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[4] Nor yet about things that change but follow a regular process, whether from necessity or by nature1 or through some other cause: such phenomena for instance as the solstices and the sunrise.

1 Here and in 3.7 ‘necessity’ denotes natural law in the inanimate world, while ‘nature’ or ‘growth’ means natural law as governing animate creatures. Aristotle held that these agencies, and with them the operation of human intelligence and art, beside their designed results, produced by their interplay certain by-products in the shape of undesigned and irregular occurrences, which are referred to in the next section. These in the natural world he spoke of as due to τὸ αὐτόματον, or ‘spontaneous’; when due to the activity of man he ascribed them to fortune or chance. In 3.7 chance is made to include ‘the spontaneous.’

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