Examples of usage
Velleity has been defined[by whom?] primarily as "the lowest degree of desire or volition, with no effort to act". Thomas Pynchon, in Gravity's Rainbow, described "[t]his connoisseuse of 'splendid weaknesses', run not by any lust or even velleity but by vacuum: by the absence of human hope".
The Times used 'velleity' in the sense of "a slight wish not followed by any effort to obtain" an outcome." Author Howard Jacobson called it "the feeblest and most unanticipated of anticipations..."
Several prominent writers, philosophers, and psychologists have discussed the usefulness of the concept of "velleity".
In modern writing
Matt Bailey expressed an attempt "to bring it back, as it has more relevance now than ever." He writes that:
Velleity is what keeps companies locked in this mindset of reporting useless numbers. Desiring, even expecting to someday have an epiphany of change, but not willing to change the mindset or the culture of locked-in reporting to achieve it. Nor are they willing to ask the hard questions in order to uncover what must be done.—Matt Bailey, marketing writer
Friedrich Nietzsche describes the velleity of an artist as a "desire to be 'what he is able to represent, conceive, and express'...." Nietzsche championed the will to power, which can be encapsulated[by whom?] as starting with velleity, in his free-will theorem.
Psychologist Avi Sion writes, "Many psychological concepts may only be defined and explained with reference to velleity." (Emphasis in original.) An example he cites is that "an ordinarily desirable object can only properly be called 'interesting' or 'tempting' to that agent at that time, if he manifests some velleity...." He distinguishes between the two types of velleity - "to do something and one not to do something...." Furthermore, he asserts, "The concept of velleity is also important because it enables us to understand the co-existence of conflicting values." A person could thus have "double velleity" or "a mix of velleity for something and a volition for its opposite: the latter dominates, of course, but that does not erase the fact of velleity."
Kathy Kolbe also lists velleity as a "key concept of conation."
In criminal law
|Look up velleity in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
- Andrea A. Robiglio, L'impossibile volere: Tommaso d'Aquino, i Tomisti e la volontà, MIlan, V&P, 2002 (on the origin, first uses, and later meaning of the term "velleity")
- Word of the Day from Answers.com. Accessed April 29, 2009.
- Cited as "tendancy" (sic) at the "Word of the Day" website, citing Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, found at "Word of the Day" website. Accessed April 29, 2009.
- From a list of "word[s] for the day up on the blackboard" found at WWFTD website. Accessed April 29, 2009.
- Bill Bryson, The Mother Tongue: English & How It Got That Way, at p. 67 (New York: William Morrow 1990) ISBN 0-68807-895-8.
- See Answers.com website. Accessed April 29, 2009.
- See also Wordnet web at Princeton.edu. Accessed March 18, 2010.
- Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow (1973). Retrieved from . Accessed April 29, 2009.
- Matt Bailey, "Viral marketing", excerpt "Analytics 1.0 - A Case of Velleity," found at Site Logic marketing website. Accessed April 29, 2009.
- The Times, 24 Oct 1919, p.12 col. A: "The debate in the House of Lords would convert the impartial listener from any velleity towards single-chamber government." Retrieved from . Accessed April 29, 2009.
- Howard Jacobson, Kalooki Nights, Vintage 2007, p. 372. Retrieved from . Accessed April 29, 2009.
- James Lindsay, Recent Advances in Theistic Philosophy of Religion, at p. 406 (London: W. Blackwood and sons, 1897) found at Google books. Accessed April 29, 2009.
- Aaron Ridley, in "Nietzsche, philosophy and the arts," ed. by Salim Kemal, Ivan Gaskell, Daniel W. Conway, at pp. 128-131 (Cambridge University Press, 2002) ISBN 0-521-52272-2, ISBN 978-0-521-52272-4 (emphasis provided), found at Google Book search. Accessed April 29, 2009.
- Keith David Wyma, Crucible of reason, pp. 197, 221, 223, 225, 227 (Roman and Littlefield 2004). ISBN 978-0-7425-3538-1. Found at Google books. Accessed June 3, 2010.
- Avi Sion, "Volition and allied causal concepts," p. 190 (2004). ISBN 978-2-9700091-6-0. Found at Google books. Also found at The Logician website. All accessed June 3, 2010.
- See Kathy Kolbe's website page on Conation. Accessed June 3, 2010.