The most direct and innermost is the objectiveness of the ego, that is, of the ego's own subject. This subject is formed by man in one way or another when he desires an object, a value of some kind. At this point we touch upon the innermost personal reality of the action: by forming his ego in one way or another man becomes someone or someone else. This shows how deeply rooted is the objectification referred to here, that is to say, the objectiveness of self-determination:39 the objectiveness of the ego in self-determination.

The tendency toward this objectification is contained as a function of self-determination in the dynamism of the will, but its foundations reach down to the structure itself of the person to self-governance and self-possession. Mention was already made of the impossibility of understanding and interpreting correctly the will without a clear idea of the way in which it proceeds from the structure of the person, in the specifically personal structure of the human being. It would be impossible to present the peculiar dynamism of the will if we were to refer only to the intentionality of the particular volitions. Willing as an intentional act, that is to say, an experience directed toward its proper object, which may be defined both as an end and as a value, differs from the experience of "I will" in its full content. For the experience of "I will" contains also self-determination and not only intentionality. The turning to any external object that is seen as an end or a value implies a simultaneous fundamental turn toward the ego as the object.

Self-Determination and the Distinction between the Experiences of "I will" and "I am willing"

Volition as an intentional act is embedded in the dynamism of the will only to the extent self-determination is contained in it. Introspection informs us of various types of volition that arise in man's interior life and are authentic intentional acts but which are not embedded in the proper dynamism of the will. We may then say that some kind of volition is "happening" in the subject even when man does not will - it does not emerge with the experience "I will." An important point to note in this connection is that it lies in the nature of the experience of "I will," in the nature of the will itself, that it never consists in something that only happens in man; on the contrary, it always occurs as an instance of "acting," indeed, is the very core of every acting. It is the person as such that is then "active." All the same, volitions, including those that are not within the frame of self-determination, are - according to the phenomenological conception - intentional acts. We see them directed toward a value which they adopt as their end; their directing toward it may sometimes be very acutely experienced and, for instance, their "appetitive" character then becomes specially evident. Even such acuteness is, however, insufficient to ascertain the will. This situation becomes clearer when we compare the experience of "I will" with that of "I want." In either case we deal with a type of volition, but only the former contains in it the true dynamism of the will.

The Experience of "I will" Reveals the Transcendence of the Person in the Action

The dynamism of the will cannot be reduced to volition with its specific intentionality. An essential trait of this dynamism is that it involves the person in its own specific structure of self-governance and self-possession. It is thus that every genuine "I will" reveals the person's transcendence in the action. The significance of this transcendence, noted in the preceding chapter, will here be submitted to a more comprehensive analysis. At any rate, it is connected with self-determination and the objectification peculiar to self-determination and not solely with the human ego's "subjectiveness" or the intentionality of volitions that arise within the ego and are directed outward to various values as their goal.

The term "objectification" is here used to bring to attention the objectiveness of the ego itself, the objectiveness that manifests itself every time man says "I will." In philosophical and psychological tradition the tendency seems to have prevailed to consider the human willing somewhat one-sidedly, mainly from the point of view of the outside object, emphasis being laid on the "willing of something," rather than from that of the inner objectiveness, of the simple willing itself. From the latter point of view human willing has special significance first for the philosophy of the person - in our considerations the acting person - and then in a more distant perspective for personalistic ethics. Occasionally one should be attentive not to confound in the consideration of action as human action, the acting person with the action of the person. This is by no means a mere play on words but a meaningful distinction relevant to the interpretation of the action. The problem lies in defining how the human act, the action, is the real act of the person; for in it not only is an individual rational nature actualized, but also an act is performed - as evidenced in experience - by the unique individual person. The performing of an action is at once the fulfillment of the person. Here "fulfillment" may be regarded as having a correlative meaning with "actualization" and thus with the metaphysical meaning of the term "act." Nevertheless, experience, intuition, and the phenomenological analysis connected with it allow us to take a new look at the person-action relation, and this may play an important and fruitful role in the interpretation of the action as the act of the person.

In Self-Determination the Reference to the Ego as Object Is Influenced by Consciousness

From the metaphysical point of view the person is both the object and the subject. He is an objective being or somebody - a being existing as "somebody" in contrast with all other beings existing as "something" - at the same time he is his own ontological foundation, which means he exists as the subject of his own structures and dynamisms. Already in the discussion of the preceding chapter, in which we dealt with the person and the action in relation to the general dynamism of man, we noted that in the person we had to consider a kind of synthesis of efficacy and subjectiveness. Since we are now considering the integral dynamism of the will we have first to gain a deeper insight into the problem of efficacy. This will bring us to view, as it were, a new dimension of the synthesis of efficacy and subjectiveness; for we shall now see the objectiveness appropriate to efficacy, the dynamic core of which consists in self-determination identifiable with the experience of "I will." Self-determination puts the ego, that is to say, the subject, in the place of the object. Thus simultaneously it effects the objectiveness of the ego in subjectiveness.

The objectification of the ego that is derived from self-determination has as its correlate in the integral dynamism of the will, and also in the specific structure of the person himself, the subjectification that consciousness reveals in the personal structure. The person, so far as he is a specific existent possessing consciousness, lives in his own peculiar fashion (to "live" is here understood in the sense of the vital existence of living beings); he lives - or exists - not only in his own reflection, the mirrored image the person has of himself, but also in that specific self-experience which is conditioned by the reflexive function of consciousness. Owing to this function the man-person has the experience of himself as the subject, as the subjective ego. The experience of his own subjectiveness is, as it were, superimposed on the "metaphysical subjectiveness" of the human ontological foundation.

Although objectification is brought about by the will as self-determination, this takes place within the frame or, we may perhaps say, in the current of the simultaneous, actual subjectification by consciousness. After all, man has the experience of each of his willings, of every act of self-determination, and this makes of it a thoroughly subjective fact. We then see the subject as if it were ceaselessly disclosed in its innermost objectiveness; we witness the disclosing, so to speak, of the objective constructing of the ego's own subject. When consciousness brings all this into the orbit of experience, then the inner objectiveness of the action, the objectification proper to self-determination, stands out sharply in the profile of the full subjectiveness of the person who experiences himself as the acting ego. Then the person, the acting ego, also experiences the awareness that he is the one who is determined by himself and that his decisions make him become somebody, who may be good or bad - which includes at its basis the awareness of the very fact of his being somebody.

The Will Is Governed by the Objectifying Function of Cognition

While it is true that the experiencing of self-determination is conditioned by consciousness, there are no grounds to suppose that it is also guided by consciousness. In point of fact, the guidance of the cognitive function, which is indispensable in self-determination, in the dynamization of the will (as confirmed by experience and supported by philosophical tradition as well as empirical psychology), should on no account be confused either with the mirroring or the reflexive function of consciousness. The last of these functions plays an important role in objectification, which has an essential significance for man. The guidance of the cognitive function, on the other hand, has an objectifying character. Thus, if self-determination and the whole dynamism of the will are to be guided by anything (this applies first of all to the intentionality of the will, to its orientation toward values or aims in general), then this can only be self-knowledge together with man's whole knowledge of the existing reality, in particular, his knowledge of values as possible ends and also as the basis of the norms that he refers to in his acting.

The objectiveness of self-determination and volition can only be correlated with the objectiveness of cognition. It is only by its objectifying function that cognition guides the will: nothing may be the object of will unless it is known. In its subjectifying function of consciousness, on the other hand, it accompanies the will and supplements it within the framework of the specific structure presented by the person, but it does not guide or control the will. Failure to recognize this fundamental difference leads inevitably to solipsism, subjectivism, and idealism, that is, to a situation in which the subject seems lost in its own specific reality or objectiveness. This assertion also has a vital significance for the interpretation of the action. When speaking of conscious acting we stress primarily and basically the guiding function of cognition in acting and not only the awareness or the aspect of consciousness that accompany it.

The Dialectics of Objectification and Subjectification Appropriate to the Integral Dynamism of Will

This is how the acting person - the person acting consciously - reveals himself as a specific synthesis of objectiveness with subjectiveness. Looking at the two - as representing the "inner" and "outer" aspect of the integral human experience - and taking into account the experience of morality, we come to the conclusion that objectification and subjectification mutually supplement and in a way balance each other out. In this sense consciousness supplements and is the counterpoise of self-determination and vice versa. While consciousness, as was already asserted in Chapter 2, brings with it subjectification as well as a certain measure of inwardness: self-determination introduces also some outwardness.

The Immanent Act Is Also an External Manifestation of the Person

Every action is an external manifestation of the person, even when it is wholly performed internally. But an action confined strictly in its process as well as manifestations to the performing subject alone may be called an "immanent act." Such action does not even involve anything of what in man makes his acting externally manifested and discernible. An act that carries the features of a manifestation external to the performing subject has been termed by some contemporary philosophers "transcendent." But the external discernibility is not the only, and even less the best, test of that outwardness with regard to the person which we assert in the action. For the person is not only objectified in every one of his actions but also manifests himself externally even if its actions have, from the point of view of the criterion of discernibility, all the traits of immanence. On the other hand, parallel to the subjectification due to consciousness every action, however external it may appear, also remains to a certain degree immanent to the subject who performs it. We now see that the synthesis of objectiveness with subjectiveness is thus projected in the dynamic image of the person as the synthesis of externality with immanence.




Self-Determination Reveals Freedom as a Uniquely Personal Factor

The preceding discussion allows us to grasp the fundamental significance of the free will. We may now identify freedom with self-determination, with the self-determination we discover in the will as a constitutive element of the personal structure of man. Freedom thus manifests itself as connected with the will, with the concrete "I will," which includes, as noted, the experience of "I may but I need not." In the analysis of self-determination we reach right down to the very roots of the experience of "I will" as well as of "I may but I need not." The freedom appropriate to the human being, the person's freedom resulting from the will, exhibits itself as identical with self-determination, with that experiential, most complete, and fundamental organ of man's autonomous being.

We are thus considering freedom as real, the freedom that constitutes the real and privileged position of man in the world and also the main condition of his will. This premise is of essential significance, inasmuch as any discussion concerning the free will, if it starts with the concept of freedom as such instead of the reality that is man risks deviating into an unwarranted idealism.40 The fact of self-determination and all that self-determination relies upon in the structure itself of the person, namely, self-governance and self-possession, provides the key to the reality of the person we are attempting to reach. Indeed, self-determination manifests itself as the force holding together the human dynamism and integrating it at the level of the person. We may now distinguish between the dynamism at the level of the person and the dynamism at the level of nature. The latter does not seem to contain the necessary factors for self-determination, and we may thus conclude that neither does it contain any acting in the sense we have established in the preceding chapter.

The Difference between the Dynamisms of Self-Determination and Instinct

Let us reaffirm that at the level of the dynamism of nature itself there is no acting, there are no actions, but only what, strictly speaking, we may call "activations"; at this level there is in every particular instance a specific sum total of all that is taking place in the subject and that forms the distinct whole of its life and of its dynamism. The formation of this whole is oriented in a certain direction or along a kind of bioexistential axis, which depends on the natural endowment of every individual being or on its potentiality. Thus nature may to some extent be identified with the potentiality that lies at the origin of activations themselves. The significance of "nature," however, is broader than the sphere of activations alone and extends also, or even primarily, to the direction of, or the general trend in, the integration of these activations. Thus all that happens in an individual being bears the mark of some purpose, which depends on this direction. The subjective basis for both the integration and the purpose at the level of nature is called - especially in animals - "instinct." Instinct is not to be confused, in spite of close similarity of meaning, with drive, which will be considered in some detail later.

It is by instinct that in an individual animal everything that, strictly speaking, only happens in it receives direction and is brought together into a whole, which may give the impression of acting even though it is - however splendid in its own way it may appear - but a coordination of activations. Acting - the action in the strict sense, that is, in the sense that finds justification solely in the total experience of the human being - can be spoken of only in the case of self-determination. When, however, instinct is the guiding force we only have a certain external analogy with acting; the operating dynamism has the semblance of acting but does not satisfy the essential conditions of acting, of the action.

The reasoning just presented in order to introduce some necessary comparisons leads us further afield than the experience of man alone, it brings us, as explicitly stated, to the world of animals. The problem in itself has many, obviously interesting, aspects but this is not the place to consider them in detail. The point to be made here in connection with these comparisons is that the dynamism at the level of nature is in opposition to the dynamism at the level of the person, and that the cause of this opposition is the fact of self-determination. In the dynamism at the level of nature there is no self-determination to serve as the basis from which acting itself as well as its direction and purpose are derived. The dynamism at the level of nature lacks that special dependence on the ego which is the characteristic mark of the specific dynamism of the person.

Free Will Reflects the Self-Dependence of the Person

It is the dependence of acting on the ego that serves as the basis of freedom, while the absence of this dependence places the whole dynamism of any individual being (say an animal being) beyond the sphere of freedom. "Necessity" is the conceptual equivalent of the lack of freedom. Necessity as the opposite of freedom - which owing to self-determination is exclusively "personal" - is thus attributed to the dynamism at the level of nature alone, the dynamism that has instinct as its integrating factor. The person is dynamized in his own manner only when in the dynamization he depends on his ego. This is precisely what is contained in the experiential essence of self-determination and what conditions the experiencing of efficacy. In this' case efficacy derives from freedom.

Special note should be taken of the fact that the fundamental significance of man's freedom and of his free will, elucidated in its concrete exercise and experience, brings to the forefront the relational network establishing the exercise of its dynamism in its essential dependence on the ego. It is at this point that the realism of experience belies the idealism of pure abstraction: for taken in abstraction from the concrete notions among the elements of the person, freedom may be seen as epitomized by "independence" from all possible factors. Actually, however, the reverse is true. The lack of the relational concatenations of numerous factors within and with reference to the structure of the man-person in its dependence on the ego in the dynamization of the subject precludes the freedom of human action; this latter has then no proper groundwork to emerge from by its own proper mechanism. It is here that there runs the intuitive, best evidenced line dividing within a primitive type of experience the person from nature, the world of persons from the world of individuals (e.g., animal individuals), whose whole dynamism is limited to the level of nature. In this last case the distinctive trait is the lack in their dynamization of a necessary connection with the ego. In point of fact, the structure of mere individuals differs from that of the person. We do not find in it the structural-dynamical complexes which we have earlier identified as "self-governance" and "self-possession" and which form the structural condition of self-determination. At the level of nature, the dynamism of the individual flows in and is absorbed by the potentiality of its own subject, which consequently establishes the direction of dynamization (e.g., instinct is a manifestation of nature's directing the functioning of an Individual as well as of the actualization of this supremacy).

Such a structural connectedness is possible chiefly due to the absence of the ego. In fact, within natural species as such there are only individuals but no constituted egos. The necessary factor in constituting the ego, that is, the person in his strictly experiential profile and content, is the presence of consciousness and self-determination. It is through self-determination that the transcendence of the person in the action is justified, whereas the action itself is constituted as the act of the person (which we have clearly differentiated from the acting person). Action so understood reveals the experiential moment of the relation and dependence upon the ego, in which consists, first, the very foundation of personal freedom. With freedom it accounts, second, for the person's transcendence in the action.

The Contextual Meaning of the Transcendence of the Person

At this stage it seems necessary to examine the idea of "transcendence" more closely - in particular, the sense in which the term is used in this study. Etymologically "transcendence" means to go over and beyond a threshold or a boundary (trans-scendere). This may refer to the subject's stepping out of his limits toward an object, as is in different ways the case in what is known as intentional acts of external ("transcendent") perception. The manner in which the subject transgresses his limits in this type of cognitive act differs from his outgoing in acts of willing, whose character is conative. Later in our study we will consider in more detail the characteristic features of the particular intentional acts. Transgressing the subject's limits in the direction of an object - and this is intentionality in the "external" perception or volition of external objects - may be defined as "horizontal transcendence." But it is not the kind of transcendence we are concerned with when speaking of the transcendence of the person in the action (though, as we shall see later, the other is also involved). The transcendence we are now considering is the fruit of self-determination; the person transcends his structural boundaries through the capacity to exercise freedom; of being free in the process of acting, and not only in the intentional direction of willings toward an external object.41 This kind of transcendence we shall call "vertical transcendence," in contrast to the other kind of transcendence that we have called horizontal.

Thus conceived, transcendence as an essential of the person can be best characterized by comparing the dynamism of the person with the dynamism of nature. First, concerning the person, self-determination accounts for the dominant position of the ego. This dominance serves as a kind of guide line. In contrast, there is no such domination in an individual who is but the subject of activations coordinated by instinct. On the one hand, by analogy with the expression "the acting person," we should use the expression "the acting individual." On the other hand, the adequate and fundamental formulation of the action finds its expression in "human action" which only by analogy can be tentatively transposed to nonpersonal individuals as "individual action," though in fact there is nothing to justify this definition. Acting, the action, in the strict sense cannot occur where there are no means to make one's dynamization depend on the ego.

The Role of the Objectification of the Ego in the Structure of Freedom

The fundamental significance of man's freedom, of the exercise of his "free will," forces us to see in freedom first of all that special self-reliance which goes together with self-determination. To say that man "is free" means that he depends chiefly on himself for the dynamization of his own subject. Hence the fundamental significance of freedom presupposes the objectification which we discussed earlier. The precondition of freedom is the concrete ego, which while it is the subject is also the object determined by the acts of will. The dynamism at the level of nature alone, to which we refer as an illustrative comparison, does not manifest that objectiveness of the subject. This deficiency was already asserted on the occasion of the analyses in the preceding chapter, where the distinction was drawn between subjectiveness and efficacy. We noted then that the ontological foundation when there is something only happening in it, manifests subjectiveness alone; but when it acts it manifests its subjectiveness together with efficacy. As the efficacy is based on self-determination and as the subject efficaciously determines itself, it is then also its own object. This is how objectification enters into the fundamental significance of freedom: it conditions the self-reliance.




Autodeterminism Conditions Independence in Relation to Intentional Objects of Volition

Having indicated the fundamental significance of freedom we may now consider it in greater detail. Indeed, we discover the structure of freedom in volitions as intentional acts directed toward a value as their end. This structure is not confined solely to the willing itself in the act "I will" but comprises the whole sequence "I will something." It is here that we come upon a specific independence of the act of will from its object. For if we just want one thing or another - an X or a Y - then we experience an intentional directing toward the object as the freedom from compulsion or necessity: thus I may, but I need not, desire the object of my willing. But on the contrary, once our willing is set on object X or Y that has been presented to it, then obviously we are already, so to speak, past the threshold of choice and decision. Our willing now has a definite object - it has its value-end - and has thus been determined; if it were not, it would be but hesitant. Nevertheless, even in this determination the experience of "I may, but I need not" is somehow continued; the definition of value as the end or aim of conation does not abolish altogether my intrinsic independence from the object of volition.

Before we examine further the significance of freedom, we have to emphasize that this inner independence of the ego in relation to the intentional objects of volition (i.e., the value-end) is justified by self-reliance. Thus any interpretation of the free will, if it is to conform to reality, must rely on man's autodeterminism instead of floating in the air by stressing merely indeterminism. It is clearly visible in the structure of experience that in the interpretation of the functional aspect of freedom indeterminism assumes a secondary role while autodeterminism has primary and fundamental significance. This approach is strictly related to the main current of our entire discussion, in which the will has been shown as manifesting itself first of all in self-determination; the will is indeed a mode of functioning of the person and is firmly rooted in the structure of self-governance and self-possession.

The Dynamism of Self-Determination Consists in Man's Use of the Will

Experience discloses that will is not only a property of the person but is also a power.42 The will then appears like another experiential aspect of the same reality. For we call "will" not only what reveals and actualizes the structure of self-governance and self-possession but also what man resorts to, and even in a way makes use of, in order to achieve his aims. From this point of view, the will is subordinate in relation to the person, and does not determine or govern the person. The experience of the subordination of the factcir of will to the complete set up of the person is also important for understanding the problem of freedom. The expression "free" will does not mean some kind of independence of will from the person. If we agree that the freedom of will manifests itself in experiencing that "I may but I need not," then it expresses the person who may but need not use his freedom as a power. This is precisely the reason why the first stage in the crystallization of the free will within the personal functioning is the primary and elementary fact that flows from the person, or from the person's power of self-determination. Thereby the elementary manifestation of free will simultaneously brings to light the person's exclusive power to control the will. Independence appears there as reliance of man upon external conditions constituted and formed through his immanent structure of self-reliance and the indeterministic feature of will through man's intrinsic structure of his autodetermination. It is because of the person's exclusive power over the will that will is the person's power to be free.

The interpretation of the will as a power, as proceeding from as well as serving the person to achieve self-determination, which is simultaneously a striving toward a value-end, brings us back to the discussion of the preceding chapter on the interrelation of dynamism and potentiality. It is to the will that the person owes his specifically human form of dynamism, the dynamism of self-determination, and the dynamism of the human action. This dynamism must have as its correlate an appropriate potentiality. When in the terms of traditional philosophical anthropology we say will is a power, it is this potentiality that we have in mind. Such potentiality is contained - according to the same traditional terms - in the rational nature of man. But "rational nature" has real existence solely and exclusively as a person. The will is dynamized in a way in which only a person could accomplish it - in a way in which nature alone could not. To conclude then, we can assert that freedom is the specific factor through which the person is dynamized, while the dynamization of nature we have attributed solely to the instinct.

The Meaning of the Instinct of Freedom

Within the dynamism appropriate to the person and his acting we may also detect the "instinct of freedom." But the phrase may be used only in a metaphorical sense. It then denotes that, for the person, self-determination is something absolutely proper and innate, even something "natural" - after all, we do speak of the nature of the person. On the one hand, when a person is acting, he is "dynamized" within the functional system of self-determination and will: they manifest themselves in their specific way spontaneously and so to speak, "instinctively" in his acting. On the other hand, the person as such repudiates a merely instinctive acting, since his dynamism, as we have attempted to show, is neither directed nor integrated by instinct.

The Meaning of the Phrase "Man's Instinctive Acting"

Probably not even when man himself refers to his acting as instinctive can we regard his dynamism as functioning solely at the level of nature. For instance, he instinctively turns away from danger or pain and he instinctively reaches for food when hungry. It would be difficult to interpret this kind of instinctive acting without an analysis of the notion of "drive" in the sense in which it occurs in man. First, we have to assert that man not only acts but is also the subject of all that happens in him. Much light is shed on this problem by the drive aspect connected with bodily potentiality and also with the natural emotivity of man (these will be more fully discussed below). At any rate, neither potentiality nor impulsions are to be identified with instinct as the factor integrating the dynamism of an individual and determining its direction. It seems therefore that very often when speaking of man's instinctive acting we actually refer to an enhanced spontaneity or even a greater intensity of acting with a simultaneous decline in the clarity of self-determination. Self-determination is identifiable with deliberate choice and decision; "spontaneity" or even "impulsive acting" may, on the contrary, be interpreted as an orientation of the drive itself insofar as it is connected with the bodily potentiality (or even some tendency to emotiveness).43 It is through the predominance of this orientation that conscious decisions are limited and may be sometimes blocked out.

The potentiality of the will is set off and enhanced in conscious choice and decision; it is the power of conscious choice and decision. This is the point of view we take in the discussion that follows. But marginally to what has been said about man's instinctive acting, we have first to note that, although self-determination is appropriate and even natural to the person, there is in man a certain tension between, on the one hand, his will as the power of self-determination - the power of deliberate choice and decision - and, on the other, his bodily potentiality, emotiveness, and impulsions. Experience tells us that it is in this tension rather than the simple and pure self-determination that consists the lot of man. Only in the perspective of this tension can we see the complex nature of the dynamism of the human person.




 Transcendence versus Appetite

The remainder of this chapter will be almost entirely concerned with the extended significance of freedom, and we shall thereby continue to constructively complete our image of the person. This image emerges more completely alongside the increasing prominence given to the transcendence in the action which, owing to freedom, that is, self-determination, is the privilege of the person. Because of the fact itself of being free - the fact of self-determination and its related ascendancy over the human dynamism - we call this transcendence "vertical." The experience of this ascendancy is not impeded by the spontaneity of freedom, though the ascendancy is perhaps better marked when there is more reflectiveness in self-determination, in the rational maturation of decisions. At any rate, now that we are equipped with a more or less clearly defined notion of "vertical transcendence," we can embark upon a deeper analysis of the will. The consecutive steps of this analysis will, so to speak, unveil deeper and deeper levels of that transcendence of the acting person in which the person's structure, in its existential status of reality, is manifested experientially. The outer, overlying layers of this reality, those we can uncover and objectify first, are conditioned by the inner ones, and as we proceed in depth each will tell us more about the person, about his specific structure. They will allow us to define more and more fully the person's specificity and his spiritual nature.

This procedure for the analysis of will and, at the same time, the in-depth study of the person's inner structure, seems to differ in some respects from the traditional approach, in which the will seems to be viewed rather in the dimension of "horizontal" transcendence. Some philosophers and psychologists in their discussions and analyses have treated it as if it were an "appetite." Their stand brought into promlnence, not without reason, the will's characteristic urge toward good as its object and end. Thus the most important part of the analysis of the will was that which dealt with its intentionality, with the intentional acts or volitions whereby it was manifested and actualized. It seems, however, that an analysis of volitions themselves with all their variety of tone and all their modifications fails to bring us right down to the roots of the will. For these grow out - as we have been trying to demonstrate - from the structure of the person: and apart from this structure the will finds no justification. As to the intentionality of willings, the turn they manifest toward a value-end is insufficient to constitute or determine the will fully and comprehensively or to allow a sufficiently clear insight into the dynamism and potentiality appropriate to it.


Appetition, Intendedness, and Intentionality

Special note ought to be taken of the term "appetite," especially when used in conjunction with the attributive "rational." Its content with all its connotations has to be closely examined and properly grasped. There is in it the element of striving, and as striving is necessarily directed toward an end, appetite is intrinsically incident to an end. But there is also in appetite an element of desire, which, insofar as will is concerned, adds to the term a certain semantic convergence as well as a divergence. For desire, with its connotations, seems to point only in the direction of what is happening in man, to what lies beyond the range of his conscious decision. Thus from this point of view, to speak of "rational appetite" seems somewhat strange, almost a contradiction in terms, though at the same time the element of conation makes "appetite" more neutral and seems to offset the contradiction.

From the semantic point of view appetite can hardly be attributed to the will, at any rate, to the extent to which it retains any connotation of sensual passivity and as such originates and unfolds on its own, spontaneously, outside of conscious choice and decision. In this context questions of language and terminology are by no means futile; our purpose is to find a definition that would be in all respects' adequate for every human willing or, more broadly speaking, for every "I will something," regardless of whether the desired object be X or Y. We are considering will as endowed with some features of "intentionality" that are appropriate to it but also with others diametrically different from the intentionality of cognition, of cognitive acts. We differentiate in fact between what could be termed "intention" and "intent." 44

An intentional act of man's experience consists in being oriented or directed outward toward an object. Its "intention" is a special kind of going out toward an object, a motion in which the limits of the subject are overstepped. This takes place in acts of volition as well as in acts of cognition, of thinking. Being intentional the acts of thinking and volition resemble each other in that they are directed toward their object and thereby overstep the limits of the subject; but they differ In their whole specific nature. Beyond that, the act of will crystallizes Into a peculiar "intent." In this respect "to know" or "to understand" and "to will" are dissimilar. It is the distinction between "tending toward something," on the one hand, and "being intent upon something," on the other. In either case the experience the subject has of being directed toward an object has entirely different consequences for the subject and for the object. In this study we view thinking as an "intentional act" par excellence, distinguishing it clearly from an "intended" act as expressing foremostly the manifestation of will. Having introduced these explanations we can proceed to examine the act of volition.

Decision as the Crucial Constitutive Moment in the Experience of "I will"

The first point to make is that the moment of decision always forms part of volition envisaged as an intentional act, that is to say, in the specific way in which the will is directed toward its appropriate object. This moment is an essential part of volition and is crucial for both the inner structure and the dynamic distinctness of volition. It is contained in what psychologists, such as Ach or Michotte, call a "simple volitive act" as well as in what is sometimes referred to as a "compound" or "expanded" act.4S We shall later attempt an explanation of this distinction by examining the two kinds of volitive acts separately. At present it suffices to note that volition is present in our willing as its essential and constitutive moment, regardless of whether we simply want something or we choose something - that is to say, we want it at the conclusion of a process of motivation. Choice and decision define the intrinsic essence of volition (of "I will"), especially in what concerns its intentional attribution to an object ("I will either X or Y").

In true willing the subject is never passively directed to an object. The object - which may be a good or a value, though the meaning of these conceptions would require a separate differential analysis -never leads the subject back upon itself; it never forces the subject into its own reality thereby determining it from without; that kind of subject-object relation would in fact amount to determinism; it would mean that the subject was in a way absorbed by the object and also that innerness was absorbed by outerness. The moment of decision in the human will rules out any such pattern of relation. Thus when I will something, I myself am moving outward toward the object, toward whatever I will. We already saw that it is not the directing toward a value as such but the being directed that is appropriate to volition. The passive voice of "being directed" brings out very well the distinctness that results from the active engagement of the subject. It is here that we touch upon the root itself of the experiential difference between man's acting and the happening of what only occurs in man. The will is the factor of acting, of the action. The remarkable thing is that this is due to the mechanism of decision to which the will is essentially related. This relationship brings into full view the person in his efficacy as well as in his transcendence and, what is more important, it shows the person as a person.

Readiness to Strive toward Good Underlies All Volitive Decisions

Choice and decision are obviously no substitute for the drive toward good that is appropriate to will and constitutive of the multifarious dynamism of the human person. The greater the good the greater becomes its power to attract the will and thus also the person. The crucial factor in determining the maturity and the perfection of the person is his consent to be attracted by positive, authentic values, his unreserved consent to be drawn in and absorbed by them. But this makes it all the more necessary to stress that all the forms and degrees of such absorption or engagement of the will are made personal by the moment of decision.46 Decision may be viewed as an instance of threshold that the person as a person has to pass on his way toward the good. Moreover, this personal outgoing has to continue throughout his absorption by the good, even when it may rightly appear that the human being will be literally engulfed by the good, by the glorified end of his striving. Indeed, the more he becomes engulfed, the more fundamental is his decision and vice versa. We may also look upon this interpretation from another side: the consequences of the initial decision augment as the good is approached, in the intercourse and union with it. But these consequences would never be possible without the person's going beyond the threshold of his own structural borderlines, transgressing his own limitations.

The will's ability to decide in no way condemns it to an attitude of cool aloofness either toward its object or toward values. Indeed, there are no grounds to assume that there is a neutral attitude to all values, a kind of indifference to their attractiveness and to their visible hierarchy in the world, lurking somewhere deep at the bottom of the person, at the origin of all the dynamizations that are proper to the will. On the contrary, it lies in the nature of every "I will" - which is always object oriented and consists in an "I want something" - that it is constantly prepared to come out towards a good. In a sense this readiness is more primitive and more fundamental for the dynamic essence of the will than the ability to make decisions; for the ability presupposes a dynamic readiness to strive toward good. If however we were to conceive of the will, of man's "I will," solely or even primarily in terms of this readiness, then we would miss what in the dynamism of the will is most essentially personal, what most strictly binds the dynamism of will with the structure of the person and through this structure allows us to exfoliate and interpret the nature of the person.




What Is Motivation?

We have to continue, or rather take up again from the beginning, our analysis of choice and decision, for it seems that so far we have only outlined the significance of the problem without going into its structure. Thus we have now to consider the structure of human decisions. But first we will examine in some detail the problem of motivation. By motivation we mean the effect motives have on the will, and this strictly corresponds to the intentionality of the will. When I want something, I approach the object that is presented, or rather that presents itself to my attention as a good and thus shows its value. Presentation is an essential element of motivation, its correlate on the side of man being a specific kind of cognition. It is broadly speaking the cognition of values. But as is evidenced by the term "motive" itself, which etymologically is derived from the Latin movere ("to move"), more than this is contained in the notion of motive. We owe to motivation the impulsion, the movement of the will toward the object that is being presented - not just a turn toward it but an outright movement. To will means to strive after a value that thereby becomes an end. When Aristotle identified good with aim he only followed consistently in his reasoning the evidence available in elementary experience.

The subjective complexity of man requires precision and forces us to draw a sharp distinction between the impulsion of the will, which we owe to motivation, and emotions. This brings us to a very subtle boundary that runs within man and which may easily be overlooked if our in-depth vision is not sharp enough. We shall consider this boundary again when we come to the discussion of man's emotional life, of emotivity. Essentially, motives only stimulate the will but do not arouse emotions: they stimulate the will, which means that they stimulate man to will something, either X or Y. When I want something, I thereby simply will - even though our earlier considerations revealed a subtle difference between the one and the other. It is easy to establish that "I will" is something primary - like the foundation of the will - and durable in man, while the willing takes place in his intentionally directing himself toward different objects, this directing being secondary and variable. Motivation meets the variable intentionality of man's willing, it meets the possibility of attaching his willing to different objects that present themselves as values.

The Motivation of Simple Willing and the Motivation of Choice

When psychologists discriminate between the simple act of will and the compounded or expanded one, they do so essentially because in either case the motivations have a different form, and this entails twO different forms of decisions appropriate to the will. A simple act of will corresponds to motivation of the kind in which the will is presented with only one object, only one motivating value. Then, because of the value presented in the object, man simply desires it, he experiences no internal split or doubts, he does not have to make a choice, which always entails a momentary suspension of the process of willing. We may then speak of an unequivocal motive and an unequivocal decision; for while choice is unnecessary there is still a decision to be made. The simple "I will something" or "I will X" is an authentic decision.

Far better than in a simple act of willing, the nature of decislon 15 expressed and visualized when the choice is preceded by a more complex and developed process of motivation. Such is the case when the will is presented with more than one object as the end of possible striving, when it can choose from a number of values, which perhaps compete against each other or may even be mutually contradictory. Each of them in its own way seems to vie with the others in attracting the will and in trying to win the human "I will." Unequivocal decisions are then impossible, at least not before a separate process, which precedes and conditions the decision and is sometimes defined as the deliberation of motives. The process deserves a detailed analysis of its own, which we cannot give here, though we shall have to consider some of its most important elements. Such an analysis would have to include, on the one hand, the object of motives, that is to say the domain of values, which can be seen clearly only against the background of the deliberation of motives. On the other hand, it is necessary to examine the willing itself with all its specific complexity and potentiality; for there are many potential willings that appear to be taking part in the deliberation of motives, so that the will may address itself, or rather is ready to address itself, to any of the values that are presented. This indirectly confirms that the versatile and multifarious readiness of striving toward good is primary and fundamental in the dynamic essence of the will.

The Ability to Decide Is Seen in Choosing

In the deliberation of motives there is, besides the readiness, something akin to a momentary suspension of the process of willing. Not till the moment of decision, which in this case coincides with choice, can any one of the potential willings be actualized. In a simple decision there is no choice, because an unequivocal motive eliminates the need to choose. When motivation is complex each decision must become a choice. Man, then, not only has to decide to dynamize his own subject and thereby turn to an object, to some X or Y, but, in addition, has to decide to what object he is going to turn. It is this decision about the object of willing that we call "choice." And choice always entails the renunciation of a spectrum of objects, of possible values, for the sake of one single object or value. It also necessitates putting off some potential willings for the actual one. This one willing together with the chosen value forms a whole, in which the dynamic essence or nature of the will - and indirectly also the person in his transcendence - is visualized in a special way.

The one is interlinked with the other, and here again we find a confirmation of the view, which we have been emphasizing throughout this chapter, that the will is deeply rooted in the specific structure of the human person. In view of the whole process involved in an act of will, the deliberation of motives, and the suspension of willing, we come to the conclusion that what we call the "will" is not primarily connected with horizontal transcendence, with the subject's ability to go out toward the objects, which are the different values as objects of volition. What we call the "will" is primarily connected with the ability of decision, in which also the power to momentarily suspend willing in order to make a choice is contained. Thus the will is definitely included in the vertical transcendence, which is associated with self-governance and self-possession as the specific properties in the structure of the person. Indeed, it also determines and forms this transcendence. The ability to decide is more fully manifested in choice than in simple willing, though any "I choose" is also a definite "I will." We have thus a confirmation of the homogeneity of the will, notwithstanding the fact of the multiformity of the objectives of willing and also of the evolution in the forms that willing itself assumes according to whether motivation is simple or compound.

Considering the component itself of decision, which occurs in every act of will, whether simple or compound, we may say, on the one hand, that choice is willing expanded and enriched by the wealth of motivations and, on the other, that every simple willing is a choice reduced and simplified by the unambiguous plainness of motivation. For every time I make a decision, it has to be preceded by some sort of choice.

Free Will Manifests Itself in an Independent Determination of Objects

This brings us again to the question of freedom, which continues to be the object of our analyses in this chapter. It seems that in more than anything else, freedom is present and manifests itself in the ability to choose; for this ability confirms the independence of the will in the intentional order of willing. In choosing, the will is not cramped by the object, by the value as its end; it is the will and only the will that determines the object. This is how indeterminism enters into the formula of autodeterminism. Independence of the object, of the values as the end of willing, confirms for its part self-determination, which, so far as the grasping of the will is concerned, seems to be the most elemental experience of all. If, however, there was in man -within his whole accessible sphere of experience - anything that would allow his being determined in advance by the object in the intentional order, then self-determination would be impossible. Such determination would unavoidably abolish within the domain of the person the experience of efficacy and self-determination, the experience of decision or simply of willing. It would also mean the suppression of the person, insofar as in all these experiences he reveals himself and evidences his own existence. The person's exIstence is identical with the existence of a concrete central factor of freedom.

This freedom - the specific independence from objects in the intentional order, the ability to choose among them, to decide about them - does not, however, abolish the fact that man is conditioned in the broadest sense by the world of objects, in particular, by the domain of values. For his is not the freedom from objects or values, but, on the contrary, the freedom of, or rather for objects or values. We discover this meaning of freedom not only in the essence itself of the human "I will" but also in each of its forms. Willing is striving, and as such it carries in itself a form of dependence on objects, which does not however in any way abolish or destroy the independence that we find expressed in every simple willing and even more so in every choice - the independence that in either case is due to the fact of decision.

The Original Dynamism of Acts of Will Disproves Moral Determinism

There are those who, without due attention to the experiential nature of choice and decision, and on the grounds of the dependence on the world of objects alone, assert the existence of moral determinism; thus they reject freedom and indirectly also the person, indeed, the whole reality, that we have here defined as "the acting person." Determinism assumes its materialistic form when a certain preconception of matter tends to intervene into the interpretation of the experience of the person rather than to allow experience to present all its evidence to the end. This passing remark obviously cannot replace a full-scale discussion of the different materialistic treatments of determinism and this is not the place for it, the more so as our prime concern in this study is to allow experience to speak for itself as best it can and right to the end. As to the critical discussion of materialistic determinism, it suffices to consult any suitable handbook or treatise.

Besides the materialistic form of determinism there is also the view that associates determinism, which denies the freedom of the person, with what we have here accepted as the foundation of freedom or, to put it more concretely, as the condition of the decision present in every authentic "I will." Thus there is the line of thought that sees the irrevocable source of determinism in motivation, that is to say, in the presentation of the objects of will. According to this conception the will is restricted not by the object itself but by its presentation; inasmuch as man cannot desire an object without it being presented to him, his so-called choice in fact complies with the presentation; he chooses what is presented to him and how it is presented to him. For instance, if, as often happens, he chooses a lesser and passes by a greater good, this cannot be taken as evidence of free will, that is to say, an independence on objects, because interposed between the object and the will there is the presentation or motivation that definitely determines the direction of willing. Thus when as in our example man chooses a "lesser" good, he does so because hic et nunc it is presented to him as the "greater."

It seems, however, that hidden in this deterministic approach there is a far-reaching simplification, that it reduces the experience of the person to the point where the essentials are omitted or even sacrificed to a schematic pattern of thinking. In this connection much valuable service can be rendered by the phenomenological method with its suitability to exploit adroitly the available experiential data. The dynamic specificity appertaining to decision - whether in simple willing or in the more complex choosing - is essential in the will and is of the kind that makes impossible any determination. All determinism, not only by intentional objects (values) but also by the presentation of objects, is contrary to the original dynamism of decision. This is so because decision involves and reveals that relation to intentional objects as values which is proper solely to the will. The relation is to the object itself while presentation only establishes it and thereby enables and conditions decision. The deterministic thesis, that this relation is wholly constituted by presentation alone, fails to draw the distinction between the actual cause and a condition.

The Act of Will as the Person's Response to the Appeal of Values

Decision is connected with the dynamic structure of the "impulsion" that is essential in the will. The real cause of the impulsion is the good or value of the object, but the object has first to be presented. Presentation, however, does not in itself stimulate the impulsion of the will; it is, therefore, but a condition and can never be an essential factor either in determining or even in directing the impulsion. On the other hand, decision refers to objects themselves, to the presented values. It comprises not only a passive acceptance or assimilation of a presented value but also an authentic response to the value. Every instance of "I will" constitutes such an individual and unique response, which is specially apparent in every instance of choosing.

When the analysis of the will is conducted in the abstract, that is, when it is conducted so that will is viewed as if it were an Independent reality - an entity in itself - this remarkable trait of its dynamism may easily be lost. But if we place the analysis of the will within the framework of the whole dynamic structure that is constituted by the person and based on self-governance and self-possession, then the will is exhibited as self-determination while its relation to intentional objects is clearly seen as an active response. The ability to respond to presented values is will's characteristic trait. In making a decision man always responds to values. In his responding there is that independence with regard to objects which does not abolish all the bonds and thus leaves a certain measure of dependence on objects. Nevertheless, it is not the objects and values that have a grip of man; on the contrary, in his relation to them he governs himself: he is his own master. The reflexive pronoun shows best the essential active element of will. The specific response to the values presented in motivation seems to be indicative of the proper active demand of the will and at the same time also of what constitutes the acting of the person, what distinguishes acting from any submission to action, which is the term we have been using from the beginning to define all that only takes place, only happens in the person.




Dynamic Structure of the Object Common to Cognition and Will

Our analyses seek to uncover deeper and deeper layers of the reality that is the action, while we continue to trace the primitive experience that allows us to distinguish between acting and happening in man. By asserting that the ability to respond to presented values is the characteristic trait of the will, which shapes the form of the process of acting, we uncover a new layer of our inquiry. It allows us to investigate the nature and conditions of the person which allow him to respond to the will. For in fact this responsiveness flows from the promptings of the intellectual sphere of the human person; it is in speech, implying thought, that we may see the first symptom of man's ability to respond either to values on the one hand or to the promptings of will on the other. The assertion that the active, dynamic ability to respond to values is a characteristic of the will, however, refers not only to a certain analogy between will and thought but also to the nature itself of the will. In traditional philosophy, from the great thinkers of the Middle Ages up to and including Leibniz, this nature of the will was conceived as the appetitus rationalis. This conception, which because of its conciseness and precision has become almost classical, allows us indeed to grasp that relation between will and cognition which has never ceased to be one of the most fascinating questions of philosophy and psychology.

It is expressed in the traditional view that nothing may become the object of will unless it is already known. The question still remains as to what is the common dynamic structure of the object as already known and as again object of the will.47 We will attempt to disclose this common dynamic structure on our own account in order to see how much a clarification of the relation between cognition and will contributes to the overall vision of man, of the person, and at the same time how deeply it is itself rooted in this vision. In attempting to elucidate this relation we find all those traces of interpretative integration and disintegration which ultimately must lead us to experience as the prime source of our knowledge of man. This is the reason why in our study we had first to conceive of experience as the source of cognition and knowledge and only then to consider the way of exploiting it for explanatory purposes. For experience and understanding together constitute a whole, and interpretation is interchangeable with comprehending.


The Will's Reference to Truth as the Inner Principle of Decision

The remarkable feature in the interpretation of acting, of the action, that we are presenting in this study is that the person is already presumed in it; to unveil step by step the reality of action we have simultaneously to uncover the deeper layers of the person. The person's dynamic activation is, on the one hand, the primordial experiential fact and, on the other, the final theme and objective of interpretation, which we are gradually approaching. Can this theme be fully explored, and is this final objective attainable? Or is our investigation only a series of successive approximations leading progressively to a better, more complete unfolding of our object, which is the acting person, and at the same time confirming the assertion that the person as such in his complete nature is rationally ungraspable, inexpressible? This last assertion paraphrases the classical definition, individuum est ineffabile; but as the person is an individual, though also more than an individual, the paraphrase seems permissible. At any rate, the assertion will be confirmed by our analysis, even though in our study we are considering the person as such and not just some concrete individual, a person-individual, hoping to bring to light this approach as self-justified.

Having made these general remarks, which have reference to the introductory considerations and principles already outlined in Chapter 1, we have to go back to our analysis at the point where we left it. The assertion of the specific nature of the will connected with the ability to decide and to choose allows us in turn to disclose another significant trait in the dynamism of the will: the reference to "truth." The reference to truth forms an intrinsic part of the very nature of a decision and is in a special manner manifest in choice. The essential condition of choice and of the ability to make a choice as such, seems to lie in the specific reference of will to truth, the reference that permeates the intentionality of willing and constitutes what is somehow the inner principle of volition. To "choose" does not mean to turn toward one value and away from others (this would be a purely "material" notion of choice). It does mean to make a decision, according to the principle of truth, upon selecting between possible objects that have been presented to the will. It would be impossible to understand choice without referring the dynamism proper to the will to truth as the principle of willing. This principle is, as we will see, intrinsic to the will itself, and at the same time constitutes the essence of choice. It is, also, by the same token, the essence of decision, and this includes also decisions with univocal motivations when only the so-called simple act of will is involved.

If striving for intentional objects according to the principle of the recognition of their validity as cognized were not to form part of the dynamic essence of the will, then it would be impossible to understand either choice or decision with all their dynamic originality. The hypothesis that the reference to truth has an entirely external origin, that it derives merely either from cognition - from a knowledge of the objects of choice - or simply from volition, is insufficient for the satisfactory interpretation of the relation between knowledge of the object of will and the act of will. Since it is owing to the knowledge of objects that the reference to truth is actualized, their knowledge is a necessary condition of choice and decision making; but the reference to truth, with all the originality proper to choice and decision making, is itself derived from the will and belongs to the will's own dynamism. The dynamism of will is not in itself cognitive; "to will" never means "to cognize or to know." It refers in a specific manner, however, and is internally dependent on, the recognition of truth. This is precisely the reason why it is accessible to cognition and specifically consistent with cognition. This in turn also explains the fact that in choosing and deciding, the will - and thus of course the person -responds to motives instead of being in one way or another only determined by them. The ability to respond is manifested by the "free will" conceived in the broad sense. From the above it seems evident that this response presupposes a reference to truth and not only a reference to the objects which elicit it.

The Will's Dependence on Truth and Independence of Objects

We have mentioned in our argument the will's "reference to truth" and also its accommodation to truth. These expressions adequately render the state of affairs that we are considering: for in the inner dynamism of will we discover a relation to truth that goes deeper and is different from the relation to the objects of volition. The relation to truth is not restricted to the structure of volition as an intentional act; nevertheless, it plays a decisive role in this act as proceeding from its anchorage in the person. In its element of choice and decision, every volition manifests its specific dependence on the person from whom it flows, a dependence that may be called the "surrender to truth." The exact meaning of this expression has to be fully explained. At any rate, it is the essential surrender of will to truth that seems finally to account for the person's transcendence in action, ultimately for his ascendancy to his own dynamism.

We said earlier that it is the transcendence that we owe to self-determination, that is, in the final analysis to the free will. The person "transcends" his actions because he is free and only so far as he is free. Freedom in its fundamental sense is equivalent to self-reliance. Freedom in the expanded sense is the acting person's intentional flexibility and partial independence with respect to the possible objects of volition, insofar as man is determined neither by the objects themselves nor by their presentation. His independence in the intentional sphere is to be explained by this inner reference to truth and dependence on truth inherent in the will. It is this dependence that makes will independent of objects and their presentation, and grants the person that ascendancy over his own dynamism which we have here described as the transcendence in action (as vertical transcendence). The person becomes independent of the objects of his own acting through the moment of truth, which is contained in every authentic choice of decision making. 48

The Moment of Truth and the Moral Value of Actions

Let us stress once again the need to examine more precisely the "moment of truth." But first it is perhaps worth noting that this moment, which belongs to the will, is to be distinguished from the truthfulness of the particular choices and decisions that may be actually made. At the beginning of this study we mentioned the integral experience of man, in particular, his moral experience, and this point brings us back to it again. First, there is the painfully evident fact that not all of the particular choices or decisions of the human will are correct. Too often man seeks and chooses what is not good for him. Such a choice or decision is not just an error, because errors stem from the mind and not from the will. Choices and decisions, which take as their object what is not a "real good" -especially when contrary to what has been recognized as a real good - lead to the experience of "guilt," or "sin." But it is the reality of guilt - of sin or moral evil - known from the moral experience that brings to light explicitly the fact that the reference to truth and the inner dependence on truth is rooted in the human will.49

If choice and decision were to be without their inherent moment of truth, if they were to be performed apart from that specific reference to truth, moral conduct most characteristic for the man-person would become incomprehensible. For it refers essentially to the opposition between what is morally good to what is morally bad. This opposition not only presupposes the will's specific relation to truth - insofar as will's intentionality is concerned - but also raises this relation to the role of the principle of decision, choice, and action. Briefly speaking, in the opposition between the good and the bad which direct moral conduct there is presupposed that in human acting the willing of any object occurs according to the principle of the truth about the good represented by these objects.




Motivation Leads the Will Out of Initial Indetermination

The foregoing discussion seems to have thrown much light on the manner in which the object of will and the cognition of the corresponding object together form the dynamic schema of man's specific functioning. The will's own relation to truth - the relation that is decisive for the dynamic originality of every choice and decision making - has allowed us to argue away the form of determinism which has its source in the erroneous assumption that it is the object as cognitively presented that elicits the act of will. If such were the case, then motivation would amount to determination, and this would foil all the originality of choosing and decision making, and indirectly also of self-determination. Nevertheless, though the will's proper relation to the truth in action does not derive solely from the cognitive presentation of objects, it is distinctly influenced by it. Without being presented with objects the will would not be in a position to deliberate and select, and by a single fixating upon "simple decision" it could not develop its own relation to it. Motivation is not to be identified with determination, but it is the condition of autodetermination.

By "autodetermination" we mean the moment of freedom not only in the fundamental sense of the self-reliance of the person but also in the broader sense when it refers to the possible objects of willing. At the origin of this relation there is a certain indetermination, which, however, in no way implies an indifference to objects and to values; it rather means the readiness to direct our intention of will to any one out of the complete range available without any prejudical preference. Motivation serves to urge the will out of its initial, still undetermined state, though this is achieved not by its being a determining factor but by being the condition enabling autodetermination. It is this distinct trait of autodetermination in choice and decision that establishes their personal originality. As self-determination is both manifested in and made concrete by choice and decision, they reach right to the structures of self-governance and self-possession of the person. On these same structures also relies the transcendence that distinguishes the acting person from a mere individual.

The Special Nature of Cognition as Condition of an Act of Will

Knowledge appears then as the condition not only enabling but also influencing choice, decision making, and more generally the exercise (and mechanism) of self-determination; it is the one condition of the person's transcendence in the action. We have already seen how this transcendence springs from the relation to truth. Now, if this mode of transcendence is in its own way the essential moment of the will that manifests itself in every choice or decision making, then within the human person's dynamism as a whole this moment is in a specific way knit together with the relation to truth as the constituent of the cognitive structure. We see thus how cognition plays the role of one of the conditions of will. But at the same time we have to note the reciprocity of this exercise of the will. For the exercise of will, because of its own relation to the truth of all the objects to which it turns by means of its intentionality, or in other words, the intentionality of volition, also influences cognition. This influence does not amount to freedom to change "at will" the nature of the cognized or the processes of cognition and thinking; the will acknowledges objects as cognized but proposes to, and imposes specific tasks on, cognition and thought; the recognition and preference of these tasks are given in the deliberating moment of will to the truth about good. "To will," in virtue of its essential structure of recognizing truth with respect to its objects, comports essential structural extension in its foundational connectedness with the structures of "to cognize" and "to know," so that we are tempted at first to conclude that this dependence is one-sided without giving due attention to its effect, namely, that cognition is specifically influenced by the will's demand on it.

The Moment of Truth about Good is Essential in the Experiencing of Values

This is how we may in the most general terms explain the basis in man for that branch of cognizing and knowing that we call "axiology," the knowledge of values.50 For in the experience of value the moment of truth also seems to play an essential role. It is the truth about this or that object which crystallizes this or that moment of good. When for instance we experience the nutritive value of a food, we at once come to know what is the good of the object, which serves us as food. When we have the experience of the positive educative value of a book, we realize at the same time that the book as an object crystallizes a definite good. In either case our knowledge need not be provoked by, or serve, any concrete willing (though this would be the case if we were testing the value of a food in order to eat it, or inquiring about the educative value of a book in order to make use of it). The cognitive experience of value, that is to say, the apprehension of the good of this or that object, is not directly dependent on a concrete willing, though in principle it is very closely related to it. For the relation to truth then evolved in cognition is of such a kind that it may become the principle of willing when a choice or a decision is made. It is because of a definite value that we decide on an object of willing or choose among possible objects of willing. The cognitive experience of value is always an underlying factor in motivation.

The knowledge of values and its relation to the will can be, and usually is, considered as a separate problem in itself. The reason is the wealth of its various aspects. (In this chapter we still have to examine the emotional component in the experience of value.) In our study, however, there seems to be no place for its separate discussion, and indeed it would be fallacious to isolate the investigation of values from that of will. Perhaps another study will provide a better opportunity to go into it more fully.

At this point of our discussion the cognitive experience of value is of paramount importance for the understanding of the person, of his specific dynamism in action, and the transcendence that is strictly related to the moment of truth in acting. Summarizing the results of our discussion we might say that included in the experience of value there is the knowledge of the truth about the objects that the will turns to by the power of its specific intentionality. It is the intentionality of volition, this intentional willing, that because of the experience of value - that is to say, through the moment of the truth about the good that the willed objects constitute - assumes the form of deliberation, choice or decision making. The characteristic trait of the will is not the intentionality itself of willing (that is, its turning toward objects that are recognized as valuable) but the directing itself of the intention of the act of will, through deliberation, choice or decision toward its objective. This turning may be done exclusively by the person.

The Axiological Truth and the So-called "Practical Truth"

The moment of truth contained in the essence itself of choice or decision thus determines the dynamism of the person as such. It is the dynamism conductive toward the action. The moment of truth liberates the acting of the person and, in the deepest sense, determines the boundary between the acting and the submission to action or between the acting and the happening, in which the person may in different ways be the subject. Again, it is this moment that stays under the jurisdiction of the cognitive experience of value. Choice as well as decision making - each in its own way - is performed in reference to the truth of the object recognized as a positive good. Thus in both there is presupposed the cognitive experience of truth; for the cognitive experience to which the deliberation of the will takes recourse is not merely constitutive of objects of cognition but is first and foremost evaluating them with respect to that "truth" about the object which shows it as a positive or negative good. That is, we speak here about the axiological (or moral) truth, which is differentiated from the ontological and logical "truth." In grasping it we assert the value of an object rather than what the object itself or as cognized actually is. The "axiological truth" - or rather truth in the axiological sense - which is disclosed by our investigation is not, however, the same as the so-called "practical truth" and does not belong directly to so-called "practical knowledge." It is an essential element in the vision one has of human reality. It is also the factor that plays the most essential role in the structure of our acting to the degree that we may say that "to know" passes into "to will."




Thought and the Efficacy of the Subject

So far in our analysis of knowledge as a condition of the person's transcendence in action we have concentrated on the content of cognition. But human cognition is a highly diversified and very complex function of the person and needs to be analyzed also from the side of the person in order to elucidate its share in the action and in the person's transcendence in connection with acting. The whole of human cognition is also contained within the limits of the experience, which in this study we are trying to interpret through the dynamism of man. As we have already pointed out, the characteristic mark of this dynamism is the distinction between acting and submitting to an impact. This distinction is also applicable, though in a specific manner, to cognition as a function of the person. Cognition is given us in experience essentially in the form of acting. Its proper moment consists in the fact that to cognize and also to think proceeds in sequences of acts; that is, it amounts to "act." Thinking, however, is a different function from cognizing. But alongside the active experience of cognition we also have the experience of thinking, which though of a more active nature has a cognitive significance. But if we consider the thinking process, at its already accomplished and thus passive stage, as the kind of experience in which thoughts just pass or flow "through" the field of actual consciousness - in such an experience it is the cognitive import accomplished already that belongs to the content of the flux; and the attitude of the human ego to it is that of the passive subject and not of the active agent. An experience of this kind is in a way analogous to the experience of "I want," when the psychical form of volition is by no means inherent in the personally efficacious "I will." This is the reason why we have asserted more than once that the intentionality of volition is in itself insufficient to constitute the dynamism of the will.

The difference between thinking and willing in general lies, broadly speaking, in their different directions: willing implies a certain outgoing toward an object and entering upon it as remaining external to the willing subject (the essence of willing being "to strive"), while thinking consists in first tending toward an object and then constituting it by introducing it within the immanence of the subject. Thus, for instance, the introduction of an object to the subject may be achieved by presentation in intuition of its noematic fragments in the object's "bodily selfhood" - or by means of imagination. But it may also be achieved by comprehension and interpretation. In each case the object is in a different way cognitively introduced to the cognizing subject; in the case of noematic self-presentation and imagination it is by means of direct intuition and in comprehension by means of the intellect.

In Judgment Man Has the Experience of Himself as the Agent of Thought

The direction simultaneously toward the object and backward to cognition (especially to the so-called "external perception") is also implied in experiences of the type when "thoughts" just pass through the mind. Nevertheless, even the experience of "immanent perception" of our cognitive acts, e.g., ln the perception "I am thinking," exhibits the cross currents of passiveness and the proper activeness of the personal ego. For on the one hand, we may consider that in certain of its processes thinking "happens" in man, but, on the other hand, in its other modalities it is - as Husserl has emphasized - active par excellence. It seems, however, that even "happening" itself is already a manifestation of the cognitive dynamism of man; thus there is also presupposed in it man's cognitive potentiality with all its complex implications. The passive mode of thinking seems to be radically differentiated from the active, however, on account of the role of judgment. Only with emergence within the schema of man's cognitive function of the instance of judgment has man the experience of being the agent of cognition and of thought. The action of judging seems to constitute the crucial and decisive factor of human cognitive activity. There is presupposed in it a still more elementary function of the mind, namely, that of ideation - an aspect strongly emphasized by contemporary thinkers. But experientially this function is inherent in the function of judging, and it is by judgment that in consciousness it manifests itself as the action, in which the ego is not merely the subject but also the agent.

The function of judgment has an "outer" structure on account of the objects that are its raw material. This structure becomes apparent in sentences expressed in speech or writing. For instance, in the sentence "The wall is white" the function of judging consists in attributing to a thing (the waIl) a property that it actually has (whiteness); this is expressed in the "outer" structure that appertains not only to speech but also to thought; for we speak in sentences because we think in judgments. But there is more in judgment than the outer structure; a judgment grasps a truth about the object that is its raw material. Thus in "the wall is white," in addition to the outer structure assumed by the function of judging on account of its object, there is also present the inherent, "inner" structure of this function expressing the grasping as such. That is, the function of judging establishes also the correctness of the way in which the "raw material" (or subject of the judging) is conceived by the predicate which is attributed to it in the judgment. It means that the judgment grasps this correctness of attribution as the "truth" of the object. To grasp the truth is the same as to introduce an object to the person-subject through one of his inherent properties. This property, which not only belongs to the subject as his self-transcendent, but also his experienced relation to truth, reveals at once the spiritual nature of the personal subject. Indeed, as we shall see in our subsequent analysis, truth is not only essential for the possibility of human knowledge, but it is simultaneously the basis for the person's transcendence in the action. For the moment of truth in this respect, or the truth about the moral good, makes of the action what it actually is; it is this moment that gives to the action the authentic form of the "act of the person."

Correspondence of Judgment and Decision

There is a distinct correspondence or correlation between judgment and deliberation, choice or decision making in the process of the will. It is the correspondence of the already known to what becomes the object of willing. To apprehend properly this correspondence or correlation it is necessary, however, to approach and envisage the person in his transcendence. Through judgments the person attains his proper cognitive transcendence with respect to objects. But beyond the recognition of the correctness with which the attributes express the nature of objects, there is also a type of judgment in which the value is attributed to the subject, and the correctness of this attribution, grasped in the judgment itself (its apodictic aspect), constitutes "axiological" or "moral truth." The cognitive transcendence toward the object as known is the condition of the transcendence of the will in the action with respect to the object of the will. The judgment of values is presupposed in deliberation, in choice and decision, because it is not only preconstituted in and by itself through the truth about objects (the so-called "apodicticity" which we see as essential to judgment) but it also makes possible and lays a foundation for that proper relation of the will to objects. Whenever the person chooses or decides, he has had first to make a judgment of values.

It may be worth noting that every decision - and every choice seems to entail essentially a decision - comes as the nearest analogue of judgment, so much so that a judgment is often identified with decision. But the essence of judging is cognitive and thus belongs to the sphere of knowing while the essence of decision is strictly connected with willing. "To will" means not only to strive toward an end but also to strive while deciding. It is for this reason that the will is so deeply inherent in the structure of the person, and every authentic, wholehearted "I will" actualizes the proper self-governance and self-possession of the person.

The Creative Role of Intuition in the Discursive Perception of Values

The prominence given here to the significance of judgment in the interplay of the object of cognition and that of will is not intended to belittle in any way the creative role of cognitive intuition, especially in what concerns the experience of values. We have pointed already to the cross currents of a certain passiveness and the proper activeness of the personal ego, which are apparent within the sphere of human thought. When judging, when formulating judgments, the ego has the experience of himself as the agent - the one who acts - of the act itself of cognizing. But we may also cognitively experience directly the value of the object of cognition. The subject - the ego -then remains as if absorbing this value, "contemplating" it and passive rather than active. It remains then in the passive role of the subject more than in that of the agent. These occasions are of extreme importance: they are creative and rich in consequences for cognition of human reality.

Although intuition seems at first sight only to happen in man we are not to belittle the active moment in its operation. First, it seems that the intuitive experience of objects is always accompanied by judgment; inasmuch as values are the object of intuition, it is a judgment of values, a judgment positing a given value. The character of this kind of judgment is not then discursive; the value is not reached in the course of a process of reasoning; instead, we find it in our knowledge as if it were ready-made rather than formed by reason. It is to this extent that we can speak of a kind of "cognitive experience." This experience is very often the outcome of earlier cognitive ventures, of those often countless intentional endeavors at grasping a value which, however, at the time failed in attaining its perception. When here and now we grasp a value intuitively, we have reason to suppose that this is an indirect result also of earlier repetitive efforts making up instances of a sequence.

Intuition and discourse are both involved, though in different ways, in the processes of cognition as a whole; sometimes it is intuition that lies at the origin of discursive thinking and sometimes it marks the end and is the indirect outcome of mental processes. From the point of view of the transcendence of the person the question, whether the cognitive process proceeds more intuitively or more discursively, has no major significance. The important thing is the moment of truth, for it is the relation to truth that explains all choice and decision. The intuition lying at the origin of a discursive process seems to indicate that the intuitive truth needs to be further exfoliated. Intuition that comes as the fruition of discursive processes, on the other hand, is like a retrieval of truth and somehow like abiding in truth. The person's transcendence in the action seems much more connected with the praxis - that is, the truth of the objective reality, in which man continuously strives to make right choices and decisions - than with the intellectual function of judging.

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