De veritate EN 201



Brutes are by no means endowed will free choice. In explanation of this it should be noted that, since three elements concur in our activity: knowledge, appetite, and the activity- itself, the whole for mal character of freedom depends upon the manner of knowing. For appetite follows knowledge, since there is appetite only for a good which is proposed to it by a cognitive power. If appetite sometimes seems not to follow knowledge, this is because the appetite and the knowledge are not judged from the same point of view. Appetite is Concerned will a particular object of operation, whereas the judgment of reason is sometimes concerned will something universal, and this is at times contrary to our appetite. But a judgment about this particular object of operation here and now can never be contrary to our appetite. A ma who wishes to fornicate, for instance, although he knows in general that fornication is evil, nevertheless Judges this present act of fornication to be good for him and chooses it under the aspect of good. As Dionysius says, no one acts intending evil.

Unless there is something to prevent it, a motion or operation follows the appetite. Thus, if the judgment of the cognitive faculty is not in a person’s power but is determined for him extrinsically, neither will his appetite be in his power; and consequently neither will his motion or operation be in his power absolutely. Now judgment is in the power of the one judging in so far as he can judge about his own judgment; for we can pass judgment upon the things which are in our power. But to judge about one’s own judgment belongs only to reason, which reflects upon its own act and knows the relationships of the things about which it judges and of those by which it judges. Hence the whole root of freedom is located in reason. Consequently, a being is related to free choice in the same way as it is related to reason.

Reason is found fully and perfectly only in man. Only in him, therefore, is free choice in its full sense found.

Brutes have a certain semblance of reason inasmuch as they share in a certain natural prudence, and in this respect a lower nature in some way attains to the property of a higher. This semblance consists in the well-regulated judgment which they have about certain things. But they have this judgment from a natural estimate, not from any deliberation, since they are ignorant of the basis of their judgment. On this account such a judgment does not extend to all things like that of reason, but only to certain determined objects.

In like fashion there is in them a certain semblance of free choice inasmuch as they can, according to their judgment, do or not do one and the same thing. As a result there is in them a sort of conditional freedom. For they can act if they judge that they should or not act if they do not so judge. But because their judgment is determined to single course of action, their appetite and activity also are consequently determined to a single course. Hence "they are moved by things seen," as Augustine teaches; and as Damascene says, they are driven by passions, because they naturally judge as they do about a particular thing seen or a particular passion. They are accordingly under the necessity of being moved to flight or pursuit by the sight of a particular thing or by a passion which is aroused. A sheep, for example, is under the necessity of fearing and fleeing at the sight of a wolf, and a dog under the influence of the passion of anger has to bark and pursue, intent upon hurting. But man is not necessarily moved by the things which he meets or by the passions which arise, because he can admit or repress them. Consequently, man has free choice, but brutes do not.

Answers to Difficulties:

1. "Something voluntary" is held by the Philosopher to be in brutes, not in the sense of coming from will but in that of being opposed to what is violent. Thus the voluntary is said to be in brutes and in children because they act of their accord but not by the exercise of free choice.

2. The motive power of brutes considered in itself is not any more inclined to one of two opposites than to the other. In this sense they are said to be able to be moved or not. But the judgment by which the motive power is applied to one or the other of the opposites is determined; and so they do not have free choice.

3. Although there is in brutes a certain indifference in their actions, still there cannot properly be said to be in them freedom of action, that is, of acting or of not acting. This is so both because their actions, being carried out by the body, can be forced or prevented (which is true not only of brutes but also of men, so that not even man is said to be free in his action); and also because, although there is in brutes an indifference to acting or not acting if the action is considered in itself, nevertheless, if the relation of the action to the judgment from which it gets its determination is considered, a certain restriction passes over even to the actions themselves, so that there cannot be found in them the character of freedom in an absolute sense. Yet, even granted that there were in brutes some freedom and some judgment, it would still not follow that they have freedom of judgment, since their judgment is naturally determined to a single pronouncement.

4. Damascene assigns beginning from a change or being from nothing, not as the cause of the freedom of choice, but as the cause of the possibility of our free choice deflecting to evil. Not only Damascenel4 but also Gregory and Augustine assign reason as the cause of free choice.

5. Although the motive power in brutes is not determined to one type of action, their judgment about what is to be done is so deter mined, as has been said.

6. Since brutes are made for the service of man, disposition is made of them according to the advantage of men, for whose sake they were made. By the divine law brutes are therefore punished, not because they have sinned themselves, but because the men who own them are punished by their punishment or frightened by the sharpness of their pains or instructed by the meaning of the mystery.

7. Both men and brutes are induced by favors and restrained by chastisements, or by commands and prohibitions, but in different ways. It is within the power of men when the same things are similarly represented, whether they be commands or prohibitions, favors or chastisements, to choose or refuse them by a judgment of reason. In brutes, however, there is a natural judgment so determined that whatever is proposed or met in one way is accepted or rejected in the same way. It happens, though, that from the memory of past favors or chastisements brutes apprehend something as friendly and to be pursued or hoped for, and something else as hostile and to be fled or feared. Thus after a beating they are induced by the passion of fear which arises from it to obey the will of their instructor. Nor is it necessary that such things take place in brutes on account of freedom of choice, but on account of the indifference of their actions.

8. According to Augustine the divine command given to brutes "is not to be thought to have occurred in such a way that a voice expressing a command came to them from the clouds in certain words that rational souls, hearing them, are wont to understand and obey. For the beasts of the field and the birds have not received the ability to do such a thing. They obey God in their own way, however, and not by the choice of a rational will; but just as God moves all things in their own appointed times without being moved in time Himself, so too brutes are moved in time to carry out His commands."


Parallel readings: Il Sentences 25, 1, 1; Contra Gentiles I, 88; Sum. Theol., I, 19, 10; De malo, 16, 5c.


It seems that there is not, for

1. Free choice is a capability of will and reason. But reason is not attributable to God, since it designates discursive knowledge, whereas God knows all things in a simple intuition. Free choice, then, is not attributable w God.

2. Free choice is the capacity by which good and evil are chosen, as Augustine makes clear.1 But in God there is no capacity for choosing evil. Hence there is no free choice in God.

3. Free choice is a potency capable of Opposite acts. But God is not capable of opposites, since He is immutable and cannot turn to evil. There is therefore no free choice in God.

4. The act of free choice is to choose, as is clear from the definition given.2 But choice is not proper to God, since it depends upon a deliberation, which is proper to one who doubts and inquires. Hence there is no free choice in God.

To the Contrary:

1'. Anselm says that if the ability to sin were a part of free choice, God and the angels would not have free choice, but that that is most absurd. It is therefore fitting to say that God has free choice.

2’. Commenting on the words of the first Epistle to the Corinthians (12: 11): "But all these things one and the same Spirit worked, dividing to every one according as He will," the Gloss adds: "according to the free choice of His will." The Holy Spirit therefore has free choice, and by the same token, also the Father and the Son.



Free choice is to be found in God, but it is found in Hmm in a different way than in angels and in men. That there is free choice in God is apparent from the fact that E-le has for His will an end which He naturally wills, His own goodness; and all other things He wills as ordained to this end. These latter, absolutely speaking, He does not will necessarily, as has been shown in the preceding question, because His goodness has no need of the things which are ordained to it, and the manifestation of that goodness can suitably take place in a number of different ways. There remains for Him, then, a judgment free to will this or that, just as there is in us. On this account it must be said that free choice is found in God, and likewise in the angels; for they too do not of necessity will whatever they will. What they will they will by means of a free judgment, just as we.

Free choice is found in us and in the angels, however, in a different way than in God. When what is prior changes, what is posterior must also change. The capacity of free choice presupposes two things: a nature and a cognitive power.

Nature is of a different sort in God than in men and in angels. The divine nature is uncreated and is its own act of being and its own goodness. Consequently there cannot be in it any deficiency either in existence or in goodness. But human and angelic nature is created, taking its origin from nothing. Hence, viewed in itself, it is capable of deficiency. For this reason God’s free choice is by no means able to be turned to evil, whereas the free will of men and angels, considered in its natural endowments, is capable of turning to evil.

Knowing also is found to be a different sort in man than in God and in the angels. Man has a process of knowing which is obscured and gets its view of the truth by means of a discourse. From this source comes his hesitation and difficulty in making decisions and in judging; for "the thoughts of... men are fearful, and our counsels are uncertain" (Sg 9,14). But in God, and also in angels in their own way, there is a simple view of the truth without any discourse or inquiry. There consequently does not occur in them any hesitation or difficulty in deciding or judging. And so God and the angels have a ready choice on the part of their free will, whereas man experiences difficulty in choosing because of his uncertainty and doubt. It is evident, then, that the free choice of an angel occupies a middle ground between that of God and that of man, having some thing in common will each of the two.

Answers to Difficulties:

2. Reason is sometimes taken broadly for any immaterial cognition; and in this sense reason is found in God. Dionysius accordingly places reason among the divine names. It is also taken properly, as meaning a power which knows will discourse. In this sense reason is not found in God or the angels, but only in men. It can be said, then, that reason is used in the definition of free choice in the first sense. But if it is taken in the second sense, then free choice is defined after the manner in which it is found in men.

2. The ability to choose evil is not essential to free choice. It is a consequence of free choice as found in a nature which is created and capable of failing.

3. The divine will is capable of opposites, not in the sense that it first wills something and afterwards does not (which would be repugnant to its immutability), nor in the sense that it can will good and evil (for that would put delectability in God), but rather in the sense that it can will or not will this particular thing.

4. The fact that choice follows a deliberation, which involves inquiry, is accidental to choice, occurring because it is found in a rational nature, which gets its view of the truth through a reasoning process. But in an intellectual nature, which has a simple acceptance of the truth, choice is found without any previous inquiry. It is thus that choice is in God.


Parallel readings: II Sentences 24, 2, 1; Sum. Theol., 1, 83, 2.


It seems that it is not, for

1. According to Augustine free choice is a capability of will and reason. But a capability is spoken of as the ability to do easily. Since the ease of a power comes from a habit, because according to Augustine a habit is that by which a person acts easily, it seems that free choice is a habit.

2. Some operations are moral and some are natural. But the capability of moral operations is a habit, not a power, as is clear of the moral virtues. Hence free choice, which implies a facility for natural operations, is a habit, not a power.

3. According to the Philosopher, if nature were to make a ship it would make it the same as art makes one. Natural facility, then, is of the same character as the facility which comes from art. But the facility which comes from art is a habit acquired from acts, as is evident in the moral virtues. As a consequence we say that whatever is done by reason is produced by art. Then the capability or natural facility which is free choice will also be a habit.

4. According to the Philosopher4 it is by habits that we act in a given way, but by powers that we simply act. But free choice designates not only that by which we act, but also that by which we act in a given way—freely. Free choice therefore designates a habit.

5. The answer was given that, when we say that a habit is that by which we act in a given way, we must understand rightly or wrong 1 the contrary, whatever is essential to habit is common to all habits. But acting rightly or wrongly is not common to all habits; for speculative habits, as it seems, do not have any reference to acting rightly or wrongly. Acting rightly or wrongly is therefore not essential to habit.

6. Anything taken away by sin cannot be a power, but is a habit. Now free choice is taken away by sin, because, as Augustine says, "by using his free choice badly man has destroyed both it and him self." Free choice is therefore a habit and not a power.

7. The answer was given that the statement of Augustine is to be understood of the freedom of grace, which comes from a habit.—On the contrary, according to Augustine "no one uses badly" the habit of grace. Therefore the freedom of choice, which a person uses badly cannot be understood to be the freedom of grace.

8. Bernard says that free choice is "a habit of the spirit which is free in its own regard." Thus the conclusion is the same as before.

9. It is easier to undertake an act of knowing than of doing. But there has been given to the cognitive power a natural habit, the under standing of principles, which is at the summit of knowledge. Hence there has also been given to the operative or motive power a natural habit. Since in matters of motion free choice seems to hold the highest place, it seems to be a habit or else a power perfected by a habit.

10. A power is narrowed down only by a habit. But will and reason are narrowed down in free choice; for the will is concerned will both possibles and impossibles, while free choice is concerned only will possibles. In the same way reason is concerned both will the things that are in our power and will those that are not, whereas free choice is concerned only will those that are in our power. Free choice there fore designates a habit.

11. Just as a power designates something added to an essence, a capability designates something added to a power. But what is added to a power is a habit. Then, since free choice is a capability, it seems to be a habit.

22. Augustine says that free choice is "a motion of the vital and rational soul." But "motion" refers to an act. Free choice is therefore an act and not a power.

23. According to Boethius "judgment is the act of one judging." But a choice or decision is the same as a judgment. Then a choice or decision is also an act. But the addition of free does not take it out of the genus of act, because acts too are called free if they are in the power of the agent. Free choice, then, is an act and not a power.

24. According to Augustine, whatever goes beyond its subject is in something essentially, not accidentally. From this he proves that love and knowledge are in the mind essentially, because the mind loves and knows not only itself but also other things. Now free choice extends beyond its subject, because the soul acts by free choice upon things which are outside itself. Free choice is therefore in the soul essentially. Thus it is not a power, since powers are added to the essence.

25. No power brings itself into act. But free choice brings itself into act when it wishes. Hence free choice is not a power.

To the Contrary:

1'. According to the Philosopher "there are three things in the soul: power, habit, and passion." Now free choice is not a passion, since it is in the higher part of the soul, whereas passions and passible qualities are found only in the sensitive part. Similarly it is not a habit, Since it is the subject of grace (for according to Augustine its relation to grace is that of a horse to its rider), whereas a habit cannot be the subject of anything else. We are therefore left will the Conclusion that free choice is a power.

2’. There seems to be this difference between a power and a habit, that a power which is open to opposites is determined to one of them by a habit. But free choice designates something which is open to opposites and by no means determined to one of them. Free choice is therefore a power and not a habit.

3’. Bernard says: "Take away free choice and there is nothing which will be saved." But what is saved is the soul or a power of the soul. Free choice, then, not being the soul, because it belongs only to the higher part of it, must, by elimination, be a power.

4’. The Master says: "That power of a rational soul by which it can will good or evil, distinguishing between the two, is called free choice." And so free choice is a power.

5’. Anselm says that free choice is "the power of preserving the up rightness of the will for its own sake." Thus the Conclusion is the same as before.



If the term is taken literally, free choice designates an act. But by usage it has been transferred to mean the principle of the act. When we say that a man has free choice, we do not mean that he is actually judging freely, but that he has within himself that by which he can judge freely. Consequently, if the act of judging freely should contain anything which goes beyond the capacity of a power, then it will designate a habit or a power perfected by some habit. To get angry will moderation for instance, implies something which goes beyond the capacity of the irascible power; for the irascible power cannot moderate the passion of anger by itself unless it is perfected by a habit by means of which there is impressed upon it the moderation of reason. If, however, to judge freely should not imply anything that exceeds the capacity of the power, free choice will not designate anything but a power without any further addition, just as to get angry does not go beyond the capacity of the irascible power, and for this reason its proper principle is a power and not a habit.

Now it is clear that to judge, if nothing is added, does not go be yond the capacity of a power, because it is the act of a power, reason, by its own nature, without requiring the addition of any habit. Similarly, what is added in the adverb freely does not exceed the scope of the power, for something is said to be done freely inasmuch as it is in the power of the one doing it. But the fact that something is under our control is in us as the consequence of an operative power, not of a habit. That power is the will.

Free choice accordingly does not designate a habit but the power of will or reason—one as subordinated to the other. Thus the act of choosing proceeds from one of them in subordination to the other in accordance will what the Philosopher says: choice is an appetite on the part of the intellective power or an understanding on the part of the appetitive.

It is clear too from what has been said why some were led to hold that free choice is a habit. For some have held this on account of the addition which free choice makes to will and reason, the subordination of the one to the other. But this cannot have the character of a habit if the term is taken in the proper sense, for a habit is a quality by which a power is inclined to act. Others, considering the facility will which we judge freely, have said that free choice is a power modified by a habit. But, as has already been said, to judge freely does not go beyond the nature of a power.

Answers to Difficulties:

1. Something is said to be easy in two senses: (1) because of the removal of a hindrance, and (2) because of the reception of help. The case which belongs to a habit is had by the reception of help, for a habit inclines a power to act. But free choice does not designate an ease of this kind, because of itself it is not inclined w one thing rather than to another; but it does designate an case which is had by the removal of a hindrance, because free choice is not hindered from performing its own operation by anything which forces it. Augustine accordingly calls free choice a capability, not a facility-, because a capability seems to imply that something is in the power of the one having the capability.

2-3. This same is to be said of these difficulties, which also argue from the facility of a habit.

4. Regarding acts two senses of the term way can be taken into account, one which belongs to the essence of a habit, as when something is done rightly or wrongly, and another which belongs to the essence of a power, as it belongs to the intellect from the very nature of that power to know immaterially. The way implied in the phrase to judge freely does not pertain to a habit which is added, but to the very nature of the power, as has been said.

5. [The answer to this is not given.]

6. Man has not entirely destroyed his [ of I free choice by using it badly, but just in a certain respect, because after sinning he cannot be without si as he could before he sinned.

7. Even though no one can use grace badly, nevertheless a person can use his free choice badly even when it has the freedom of grace, in the sense that we are said w use badly something which is the principle of bad use, such as a power or a habit. Moreover, if we should be said to use something badly as the object of the use, in this sense even virtues and grace are subject to bad use, as appears in those who get proud of their virtues.

8. Bernard is taking habit loosely for any facility whatsoever.

9. There are two reasons why a power needs a habit: (1) because the operation which is to be evoked by the power is beyond the ability of the power, though it is not beyond the ability of the whole of human nature; and (2) because it is beyond the ability of the whole of nature. In this second way all of the powers of the soul, whether affective or intellective need habits by which meritorious acts are elicited, because they are not capable of such acts unless habits of grace are added to them.

In the first way the intellect has need of a habit because it cannot understand anything unless it is assimilated to it by an intelligible species. The intellect must accordingly have added to it intelligible species by which it is brought into act. An ordering of species, however, produces a habit.

For the same reason the lower appeticive powers, that is, the irascible and the concupiscible, need habits by which the moral virtues are completed That their acts should be moderate does not exceed human nature, but it does exceed the scope of the powers mentioned. It is accordingly necessary that what belongs to a higher power, reason, be impressed upon them; and the very imprint of reason in the lower powers formally completes the moral virtues.

The higher affective power, however, does not need any habit in this way, because it naturally tends to a good connatural to it as to its proper object. Consequently, in order that it will good, nothing is required except that good be shown to it by the cognitive power. For this reason the philosophers did not put in the will any habit, either natural or acquired; but in order to give direction in operative matters they put prudence in reason, and temperance and courage and the other moral virtues in the irascible and the concupiscible powers. But according to the theologians the habit of charity is put into the will for the sake of meritorious acts.

10. That narrowing down of reason and will does not take place by any habit that is added, but by the subordination of one power to the other.

11. The capability which is had by the inclination of a habit adds to the power something which is of another nature, a habit. But the capability which is had through the removal of coercion adds to the power a positive determination which nevertheless belongs to the very nature of the power, just as a differentia which is added to a genus belong to the nature of the species.

12. Augustine defines [the power of] free choice by its proper act, because powers come to be known by their acts. Hence the predication in that case is not essential but causal.

r3. Though in the strict meaning of the term free choice designates an act, nevertheless by usage it has been transferred to mean the principle of the act.

14. Knowledge and love can be referred to the mind in its two distinct aspects: (1) As loving and knowing. In this sense they do not exceed the mind, nor do they become unlike other accidents. (2) As loved and known. In this sense they exceed the mind, because the mind loves and knows not only itself but other things as well; and they also become unlike other accidents. For the other accidents in that regard in which they are referred to their subject are not referred to anything outside it. By acting they are referred to something outside; by inhering, to the subject. Love and knowledge, however, under a single aspect are referred to their subject and to things outside, though there is an aspect under which they are referred to the subject alone. In this sense it is therefore not necessary that they be essentials of the mind, except in so far as the mind is known and loved through its own essence.

15. [The answer to this is not given.)


Parallel readings: II Sentences 2 1, 2; Sum. Theol., I, 83, 3 & 4.


It seems that it is several powers, for

1. As Augustine says, free choice is a capability of will and reason. But reason and will are distinct powers. Free will then pertains to distinct powers.

2. Powers are known by their acts. But acts of several different powers are ascribed to free choice; for, as Damascene says, "these things occur in us: to be moved or not, to attack or not, to desire or not," and the like, which unquestionably belong to several different powers. Free choice is therefore several powers.

3. Boethius says that free choice is in "divine substances" (that is, angels) inasmuch as there is in them "a penetrating judgment and an uncorrupted will." But penetration of judgment belongs to reason. Free choice therefore includes will and reason, and thus it is several powers.

4. The answer was given that it is one power having the virtuality of two.—On the contrary, in the lower part of the soul are found an affective and a cognitive power just as they are in the higher. But in the lower part there is no power which has in itself the virtuality of the cognitive and the affective powers. Then neither is there any in the higher part.

5. Boethius says that "the extreme form of slavery is had when human minds, given over to vices..., grow dark will the cloud of ignorance and are put in a turmoil will pernicious affections." But the slavery of which there is question is opposed to free choice. Hence free choice includes reason and the affections, and so the conclusion is the same as before.

To the Contrary:

Man is called a microcosm inasmuch as there is found in him a re semblance to the macrocosm. But in the macrocosm two extreme natures are not found without an intermediate one. Then neither in man are two extreme powers found without one that is intermediate. We find in men, however, one power which always tends to good, synderesis, and another practically the opposite of this, which always inclines to evil, sensuality. Hence there is also found a power which is open to good and evil, and this is free choice. Thus it seems that free choice is one power.



Two considerations have led some to hold that free choice is several powers: (1) They saw that by free choice we have control over the acts of all the powers. They accordingly affirmed that free choice is a sort of universal whole will respect to all the powers. But this cannot be, because, were it so, there would be required in us many powers of free choice on account of the multiplicity of powers; for many men are many animals. Nor are we forced to hold this by the reason mentioned, for all the acts of the different powers are referred to free choice only through the intermediary of one act, to choose. We are moved by free choice inasmuch as by our free choice we choose to be moved; and the same is true of other acts. It is therefore not shown by this that free choice is several powers, but rather that it is one power which moves different powers by its own efficacy.

(2) Some were moved to affirm a plurality of powers in free choice by the fact that they saw concur in the act of free choice the functions of different powers: judgment, which belongs to reason, and appetite, which belongs to will. They accordingly said that free choice includes several powers as an integral whole contains its parts. Now this cannot be true. Since the act which is attributed to free choice is a single specific act, to choose, it cannot proceed immediately from two distinct powers; but it proceeds from one immediately and from the other mediately, inasmuch as the characteristic of the prior power is communicated to the posterior. It remains, then, that free choice is a single power.

Answers to Difficulties:

1. Augustine says that free choice is a capability of will and reason because man is ordained to the act of free choice through both powers, though not immediately.

2. Free choice is not referred to the acts of different powers except through the intermediary of its own single act, as has been said.

3. Boethius attributes to free choice the characteristics of different powers inasmuch as through different powers man is ordained to the act of free choice, as has been said.

4. In the irrational part of the soul there is found on the part of the cognitive power only simple apprehension and not any comparing or ordering, as is found in the rational apprehensive power. Consequently, in the sensitive part appetite is brought to bear upon its object absolutely, without having in the appetitive power any order derived from the apprehensive. In the sensitive part, therefore, there is no power which embraces in some sort both the apprehensive and the appetitive, as there is in the rational part.

5. This is w be answered in the same way as the fourth difficulty.


Parallel readings: II Sentences 24, r, Sum. Theol., I, 83, 4; I-II, 13, 1; III, 18, 3 & 4.


It seems that it is another power, for

1. Whatever is predicated of something essentially should not be put in its definition obliquely, as animal is not put obliquely in the definition of man. But reason and will are placed in the definition of free choice obliquely, for it is said to be "a capability of will and reason." Free choice is therefore not reason or will but a power other than either.

2. The differences of powers are known from the differences of acts. But to choose, which is the act of free choice, is other than to will, which is the act of the will, as the Philosopher makes clear. Hence free choice is a power other than the will.

3. In the term free choice, choice is expressed in the abstract and freedom in the concrete. Now choice or decision belongs to reason; freedom, to the will. What belongs to reason, then, pertains to free choice essentially; but what belongs to the will pertains to it denominatively and accidentally. Thus free choice seems to be reason rather than will.

4. According to Damascene and Gregory of Nyssa we are free in our choice because we are rational. But we are rational because we have reason. Because we have reason, then, we are free in our choice; and SO it seems that free choice is reason.

5. In accordance will the order among habits there is also an order among powers. But the act of faith, which is a habit of reason, is in formed by charity, which is a habit of the will. An act of reason is accordingly informed by the will, and not the other way about. Thus, if the act of free choice belongs to one of two powers, the will and reason, to one as eliciting and to the other as informing, it seems that it belongs to reason as eliciting it. And so free choice is essentially reason, and therefore a power other than the will.

To the Contrary:

1'. Damascene says: "Free choice is nothing but the will."

2'. The Philosopher says that choosing is appetence for what has been previously deliberated. But choosing is the act of free choice. Free choice is therefore the appetitive power. But it is not the lower appetite, which is divided into the irascible and the concupiscible; for then brutes would have free choice. It is therefore the higher ap petite, and according to the Philosopher this is the will.

De veritate EN 201