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‘And if a thing can be done without art or preparation (or perhaps rather, apparatus) it is a fortiori possible to do by aid of art’ (διά with gen. ‘through a channel’, medium, and hence, ‘by means of’), and pains (study, attention)’. This is not the exact converse of the topic of § 3, which implied the possibility of a thing being done at all from that of its being well done; here the use of art, study and attention, and any other artificial means by which we assist nature, is alleged as facilitating the construction of anything, or of carrying out any purpose or design that we may have in view: the possibility of doing anything without art implies a fortiori the possibility of doing it with additional help and contrivance.

In the two verses of Agathon (from an uncertain play) which follow, the old reading was καὶ μὴν τὰ μέν γε τῇ τύ χῃ πράσσειν, τὰ δὲ ἡμῖν ἀνάγκῃ καὶ τέχνῃ προσγίγνεται, but Porson's transposition of τύχῃ and τͅέχνῃ (ad Med. 1090), which is undoubtedly right, has been adopted by Bekker, ed. 3, and Spengel, as it was by Elmsley, ad Med. 1062. This alteration brings them into the required correspondence with Aristotle's text. “If”, says Aristotle, “anything can be effected without art”,—which is interpreted as it were by Agathon's “accident, and necessity or overpowering force”. But τῇ τέχνῃ may be very well retained; and the translation will be: “And moreover it falls to our lot to do (effect) some things by art, others by force and mere accident”. προσγίγνεσθαι occurs three times in this sense, efficior, accido, in Sophocles, Oed. Col. 1200, Electr. 761, Trach. 1163 (Ellendt's lex.).

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