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The immediate antecedent of choice, when it is normal, is the whole present self. In choice then the mind simply determines itself from one state to another. If we represent the two states by a and b and the activity of choice by x, every case of normal choice will involve the self-moving of the mind from a to b through function x. The causal antecedent of x is, therefore, the mind in state a, while the consequent is the mind in state b, and x is the activity or movement in which the transition is made. Normal choice is, therefore, self-movement and not movement by other. Another conclusion that follows from the above analysis is that fatalism rests on a false idea of the relation of a man to his own choice. The fatalist is one who denies his own agency in volition. The only type of determination, in his view, is determination by other. He, therefore, makes a false diremption between himself and the determining causes of his action and conceives himself to be a mere puppet in the hands of God, Nature, Fate, or whatever his Absolute may chance to be. But if the immediate antecedent of choice is the chooser himself, and if choice is self-determination, the presupposition of fatalism falls to the ground; for, however a man's choice may be determined, it cannot be that he is a mere spectator of the drama, or that he is run by alien forces that act without his own assent.

ALEXANDER T. ORMOND, "Freedom and Psycho-Genesis"


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