Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The act or an instance of making a conscious choice or decision.
  • n. A conscious choice or decision.
  • n. The power or faculty of choosing; the will.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A conscious choice or decision.
  • n. The mental power or ability of choosing; the will.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of willing or choosing; the act of forming a purpose; the exercise of the will.
  • n. The result of an act or exercise of choosing or willing; a state of choice.
  • n. The power of willing or determining; will.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act of willing; the exercise of the will.
  • n. The power of willing; will.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the act of making a choice
  • n. the capability of conscious choice and decision and intention

Etymologies

French, from Medieval Latin volitiō, volitiōn-, from Latin velle, vol-, to wish; see wel-1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French volition, from Medieval Latin volitiō ("will, volition"), from Latin volō ("wish, will"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The basic action in this case is often called a volition, which is said to be the agent's willing, trying, or endeavoring to move a certain part of her body in a certain way.

    Incompatibilist (Nondeterministic) Theories of Free Will

  • The actual exercise of that power, by directing any particular action, or its forbearance, is that which we call volition or willing.

    An Essay Concerning Human Understanding

  • It is true, there is a thing which we call volition, or an act of the mind; but this does not produce the external change by which it is followed.

    A Theodicy, or, Vindication of the Divine Glory

  • Libet didn't consider backwards referral in volition because antedating in his sensory experiments was pinned to the primary sensory EP, and no such marker existed in the spontaneous finger movement experiments.

    A Third Choice (ID Hypothesis)

  • If we call a volition in which consciousness of the self has played its part "volition proper," it still remains to inquire how volitions on a lower plane are to be distinguished from mere desires.

    A Handbook of Ethical Theory

  • But as for my sweet Babbie, her volition is not yet adequate to breaking the pack-threads of the Lilliputians, never to speak of cords of the Philistines.

    Letters and Memorials of Jane Welsh Carlyle

  • The difficulty is to use it, to make the effort which the word volition implies.

    Memories and Studies

  • But if we once clearly perceive that what in a relative sense we know as volition is, in a similar sense, the cause of bodily movement, we terminate the question touching the freedom of the will.

    Mind and Motion and Monism

  • The Duke of Argyll may not be aware of the fact, but it is nevertheless true, that when a man's arm is raised, in sequence to that state of consciousness we call a volition, the volition is not the immediate cause of the elevation of the arm.

    Collected Essays, Volume V Science and Christian Tradition: Essays

  • It is probable, that this twofold use of the word volition in all languages has confounded the metaphysicians, who have disputed about free will and necessity.

    Zoonomia, Vol. I Or, the Laws of Organic Life

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