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Power - Personal Power, Impersonal Power, The Value Of Power, Bibliography


In its most general sense, power refers to the capacity to have an effect. A powerful hurricane comes ashore uprooting trees and destroying houses; the power of music stirs our emotions; the power of love makes gentle the surly man or woman. We speak of electric or wind power, of powerful machines or human bodies. Many different phenomena with a very wide range of effects are said to be or to have power. The definition of the term therefore has led to a good deal of controversy.

Even more controversial has been the moral assessment of power: is power a good? Should one seek to acquire and to use power or is it the duty of morally conscientious persons to avoid power and the ability it implies of coercing others?

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