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[1015a]  Of nothing that exists is there nature, but only mixture and separation of what has been mixed; nature is but a name given to these by men.1Hence as regards those things which exist or are produced by nature, although that from which they naturally are produced or exist is already present, we say that they have not their nature yet unless they have their form and shape.That which comprises both of these exists by nature; e.g. animals and their parts. And nature is both the primary matter (and this in two senses: either primary in relation to the thing, or primary in general; e.g., in bronze articles the primary matter in relation to those articles is bronze, but in general it is perhaps water—that is if all things which can be melted are water) and the form or essence, i.e. the end of the process, of generation. Indeed from this sense of "nature," by an extension of meaning, every essence in general is called "nature," because the nature of anything is a kind of essence.From what has been said, then, the primary and proper sense of "nature" is the essence of those things which contain in themselves as such a source of motion; for the matter is called "nature" because it is capable of receiving the nature, and the processes of generation and growth are called "nature" because they are motions derived from it. And nature in this sense is the source of motion in natural objects, which is somehow inherent in them, either potentially or actually.  "Necessary" means: (a) That without which, as a concomitant condition, life is impossible; e.g. respiration and food are necessary for an animal, because it cannot exist without them. (b) The conditions without which good cannot be or come to be, or without which one cannot get rid or keep free of evil—e.g., drinking medicine is necessary to escape from ill-health, and sailing to Aegina is necessary to recover one's money.(c) The compulsory and compulsion; i.e. that which hinders and prevents, in opposition to impulse and purpose. For the compulsory is called necessary, and hence the necessary is disagreeable; as indeed Evenus2 says: "For every necessary thing is by nature grievous."3And compulsion is a kind of necessity, as Sophocles says: "Compulsion makes me do this of necessity."4And necessity is held, rightly, to be something inexorable; for it is opposed to motion which is in accordance with purpose and calculation. (d) Again, what cannot be otherwise we say is necessarily so.It is from this sense of "necessary" that all others are somehow derived; for the term "compulsory" is used of something which it is necessary for one to do or suffer
1 Empedocles Fr. 8 (Diels).
2 Of Poros; sophist and poet, contemporary with Socrates.
3 Evenus Fr. 8 (Hiller).
4 Soph. El. 256 (the quotation is slightly inaccurate).
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