Translated by Stephen MacKenna and B. S. Page.
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This Part: 52 Pages
ON FREE-WILL AND THE WILL OF THE ONE.
1. Can there be question as to whether the gods have voluntary action? Or are we to take it that, while we may well enquire in the case of men with their combination of powerlessness and hesitating power, the gods must be declared omnipotent, not merely some things but all lying at their nod? Or is power entire, freedom of action in all things, to be reserved to one alone, of the rest some being powerful, others powerless, others again a blend of power and impotence?
All this must come to the test: we must dare it even of the Firsts and of the All-Transcendent and, if we find omnipotence possible, work out how far freedom extends. The very notion of power must be scrutinized lest in this ascription we be really making power identical with Essential Act, and even with Act not yet achieved.
But for the moment we may pass over these questions to deal with the traditional problem of freedom of action in ourselves.
To begin with, what must be intended when we assert that something is in our power; what is the conception here?
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