CH. V.] NOTES. 241
imply that as one part of a contrary can judge itself and the other, so all the elements cannot be necessary, since nature never employs means in vain. " Unum sufficit ex contrariis, ut et hoc et alterum judicetur; ad recti nonnam etiam curvum exigitur; verum sui index et falsi, ut Spinoza loquitur."
Note 9, p. 52. There are writers who maintain, &c.]
Aristotle seems to have interpreted this opinion differently
from others, and, differently, it may be, (by regarding the
beings alluded to as the representatives of Vital Proper-
ties,) from its original import. Cicero, for instance, attri-
butes to Thales, one of the wisest among the seven, the opinion, that "it is expedient for men to suppose that whatever can be perceived is full of gods, for, thereby, all, as if placed in consecrated shrines, would become purer." Whatever may be the value of that version, the opinion could not be maintained when applied to the cause of living actions, the origin, that is, of living beings; for, as bodies were supposed to be formed of elements, and elements to be everywhere, the elements themselves should be transformed into animals, which involves an absurdity.
Note 10, p. 53. Since the faculties of knowing, feeling,
&c.] Aristotle, quitting the question of life in its sim-
plest form, here reverts, after enumerating the properties which characterise the highest forms of created beings, to the question, whether or not all the properties may be
- Trendel. Comment.
- De Legibus, II. 1 1.