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[597d] to be the real author of the couch that has real being and not of some particular couch, nor yet a particular cabinet-maker, produced it in nature unique.” “So it seems.” “Shall we, then, call him its true and natural begetter, or something of the kind?” “That would certainly be right,” he said, “since it is by and in nature1 that he has made this and all other things.” “And what of the carpenter? Shall we not call him the creator of a couch?” “Yes.” “Shall we also say that the painter is the creator and maker of that sort of thing?” “By no means.” “What will you say he is in relation to the couch?”

1 Cf. Soph. 265 Eθήσω τὰ μὲν φύσει λεγόμενα ποιεῖσθαι θείᾳ τέχνῃ, Hooker, Eccles. Pol. i. 3. 4 “those things which Nature is said to do are by divine art preformed, using nature as an instrument,” Browne, apudJ. Texte, Etudes de littérature européenne, p. 65 “la nature est l'art de Dieu,” Cic.De nat. deor. ii. 13 “deoque tribuenda, id est mundo,”De leg. i. 7. 21, Seneca, De benef. iv. 7 “quid enim aliud est natura quam deus?” Höffding, Hist. of Mod. Philos. ii. 115 “Herder uses the word Nature in his book in order to avoid the frequent mention of the name of God.”

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