The principle of sufficient reason is the universal form of all phenomena, and man, in his action, must be subordinated to it like every other phenomenon.
But because, in self-consciousness, the will is known directly and in itself, in this consciousness lies also the consciousness of freedom.
The fact is, however, overlooked that the individual, the person, is not will as a thing-in-itself, but is a phenomenon of will, and therefore is already determined as such, and has come under the form of the phenomenal, the principle of sufficient reason.
Hence arises the strange fact that every one believes himself a priori to be perfectly free, even in his individual actions, and thinks that at every moment he can commence another manner of life, which just means that he can become another person.
But a posteriori, through experience, he finds to his astonishment that he is not free, but subjected to necessity; that in spite of all his resolutions and reflections he does not change his conduct, and that from the beginning of his life to the end of it, he must carry out the very character which he himself condemns, and as it were play the part he has undertaken to the end.