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An Examination of President Edwards' Inquiry into

Produced by Keith G Richardson

EXAMINATION

OF

EDWARDS ON THE WILL.

AN EXAMINATION

OF

PRESIDENT EDWARDS' INQUIRY

INTO THE

FREEDOM OF THE WILL.

BY

ALBERT TAYLOR BLEDSOE.

"Man, as the minister and interpreter of nature, does and understands as much as his observations on the order of nature, either with regard to things or the mind, permit him, and neither knows more, nor is capable of more."--_Novum Organum_.

PHILADELPHIA:

H. HOOKER, 16 SOUTH SEVENTH STREET.

1845.

ENTERED, according to act of Congress, in the year 1845, by H. HOOKER, in the clerk's office of the District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

King & Baird, Printers, 9 George St.

TO

THE REV. WILLIAM SPARROW, D. D.

AS A TOKEN

OF ADMIRATION FOR HIS GENIUS,

AND

AFFECTIONATE REGARD FOR HIS VIRTUES,

This little Volume

IS RESPECTFULLY INSCRIBED,

BY THE AUTHOR.

CONTENTS.

INTRODUCTORY REMARKS

SECTION I. OF THE POINT IN CONTROVERSY

SECTION II. OF EDWARDS' USE OF THE TERM CAUSE

SECTION III. THE INQUIRY INVOLVED IN A VICIOUS CIRCLE

SECTION IV. VOLITION NOT AN EFFECT

SECTION V. OF THE CONSEQUENCES OF REGARDING VOLITION AS AN EFFECT

SECTION VI. OF THE MAXIM THAT EVERY EFFECT MUST HAVE A CAUSE

SECTION VII. OF THE APPLICATION OF THE MAXIM THAT EVERY EFFECT MUST HAVE A CAUSE

SECTION VIII. OF THE RELATION BETWEEN THE FEELINGS AND THE WILL

SECTION IX. OF THE LIBERTY OF INDIFFERENCE

SECTION X. OF ACTION AND PASSION

SECTION XI. OF THE ARGUMENT FROM THE FOREKNOWLEDGE OF GOD

SECTION XII. OF EDWARDS' USE OF THE TERM NECESSITY

SECTION XIII. OF NATURAL AND MORAL NECESSITY

SECTION XIV. OF EDWARDS' IDEA OF LIBERTY

SECTION XV. OF EDWARDS' IDEA OF VIRTUE

SECTION XVI. OF THE SELF-DETERMINING POWER

SECTION XVII. OF THE DEFINITION OF A FREE-AGENT

SECTION XVIII. OF THE TESTIMONY OF CONSCIOUSNESS

INTRODUCTORY REMARKS.

I ENTERED upon an examination of the "Inquiry" of President Edwards, not with a view to find any fallacy therein, but simply with a desire to ascertain the truth for myself. If I have come to the conclusion, that the whole scheme of moral necessity which Edwards has laboured to establish, is founded in error and delusion; this has not been because I came to the examination of his work with any preconceived opinion. In coming to this conclusion I have disputed every inch of the ground with myself, as firmly and as resolutely as I could have done with an adversary. The result has been, that the views which I now entertain, in regard to the philosophy of the will, are widely different from those usually held by the opponents of moral necessity, as well as from those which are maintained by its advocates.


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