Adams, Will (William Adams), 1564?-1620, first Englishman to visit Japan. As pilot of a Dutch ship searching for gold and trade, he reached Japan in 1600. At first imprisoned and sentenced to death, Adams was released by the shogun Ieyasu, and soon became one of his favorites, advising him on navigation, trade, and Western affairs. The Japanese used vessels constructed under his direction for many of their longer voyages. Adams attempted to foster trade relations with England, and he made trading trips to the Ryukyu Islands, Siam, and Cochin China. He married a Japanese woman, acquired a Japanese name (Anjin Sama, or Mr. Pilot), was named an honorary samurai, and was given an estate at Yokosuka. Western trade with Japan was largely maintained by dint of his close relationship with the shogun. Shortly after Adams's death, foreign trade was prohibited and Japan was closed to the West until the arrival of Matthew Perry more than 200 more years later. Adams's story forms the basis of James Clavell's novel Shogun (1975).

See his letters (ed. by T. Randall, 1850) and his logbook (ed. by C. J. Purnell, 1916); biography by G. Milton (2003); R. Cocks, Diary (1964); and H. H. Gowen, Five Foreigners in Japan (1936, repr. 1967).

Carleton, Will, 1845-1912, American poet, b. Hudson, Mich. He is best known for his sentimental poems of rural life, the most famous being "Over the Hill to the Poorhouse." Among his works are Farm Ballads (1873), Farm Legends (1875), and City Ballads (1885).
Will, George (George Frederick Will), 1941-, American political columnist, b. Champaign, Illinois. He attended Trinity College (B.A., 1962), Oxford (1962-64), and Princeton (PhD., 1964). In 1973, while he was an editor of the conservative National Review magazine, Will's editorial columns began appearing in the Washington Post. He contributes a biweekly column to Newsweek magazine and has appeared regularly on television, notably as a panel member of ABC's "This Week" since 1981. In 1977 he won a Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary. Will was an informal campaign adviser to Ronald Reagan in 1980. His articles have been collected in such books as The Pursuit of Virtue (1982), Suddenly (1990), Restoration (1992), and The Woven Figure (1997). Will has also written of America's national pastime in Men at Work: The Craft of Baseball (1990) and Bunts (1998).
will, in law, document expressing the wishes of a person (known as a testator) concerning the disposition of her property after her death. If a person dies intestate, i.e., without a valid will, statutes determine how her property is divided up among her relatives; if no relatives can be found, the property escheats (i.e., goes to the government). Wills are made to vary the statutory scheme (e.g., to give a crippled child more money than a healthy child). The will may provide for outright grants or for the establishment of trusts. No particular form of words is necessary in a will, only a clear expression of intent. Statutes usually protect the surviving spouse and children, prescribing for them a set proportion of the estate whatever the provisions of the will. Wills ordinarily must be in writing, but in certain strictly defined circumstances (e.g., in the case of soldiers or sailors in combat) the law may recognize an oral will as reported by a witness. Written wills must be subscribed (i.e., signed below the complete text) by the testator and must bear the signatures of two (or, in some jurisdictions, three) people who witnessed the testator's signature. A person has capacity to make a will only when he is of sound mind and is not unduly influenced by an interested party. Persons below a certain age (usually ranging from 18 to 21) are deemed not to have the capacity. All objections to a will must be made at the probate, which precedes the distribution (administration) of the property. Real and personal property were once passed on by two different systems, but today only remnants of the division remain (e.g., in separate sets of terms). In England the Statute of Wills (1540) lifted many restrictions on the use of wills and permitted the testator to dispose of real property by will. See heir.
will, in philosophy and psychology, term used to describe that which is alleged to stimulate the motivation of purposeful activity. It is characteristic of the will that it can be observed only in oneself and can be attributed to others only by inference from their behavior. There is no generally accepted explanation in psychology for the apparent freedom people enjoy to do what they will, i.e., to originate the stimuli necessary to initiate a course of action. Until recently the psychological discussions of the will have been closely related to the philosophical. Disagreements have been extreme. One approach has been the doctrine of determinism, which denies the reality of the will. Another type simply accepts the will—the motive power of the personality—as the faculty or function of the person. This idea is generally based on intuitive grounds and is associated with Plato, Aristotle, Lucretius, St. Thomas Aquinas, René Descartes, and Immanuel Kant. Others have considered it the externalized result of the interaction of conflicting elements. These include Baruch Spinoza, G. W. von Leibniz, David Hume, J. G. Herbart, Wilhelm Wundt, Herbert Spencer, and Hugo Münsterberg. Still others have considered the will to be the manifestation of the personality striving to accomplish its purposes. Among these are St. Augustine, Duns Scotus, Thomas Hobbes, Arthur Schopenhauer, Friedrich Nietzsche, William McDougall, and John Dewey. Modern psychology has tended to consider the concept of the will as an unscientific principle. The problems involved in dealing with it are largely absorbed in other areas of investigation, such as the psychology of adjustment, the study of unconscious motivation, the concept of attention, and the influence of endocrine balance.
Rogers, Will (William Penn Adair Rogers), 1879-1935, American humorist, b. Oolagah, Indian Territory (now in Oklahoma). In his youth he worked as a cowboy in Oklahoma, and after traveling over the world, he returned to the United States and worked in vaudeville as a cowboy rope-twirler, joking casually with the audience. He was an immediate success when he joined the Ziegfeld Follies in 1915. Rogers gained a wide audience through motion pictures, books, the radio, and a syndicated newspaper column. His salty comments on the political and social scene made the "cowboy philosopher" widely known. A constant booster of airplane travel, Rogers made several long airplane trips; he was killed with Wiley Post when their plane crashed near Point Barrow, Alaska.

See his autobiography (ed. by D. Day, 1949) and writings (1973); D. R. Milsten, Will Rogers: An Appreciation (1976); P. C. Rollins, Will Rogers: A Bio-Bibliography (1984).

Will may refer to:

  • Will (modal verb)
  • Will (law), a legal document expressing the desires of the author with regard to the disposition of property after the author's death.
    • Living will, a legal document expressing the desires of the author with regard to medical decisions, invoked in the event that the author is incapacitated and unable to act on their own behalf.
  • Will (philosophy), or willpower, is a philosophical concept that is defined in several different ways
    • Free will, the trait that produces conscious choices and actions.
    • The Will to Power, a prominent concept in the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche
  • True Will, found within the mystical system of Thelema
  • Will (sociology), a concept introduced by Ferdinand Tönnies in 1887
  • WILL, three public broadcasting stations owned by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • E.C.H. Will, Hamburg-based supplier of machinery for the paper manufacturing and converting industries
  • Will is a nickname for William. See William (name) for information on the name


  • Will (comics), pen name of Willy Maltaite, a Belgian comics creator
  • George Will, conservative American newspaper columnist, journalist, and author

In fiction:

  • Will Aston, the black ranger from Power Rangers Operation Overdrive
  • Will Vandom, a character from W.I.T.C.H.
  • Will Parry, a character from His Dark Materials
  • Will, the autobiography of G. Gordon Liddy
  • Will, a novel by Maria Boyd
  • Will: The Death Trap II, a 1985 video game for the NEC PC-8801, NEC PC-9801, Fujitsu FM-7, and Sharp X1
  • The Will, a reality TV series that was cancelled after one episode.
  • Will (the first title)now Rock On, a 2008 film featuring Gaelan Connell, Alyson Michalka and Lisa Kudrow

See also

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