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[4] The position of the benefactor then resembles that of the artist; the recipient of his bounty is his handiwork, and he therefore loves him more than his handiwork loves its maker. The reason of this is that all things desire and love existence; but we exist in activity, since we exist by living and doing; and in a sense1 one who has made something exists actively, and so he loves his handiwork because he loves existence. This is in fact a fundamental principle of nature: what a thing is potentially, that its work reveals in actuality.

1 In a sense he exists ‘actually’ as long as his work lasts, though strictly speaking he exists as an actual maker only while the act of making is going on. A possible variant rendering is ‘and in a sense the work is its maker actualized.’

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