Voluntary
Voluntary
Wilful, proceeding from the will

Catholic Encyclopedia. . 2006.

Voluntary
    Voluntary
     Catholic_Encyclopedia Voluntary
    Wilful, proceeding from the will. It is requisite that the thing be an effect of the will consequent upon actual knowledge, either formal or virtual, in the rational agent. It is not quite the same as free; for a free act supposes self- determination proceeding from an agent capable, at the time, of determining himself or not at his choice. However, as every specific voluntary act in this life is also free (except those rare will-impulses, when man is swept to sudden action without time to perceive in non-action the element of good requisite for determination not to act) the moralist commonly uses the terms voluntary and free interchangeably. A thing may be voluntary in itself, as when in its own proper concept it falls under the efficacious determination of the agent, or voluntary in something else, as in its cause. Voluntary in cause requires foreknowledge of the effect, at least virtual, viz. under a general concept of effects to follow; and production thereof by virtue of the will's efficiency exercised in the willing of its cause. For the verification of the latter requisite the moralist distinguishes two classes of effects which commonly follow from the same cause, those namely to produce which the cause is destined by its nature, and those to which it is not so destined. Of the former the cause is sole and adequate cause, the effect natural and primary. The human will cannot without self-contradiction put a cause into existence without efficaciously willing this natural effect also. In the case of the other class of effects the cause placed by the will is not the sole and adequate cause, but the effect results from the coincident efficiency of other causes, whether contingent, as upon the exercise of other free wills or upon the accidental coincidence of necessary causes beyond the knowledge and control of the agent, or whether necessarily resulting from the coincident efficiency of natural causes ready to act when occasion is thus given. An effect of this class does not come into existence by the efficiency of the will placing the occasioning cause. The utmost result of the will's efficiency, when it places a cause and wills its natural effect, is to make that secondary class of effects possible. Sometimes the agent is so bound to prevent the existence of a secondary effect as to be beholden not to make it possible, and so is bound to withhold the occasioning cause. In case of failure in this duty his fault is specified by the character of the effect to be prevented, and so this effect is then said to be morally involved in his voluntary act, whereas in strict analysis the will only caused its possibility.
    Vincible ignorance as a reason of an effect does not rob it of its voluntariness, as the ignorance is voluntary and its effect immediate and natural. Invincible ignorance, however, removes its effect from the domain of the voluntary, in itself because unknown, in its cause, for the ignorance is involuntary. Passion pursuant of its sensible object, when voluntarily induced, does not deprive its act of voluntariness, as the passion is the natural cause and is voluntary. Passion spontaneously arising does not ordinarily mean the loss of voluntariness, as in ordinary course it leaves a man both the necessary knowledge and power of self-determination, as we know by experience. In the extraordinary case of such an excess of passion as paralyzes the use of reason obviously the act cannot be voluntary. Even fear and the cognate passions that turn a man from sensible harm do not destroy the simple voluntariness of their act, as this (excepting again such excess as holds up the reasoning faculty) proceeds with such knowledge and efficacious self-determination consequent thereon as fulfil the requisites for voluntary action. Of course there will commonly remain an inefficacious reluctance of the will to such action. Physical force can coerce only the external act: our experience shows that the internal act of the will is still our own.
    CHARLES MACKSEY
    Transcribed by Thomas M. Barrett Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VIII. — New York: Robert Appleton Company. . 1910.


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  • voluntary — vol·un·tary / vä lən ˌter ē/ adj 1 a: proceeding from one s own free choice or consent rather than as the result of duress, coercion, or deception a voluntary statement b: not compelled by law: done as a matter of choice or agreement voluntary… …   Law dictionary

  • Voluntary — Vol un*ta*ry, a. [L. voluntarius, fr. voluntas will, choice, from the root of velle to will, p. pr. volens; akin to E. will: cf. F. volontaire, Of. also voluntaire. See {Will}, v. t., and cf. {Benevolent}, {Volition}, {Volunteer}.] 1. Proceeding… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • voluntary — vol‧un‧ta‧ry [ˈvɒləntri ǁ ˈvɑːlənteri] adjective 1. done or agreed to willingly and without being forced: • He suggested that workers take voluntary pay cuts to help the economy. • Cigar advertising on television is banned under a voluntary… …   Financial and business terms

  • voluntary — voluntary, intentional, deliberate, willful, willing can mean constituting or proceeding from an exercise of free will. Voluntary, the most widely applicable of these terms, often implies not only freedom from constraint but freedom from the… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • voluntary — [väl′ən ter΄ē] adj. [ME voluntarie < L voluntarius, voluntary < voluntas, free will < volo, I wish: see VOLITION] 1. brought about by one s own free choice; given or done of one s own free will; freely chosen or undertaken 2. acting in a …   English World dictionary

  • Voluntary — (v. engl. „spontan“) bezeichnet ein Musikstück (meist für die Orgel), welches improvisiert wurde oder eine Komposition von improvisatorischem Charakter. Das Voluntary entstammt dem englischen Barock und ist in der ursprünglichen Funktion mit dem… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Voluntary — may refer to:*A word meaning done, given, or acting of one s own free will , see Volunteer *Voluntary (music), a piece of music played as part of a church service …   Wikipedia

  • voluntary — ● voluntary, voluntaries nom masculin (anglais voluntary) En Angleterre, au XVIe s., court morceau d orgue improvisé avant le culte ou pièce pour clavecin. (L école des virginalistes en a laissé de nombreux exemples. Blow et Purcell l… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Voluntary — Vol un*ta*ry, n.; pl. {Voluntaries}. 1. One who engages in any affair of his own free will; a volunteer. [R.] Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. (Mus.) A piece played by a musician, often extemporarily, according to his fancy; specifically, an organ solo… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • voluntary — late 14c. (implied in voluntarily), from L. voluntarius of one s free will, from voluntas will, from the ancient accusative singular prp. of velle to wish (see WILL (Cf. will) (v.)). Originally of feelings, later also of actions (mid 15c.) …   Etymology dictionary

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