This chapter opens with a definition of harmony, and proceeds to shew that the then prevailing opinion concerning the Vital Principle, as related to harmony, is not maintainable; it is not quite agreed upon whether the popular disquisitions here alluded to are Aristotle's commentary upon the Phædo; or his dialogue of Endemus; or a digest of his own oral teachings. The words in the original (λόγους ὥσπερ εὐθύνας, κ.τ.λ.), which are rendered "found to be wanting" (Gallicè, dont nous avons déjà fait justice), signify strictly the scrutiny or passing of the accounts of magistrates at the close of their period of service, and while the result was yet on the balance ; but, to judge by the context, they seem here to imply rather an unfavourable issue, and this is the purport of other versions—"alia quædam opinio de anima tradita reprobata tamen, et his rationibus quae in communibus sermonibus fiunt" The chapter closes with a confutation of the opinion of Xenocrates, that the Vital Principle is a number with self-motion.
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PRELUDE TO CHAPTER IV.