Thursday, May 22, 2008

Quotation Collage -- Agency

Ian McEwan: "She bent her finger and then straightened it. The mystery was in the instant before it moved, the dividing moment between not moving and moving, when her intention took effect. It was like a wave breaking. If she could only find herself at the crest, she thought, she might find the secret of herself, that part of her that was really in charge. She brought her forefinger closer to her face and stared at it, urging it to move. It remained still because she was pretending... . And when she did crook it finally, the action seemed to start in the finger itself, not in some part of her mind." (Atonement, pp. 35-6)

Schopenhauer: "I say that between the act of will and the bodily action there is no causal connection whatever; on the contrary, the two are directly one and the same thing perceived in a double way, namely in self-consciousness or the inner sense as an act of will, and simultaneously in external brain-perception as bodily action." (The Fourfold Root, pp. 114-15)

Spinoza: "So also a mode of extension and the idea of that mode are one and the same thing, but expressed in two ways." (Ethics, Book II, proposition 7, scholium)

Ludwig Wittgenstein: "My expression came from my thinking of willing as a sort of producing -- not, however, as a case of causation, but -- I should like to say -- as a direct, non-causal producing. And the basis of this idea is our imagining that the causal nexus is the connexion of two machine parts by means of a mechanism, say a train of cog-wheels." (Zettel sect. 580; cf. 613 of the Investigations)

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