Whether these animals have the first act of life without the second.

One inquires further whether these animals have the first act of life without the second.

1. And it seems so. In every genus, the first [species] can exist without the later ones, and therefore the first act can exist without the second.

2. Moreover, the Commentator and Avicenna say, concerning the second book of On the Soul, that some animals have the first act of the soul without the second, like shellfish [conchilia]. But this seems to agree especially with these animals at the time of concealment, and therefore, etc.

On the contrary. Every thing that has life has the regimen of life. But the regimen of life depends on some operation, and operation is the second act [of life], and therefore, etc.

To this, one must reply that animals like this have both the first and the second act. But the second act can be understood as existing with respect to the sensitive power or with respect to the natural or vital power. They do not have the second act in terms of the sensitivethat is, animalpower, because they do not have sensation or act according to the senses, but have only the first act. But they do have the second act (but not the first act) in terms of the vital or natural power: in terms of the vital power, because the heart has some motion and there is a flow from the heart to the other members. Similarly, the second act exists there naturally because some digestions occur in them at the time of concealment. An indication of this is that when they lie dormant or begin to lie dormant they are lean and when they come out they are fat, and some are just the opposite, as will be evident.

1. On to the arguments. To the first, one must reply that existing without another can occur in two ways: either essentially or in effect. The first act can exist without the second essentially, because sensation is not from the essence of the first; but in effect, that is, in act, there is no first act without the second.

2. To the second argument one must reply that the soul can exist in first act without the second. This occurs in this way, such that when the soul has many operations it can exist for a period of time without some of them, but it cannot exist without all of them. Thus one having sensation is able not to see or to hear, and so too for the other senses. But it is impossible for it not to be moved by the motion of the pulse, and it is not possible for it to be deprived of each and every second act. Nevertheless, the fact that an animal can be deprived for a period of time of some second act of the senses is clear in those that are sleeping, and that it cannot be deprived of some second act of the vital and natural power is clear because the vital and natural powers are more active than the sensitive power and they are the foundations for the other powers. This is why, etc. In this way a solution is apparent.

Whether animals take nourishment when they lie hidden.

One asks next whether such animals take nourishment when they lie hidden.

It seems so. Because some thin ones grow fat when they lie hidden, and they nourish the offspring [ fetus], which would not happen if they were not nourished; therefore, etc.

Moreover, digestion occurs in them, as has been said. But this only occurs if there is some nutriment. Therefore, etc.

To the contrary. To take nourishment is to receive something external. But animals like these receive nothing from outside; therefore, etc.

To this one must reply that in animals like this there exist viscous and superfluous moistures, as is especially apparent in the bear. Now just as motion, by sharpening and exciting the heat, and by opening the pores and evaporating it, causes the consumption of that which is superfluous, so too does rest cause the generation and accumulation of superfluities. The bear and serpents and other such animals love rest. Thus, during the time of lying hidden, nature returns to their superfluities, and they are digested by the natural heat and converted into the substance of these animals, and so they are nourished during the time of lying hidden, not by something taken in from outside then, but by something taken in earlier. Thus there are as many superfluities in the bear as are required for the nutrition of the mother and the offspring [fetus]. It is said also during the time of lying hidden the bear licks the pads of its feet, because what is superfluous from their aliment reposes in the muscles of their feet. And at this time the bear returns to what has been laid down there, and this is why it licks its feet, in order to extract the moistures and the superfluities that have been deposited there, and so it sucks them and is nourished as a result.

It is uncertain whether a human can survive for such a long time without food. Nevertheless, should this happen in a human, it is more fitting that it occur in a woman than in a man, because the moist and viscous superfluities abound more in a woman, and since the heat is weaker in a woman than in a man, it cannot, in brief, consume them during this time.

By this a solution to the arguments is evident.

< Prev   CONTENTS   Next >