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Section 5

5. Are we, however, to make freedom and self-disposal exclusive to Intellectual-Principle as engaged in its characteristic Act, Intellectual-Principle unassociated, or do they belong also to soul acting under that guidance and performing act of virtue?

If freedom is to be allowed to soul in its Act, it certainly cannot be allowed in regard to issue, for we are not master of events: if in regard to fine conduct and all inspired by Intellectual-Principle, that may very well be freedom; but is the freedom ours?

Because there is war, we perform some brave feat; how is that our free act since had there been no war it could not have been performed? So in all cases of fine conduct; there is always some impinging event leading out our quality to show itself in this or that act. And suppose virtue itself given the choice whether to find occasion for its exercise- war evoking courage; wrong, so that it may establish justice and good order; poverty that it may show independence- or to remain inactive, everything going well, it would choose the peace of inaction, nothing calling for its intervention, just as a physician like Hippocrates would prefer no one to stand in need of his skill.

If thus virtue whose manifestation requires action becomes inevitably a collaborator under compulsion, how can it have untrammelled self-disposal?

Should we, perhaps, distinguish between compulsion in the act and freedom in the preceding will and reasoning?

But in setting freedom in those preceding functions, we imply that virtue has a freedom and self-disposal apart from all act; then we must state what is the reality of the self-disposal attributed to virtue as state or disposition. Are we to put it that virtue comes in to restore the disordered soul, taming passions and appetites? In what sense, at that, can we hold our goodness to be our own free act, our fine conduct to be uncompelled? In that we will and adopt, in that this entry of virtue prepares freedom and self-disposal, ending our slavery to the masters we have been obeying. If then virtue is, as it were, a second Intellectual-Principle, and heightens the soul to Intellectual quality, then, once more, our freedom is found to lie not in act but in Intellectual-Principle immune from act.

Next: Section 6