Purpose. In the last chapter we found that voluntary movement is only a particular case of voluntary attention. The preparation for movement involves the selection of a particular presentation, and its accomplishment is only a matter of the reiteration of this selection when the proper ideal and motor conditions are present and fill consciousness. For example, I determine at twelve o'clock to dine with a friend at six. I have selected and willed this act; but in the mean time other ideas--knowledge of the hour, present duties, etc.--occupy my consciousness with the intended act. My state of will is then purpose or, when it represents a more permanent element in character, intention. When six arrives these presentations foreign to my purpose disappear, the dining act alone persists, fills my attention, and I walk to the house of my friend. My volition at six repeats my volition at twelve, except that the two involve a somewhat different background of accompanying consciousness. In both cases I give myself with all its immediate consequences: in one case, these consequences are apparent only in my mental life; in the other, they shed themselves out through my muscles into the physical world. If I resolve to break into a house I am a burglar, though I be arrested before I move a muscle. Hence there is only one fiat, one volition, and that is to give my attention to a presentation.
Law of Motives. Volition, considered as an act of attention, always involves some measure of division in con____________________