Very curious, in relation to modern evolutional ideas, is the Stoical doctrine that our world is but one of a series of exactly 1 Zeller says that through this distinction Aristotle first made possible the idea of development.
Moreover, the arrangement sometimes breaks down: for example, though on the whole the logical books are quoted without quoting the rest, the De Interpretatione (chap. 1) quotes the De Anima, and therefore is falsely taken by Zeller against its own internal evidence to be subsequent to it and consequently to the other logical books.
The transition from the 4 Zeller observes that this scale of decreasing perfection is a necessary consequence of the idea of a transcendent deity.
But Zeller does not give enough weight either to the evidence of early composition contained in the Politics and Meteorology, or to the evidence of subsequent contemporaneous composition contained in the cross-references, e.g between the Physics and the Metaphysics.
Both Zeller and Hegel remark upon the difference between the calm of ancient scepticism and the perturbed state of mind evinced by many modern sceptics.
In this syllogistic analysis two points must always be considered: one, that we usually use premises in thought which we do not express; and the other, that we sometimes use them unconsciously, and therefore infer and reason unconsciously, in the manner excellently described by Zeller in his Vortrage, iii.
The traits common to Neoplatonism and all these speculations are well summed up by Zeller (Philos.
If we consider how Philo, while remaining a devout Jew in religion, yet managed to assimilate the whole Stoic philosophy, we can well believe that the Essenes might have been influenced, as Zeller maintained that they were, by Neo-Pythagoreanism.
It is not spurious, as some have supposed, nor later than the De Anima, as Zeller thought, but Aristotle in an earlier frame of mind.