a. m. asked in Arts & HumanitiesPhilosophy · 1 decade ago

What do philosophers mean by 'will'?

6 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    i like the thought of megalomaniac,

    Nietzsche defines will similarly to the "any internally motivated action" usage, but more narrowly. In this sense, will is more a "creative spark," a certain independence and stubbornness. A person who chooses not to steal because the Ten Commandments said so would not be exercising their will; neither would someone buying some music because their friends recommended it. Someone who independently forms their own moral system or who composes a musical composition pleasing to themself, however, would be exercising will.

    In idealist models of reality, the material world is either non-existent or is a secondary artifact of the "true" world of ideas. In such worlds, it can be said that everything is an act of will. Even if you are arrested by the police, this is actually an act of your will, too; if you didn't want it to happen, you could have decided otherwise. This line of thought is seen among philosophers such as Arthur Schopenhauer in his book The World as Will and Representation; it is also seen in proponents of a spiritual or mystical universe such as the New Thought writers Frank Channing Haddock (The Power of Will) and William Walker Atkinson (Personal Power Volume V: Will Power), and the occult writer Aleister Crowley.

    Free Will

    The standard use of this term is as a distinction between internally motivated and caused events and external events. Jumping off a cliff would be an act of free will; accidentally falling or being pushed off a cliff would not be an act of free will.

    Some people believe that seemingly "free" actions aren't actually free, or that the entire concept is a chimera. The argument generally goes along the lines that since "internal" beliefs are affected by earlier external events, nothing is truly an internal choice, because everything you do is [pre]determined. Alternately, if there is no foreordained future, we may be at the mercy of the randomness of chance, which may also negate free will.

    Source(s): wikipedia
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It depends upon the philosopher. Two who talked a great deal about it were Schopenhauer and Nietzsche. Schopenhauer wrote a seminal work called "The World as Will", in which he explains that all of Nature is driven by a blind desire to survive and propagate. He found this depressing. Then again, he found all of life to be depressing.

    Will can be defined as the ability to affect change in accordance with one's desire or thought. It is closely related to purpose, and purpose in turn is very closely related to meaning.

    Source(s): Friendly guy
  • 1 decade ago


    "Will" obviously are thoughts that makes sense if it doesnt make sense it's either nonsense, will must contain a "sense data"

    depends how you interpret sense data, because "sense" according to william james is not a "perception". and "sense data" according to a j ayer is the sum of sense and perception. (intellectual data)

    will can be "aha" insight,

    will can be controlled but.....

    but not the Nature's will(e.g global warming, plastic empty bottle in the nature).

  • 1 decade ago

    That decision to act through either logical choice or mental calculations. To do as one will for whatever they will, too others, for others or when they will. Choice of the homo sapient as it wills.


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  • 1 decade ago

    Schopenhauer famously said that: "a man can do as he will but not will as he will."

    There are two meanings of 'will' here. To do 'as one wills' is to choose one's actions. The other kind of 'will' is the motive for doing something. Here Schopenhauer is saying that you can choose your actions but you can't choose your motives.

  • sv
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    "whatever flashes in mind" when given due thought becomes will.

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