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[1065a] [1] but it might happen sometimes. The accidental, then, is that which comes about, but not always nor of necessity nor usually. Thus we have now stated what the accidental is; and it is obvious why there can be no science of such a thing, because every science has as its object that which is so always or usually, and the accidental falls under neither of these descriptions.

Clearly there can be no causes and principles of the accidental such as there are of that which is per se; otherwise everything would be of necessity. For if A is when B is, and B is when C is, and C is not fortuitously but of necessity, then that of which C was the cause will also be of necessity, and so on down to the last causatum , as it is called.(But this was assumed to be accidental.) Therefore everything will be of necessity, and the element of chance, i.e. the possibility of a thing's either happening or not, is entirely banished from the world of events. Even if we suppose the cause not to exist already but to be coming to be, the result will be the same; for everything will come to be of necessity.The eclipse tomorrow will come about if A does, and A will if B does, and B if C does; and in this way if we keep on subtracting time from the finite time between now and to-morrow, we shall at some point arrive at the present existing condition. [20] Therefore since this exists, everything subsequent to it will happen of necessity, and so everything happens of necessity.

As for "what is" in the sense of what is true or what is accidental , the former depends upon a combination in thought, and is an affection of thought (hence we do not look for the principles of Being in this sense, but only for those of objective and separable Being) the latter is not necessary but indeterminate (I mean the accidental); and of such a thing the causes are indefinite and cannot be reduced to a system.

Teleology is found in events which come about in the course of nature or as a result of thought.1 It is "chance" <or "luck"> when one of these comes about by accident; for a thing may be a cause, just as it may exist, either per se or accidentally. Chance is an accidental cause of normally purposive teleological events.Hence chance and thought have the same sphere of action, for there is no purpose without thought. Causes from which chance results may come about are indeterminate; hence chance is inscrutable to human calculation, and is a cause only accidentally, but in the strictest sense is a cause of nothing.It is "good" or "bad luck" when the result is good or bad,

1 This section is taken from Aristot. Physics 2.5, 6.

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