Will, Agency, and Constraint

Part of the Cognition and Language: A Series in Psycholinguistics book series (CALS)


Argument: Primitive will is the core given over to action, affect and subjectivity. Subjectivity is elaborated as the will diverts from instinctual routines bound to environmental objects through an intrinsic development to the drives. The drives partition the will into desires, needs, wants, etc. These are tributaries of drive as it distributes into the hierarchy of values in the self. The goals of a drive become the concepts of a desire. External constraints are simultaneous with the contents they elicit. Intrinsic constraints apply within the mental state and from one state to the next. Constraints alter probabilities of outcome but are not direct causes.


Mental State Prior State External Constraint Drive State Spatiotemporal Relation 


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    There is a full discussion of the deep or core self in Brown, Self and Process, 61ff. The concept is of a core self that distributes into acts and objects. The core undergoes slow change, the surface, rapid transformation. On a prior distinction of a matrix (essential or core) self that endures and a focal or peripheral self that changes, see D. Parker, Experience and Substance (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1941).Google Scholar
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© Plenum Press, New York 1996

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