1

Taken from the first episode of Steins;GATE

「宇宙に始まりはあるが終わりはない。 —無限

星にもまた始まりはあるが、自らの力をもって滅び逝く。 —有限」

What I am wondering about is whether the part in bold could be rephrased as:

自らの力で滅び逝く

If that is possible, how exactly do these phrases differ in nuance or even meaning from each other? My first impression was that phrases with 「力で」may imply some sort of willingness and deliberation, (here:) as if stars would die out on their own will. When I looked for similar phrases for 「自らの力をもって滅び逝く」I found this:

も・つ [1]【持つ】

⑪ 負担する。「責任は私が-・ちます」

(from: https://www.weblio.jp/content/%E3%82%82%E3%81%A4)

Therefore, I got the impression that this construction rather stresses a minor unwillingness, or at least does not imply any sort of deliberation to actually holding a certain power here.

In short, my questions are:

Can 「自らの力をもって滅び逝く」 be rephrased as 「自らの力で滅び逝く」 ?

If yes, do both phrases carry different nuances (as described above)?

2

The word is certainly related to 持つ, but usually deemed as an independent case particle ~を以て, which is a formal expression.

㋑原因・理由を示す。「過失の故を以て責めを負う」

You are right that 自分の力で would be read as if with its own will and effort, which the writer tried to avoid for stars which only die because of their gravity. If you want to reword it, you should use ~によって instead of で.

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