Thomas Aquinas

Sentencia libri De sensu et sensato
Commentary on Aristotle’s
De Sensu et Sensato

tr. Kevin White
Catholic University of America Press, 2005



  1. 436b8
  2. 437a19
  3. 438a5
  4. 438b2
  5. 439a6
  6. 439b14
  7. 440a15
  8. 440b28
  9. 441a30
  1. 442a12
  2. 442b27
  3. 443b17
  4. 444b7
  5. 445b3
  6. 446a20
  7. 447a12
  8. 448a1
  9. 448b17

Περὶ Αἰσθήσεως καὶ αἰσθητῶν


[436a] Ἐπεὶ δὲ περὶ ψυχῆς καθ΄ αὑτὴν διώρισται πρότερον καὶ περὶ τῶν δυνάμεων ἑκάστης κατὰ μόριον αὐτῆς, ἐχόμενόν ἐστι ποιήσασθαι τὴν ἐπίσκεψιν περὶ τῶν ζῴων καὶ τῶν ζωὴν ἐχόντων ἁπάντων, τίνες εἰσὶν ἴδιαι καὶ τίνες κοιναὶ πράξεις αὐτῶν. τὰ μὲν οὖν εἰρημένα περὶ ψυχῆς ὑποκείσθω, περὶ δὲ τῶν λοιπῶν λέγωμεν, καὶ πρῶτον περὶ τῶν πρώτων. 436a1 Since it was determined about soul in itself and each virtue from the point of view of it, the next thing is to make a consideration about animals, and everything that has life, as to what are their proper and what their common operations. Accordingly let the things that were said about soul be underlying, and let us speak about the rest, and first about what is first.
φαίνεται δὲ τὰ μέγιστα, καὶ τὰ κοινὰ καὶ τὰ ἴδια τῶν ζῴων, 436a6 The greatest both of the common and of the proper features of animals are seen to be common to both body and soul.
κοινὰ τῆς τε ψυχῆς ὄντα καὶ τοῦ σώματος, οἷον αἴσθησις καὶ μνήμη καὶ θυμὸς καὶ ἐπιθυμία καὶ ὅλως ὄρεξις, καὶ πρὸς τούτοις ἡδονὴ καὶ λύπη· καὶ γὰρ ταῦτα σχεδὸν ὑπάρχει πᾶσι τοῖς ζῴοις. πρὸς δὲ τούτοις τὰ μὲν πάντων ἐστὶ τῶν μετεχόντων ζωῆς κοινά, τὰ δὲ τῶν ζῴων ἐνίοις. τυγχάνουσι δὲ τούτων τὰ μέγιστα τέτταρες οὖσαι συζυγίαι τὸν ἀριθμόν, οἷον ἐγρήγορσις καὶ ὕπνος, καὶ νεότης καὶ γῆρας, καὶ ἀναπνοὴ καὶ ἐκπνοή, καὶ ζωὴ καὶ θάνατος· περὶ ὧν θεωρητέον, τί τε ἕκαστον αὐτῶν, καὶ διὰ τίνας αἰτίας συμβαίνει. φυσικοῦ δὲ καὶ περὶ ὑγιείας καὶ νόσου τὰς πρώτας ἰδεῖν ἀρχάς· 436a8 For instance, sense and memory, and anger and desire, and appetite as a whole, and with these pleasure and pain. For almost all of these are present in all animals. And with these, some things that are common to everything that participates in life, and some to some of the animals. Of these, the greatest are four pairs in number, namely wakefulness and sleep, and youth and old age, and inhalation and exhalation, and life and death. About these it must be considered what each of them is and for what causes it occurs. But it also belongs to the student of nature to discover first principles concerning health and sickness.
οὔτε γὰρ ὑγίειαν οὔτε νόσον οἷόν τε γίγνεσθαι τοῖς ἐστερημένοις ζωῆς. διὸ σχεδὸν τῶν περὶ φύσεως οἱ πλεῖστοι καὶ τῶν ἰατρῶν οἱ φιλοσοφωτέρως τὴν τέχνην μετιόντες, οἱ μὲν τελευτῶσιν εἰς τὰ περὶ ἰατρικῆς, [436b] οἱ δ΄ ἐκ τῶν περὶ φύσεως ἄρχονται [περὶ τῆς ἰατρικῆς]. 436a18 For it is impossible for either health or sickness to occur in that lacks life. Therefore, in general, in the case of most students of nature, and of the physicians who pursue the art more philosophically, the former finish with what belongs to medicine, but the latter begin medicine with what belongs to nature.
ὅτι δὲ πάντα τὰ λεχθέντα κοινὰ τῆς τε ψυχῆς ἐστὶ καὶ τοῦ σώματος, οὐκ ἄδηλον. πάντα γὰρ τὰ μὲν μετ΄ αἰσθήσεως συμβαίνει, τὰ δὲ δι΄ αἰσθήσεως, ἔνια δὲ τὰ μὲν πάθη ταύτης ὄντα τυγχάνει, τὰ δ΄ ἕξεις, τὰ δὲ φυλακαὶ καὶ σωτηρίαι, τὰ δὲ φθοραὶ καὶ στερήσεις· ἡ δ΄ αἴσθησις ὅτι διὰ σώματος γίγνεται τῇ ψυχῇ, δῆλον καὶ διὰ τοῦ λόγου καὶ τοῦ λόγου χωρίς. 436b1 That all the abovementioned are common to soul and body is not unclear. For with respect to all, some take place together with the sense-power, some through the sense-power. And with respect to certain ones, some exist as affections of it, some as conditions, some as protections and benefits, and some as destructions and privations. And that sense is present in the soul by means of the body is clear both through discussion and apart from discussion.
Sicut philosophus dicit in tertio de anima, sicut separabiles sunt res a materia, sic et quae circa intellectum sunt. Unumquodque enim intantum est intelligibile, inquantum est a materia separabile. Unde ea quae sunt secundum naturam a materia separata, sunt secundum seipsa intelligibilia actu: quae vero a nobis a materialibus conditionibus sunt abstracta, fiunt intelligibilia actu per lumen nostri intellectus agentis. Et, quia habitus alicuius potentiae distinguuntur specie secundum differentiam eius quod est per se obiectum potentiae, necesse est quod habitus scientiarum, quibus intellectus perficitur, etiam distinguantur secundum differentiam separationis a materia; et ideo philosophus in sexto metaphysicorum distinguit genera scientiarum secundum diversum modum separationis a materia. Nam ea, quae sunt separata a materia secundum esse et rationem, pertinent ad metaphysicum; quae autem sunt separata secundum rationem et non secundum esse, pertinent ad mathematicum; quae autem in sui ratione concernunt materiam sensibilem, pertinent ad naturalem. As The Philosopher says in On the Soul III, “just as things are separable from matter, so also is what pertains to intellect”: Footnote for everything is intelligible inasmuch as it is separable from matter. Hence what is by nature separate from matter is of its very self intelligible in actuality; but what is abstracted by us from conditions of matter is made intelligible in actuality by the light of our agent intellect. And because the habits of a power are specifically distinguished according to differentiation of that which is the per se object of the power, the habits of the sciences, by which intellect is perfected, are necessarily distinguished according to differentiation of “the separable from matter,” and so the Philosopher in Metaphysics VI distinguishes genera of science according to different manners of separation from matter: what is separate from matter according to being and nature pertains to the metaphysician; what is separate from matter according to nature and not according to being pertains to the mathematician; and what includes sensible matter in its nature pertains to the natural philosopher. Footnote
Et sicut diversa genera scientiarum distinguuntur secundum hoc quod res sunt diversimode a materia separabiles, ita etiam in singulis scientiis, et praecipue in scientia naturali, distinguuntur partes scientiae secundum diversum separationis et concretionis modum. Et quia universalia sunt magis a materia separata, ideo in scientia naturali ab universalibus ad minus universalia proceditur, sicut philosophus docet primo physicorum. Unde et scientiam naturalem incipit tradere ab his quae sunt communissima omnibus naturalibus, quae sunt motus et principium motus, et demum processit per modum concretionis, sive applicationis principiorum communium, ad quaedam determinata mobilia, quorum quaedam sunt corpora viventia: And just as different genera of science are distinguished according as things are in different ways separable from matter, so also in individual sciences, and especially in natural science, the parts of a science are distinguished according to different manners of separation and concretion. And because universals are more separate from matter, in natural science one proceeds from universals to what is less universal, as the Philosopher teaches in Physics I Footnote And so he began the teaching of natural science with what is most common to all natural things, namely movement and principles of movement, and from there proceeded by way of concretion or application of common principles, to determinate mobile things, some of which are living bodies.
circa quae etiam simili modo processit distinguens hanc considerationem in tres partes. Nam primo quidem consideravit de anima secundum se, quasi in quadam abstractione. Secundo considerationem facit de his, quae sunt animae secundum quamdam concretionem, sive applicationem ad corpus, sed in generali. Tertio considerationem facit applicando omnia haec ad singulas species animalium et plantarum, determinando quid sit proprium unicuique speciei. Prima igitur consideratio continetur in libro de anima. Tertia vero consideratio continetur in libris quos scribit de animalibus et plantis. Media vero consideratio continetur in libris, quos scribit de quibusdam, quae pertinent communiter, vel ad omnia animalia, vel ad plura genera eorum, vel etiam ad omnia viventia, circa quae huius libri est praesens intentio. Concerning these he also proceeded in a similar way, dividing this consideration into three parts. First he considered soul in itself, in an abstraction, as it were; second he has a consideration of what belongs to soul according to a concretion or application to body, but in general; third he bas a consideration that applies all this to individual species of animals and plants, determining what is proper to each species. Thus, the first consideration is contained in the book On the Soul; the third consideration is contained in books that he wrote on animals and plants; the intermediate consideration is contained in books that he wrote on some things that pertain in common either to all animals, or to several kinds of them, or even to all living things, and the present intention involves these books.
Unde considerandum est, quod in secundo de anima quatuor gradus viventium determinavit. Quorum primus est eorum quae habent solam partem animae nutritivam per quam vivunt, sicut sunt plantae. Quaedam autem sunt, quae cum hoc habent etiam sensum sine motu progressivo, sicut sunt animalia imperfecta, puta conchylia. Quaedam vero, quae habent insuper motum localem progressivum, sicut animalia perfecta, ut equus et bos. Quaedam vero insuper intellectum, sicut homines. Appetitivum enim, quamvis ponatur quintum genus potentiarum animae, non tamen constituit quintum gradum viventium, quia semper consequitur sensitivum. Hence it must be considered that in On the Soul II Aristotle determined four levels of living things. The first consists of those that have only the nutritive part of soul, by which they are alive, namely plants. But there are some living things that, together with this, also have a sense-power but without progressive movement, namely imperfect animals, for instance shellfish. And there are some that have in addition forward local movement, namely perfect animals such as the horse and the cow. And some in addition have intellect, namely human beings. For although the appetitive part is held to be a fifth genus of powers of soul, it does not constitute a fifth level of living things, because it always accompanies the sensitive part.
Horum autem, intellectus quidem nullius partis corporis actus est, ut probatur tertio de anima: unde non potest considerari per concretionem, vel applicationem ad corpus vel ad aliquod organum corporeum. Maxima enim concretio eius est in anima: summa autem eius abstractio est in substantiis separatis. Et ideo praeter librum de anima Aristoteles non fecit librum de intellectu et intelligibili: vel si fecisset, non pertineret ad scientiam naturalem, sed magis ad metaphysicam, cuius est considerare de substantiis separatis. Alia vero omnia sunt actus alicuius partis corporis: et ideo eorum potest esse specialis consideratio per applicationem ad corpus, vel organa corporea, praeter considerationem quae habita est de ipsis in libro de anima. Now among these powers, intellect is the actuality of no part of a body, as is proved in On the Soul III, Footnote and so it cannot be considered by a concretion or application to a body or to any bodily organ, for its greatest concretion is in soul and its highest abstraction is in separate substances. This is why Aristotle did not write, in addition to the book on the Soul, a book On Intellect and the Intelligible, but if he had done so, it would not pertain to natural science, but rather metaphysics, to which consideration of separate substances belongs. But all other parts of soul are actualities of parts of a body, and so there can be a special consideration of them by application to a body or bodily organs beyond the consideration made of them in the book “On the Soul.”
Oportet ergo huiusmodi considerationem mediam in tres partes distingui: quarum unum contineat ea, quae pertinent ad vivum, inquantum est vivum: et hic continetur in libro quem scribit de morte et vita, in quo etiam determinat de respiratione et expiratione, per quae in quibusdam vita conservatur; et de iuventute et senectute, per quae diversificatur status vitae. Similiter autem et in libro qui inscribitur de causis longitudinis et brevitatis vitae et in libro quem fecit de sanitate et aegritudine, quae etiam pertinent ad dispositionem vitae, et in libro quem dicitur fecisse de nutrimento et nutribili, qui duo libri apud nos nondum habentur. Accordingly this intermediate consideration must be divided into three parts. One includes what pertains to a living thing inasmuch as it is living. This is contained in the following: the book that he wrote On Life and Death, in which he determines about “Inhalation and Exhalation,” by which life is preserved in some living things, and about “Youth and Old Age,” by which the stages of life are differentiated; likewise the book entitled On Causes of Length and Shortness of Life, and the book that he wrote On Health and Disease, which also pertain to the disposition of life; and also the book he is said to have written On Nutrition and the Nourishing. We do not yet have these last two books.
Alia vero pertinent ad motivum: quae quidem continentur in duobus: scilicet in libro de causa motus animalium, et in libro de progressu animalium, in quo determinatur de partibus animalium opportunis ad motum. Another part of the consideration pertains to the moving part of soul This is contained in two books: the book On the Cause of Movement of Animals; and the book On the Progression of Animals, in which there is a determination about the parts of animals adapted for movement.
Tertia vero pertinet ad sensitivum. Circa quod considerari potest, et id quod pertinet ad actum interioris, vel exterioris sensus; et quantum ad hoc consideratio sensitivi continetur in hoc libro, qui inscribitur de sensu et sensato; idest de sensitivo et sensibili, sub quo etiam continetur tractatus de memoria et reminiscentia. Et iterum, ad considerationem sensitivi pertinet id, quod facit differentiam circa sensum in sentiendo, quod per somnum et vigiliam determinavit in libro quod inscribitur de somno et vigilia. The third part of the consideration pertains to the sensitive part of soul, concerning which consideration can be made, first, of what pertains to the act of the internal or of the external sense-power, and to this extent consideration of the sensitive part is contained in the present book, which is entitled On Sense and What Is Sensed, that is, “On the Sensitive Part and the Sensible Object,” in which is also contained the treatise “On Memory and Recollection.” Again, what causes the difference between sensing and not-sensing that is brought about by sleep and wakefulness also pertains to consideration of the sensitive part, and this is determined in the book entitled On Sleep and Wakefulness.
Sed quia oportet per magis similia ad dissimilia transire, talis videtur esse rationabiliter horum librorum ordo, ut post librum de anima, in quo de anima secundum se determinatur, immediate sequatur hic liber de sensu et sensato, quia ipsum sentire magis ad animam quam ad corpus pertinet: post quem ordinandus est liber de somno et vigilia, quae important ligamentum et solutionem sensus. Deinde sequuntur libri qui pertinent ad motivum, quod est magis propinquum sensitivo. Ultimo autem ordinantur libri qui pertinent ad communem considerationem vivi, quia ista consideratio maxime concernit corporis dispositionem. But because one should pass through the more similar to the dissimilar, the order of these books seems reasonably to be such that after the book On the Soul, in which it is determined about soul in itself, there immediately follows the present book On Sense and What Is Sensed, because sensing itself pertains more to soul than to body. Next in order should be the book On Sleep and Wakefulness, which imply binding and freeing of the sense-power. Then follow the books that pertain to the moving part, which is next closest to the sensitive part. And last in order are the books that pertain to the general consideration of a living thing, because this consideration to the greatest extent involves bodily disposition.
Hic igitur liber, qui de sensu et sensato inscribitur, primo quidem in duas partes dividitur, in prooemium et tractatum, quod incipit, ibi, sed de sensu et sentire. 436a1 Accordingly the present book, which is entitled On Sense and What Is Sensed, is first divided into two parts: a prologue, and the treatise, which begins where he says About sense and sensing (Chapter 1, 436b8).
Circa primum duo facit. Primo manifestat suam intentionem, ostendens de quibus sit tractandum. Secundo assignat rationem, quare necessarium est de his tractari, ibi, videntur autem maxime. On the first point he does two things. First he makes clear his intention, showing what is to be treated. Second he gives the reason why it is necessary to treat of such things, where he says The greatest (436a6).
Dicit ergo primo iam determinatum esse in libro de anima, de anima secundum seipsam, ubi scilicet animam definivit. Iterum consequenter determinatum est de qualibet virtute et potentia eius: sed hoc dico ex parte ipsius. Cum enim potentiae animae, praeter intellectum, sint actus quarumdam partium corporis, dupliciter de his considerari potest: uno modo secundum quod pertinent ad animam, quasi quaedam potentiae vel virtutes eius; alio modo ex parte corporis. De ipsis ergo potentiis animae ex parte ipsius animae determinatum est in libro de anima, sed nunc consequens est facere considerationem de animalibus, et omnibus habentibus vitam: quod addit propter plantas determinando scilicet quae sunt operationes eorum propriae scilicet singulis speciebus animalium et plantarum. Et quae communes, scilicet omnibus viventibus, vel omnibus animalibus, vel multis generibus eorum, illa igitur quae dicta sunt de anima subiiciantur vel supponantur, idest utamur ipsis in sequentibus, tamquam suppositionibus iam manifestis. De reliquis autem dicamus, et primum de primis, id est primo de communibus, et postea de propriis. Iste enim est debitus ordo scientiae naturalis, ut determinatum est in principio libri physici. Accordingly he first says that it was already determined about soul in its very self in the book On the Soul, that is, where he defined soul. Again, it was subsequently determined about each virtue—that is, power—of it, I mean from the point of view of it. Footnote For since powers of soul, apart from intellect, are actualities of parts of a body, there can be consideration of them in two ways: in one way according as they pertain to soul as certain powers or “virtues” of it, and in another way from the point of view of body. Accordingly it was determined about powers of soul themselves from the point of view of soul itself in the book On the Soul, but now the next thing is to make a consideration about animals, and everything that has life—which he adds because of plants—namely, by determining what are their proper operations—that is, proper to particular species of animals and plants—and what are common—that is, common to either all living things, or all animals, or many kinds of animals. Accordingly let the things that were said about soul be underlying, or supposed—that is, let us use them in what follows as suppositions that have already been explained. And let us speak about the rest, and first about what is first—that is, first about what is common and after about what is proper: for that is the order required in natural science, as was determined at the beginning of the book The Physics. Footnote
Deinde cum dicit videntur autem ostendit necessitatem praesentis considerationis. 436a6 Then, when he says The greatest, he shows the necessity of this subsequent consideration.
Si enim operationes tam propriae, quam communes animalium et plantarum, essent propriae ipsius animae, sufficeret ad hoc consideratio de anima. Sed quia sunt communes animae et corpori; ideo oportet, post considerationem de anima, de huiusmodi considerare, ut sciatur qualis dispositio corporum ad huiusmodi operationes vel passiones requiritur. Et ideo philosophus hic ostendit omnia communia esse animae et corpori. If the proper as well as common operations of animals and plants were proper to soul itself, the consideration of soul would suffice for this purpose; but because they are common to soul and body, it is necessary, after the consideration of soul, to determine about them so that it may be known what kinds of bodily dispositions are required for these operations or affections. And so the Philosopher here shows that all of them are common to soul and body.
Circa autem hoc tria facit philosophus. Primo proponit quod intendit. Secundo numerat ea, de quibus est intentio, ibi, puta sensus. Tertio probat propositum, ibi, quod autem omnia dicta. On this point he does three things. First he presents what he intends. Second he enumerates the features with which the intention is concerned, where he says For instance, sense and memory (436a8). Third he proves the proposal, where he says That all the abovementioned (436b 1).
Dicit ergo primo, quod illa quae sunt maxima et praecipua inter ea quae pertinent ad animalia et plantas, sive sint communia omnium animalium aut plurium, sive sint propria singulis speciebus, etiam ex ipso primo aspectu videntur esse communia animae et corporis. Unde aliam considerationem requirunt praeter eam quae est de anima absolute. Accordingly he says first that of the features that pertain to animals and plants, those that are greatest—that is, the outstanding ones—whether they are common to all animals or several, or proper to individual species, are seen, even at very first sight, to be common to soul and body. Hence they require another consideration beyond the one about soul taken absolutely.
Deinde cum dicit puta sensus enumerat ea de quibus est intentio: 436a8 Then, when he says For instance, sense and memory, he enumerates the features with which the intention is concerned.
et primo ponit ea quae pertinent ad sensitivum, scilicet sensum et memoriam. Non facit autem de aliis mentionem, scilicet de imaginatione et aestimatione, quia haec non distinguuntur a sensu ex parte rei cognitae: sunt enim praesentium vel quasi praesentium; sed memoria distinguitur per hoc quod est praeteritorum inquantum praeterita sunt. First he presents what pertains to the sensitive part, namely sense and memory. He makes no mention of the other sense-powers, namely imagination and the estimative power, because these are not distinguished from sense from the point of view of the thing known, since they are of present things, or of things taken as present. But memory is so distinguished by the fact that it is of past things inasmuch as they are past. Footnote
Secundo ponit illa quae pertinent ad motivum. Est autem propinquum principium motus in animalibus appetitus sensitivus, qui dividitur in duas vires, scilicet irascibilem et concupiscibilem, sicut dictum est in tertio de anima. Second he presents what pertains to the locomotive part. Now the proximate principle of movement in animals is sensitive appetite, which is divided into two powers, namely “irascible” and “concupiscible,” as was said in On the Soul III. Footnote
Ponit ergo iram pertinentem ad vim irascibilem, et desiderium pertinens ad concupiscibilem; a quibus duabus passionibus, tamquam a manifestioribus, praedictae duae vires denominantur. Concupiscibilis enim denominatur a desiderio, irascibilis autem ab ira. Sed, quia sunt quaedam aliae animae passiones ad vim appetitivam pertinentes, ideo subiungit, et omnino appetitus ut comprehendat omnia quae ad vim appetitivam pertinent. Accordingly he mentions anger, which pertains to the irascible power, and desire, which pertains to the concupiscible. It is from these two passions, as from what is more evident, that the two powers are named: for the concupiscible power is named from “desire” and the irascible power from “anger” (ira). Footnote But because there are other passions of the soul pertaining to the appetitive power, he adds and appetite as a whole, to include everything that pertains to the appetitive power.
Ad omnes autem passiones animae, sive sint in irascibili, sive in concupiscibili, sequitur gaudium vel tristitia, ut dicitur secundo Ethicorum; et ideo subdit et cum his gaudium et tristitiam, quasi finales ultimae passiones. But all passions of the soul, whether they are in the irascible or the concupiscible power, are followed by pleasure and pain, as is said in Ethics II. Footnote And so he adds, and with these, pleasure and pain, the final and ultimate passions, as it were.
Et subiungit quod haec, quae enumerata sunt, fere inveniuntur in omnibus generibus animalium. Dicit autem fere, quia plura eorum inveniuntur in omnibus animalibus tam perfectis quam imperfectis, scilicet sensus et desiderium et appetitus et gaudium et tristitia. Habent enim animalia imperfecta de sensibus solum tactum, habent etiam phantasiam et concupiscentiam et gaudium et tristitiam, licet indeterminate sint, et indeterminate moveantur, ut dictum est secundo de anima. Memoria vero et ira in eis totaliter non invenitur, sed solum in animalibus perfectis. He adds that these features that have been enumerated are almost all found in all kinds of animals. He says “almost all” because most of them, namely sense, desire, appetite, and pleasure and pain, are found in all animals, perfect as well as imperfect. For imperfect animals have, of the senses, only touch; they also have imagination, desire, and pleasure and pain, although these are indeterminate in them; and they are moved in an indeterminate way, as was said in On the Soul III. Footnote But memory and anger are not found in them at all, but only in perfect animals.
Cuius ratio est, quia non omnia quae sunt inferioris generis, sed solum suprema et perfectiora, pertingunt ad aliquam participationem similitudinis eius, quod est proprium superiori generi. Differt autem sensus ab intellectu et ratione; quia intellectus vel ratio est universalium, quae sunt ubique et semper; sensus autem est singularium quae sunt hic et nunc. Et ideo sensus secundum suam propriam rationem non est cognoscitivus nisi praesentium. The reason for this is that not everything belonging to a lower genus, but only what is highest or more perfect, achieves a participation of likeness in what is proper to a higher genus. Footnote Now the sense-power differs from intellect and reason because intellect or reason is of universals, which are everywhere and always, but the sense-power is of individuals, which are here and now. And so sense, according to its proper nature (ratio) is apprehensive only of what is present.
Quod autem sit aliqua virtus sensitivae partis, se extendens ad alia quae non sunt praesentia, hoc est secundum similitudinariam participationem rationis vel intellectus. Unde memoria, quae est cognoscitiva praeteritorum, convenit solum animalibus perfectis, utpote supremum quoddam in cognitione sensitiva. But if there is a power of the sensitive part that extends to something not present, this is according to participation by likeness in reason or intellect. Hence memory, which is able to know things past, belongs only to perfect animals, being something supreme in sensitive knowledge.
Similiter etiam appetitus sensitivus, consequens sensum secundum propriam rationem, est eius quod est delectabile secundum sensum, quod pertinet ad vim concupiscibilem, quae est communis animalibus. Sed quod animal tendat per appetitum ad aliquod laboriosum, puta ad pugnam vel aliquod huiusmodi, habet similitudinem cum appetitu rationali, cuius est appetere aliqua propter finem quae non secundum sensum sunt appetibilia. Et ideo ira, quae est appetitus vindictae, pertinet solum ad animalia perfecta, propter quamdam appropinquationem ad genus rationalium. Likewise, the sensitive appetite that follows from sense is, according to its proper nature (ratio) appetite for what is pleasant according to sense, and this appetite pertains to the concupiscible power that is common to all animals. But if an animal tends by appetite to something laborious, such as fighting or something similar, this contains a likeness to rational appetite, to which it is proper to desire some things for the sake of an end that are not in themselves desirable. And so anger, which is appetite for retribution, belongs only to perfect animals, because of an approach to the genus of what is rational.
Deinde ponit ea quae pertinent aliqualiter ad rationem vitae: 436a11 Then he presents what pertains in any way to the nature of life.
et dicit quod cum praemissis inveniuntur alia in animalibus, quorum quaedam sunt communia omnibus participantibus vitam, non solum animalibus, sed etiam plantis. Quaedam vero pertinent solum ad quaedam genera animalium: et horum praecipua sub quadruplici coniunctione enumerantur vel coniugatione. Primam quidem coniugationem ponit vigiliam et somnum: quae inveniuntur in omnibus animalibus, non tamen in plantis. Secundam autem ponit iuventutem et senectutem, quae inveniuntur tam in animalibus quam in plantis. Cuiuslibet enim corruptibilis et generabilis vita distinguitur per diversas aetates. Tertiam ponit respirationem et expirationem, quae inveniuntur in quibusdam generibus animalium, scilicet in omnibus habentibus pulmonem. Quartam ponit vitam et mortem, quae inveniuntur in omnibus viventibus in hoc mundo inferiori. Et de his omnibus dicit considerandum quid unumquodque eorum sit, et quae sit causa eius. He says that with the foregoing, other features are found in animals, some of which are common to everything that participates in life, that is, not only animals but also plants; but some pertain only to some kinds of animals. And the outstanding of these are listed in four pairs. The first pair he presents is wakefulness and sleep, which are found in all animals, but not in plants. The second is youth and old age, which are found in animals as well as plants, for the life of anything subject to death and birth is divided into different ages. The third is inhalation and exhalation, which are found in certain kinds of animals, namely all that have lungs. The fourth is life and death, which are found in all living things in this lower world. And he says that about all of these it must be considered what each of them is, and what is its cause.
Et quia praedicta dixerat esse maxima, subiungit de quibusdam quae non sunt ita praecipua, sicut sanitas et aegritudo, quae non inveniuntur in omnibus individuis generum, in quibus nata sunt esse, sicut accidit de praemissis; sunt tamen nata inveniri in omnibus viventibus tam animalibus quam plantis. 436a17 Because he said that the abovementioned features are the greatest,” he adds something about some that are not so outstanding namely health and disease, which are not both found in all individual of the genera in which they exist by nature, as does happen with the above-mentioned, but which are by nature found in all living things, animals as well as plants.
Dicit autem quod etiam ad naturalem philosophum pertinet invenire prima et universalia principia sanitatis et aegritudinis: particularia autem principia considerare pertinet ad medicum, qui est artifex factivus sanitatis; sicut ad quamlibet artem factivam pertinet considerare singularia circa suum propositum, eo quod operationes in singularibus sunt. He says that it also pertains to the natural philosopher to discover first and universal principles of health and sickness. Consideration of particular principles pertains to the physician, the artisan who makes health, as it pertains to any operative art to consider particulars about its own business, because operations take place in particulars.
Et quod haec consideratio pertineat ad naturalem probat, ibi, nec enim sanitatem et cetera. Et hoc dupliciter. 436a18 He proves in two ways that the former consideration does pertain to the natural philosopher, where he says For it is impossible (436al8).
Primo quidem per rationem. Non enim potest inveniri sanitas, nisi in habentibus vitam. Ex quo patet quod corpus vivum est proprium subiectum sanitatis et aegritudinis. Principia enim subiecti sunt principia propriae passionis. Unde, cum ad philosophum naturalem pertineat considerare corpus vivum et eius principia, oportet etiam quod consideret principia sanitatis et aegritudinis. First he does so by argument. Health or sickness can be found only in what has life, from which it is clear that the living body is the proper subject of health and disease. But the principles of a subject are also the principles of its proper attribute (passio). Hence, since it pertains to the natural philosopher to consider the living body and its principles, he must also consider the principles of health and disease.
Secundo probat idem per signum sive exemplum, quod concludit ex ratione inducta. Plurimi enim philosophorum naturalium finiunt suam considerationem ad ea etiam quae sunt de medicina. Similiter etiam plurimi medicorum, qui scilicet magis physice artem medicinae prosequuntur, non solum experimentis utentes sed causas inquirentes, incipiunt medicinalem considerationem a naturalibus. Ex quo patet quod consideratio sanitatis et aegritudinis communis est et medicis et naturalibus. Second he proves the same thing by a sign or example that he concludes to from an argument that he presents. Most natural philosophers finish their study with what belongs to medicine, and likewise most physicians—that is, those who pursue the art of medicine more philosophically, not only applying experience, but inquiring into causes—begin their consideration of medicine with what is natural. From this it is clear that consideration of health and disease is common to both physicians and natural philosophers.
Cuius ratio est, quia sanitas causatur quandoque quidem solum a natura, et propter hoc pertinet ad considerationem naturalis, cuius est considerare opera naturae: quandoque vero ab arte, et secundum hoc consideratur a medico. Sed quia ars non principaliter causat sanitatem, sed quasi adiuvat naturam et est ministrans ei; ideo necesse est quod medicus a naturali tamquam a principaliori principia suae scientiae accipiat, sicut gubernator navis ab astrologo. Et haec est ratio quare medici bene artem prosequentes a naturalibus incipiunt. The reason for this is that health is sometimes caused by nature alone, and because of this it pertains to the consideration of the natural philosopher, to whom it belongs to consider the workings of nature; but sometimes it is caused by art, and in this respect it is considered by the physician. But because the art causes health not principally, but by as it were helping nature and ministering to it, the physician necessarily gets the principles of his science from the natural philosopher as from one who is prior, as a ship’s captain gets his principles from an astronomer. This is the reason why physicians who pursue their art well start with what belongs to natural philosophy.
Si qua vero sunt artificialia, quae solum fiunt ab arte, ut domus et navis, haec nullo modo pertinent ad considerationem naturalis, sicut ea quae fiunt solum a natura nullo modo pertinent ad considerationem artis, nisi inquantum ars utitur re naturali. But anything artificial that is made by art alone, for instance a house or a boat, in no way pertains to the natural philosopher’s consideration, just as what is made by nature alone in no way pertains to the consideration of art except inasmuch as art makes use of a natural thing.
Deinde cum dicit quod autem probat propositum, scilicet quod omnia praedicta sunt communia animae et corpori: 436b1 Then, when he says That all the abovementioned, he proves the proposal, namely that all the abovementioned are common to soul and body.
et utitur tali ratione. Omnia praedicta ad sensum pertinent: sensus autem communis est animae et corpori, sentire enim convenit animae per corpus: ergo praedicta omnia sunt communia animae et corpori. He uses the following argument. All the abovementioned pertain to the sense-power. But the sense-power is common to soul and body, for sensing pertains to the soul through the body. Therefore all the abovementioned are common to soul and body.
Primum manifestat quasi per inductionem. Praedictorum enim quaedam cum sensu accidunt, scilicet quae pertinent ad cognitionem sensitivam, ut sensus, phantasia et memoria, quaedam vero accidunt per sensum, sicut ea quae pertinent ad vim appetitivam, quae movetur per apprehensionem sensus. Aliorum vero, quae pertinent manifestius ad corpus, quaedam sunt passiones sensus, scilicet somnus, qui est ligamentum sensus, et vigilia quae est solutio eius; quaedam vero sunt habitudines sensus, scilicet iuventus et senectus quae pertinent ad hoc, quod sensus bene se habeant vel debiliter; quaedam vero sunt conservationes et salutaria sensus, scilicet respiratio, vita et sanitas; quaedam vero corruptiones, sicut mors et infirmitas. He makes the first premise clear by an induction, as it were. of the abovementioned features, some take place together with the sense-power, namely those that pertain to sensitive apprehension, such as sense, imagination, and memory. Some take place through the sense-power, for instance those that pertain to the appetitive power, which is moved by the apprehension of sense-power. Of the others, which pertain even more clearly to the body, some are affections of the sense-power, namely sleep, which is a binding of sense-power, and wakefulness, which is its freeing; some are conditions of the sense-power, namely youth and old age, which have to do with whether the sense-power is in good condition or is weak; some are protections of and benefits to the sense-power, namely breathing, life, and health; and some are destructions and privations of it, namely death and sickness.
Secundum autem, scilicet quod sensus communis sit animae et corpori, dicit esse manifestum, et per rationem et sine ratione. He says that the second premise, that sense is common to soul and body, is clear both by argument and without argument.
Ratio enim est in promptu: quia cum sensus patiatur a sensibili, sicut ostensum est in libro de anima, sensibilia autem materialia sint et corporea, necesse corporeum esse, quod a sensibili patiatur. The argument is ready to hand. Since a sense-power is affected by something sensible, as was shown in the book On the Soul, Footnote and sensible things are bodily and material, what is affected by the sensible is necessarily bodily.
Absque autem ratione manifestum est experimento: quia turbatis corporeis organis impeditur operatio sensus; et eis ablatis, totaliter sensus tollitur. Even without argument this is clear from experience, because if the bodily organs are disturbed, the operation of the sense-power is impeded; and if they are removed, the sense-power is completely removed as well.


ἀλλὰ περὶ μὲν αἰσθήσεως καὶ τοῦ αἰσθάνεσθαι, τί ἐστι καὶ διὰ τί συμβαίνει τοῖς ζῴοις τοῦτο τὸ πάθος, εἴρηται πρότερον ἐν τοῖς περὶ ψυχῆς. 436b8 About sense and sensing—what it is and why this affection occurs in animals—something was said before in the discussions On the soul.
τοῖς δὲ ζῴοις, ᾗ μὲν ζῷον ἕκαστον, ἀνάγκη ὑπάρχειν αἴσθησιν· τούτῳ γὰρ τὸ ζῷον εἶναι καὶ μὴ ζῷον διορίζομεν. 436b10 Any animal as animal necessarily has sense-power, for by this we determine that something is an animal or non-animal.
ἰδίᾳ δ΄ ἤδη καθ΄ ἕκαστον ἡ μὲν ἁφὴ καὶ γεῦσις ἀκολουθεῖ πᾶσιν ἐξ ἀνάγκης, ἡ μὲν ἁφὴ διὰ τὴν εἰρημένην αἰτίαν ἐν τοῖς περὶ ψυχῆς, ἡ δὲ γεῦσις διὰ τὴν τροφήν· τὸ γὰρ ἡδὺ διακρίνει καὶ τὸ λυπηρὸν αὐτῇ περὶ τὴν τροφήν, ὥστε τὸ μὲν φεύγειν τὸ δὲ διώκειν, καὶ ὅλως ὁ χυμός ἐστι τοῦ θρεπτικοῦ πάθος. 436b12 Taking each of them by itself, touch and taste accompany all necessarily, touch for the cause stated in the discussions On the soul, but taste because of food: for by this it distinguishes the pleasant (good-tasting) and unpleasant (bad-tasting) with respect to food, so as to avoid the latter, but pursue the former. And in general, flavor is the affection of the nutritive part of soul.
αἱ δὲ διὰ τῶν ἔξωθεν αἰσθήσεις τοῖς πορευτικοῖς αὐτῶν, οἷον ὄσφρησις καὶ ἀκοὴ καὶ ὄψις, πᾶσι μὲν τοῖς ἔχουσι σωτηρίας ἕνεκεν ὑπάρχουσιν, ὅπως διώκωσί τε προαισθανόμενα τὴν τροφὴν καὶ τὰ φαῦλα καὶ τὰ φθαρτικὰ [437a] φεύγωσι, 436b18 But the senses that go through what is external—such as smell, hearing, sight—are in those of them that advance. And they are in all that have them because of health, so that, pre-sensing, they might pursue food, but avoid what is bad and harmful.
τοῖς δὲ καὶ φρονήσεως τυγχάνουσι τοῦ εὖ ἕνεκα· πολλὰς γὰρ εἰσαγγέλλουσι διαφοράς, ἐξ ὧν ἥ τε τῶν νοητῶν ἐγγίνεται φρόνησις καὶ ἡ τῶν πρακτῶν. 437a1 And they are in those that have prudence for the sake of the “well”: for they announce many differences, from which there arises in them discernment of what can be contemplated and what can be done.
αὐτῶν δὲ τούτων πρὸς μὲν τὰ ἀναγκαῖα κρείττων ἡ ὄψις καθ΄ αὑτήν, πρὸς δὲ νοῦν κατὰ συμβεβηκὸς ἡ ἀκοή. 437a3 Of these, sight is better for what is necessary and of itself, but hearing for understanding and by accident.
διαφορὰς μὲν γὰρ πολλὰς καὶ παντοδαπὰς ἡ τῆς ὄψεως εἰσαγγέλλει δύναμις διὰ τὸ πάντα τὰ σώματα μετέχειν χρώματος, ὥστε καὶ τὰ κοινὰ διὰ ταύτης αἰσθάνεσθαι μάλιστα (λέγω δὲ κοινὰ μέγεθος, σχῆμα, κίνησιν, ἀριθμόν), ἡ δ΄ ἀκοὴ τὰς τοῦ ψόφου διαφορὰς μόνον, ὀλίγοις δὲ καὶ τὰς τῆς φωνῆς· 437a5 For the power of sight announces many and many kinds of differences, because all bodies participate in color. Hence the common objects are also better perceived by this; I call size, shape, movement, and number “common.” But hearing announces only differences of sound, but to a few also those of voice.
κατὰ συμβεβηκὸς δὲ πρὸς φρόνησιν ἡ ἀκοὴ πλεῖστον συμβάλλεται μέρος. ὁ γὰρ λόγος αἴτιός ἐστι τῆς μαθήσεως ἀκουστὸς ὤν, οὐ καθ΄ αὑτὸν ἀλλὰ κατὰ συμβεβηκός· ἐξ ὀνομάτων γὰρ σύγκειται, τῶν δ΄ ὀνομάτων ἕκαστον σύμβολόν ἐστιν. διόπερ φρονιμώτεροι τῶν ἐκ γενετῆς ἐστερημένων εἰσὶν ἑκατέρας τῆς αἰσθήσεως οἱ τυφλοὶ τῶν ἐνεῶν καὶ κωφῶν. 437a11 But by accident hearing contributes a greater share to prudence. For discussion, being audible, is a cause of learning, not in itself but by accident; for it consists of words, and each of the words is a symbol. Hence of those deprived from birth of one of the two senses, the blind are wiser than deaf-mutes.
Περὶ μὲν οὖν τῆς δυνάμεως ἣν ἔχει τῶν αἰσθήσεων ἑκάστη, πρότερον εἴρηται. 437a18 The power that each sense has has now been discussed.
Praemisso prooemio, in quo ostendit philosophus suam intentionem, hic incipit prosequi suum propositum. 436b8 Having presented a prologue in which he has shown his intention, here the Philosopher begins to follow up his proposal.
Et primo determinat ea quae pertinent ad sensum exteriorem. Secundo determinat ea quae pertinent ad cognitionem sensitivam inferiorem, scilicet de memoria et reminiscentia, ibi, de memoria et reminiscentia. Ille enim tractatus est pars istius libri secundum Graecos. First he determines about what pertains to the external sense-power. Second he determines about certain things pertaining to inner sensitive cognition, namely memory and recollection, where he says About memory and remembering (449b4), for the treatise On memory and recollection is part of the present book according to the Greeks.
Circa primum tria facit. Primo resumit quaedam, quae de sensu dicta sunt in libro de anima, quibus utendum est tamquam suppositionibus, ut supra dictum est. Secundo determinat veritatem, quam intendit circa opera sensuum et sensibilia, ibi, in quibus autem habent fieri. Tertio solvit quasdam dubitationes circa praemissa, ibi, obiiciet autem aliquis si omne corpus. On the first point he does three things. First he takes up some things that were said about the sense-power in the book On the soul and that are to be used as suppositions, as was said above. Second, he determines the truth that he intends about the workings of the senses and of sensible objects, where he says At present some inquire (Chapter 2, 437a19). Third, he solves certain difficulties about the foregoing, where he says But someone will raise an objection (Chapter 14, 445b3).
Circa primum duo facit. Dicit enim primo, quid circa sensum in libro de anima dictum sit. Secundo assumit quaedam eorum, ibi, anima autem secundum quod animal. On the first point he does two things. First he states what was said about the sense-power in the book On the soul. Second he takes up some of these points, where he says Any animal as animal (436b 10).
Dicit ergo primo, quod in libro de anima dictum est de sensu et sentire id est de potentia sensitiva et actu eius; et duo dicta sunt de eis, scilicet quid sit utrumque eorum, et causa quare animalibus haec accidant. Vocat autem sentire passiones, quia actio sensus in patiendo fit, ut probatum est in secundo de anima. Quid autem sit sensus, et quare animalia sentiant, ostendit circa finem secundi de anima, per hoc scilicet quod animalia recipere possunt species sensibilium sine materia. Accordingly he first says that in the book on the soul, something was said about sense and sensing—that is, about the sensitive power and its act. Two things were said about them, namely what each of them is, and the cause why they occur in animals. He calls sensing an “affection” (passio) because the action of sense comes about in a being-affected (paciendo), as was proved in On the Soul II. Footnote Near the end of On the Soul II he showed what sense is and why animals sense by the fact that animals are able to receive the forms of sensible things without matter. Footnote
Deinde cum dicit animal autem assumit tria ex his, quae in libro de anima dicta sunt circa sensum: quorum primum pertinet ad sensum in communi; secundum pertinet ad sensus qui sunt communes omnibus animalibus, et hoc, ibi, proprie autem secundum unumquodque; tertium pertinet ad alios sensus, qui inveniuntur in animalibus perfectis, ibi, sensus autem qui per exteriora. 436b 10 Then, when he says Any animal as animal, he takes up three things that were said about sense in the book On the Soul. The first pertains to sense in general. The second pertains to the senses that are common to all animals; he takes this up where he says Taking each of them by itself (436bl2). The third pertains to the other senses, which are found in perfect animals; he takes this up where he says But the senses that go through what is external (436b 18).
Dicit ergo primo, quod omne animal inquantum est animal necesse est quod habeat sensum aliquem. In hoc enim, quod est sensitivum esse, consistit ratio animalis, per quam animal a non animali distinguitur. Accordingly he first says that every animal, inasmuch as it is animal, necessarily has some sense-power: for the nature (ratio) of animal, by which it is distinguished from what is non-animal, consists in its being sensitive.
Attingit enim animal ad infimum gradum cognoscentium: quae quidem aliis rebus cognitione carentibus praeeminent in hoc quod plura entia in se continere possunt; et ita virtus eorum ostenditur esse capacior, et ad plura se extendens. Et quanto quidem aliquod cognoscens universaliorem habet rerum cognitionem, tanto virtus eius est absolutior et immaterialior et perfectior. Virtus autem sensitiva, quae inest animalibus, est quidem capax extrinsecorum, sed in singulari tantum: unde et quamdam immaterialitatem habet, inquantum est susceptiva specierum sensibilium sine materia; infimam tamen in ordine cognoscentium, inquantum huiusmodi species recipere non potest nisi in organo corporali. The reason is this. An animal reaches the lowest level of knowing things, which surpass things that lack knowledge by being able to contain several beings in themselves, by which their power is shown to be more open and to extend to more things. And inasmuch as a knower has a more universal grasp of things, its power is more absolute, immaterial, and perfect. Now the sensitive power that is in animals is certainly open to what is outside, but only in the singular. Hence it also has an immateriality inasmuch as it is receptive of forms of sensible things without matter, but it has the lowest immateriality in the order of knowers, inasmuch as it can receive these forms only in a bodily organ.
Deinde cum dicit proprie autem ponit id quod pertinet ad sensus communes et necessarios animali. 436b12 Then, when he says Taking each of them by itself he presents what pertains to the senses that are common and necessary to animals.
Circa quod considerandum est quod sensus communes et necessarii omni animali sunt illi, qui sunt cognoscitivi eorum, quae sunt necesse animali. Est autem animali aliquod sensibile necessarium dupliciter. Uno modo inquantum corpus est mixtum ex quatuor elementis; et sic necessarium est animali debita commensuratio calidi et frigidi, humidi et sicci, et aliorum huiusmodi, quae sunt differentiae corporum mixtorum. Aliud autem est necessarium animali, inquantum corpus eius est vivum nutribile; et sic necessarius est ei cibus conveniens. Per contraria autem horum animal corrumpitur. Et quamvis primum sit necessarium omni mixto corpori, secundum autem sit necessarium etiam plantis, tamen animal superabundat in hoc, quod horum notitiam habere potest ratione iam dicta secundum gradum suae naturae. Ad hoc igitur quod cognoscat ea, quae sibi sunt necessaria vel contraria secundum rationem corporis mixti, ordinatur sensus tactus, qui est cognoscitivus praedictarum differentiarum. Ad hoc autem quod cognoscat conveniens nutrimentum, necessarius est ei gustus, per quem cognoscitur sapidum et insipidum, quod est signum nutrimenti convenientis vel inconvenientis. Et ideo dicit quod gustus et tactus ex necessitate consequuntur omnia animalia. On this point it must be considered that the senses that are common and necessary to every animal are those that apprehend what is necessary to an animal. Now there are two ways in which something sensible is necessary to an animal: in one way inasmuch as the animal is a mixed body, composed of the four elements, and thus there is necessary to it the required balance of hot and cold, moist and dry, and other such differences of mixed bodies; and something else is necessary to the animal inasmuch as its body is a living thing capable of being nourished, and thus suitable food is necessary to it. By the contraries of these an animal is destroyed. And although the first is necessary to every mixed body, and the second is also necessary to plants, an animal has something more than these in being able to have knowledge of what is necessary, for the reason already stated, according to the level of its nature. Accordingly, in order for it to apprehend what is necessary or harmful to it according to its nature (ratio) as a mixed body, it has the sense of touch, which apprehends the above-mentioned differences; and in order for it to apprehend suitable nourishment, the sense of taste is necessary to it, by which it apprehends what tastes good and bad, which are signs of suitable and unsuitable nourishment. This is why he says that touch and taste necessarily accompany all animals.
Et de tactu quidem, causa assignata est in libro de anima, quia scilicet tactus est cognoscitivus eorum ex quibus componitur animal. Gustus autem est ei necessarius propter alimentum; quia per gustum animal discernit delectabile et tristabile, sive sapidum et insipidum circa cibum, ut unum eorum prosequatur tamquam conveniens, alterum fugiat tamquam nocivum. Et totaliter, sapor est passio nutritivae partis animae; non quod sit obiectum potentiae nutritivae, sed quia ordinatur ad actum nutritivae potentiae, sicut ad finem, ut dictum est. Concerning touch, the cause was given in the book On the soul, namely that touch is cognitive of the things of which an animal is composed. But taste is necessary to an animal because of food, because by taste an animal distinguishes the pleasant and unpleasant, or good-tasting and bad-tasting, in food, so as to pursue one of these as suitable and avoid the other as harmful. And flavor as a whole is the affection of the nutritive part of soul—not that it is the object of the nutritive power, but that it is directed to the act of the nutritive power as its end, as was said.
Alexander tamen dicit in commento, quod in quibusdam libris invenitur in Graeco quod sapor est gustativae nutribilis partis animae passio, quia videlicet sapor apprehenditur a gustu ordinato ad nutritionem. But Alexander says in the commentary that in some manuscripts in Greek the text reads: “flavor is the affection of the tasting part of the nutritive part of the soul.” Footnote For flavor is apprehended by taste, which is ordered to nourishment.
Deinde cum dicit sensus autem prosequitur de sensibus, qui insunt solum animantibus perfectis. 436b 18 Then when he says But the senses that go through what is external, he follows up on the senses that are only in perfect animals.
Et primo assignat causam, propter quam communiter huiusmodi sensus insunt omnibus talibus animalibus. Secundo assignat causam, propter quam specialiter insunt quibusdam perfectioribus eorum, ibi, et habentibus autem prudentiam. First he gives the general cause of these senses being in all animals of this kind. Second he gives the special cause of their being in the more perfect of them, where he says And they are in those that have prudence (437a1).
Sciendum est circa primum, quod animalia perfecta dicuntur, quibus non solum inest sensitivum sine motu progressivo, ut ostrea, sed quae praeter id habent motivum secundum motum progressivum. Est autem considerandum quod huiusmodi animalia excedunt animalia imperfecta, idest immobilia, sicut illa animalia excedunt plantas et alia corpora mixta: plantae enim et corpora inanimata non habent aliquam notitiam eorum quae sunt eis necessaria; sed animalia immobilia habent quidem cognitionem eorum quae sunt necessaria solum secundum quod eis praesentialiter offeruntur; animalia autem progressiva accipiunt notitiam eorum etiam quae a remotis: unde haec magis accedunt ad cognitionem intellectivam quae non determinatur ad hic et nunc. On the first point it must be known that animals are called “perfect” in which there is not merely a sensitive part without forward movement, as in oysters, but which in addition have a moving part with respect to forward movement. And it must be considered that such animals surpass imperfect, that is, immobile animals as the latter surpass plants and other mixed bodies: for plants and inanimate bodies have no awareness of what is necessary to them; immobile animals have knowledge of what is necessary only inasmuch as it is immediately presented to them; but forward-moving animals also receive knowledge of what is necessary front a distance, and so they more closely approach intellectual knowledge, which is not confined to the here and now.
Et sicut omnibus animalibus ad cognoscendum necessaria, quae pertinent ad nutritionem, secundum quod praesentialiter offeruntur, ordinatur gustus, ita ad cognoscendum ea quae offeruntur a remotis ordinatur odoratus. Odor enim et sapor quamdam affinitatem habent, ut infra dicetur. Et sicut per saporem cognoscitur convenientia cibi coniuncti, ita per odorem cognoscitur convenientia cibi a remotis. And just as in all animals taste is ordered to knowing the necessary pertaining to nourishment inasmuch as it is immediately presented, so smell is ordered to knowing it front a distance as well. For odor and flavor have an affinity, as will be said below, Footnote and just as by flavor the suitability of food taken in is known, so by odor the suitability of food at a distance is known.
Alii autem duo sensus, scilicet visus et auditus, ordinantur ad cognoscendum a remotis omnia necessaria animali, vel corruptiva, sive sint ei necessaria secundum rationem corporis mixti, sive secundum rationem vivi corporis nutribilis. Manifestum enim est quod animalia per visum et auditum fugiunt corruptiva quaelibet, et salubria prosequuntur. But the other two senses, sight and hearing, are ordered to knowing from a distance everything necessary or harmful to an animal, whether in its nature (ratio) as a mixed body or in its nature as a living body capable of being nourished, for it is clear that by sight and hearing animals avoid whatever is harmful and pursue what is healthy.
Et ideo dicit quod illi sensus, qui per exteriora media fiunt, ut dictum est secundo de anima, scilicet odoratus, auditus et visus, insunt illis de numero animalium quae proficiscuntur, id est motu progressivo moventur omnibus quidem his propter unam causam communem, scilicet causam salutis, ut a remotis scilicet necessaria cognoscant, sicut per gustum et tactum praesentialiter. Et hoc est quod subdit ut praesentientia, id est a remotis sentientia prosequantur conveniens alimentum, et fugiant mala et corruptiva quaecumque, sicut ovis fugit lupum ut corruptivum, lupus autem sequitur ovem visam vel auditam aut odoratam, ut conveniens alimentum. And so he says that the senses that are actualized through external media, as was said in On the Soul II, Footnote namely smell, hearing, and sight, are in those among the animals that advance—that is, move with forward movement—in all of them for one general cause, namely because of health—that is, so that they might know what is necessary from a distance, just as by taste and touch they know it when present. And he adds: so that, pre-sensing—that is, sensing from a distance—they might pursue suitable food and avoid whatever is bad and harmful. For instance, a sheep flees a wolf as something harmful, but a wolf pursues a sheep that is seen, heard, or smelled, as suitable food.
Deinde cum dicit et habentibus assignat aliam causam specialem quibusdam perfectioribus animalibus. 437a1 Then, when he says And they are in those that have prudence, he gives another, specific cause why these senses are in some more perfect animals.
Et primo proponit hanc causam. Secundo circa has causas comparat sensus adinvicem, ibi, horum autem ipsorum. First he presents this cause. Second he compares the senses with reference to the causes mentioned, where he says Of these, sight is better (437a3).
Circa primum, considerandum est, quod prudentia est directiva in agendis. Et universalis quidem prudentia est directiva respectu quorumcumque agendorum. Unde non est in animalibus, nisi in solis hominibus, qui habent rationem universalium cognoscitivam: in aliis autem animalibus sunt quaedam prudentiae particulares ad alios aliquos determinatos actus, sicut formica, quae congregat in aestate cibum, de quo vivat in hyeme. On the first point it must be considered that prudence is directive in what is to be done. Universal prudence is directive with respect to anything to be done whatsoever, and so it is in none of the animals except human beings, who have reason, which is able to know universals. But there are certain particular prudences in other animals for certain predetermined acts, for instance in the ant, which in summer gathers food on which it lives in winter.
Praedicti autem sensus, maxime auditus et visus, proficiunt animalibus, ad huiusmodi prudentias particulares, et hominibus ad prudentiam universalem ad hoc quod aliquid bene fiat. Odoratus autem totaliter videtur necessitati nutrimenti deservire, parum autem prudentiae. Unde in omnibus, in quibus est perfecta prudentia, est deficientissimus iste sensus, ut dicitur libro secundo de anima. Now the above-mentioned senses, but especially hearing and sight, are advantageous to animals for particular prudences of this kind, and to human beings for universal prudence, in order that something might be done well. But smell seems to be wholly subservient to the need for nourishment, and not at all to prudence, and so this sense is extremely weak in all those who have perfect prudence, as is said in the book On the soul. Footnote
Quomodo autem deserviant praedicti sensus prudentiae, ostendit per hoc quod multas differentias rerum ostendunt, ex quibus homo proficit ad discernendum et contemplabilia et agibilia; per effectus enim sensibiles homo elevatur in intelligibilium et universalium considerationem, et etiam ex sensibus per ea quae audivit, instruitur circa agenda. Alia vero animalia in nullo participant de contemplatione; actionem autem participant particularem, sicut dicitur decimo Ethicorum. He shows how the above-mentioned senses serve prudence by the fact that they show many differences among things, from which the human being goes on to discern what can be contemplated and what can be done. For by sensible effects the human being is raised to consideration of what is intelligible and universal; and also by what is sensible—that is, by what he has heard and seen—he is instructed about what is to be done. Other animals do not participate in any contemplation, although they do participate in action in a particular way, as is said in Ethics X. Footnote
Ideo autem hi duo sensus multas differentias annunciant, quia obiecta eorum inveniuntur in omnibus corporibus, quia consequuntur ab ea, quae sunt communia omnibus corporibus, et inferioribus et superioribus. Color enim consequenter se habet ad lucem et diaphanum in quibus inferiora communicant caelesti corpori; sonus autem consequitur motum localem, qui etiam invenitur in utrisque corporibus; odor autem consequitur sola corpora mixta, ex quibus animal natum est nutriri. These two senses announce many differences because their objects are found in bodies as consequences of what is common to all bodies, both lower and higher. For color is a consequence of light and the transparent (dyaphanum), which lower bodies have in common with the heavenly body; and sound is a consequence of local movement, which is also found in both kinds of body. But odor is a consequence only of the mixed bodies by which an animal is naturally nourished.
Deinde cum dicit horum autem comparat circa praedictas causas visum et auditum. 437a3 Then, when he says But of these, sight is better, he compares sight and hearing with reference to the above-mentioned causes.
Et primo ponit comparationem. Secundo probat, ibi, multas quidem. First he presents the comparison. Second he proves it, where he says For the power of sight (437a 5).
Circa primum quidem dicit quod visus dupliciter praeeminet auditui. Uno quidem modo quantum ad necessaria; puta ad quaerendum cibum, et ad vitandum corruptiva, quae certius apprehenduntur per visum, qui immutatur ab ipsis rebus, quam per auditum, qui immutatur a sonis, consequentibus motus aliquos rerum. Alio modo visus est praevium auditui secundum se, quia magis cognoscitivus est plurium quam auditus. Sed auditus praeeminet visui inquantum deservit intellectui; et hoc est secundum accidens, ut post manifestabit. On the first point he says that sight surpasses hearing in two ways. In one way with respect to what is necessary, for instance in seeking food and avoiding what is harmful, things that are apprehended with more certainty by sight, which is altered by things themselves, than by hearing, which is altered by sounds, which are consequences of the movements of some things. in another way sight is also of itself superior to hearing, because it is more able to know, and able to know more things, than is hearing. But hearing surpasses sight inasmuch as it serves understanding, although this is by accident, as will be shown below.
Deinde cum dicit multas quidem manifestat quod dixerat. 437a5 Then he clarifies what he said, where he says For the power of sight announces.
Et primo quod visus sit secundum se melior. Secundo quod auditus sit melior per accidens, ibi, secundum vero accidens. First that sight is in itself better. Second that hearing is better accidentally, where he says But by accident hearing contributes (437a 11).
Dicit ergo primo, quod visus ideo secundum se est melior, quia potentia visiva, sua apprehensione annunciat nobis multas differentias rerum, et diversorum modorum. Et hoc ideo est, quia eius obiectum, quod est visibile, invenitur in omnibus corporibus. Fit enim aliquid visibile per hoc quod diaphanum illuminatur actu a corpore lucido, in quibus inferiora corpora cum superioribus communicant. Et ideo dicit, quod colore omnia corpora participant tam superiora quam inferiora; quia in omnibus corporibus vel invenitur ipse color secundum propriam rationem, sicut in corporibus in quibus est diaphanum terminatum, vel saltem in eis inveniuntur principia coloris, quae sunt diaphanum et lux; et ideo plura manifestantur per visum. Accordingly he first says that sight is in itself better because the power of sight by its apprehension announces to us many differences among things and among various kinds of things. This is because its object, which is the visible, is found in all bodies: for a thing becomes visible by the transparent being illuminated in actuality by a shining body, and the lower bodies have this in common with the higher ones. And so he says that all bodies participate in color, the higher as well as the lower ones, because in all bodies either there is color itself in its proper nature (ratio) in the case of bodies in which there is a bounded transparent; or there are at least the principles of color, which are the transparent and light. And so more things are manifested by sight than by hearing.
Per hunc etiam sensum magis cognoscuntur communia sensibilia: quia quanto potentia habet virtutem cognoscitivam universaliorem, et ad plura se extendentem, tanto est efficacior in cognoscendo; quia omnis virtus quanto est universalior, tanto est potentior. Et dicuntur sensibilia communia, quae non cognoscuntur ab uno sensu tantum, sicut sensibilia, propria, sed a multis sensibus; sicut magnitudo, figura, quies, motus et numerus. Qualitates enim, quae sunt propria obiecta sensuum, sunt formae in continuo; et ideo oportet quod ipsum continuum inquantum est subiectum talibus qualitatibus, moveat sensum, non per accidens, sed sicut per se subiectum, et commune omnium sensibilium qualitatum. Omnia autem haec, quae dicuntur sensibilia communia, pertinent aliquo modo ad continuum, vel secundum mensuram eius ut magnitudo, vel secundum divisionem ut numerus, vel secundum terminationem ut figura, vel secundum distantiam et propinquitatem ut motus. Also, the common sensibles are better known by this sense, because inasmuch as sight has a power of knowing that is more universal and extends to more things, it is more effective in knowing, because the more universal any power is, the more powerful it is. And those are called “common” sensibles that are known not by one sense only, as are the proper sensibles, but by several, for instance size, shape, movement, and number. For the qualities that are the proper objects of the senses are forms in a continuum, and so the continuum itself, inasmuch as it is the subject of these qualities, must move the sense-power not accidentally, but as the per se and common subject of all sensible qualities. And all the so-called common sensibles do in some way pertain to the continuum: whether with respect to measurement of it, in the case of size; or with respect to division of it, in the case of number; or with respect to limitation of it, in the case of shape; or with respect to distance and nearness, in the case of motion.
Sed auditus annunciat nobis solas differentias sonorum, qui non inveniuntur in omnibus corporibus, nec sunt expressivae multarum differentiarum, quae sunt in rebus paucis. Animalibus autem ostendit auditus differentias vocis. Vox enim est sonus ab ore animantis prolatus cum imaginatione quadam, ut dicitur in secundo de anima; et ideo vox animalis inquantum huiusmodi naturaliter significat interiorem animalis passionem, sicut latratus canum significat iram ipsorum; et sic perfectiora animalia ex vocibus invicem cognoscunt interiores passiones: quae tamen cognitio in imperfectis animalibus deest. But hearing announces to us only differences among sounds, which are not found in all bodies, and are not expressive of the many diversities of things. But to a few animals hearing does show differences of voice. Voice is sound projected with an imagining from an animal’s mouth, as is said in On the soul II, Footnote and so the voice of an animal as such naturally indicates the animal’s inner feeling (passio), as the barking of dogs indicates their anger. Thus the more perfect animals know one another’s inner feelings from voices, a knowledge that is not in imperfect animals.
Sic ergo auditus non cognoscit per se nisi vel differentiam sonorum, utputa grave et acutum, aut aliquid huiusmodi, vel differentias vocis, secundum quod sunt indicativae diversarum passionum; et sic cognitio auditus non se extendit ad cognoscendum per se tot rerum differentias, sicut visus. Therefore hearing of itself knows only differences among sounds, such as high and low and so on, or differences among voices inasmuch as they are indicative of various feelings. And so the knowledge of hearing does not of itself extend to as many differences among things as does that of sight.
Deinde cum dicit secundum vero manifestat quod auditus per accidens melior sit ad intellectum; et dicit quod auditus multum confert ad prudentiam. 437a11 Then when he says But by accident hearing contributes, he shows that hearing is accidentally better for understanding.
Et accipitur hic prudentia pro quadam intellectiva cognitione, non solum prout est recta ratio agibilium, ut dicitur sexto Ethicorum. Sed hoc est per accidens, quia sermo, qui est audibilis, est causa addiscendi non per se, id est secundum ipsas sonorum differentias, sed per accidens, inquantum scilicet nomina, in quibus sermo est, id est locutio componitur, sunt symbola, idest signa intentionum intellectarum, et per consequens rerum. Et sic doctor docet discipulum inquantum per sermonem significat ei conceptionem intellectus sui. Et plus homo potest cognoscere addiscendo ad quod est utilis auditus quamvis per accidens, quam de se inveniendo, ad quod praecipue est utilis visus. He says that hearing contributes much to prudence. Here “prudence” is taken to mean any intellectual knowledge, not just “right reason about possible action,” as it is described in Ethics VI. Footnote But this is by accident, because discussion, which is audible, is a cause of learning not of itself—that is, not by differences themselves among sounds—but by accident, that is, inasmuch as words of which discussion (sermo)—that is, speech (locutio) is composed are symbols—that is, signs—of meanings (intentiones) understood, and consequently of things. Thus a teacher teaches a student inasmuch as, through discussion, he signifies what his intellect conceives to the student. And a human being can know more by learning from someone else, for which hearing is useful, even though accidentally, than he can by discovering for himself, for which sight is especially useful.
Inde est quod inter privatos a nativitate utrolibet sensu, scilicet visu et auditu, sapientiores sunt caeci, qui carent visu, mutis et surdis qui carent auditu. Addit autem mutis, quia omnis surdus a nativitate ex necessitate mutus est. Non enim potest addiscere formare sermones significativos, qui significant ad placitum. Unde sic se habet ad locutionem totius humani generis, sicut ille, qui nunquam audivit aliquam linguam, ad imaginandum illam. Non est autem necessarium quod e converso omnis mutus sit surdus: potest enim contingere ex aliqua causa aliquem esse mutum, puta propter impedimentum linguae. Hence it is that, among those deprived from birth of one of the two senses—that is, sight or hearing—the blind, who lack sight, are wiser than deaf-mutes, who lack hearing. He adds “mutes” because everyone who is deaf from birth is necessarily mute, for he cannot learn to form the signifying words that signify by convention, and so he stands in relation to the speech of the whole human race as one who has never heard a particular language stands in relation to that language. But it is not necessary, conversely, that every mute be deaf, for it can happen that someone is mute from some other cause, for instance obstruction of the tongue.
Ultimo autem epilogando concludit quod dictum est de virtute, quam habet unusquisque sensus. 437al8 Finally, adding an epilogue, he concludes that the power that each sense has has been discussed.


τοῦ δὲ σώματος ἐν οἷς ἐγγίγνεσθαι πέφυκεν αἰσθητηρίοις, ἔνιοι μὲν ζητοῦσι κατὰ τὰ στοιχεῖα τῶν σωμάτων· οὐκ εὐποροῦντες δὲ πρὸς τέτταρα πέντ΄ οὔσας συνάγειν, γλίχονται περὶ τῆς πέμπτης. 437a19 At present some inquire about the organs of the body in which these are actualized with reference to the elements of bodies. But not being able to adapt them to four, since there are five, they are concerned about the fifth.
ποιοῦσι δὲ πάντες τὴν ὄψιν πυρὸς διὰ τὸ πάθους τινὸς ἀγνοεῖν τὴν αἰτίαν· θλιβομένου γὰρ καὶ κινουμένου τοῦ ὀφθαλμοῦ φαίνεται πῦρ ἐκλάμπειν· τοῦτο δ΄ ἐν τῷ σκότει πέφυκε συμβαίνειν, ἢ τῶν βλεφάρων ἐπικεκαλυμμένων· γίγνεται γὰρ καὶ τότε σκότος. 437a22 But all of them have sight be made of fire, because they do not know the cause of a certain affection: when the eye is squeezed and moved, fire seems to shine. This happens in darkness, or when the eyelids are lowered, which also makes it dark.
ἔχει δ΄ ἀπορίαν τοῦτο καὶ ἑτέραν. εἰ γὰρ μὴ ἔστι λανθάνειν μὴ αἰσθανόμενον καὶ ὁρῶντα, ἀνάγκη ἄρ΄ αὐτὸν ἑαυτὸν ὁρᾶν τὸν ὀφθαλμόν. διὰ τί οὖν ἠρεμοῦντι τοῦτ΄ οὐ συμβαίνει; 437a26 But this presents another difficulty. For if something visible cannot escape the notice of one who is sensing and seeing, it will be necessary that the eye always be seeing fire. Why then does it not happen when it is at rest?
τὸ δ΄ αἴτιον τούτου, καὶ τῆς ἀπορίας καὶ τοῦ δοκεῖν πῦρ εἶναι τὴν ὄψιν, ἐντεῦθεν ληπτέον. τὰ γὰρ λεῖα πέφυκεν ἐν τῷ σκότει λάμπειν, οὐ μέντοι φῶς γε ποιεῖν, τοῦ δ΄ ὀφθαλμοῦ [437b] τὸ καλούμενον μέλαν καὶ μέσον λεῖον. φαίνεται δὲ τοῦτο κινουμένου τοῦ ὄμματος διὰ τὸ συμβαίνειν ὥσπερ δύο γίγνεσθαι τὸ ἕν. τοῦτο δ΄ ἡ ταχυτὴς ποιεῖ τῆς κινήσεως, ὥστε δοκεῖν ἕτερον εἶναι τὸ ὁρῶν καὶ τὸ ὁρώμενον. διὸ καὶ οὐ γίγνεται, ἐὰν μὴ ταχέως 437a30 Now the cause of this—both for the objection and for the view that sight is made of fire—is to be understood as follows. Smooth things naturally shine in darkness, but they do not produce light; and the so-called black part and center of the eye is smooth. And what appears, appears to an eye that is moved because what happens is that what is one becomes as though it were two, and the speed of the movement makes it seem that what sees and what is seen are different. Hence it does not happen unless quickly.
καὶ ἐν σκότει τοῦτο συμβῇ· τὸ γὰρ λεῖον ἐν τῷ σκότει πέφυκε λάμπειν (οἷον κεφαλαὶ ἰχθύων τινῶν καὶ ὁ τῆς σηπίας θολός), καὶ βραδέως μεταβάλλοντος τοῦ ὄμματος οὐ συμβαίνει ὥστε δοκεῖν ἅμα ἓν καὶ δύο εἶναι τό θ΄ ὁρῶν καὶ τὸ ὁρώμενον. ἐκείνως δ΄ αὐτὸς αὑτὸν ὁρᾷ ὁ ὀφθαλμός, ὥσπερ καὶ ἐν τῇ ἀνακλάσει· 437b5 This happens in darkness, for a smooth thing in darkness naturally shines, as do certain heads of fish, and the ink of the cuttle-fish. And when the eye is gently moved, it does not happen that what sees and what is seen seem simultaneously to be one and two. But in the other case, the eye itself sees itself, as it does in refraction.
ἐπεὶ εἴ γε πῦρ ἦν, καθάπερ Ἐμπεδοκλῆς φησὶ καὶ ἐν τῷ Τιμαίῳ γέγραπται, καὶ συνέβαινε τὸ ὁρᾶν ἐξιόντος ὥσπερ ἐκ λαμπτῆρος τοῦ φωτός, διὰ τί οὐ καὶ ἐν τῷ σκότει ἑώρα ἂν ἡ ὄψις; 437b10 If it were fire, as Empedocles says, and as is written in the Timaeus, and seeing took place by a light going out, the way it does from a lamp, why does sight not also see in darkness?
τὸ δ΄ ἀποσβέννυσθαι φάναι ἐν τῷ σκότει ἐξιοῦσαν, ὥσπερ ὁ Τίμαιος λέγει, κενόν ἐστι παντελῶς· 437b14 To say that in going out it is “extinguished” in darkness is completely foolish.
τίς γὰρ ἀπόσβεσις φωτός ἐστιν; σβέννυται γὰρ ἢ ὑγρῷ ἢ ψυχρῷ τὸ θερμὸν καὶ ξηρόν (οἷον δοκεῖ τό τ΄ ἐν τοῖς ἀνθρακώδεσιν εἶναι πῦρ καὶ ἡ φλόξ), ὧν τῷ φωτὶ οὐδέτερον φαίνεται ὑπάρχον. 437b15 For what is “extinction” of light? What is hot and dry is extinguished by either moisture or cold, as can be seen in the case of the embers of a fire, and flame. But neither appears to be the case with light.
εἰ δ΄ ἄρα ὑπάρχει μὲν ἀλλὰ διὰ τὸ ἠρέμα λανθάνει ἡμᾶς, ἔδει μεθ΄ ἡμέραν γε καὶ ἐν τῷ ὕδατι ἀποσβέννυσθαι τὸ φῶς καὶ ἐν τοῖς πάγοις μᾶλλον γίγνεσθαι σκότον· ἡ γοῦν φλὸξ καὶ τὰ πεπυρωμένα σώματα πάσχει τοῦτο· νῦν δ΄ οὐδὲν συμβαίνει τοιοῦτον. 437b19 If it were the case, but the light escapes our notice because of “weakness,” it would have to be extinguished by day, and in water, and it would be more darkened where there is ice, for flame and burning bodies are affected in this way. But no such thing happens in this case.
Ἐμπεδοκλῆς δ΄ ἔοικε νομίζοντι ὁτὲ μὲν ἐξιόντος τοῦ φωτός, ὥσπερ εἴρηται πρότερον, βλέπειν· λέγει γοῦν οὕτως·

ὡς δ΄ ὅτε τις πρόοδον νοέων ὡπλίσσατο λύχνον χειμερίην διὰ νύκατα,
πυρὸς σέλας αἰθομένοιο, ἅψας παντοίων ἀνέμων λαμπτῆρας ἀμοργούς,
οἵ τ΄ ἀνέμων μὲν πνεῦμα διασκιδνᾶσιν ἀέντων,
πῦρ δ΄ ἔξω διαθρῷσκον, ὅσον ταναώτερον ἦεν,
λάμπεσκεν κατὰ βηλὸν ἀτειρέσιν ἀκτίνεσσιν·
ὣς δὲ τότ΄ ἐν μήνιγξιν ἐεργμένον ὠγύγιον πῦρ [438a]
λεπτῇσιν τ΄ ὀθόνῃσι λοχεύσατο κύκλοπα κούρην·
αἳ χοάνῃσι δίαντα τετρήατο θεσπεσίῃσιν·
αἱ δ΄ ὕδατος μὲν βένθος ἀπέστεγον ἀμφιναέντος,
πῦρ δ΄ ἔξω διίεσκον, ὅσον ταναώτερον ἦεν.
ὁτὲ μὲν οὖν οὕτως ὁρᾶν φησίν,
ὁτὲ δὲ ταῖς ἀπορροίαις ταῖς ἀπὸ τῶν ὁρωμένων.

437b23 Empedocles seems to think, as was said before, that seeing takes place by light going out. For he says:

As when someone contemplating going out on a winter night
prepares a lamp, he kindles a light of burning fire
in such a way as to block the force of all winds,
for he deflects the breath of blowing winds.
But the light breaks out: however farther it expands
it illuminates with rays subdued by a covering—
Likewise ancient light guarded in membranes—fine linens
pours out around in a circle through the pupil,
which will reveal a depth of water flowing around.
But the light comes out, however farther it expands.
Sometimes, then, he says that seeing is like this,
but sometimes that it takes place by emanations from what is seen.

Postquam philosophus resumpsit, ea quae sunt necessaria ad praesentem considerationem de ipsis virtutibus sensitivis, nunc accedit ad principale propositum in hoc libro, applicando considerationem sensus ad corporalia. 437a19 After The Philosopher has summarized what is necessary for the present consideration of sensitive powers themselves, now he proceeds to his principal proposal in this book by applying the consideration of sense-powers to what is bodily.
Et primo quantum ad organum sensuum. Secundo, quantum ad sensibilia, ibi, de sensibilibus autem his. First with respect to sense-organs. Second with respect to sensible objects, where he says Concerning sensible objects (Chapter 5, 439a6).
Circa primum duo facit. Primo attribuit organum sensuum elementis, improbando sermones aliorum. Secundo determinando id quod verius esse potest, ibi, quod quidem igitur. On the first point he does two things. He assigns sense-organs to elements, first disproving arguments of others; second determining what might more probably be the case, where he says If, then, what happens in these cases (Chapter 4, 438b 16).
Circa primum duo facit. Primo tangit in generali, quomodo antiqui attribuebant organa sensuum elementis. Secundo descendit specialiter ad organum visus, circa quod a pluribus errabatur, ibi, faciunt autem omnes visum. On the first point he docs two things. First he touches in general on the way in which the Ancients assigned sense-organs to elements. Second he focuses specifically on the organ of sight, about which many were mistaken, where he says But all of them have sight be made of fire (437a22).
Dicit ergo primo, quod priores philosophi quaerebant secundum elementa corporum, qualia essent corporea instrumenta, in quibus et per quae operationes sensuum exercerentur. Accordingly he first says that previous philosophers asked, with reference to the elements of bodies, What are the kinds of bodily organs in which, and by which, the operations of the sense-powers are exercised?
Et hoc ideo, quia sicut in primo de anima dictum est, ponebant simile simili cognosci. Unde et ipsam animam ponebant esse de natura principiorum, ut per hoc posset omnia cognoscere, quasi omnibus conformis. Nam omnia in principiis communicant: They did so because, as was said in On the Soul I, they held that like is known by like, and hence they held that the soul itself has the same nature as the principles of things, so that thereby it might know all things, being as it were conformed to all things, since all things share in the principles. Footnote
et pari ratione, quia organa sensuum omnia corporalia cognoscunt, attribuebant ea elementis corporum. Sed statim occurrebat eis una difficultas: sunt enim quinque sensus, et quatuor elementa; et ideo inquirebant cui possent organum quinti sensus applicare. For the same reason they assigned sense-organs to elements of bodies, because all bodily things are known through sense-organs. But immediately one difficulty occurred to them: there are five senses and four elements. And so they looked for something to which they could assign the organ of the fifth sense.
Est autem inter aerem et aquam quoddam medium, aere quidem densius, aqua autem subtilius, quod dicitur fumus vel vapor, quae etiam quidam posuerunt esse primum principium: et huic attribuebant organum odoratus: quia odor secundum quamdam evaporationem fumalem sentitur: alios vero quatuor sensus attribuebant quatuor elementis; tactum autem terrae; gustum autem aquae, quia sapor sentitur per humidum; auditum autem aeri, visum igni. Now between air and water there is an intermediary, denser than air but finer than water, which is called “smoke” or “vapor,” and some held that it is also a first principle, to which they assigned the organ of smell, since odor is perceived by means of a smoky evaporation. And they assigned the other four senses to the four elements: touch to earth, taste to water (since flavor is perceived by means of moisture), hearing to air, and sight to fire.
Deinde cum dicit faciunt autem accedit specialiter ad organum visus, quod attribuebant igni. 437a22 Then, when he says But all of them have sight be made of fire, he proceeds specifically to the organ of sight, which they assigned to fire.
Et primo improbat causam positionis. Secundo ipsam positionem, ibi, quoniam autem si ignis esset. First he disproves the cause they gave for their position. Second he disproves the position itself, where he says If it were fire (437b10).
Circa primum tria facit. Primo ponit causam, ex qua quidem movebantur ad attribuendum organum visus igni. Secundo movet quamdam dubitationem, ibi, habet autem dubitationem. Tertio determinat veritatem circa utrumque, causa utique huiusmodi. On the first point he does three things. First he presents the cause that moved some to assign the organ of sight to fire. Second he raises a difficulty, where he says But this presents another difficulty (437a26). Third he determines the truth about both points, where he says Now the cause of this (437a30).
Ait ergo primo, quod omnes, qui attribuunt organum visus igni, hoc ideo faciunt, quia ignorant causam cuiusdam passionis, quae circa oculum accidit: si enim oculus comprimatur et fortiter moveatur, videtur quod ignis luceat: quod accidit si sint apertae palpebrae solum quando aer exterior est tenebrosus, aut etiam in aere claro, si primo claudantur palpebrae, quia per hoc fiunt tenebrae oculo clauso. Et hoc reputabant esse manifestum signum, quod organum visus ad ignem pertineret. Accordingly he first says that all who assign the organ of sight to fire do so because they do not know the cause of a certain affection that occurs in the eye: if the eye is pressed and forcefully moved, it seems that fire shines. if the eyelids are open, this happens only when the surroundings are dark; it also happens when the surroundings are bright if the eyelids are first closed, because thus one makes it dark to the closed eye. They thought that this affection is a clear sign that the organ of sight pertains to fire.
Deinde cum dicit habet autem movet quamdam dubitationem circa praedicta. 437a26 Then, when he says But this presents another difficulty, he raises a difficulty about the foregoing.
Manifestum est enim quod sensus cognoscunt sensibile praesens: unde et visus cognoscit visibile praesens, sicut ignis propter suam lucem est quid visibile praesens. Si ergo semper est praesens ignis visui, utpote organo visus in eo existente, videtur quod semper visus ignem deberet videre. For it is clear that a sense-power apprehends a sensible thing that is present, and hence that sight apprehends a visible thing that is present; and fire, because of its light, is something visible. Therefore, if fire is always present to sight, that is, to the organ of sight, since it exists in it, it seems that sight should always be seeing fire.
Sed hoc quidem secundum principia, quae Aristoteles supponit, non sequitur. Supponit enim quod sensus est in potentia ad sensibile: et oportet quod per aliquod medium a sensibili immutetur. Unde secundum ipsum, sensibile superpositum sensui non sentitur, ut dicitur secundo de anima. Unde si etiam organum visus esset igneum, propter hoc visus non videret ignem. But this does not follow from the principles that Aristotle has established, for he holds that a sense-power is in potentiality to a sensible thing, and that it must be altered by the thing through a medium. According to him, then, a sensible thing placed on top of a sense-power is not perceived, as is said in On the Soul II, Footnote so that if the organ of sight were made of fire, for this very reason sight would not see fire.
Sed secundum alios philosophos, visus et alii sensus percipiunt sensibilia inquantum sunt actu tales, idest similes sensibilibus utpote naturam principiorum habentibus, ut dictum est. Et ideo secundum eos, quibus organum visus erat igneum, sequebatur quod praedicto modo videret ignem. But according to the other philosophers sight and the other senses perceive sensible things inasmuch as they actually are of the same kind as—that is, like—the sensible things, because they have the same nature as the principles of things, as was said. According to them, then, just because the organ of sight is made of fire, it follows that it sees fire in the way described.
Sed tunc remanet dubitatio, quam Aristoteles hic inducit, quare oculus quiescens non videt ignem, sicut oculus motus. But then there remains the difficulty that Aristotle here introduces: Why does an eye at rest not see fire, as does an eye that is moved?
Deinde cum dicit causa quidem assignat causam praedictae apparitionis: per quam et dubitatio mota solvitur, et ostenditur quomodo inaniter putaverunt ignem visum. 437a30 Then, when he says Now the cause of this, he gives the cause of the above-mentioned appearance, by which the difficulty raised is solved, and it is shown how foolish of them it was to think that sight is made of fire.
Et ad hoc accipiendum est, quod corpora laevia, idest polita et tersa, ex proprietate suae naturae habent quemdam fulgorem, quod in corporibus asperis et non planis non accidit, quia quaedam partes supereminent aliis et obumbrant eas: et quamvis in se aliqualiter fulgeant huiusmodi corpora, non tamen habent tantum de fulgore, quod de se possint facere medium lucidum actu, sicut facit sol et huiusmodi corpora. On this point it must be understood that smooth—that is, polished and clean—bodies have, from a property of their nature, a certain shine, one that does not occur in rough and uneven bodies because some parts rise above others and overshadow the latter. And although such bodies in a way shine in themselves, they do not have enough shine to be able to make a medium bright in actuality, as do the sun and such bodies.
Manifestum est igitur quod illud quod est medium oculi, quod vocatur nigrum oculi, est quasi laeve et politum. Unde habet quemdam fulgorem ex ratione lenitatis, non ex natura ignis, sicut illi existimabant. Per hoc ergo iam remota est necessitas attribuendi organum visus igni, quia scilicet huius claritatis, quae apparet causa, potest aliunde assignari quam ab igne. Now it is clear that the center of the eye, which is called the black part of the eye, is as it were smooth and polished. Hence it has a shine by reason of its smoothness, not from the nature of fire, as the others thought. This already removes any need to assign the organ of sight to fire, since the cause of the brightness that appears can be attributed to something other than fire.
Sed, sive hoc sit ex laevitate pupillae, remanet communis dubitatio, quare huiusmodi fulgorem videt oculus motus, quiescens vero non. But whether it is caused by fire or the pupil’s smoothness, there remains a difficulty common to both positions: why an eye that is moved sees this shining, but an eye at rest does not.
Et ideo assignat causam huius; et dicit quod talis fulgor apparet moto oculo, quia accidit per oculi motionem quasi quod unum fiat duo. Unum enim et idem subiecto est pupilla fulgens et videns. Inquantum autem est fulgens, proiicit fulgorem suum ad extra: inquantum autem est videns, cognoscit fulgorem, quasi recipiendo ipsum ab exteriori: So he gives the cause of this, and says that shining of this kind appears to an eye that is moved because what happens through the movement of the eye is that what is one becomes as though it were two. For the shining and seeing pupil is one and the same in subject: but inasmuch as it shines, it projects its shine outward; and inasmuch as it sees, it apprehends the shining by, as it were, receiving it from without.
cum autem est quiescens, emissio fulgoris fit ad exterius, et ita visus huiusmodi fulgorem non recipit ut videre possit. Sed, quando oculus celeriter movetur, illud nigrum oculi transfertur ad exteriorem locum, in quem pupilla emittebat suum splendorem, antequam ille splendor deficiat; et ideo pupilla ad alium locum velociter translata recipit splendorem suum quasi ab exteriori, ut sic videatur esse aliud videns et visum, quamvis sit idem subiecto: et ideo huiusmodi ibi apparitio fulgoris non fit nisi oculus celeriter moveatur: quia si moveatur tarde, prius deficiet impressio fulgoris ab exteriori loco, ad quem fulgor perveniebat, quam pupilla illuc perveniat. When the eye is still, therefore, it emits the shine outward, and so sight does not receive the shine in such a way as to see it. But when it is quickly moved, its black part is brought, before the brightness fades, to the “external” place to which the pupil emitted its brightness. Thus the pupil, having been quickly brought to the second place, receives its own brightness as if from without, and so it seems that what sees and what is seen are different, although they are the same in subject. So this appearance of the shining does not happen unless the eye is quickly moved, because if it is moved slowly, the impression of the shining will fade from the “external” place the shining went to before the pupil gets there.
Sed videtur quod nulla celeritas motus ad hoc sufficiat. Quantumcumque enim motus localis sit velox, oportet tamen quod sit in tempore: emissio autem fulgoris ad praesentiam corporis fulgentis, et eius cessatio ab ipsius absentia, utrumque fit in instanti: non ergo videtur possibile, quantumcumque oculus celeriter moveatur, quod prius perveniat pupilla ad exteriorem locum, quam cesset fulgor illuc perveniens ex pupilla in alio loco existente. But it seems that no speed of movement would suffice for this to happen. For however rapid local movement may be, it must be in time. But emission of shine at the presence of a shining body, and its cessation at the absence of it, occur instantaneously. Therefore it does not seem possible, however quickly the eye is moved, for the pupil to reach the “external” place before the shining, which came there from the pupil existing in the other place, ceases.
Sed ad hoc dicendum est secundum Alexandrum in commento: pupilla corpus est quoddam et in partes divisibile: unde celeriter commoto oculo, cum aliqua pars pupillae ad alium locum pervenire incoeperit, adhuc fulgor illuc pervenit ex residuo corpore pupillae, quod nondum attingit locum illum; et inde est quod pupilla incipit videre fulgorem, quasi aliunde resplendentem. Et huius signum est quod huiusmodi fulgor non videtur defecisse, sed pertransit et subito disparet visio. According to Alexander in the commentary, we must say in response that the pupil is a body, divisible into parts. Hence if the eye is quickly moved, when part of the pupil begins to reach the other place, the shining is still coming there from the rest of the body of the pupil that has not yet gotten to that place. This is why the pupil begins to see a shining that is, as it were, shining from elsewhere. A sign of this is that the shining does not seem to fade: rather, when it passes, the sight of it ceases abruptly.
Assignat etiam causam, quare talis apparitio accidit in tenebris et non in lumine; quia fulgor corporum laevium propter sui modicitatem obscuratur a magna claritate, sed in tenebris videtur; sicut etiam accidit de quibusdam aliis, quae modicum habent lucis, et propter hoc videntur in tenebris et non in lumine, sicut quaedam capita piscium et humor turbidus piscis, qui dicitur sepia. Et subiungit quod, si aliquis lente vel tarde moveatur, non accidit praedicta apparitio, per hoc quod videns et visum simul videatur esse unum et duo, ut dictum est: sed illo modo, quando scilicet celeriter movetur oculus, tunc oculus videt seipsum, quasi secundum diversum situm a seipso immutatus, sicut accidit in refractione vel in reflexione, puta cum oculus videt seipsum in speculo, a quo scilicet ab exteriori redit species oculi ad ipsum oculum per modum reflexionis cuiusdam, sicut et in praedicta apparitione fulgor oculi redit ad ipsum, ut dictum est. 437b5 He also gives the reason why this kind of operation happens in darkness and not in light, namely because the shining of smooth bodies is so small that it is obscured by great brightness, although it is seen in darkness. This also happens with other things that have a small amount of light, and for this reason are seen in darkness but net in light, for instance certain heads of fish, and the dark fluid of the fish called the cuttle-fish. He adds that if the eye is gently—that is, slowly—moved, the above-mentioned appearance does not happen by what sees and what is seen seeming simultaneously to be one and two, as was said. But in the other case—that is, when the eye is quickly moved—then the eye sees itself being as it were affected by itself in its other position. This also happens in “refraction”—that is, reflection—for instance when an eye sees itself in a mirror from which, as from without, the form of the eye returns to the eye itself by way of reflection, just as, in the above-mentioned appearance the shining of the eye returns to the eye itself, as was said.
Deinde cum dicit, quoniam si accedit ad improbandum ipsam positionem. Et primo quantum ad hoc quod visum attribuebant igni. Secundo quantum ad hoc quod ponebant visum videre extramittendo, ibi, irrationale vero omnino est. 437b10 Then when he says If it were fire, he proceeds to disprove the position itself: first inasmuch as those philosophers assigned sight to fire; second inasmuch as they held that sight sees by extromission, where he says It is altogether irrational (Chapter 3, 43 8a25).
Circa primum tria facit. Primo proponit opinionem Platonis. Secundo Empedoclis, ibi, Empedocles autem videtur. Tertio opinionem Democriti, ibi, Democritus autem quoniam. On the first point he does three things. He presents first the opinion of Plato; second the opinion of Empedocles, where he says Empedocles seems to think (437b23); and third the opinion of Democritus, where he says Democritus says correctly (Chapter 3, 438a5) .
Circa primum duo facit. Primo obiicit contra Platonem. Secundo removet eius responsionem, ibi, dicere autem quod extinguatur. On the first point he does two things. First he raises an objection against Plato. Second he disproves Plato’s response, where he says To say that in going out (437b 14).
Circa primum sciendum est, quod Empedocles et Plato in Timaeo in duobus conveniebant, quorum unum est quod organum visus pertinet ad ignem: secundum est quod visio contingit per hoc quod lumen exit ab oculo, sicut ex lucerna. Ex his autem duabus concludit philosophus quod visus deberet videre in tenebris, sicut in luce. Potest enim etiam in tenebris lumen a lucerna emitti illuminans medium. Et ita, si per emissionem luminis oculus videt, sequitur quod etiam in tenebris oculus videre possit. Concerning the first point it must be known that Empedocles, and Plato in the Timaeus, agreed on two things: one is that the organ of sight pertains to fire; the second is that vision occurs by a light going out from the eye as from a lamp. From these two positions the Philosopher concludes that sight should see in darkness, just as it does in light: for light can be emitted from a lamp to light up the medium in the dark; and so, if the eye saw by emission of light, it would follow that the eye should also be able to see in the dark.
Deinde cum dicit dicere autem excludit positionem Platonis quam in Timaeo ponit dicens, quod, quando lumen egreditur ex oculo, si quidem inveniat in medio lumen, salvatur per ipsum, sicut per sibi simile, et ex hoc accidit visio. Si tamen non inveniat lumen, sed tenebras, propter dissimilitudinem tenebrarum ad lumen ab oculo egrediens extinguitur, et ideo oculus non videt. 437b14 Then, when he says To say that in going out, he disproves the response of Plato, who says in the Timaeus that when light goes out from the eye, if it encounters light in the medium it is preserved by it as by something like itself, and because of this vision occurs; but if it does not encounter light, but darkness, then because of the unlikeness of darkness to light, the light going out from the eye is “extinguished,” and so the eye does not see.
Sed Aristoteles dicit hanc causam non esse veram; et hoc probat ibi, quae enim. But Aristotle says that to give this cause is foolish. 437b15 And he proves this where he says For what is “extinction” of light?
Non enim potest assignari ratio, quare lumen oculi a tenebris extinguitur, dicebant enim Platonici tres esse species ignis: scilicet lumen, flammam, et carbonem. Ignis autem, cum sit naturaliter calidus et siccus, extinguitur, vel ex frigido, vel ex humido: et hoc manifeste apparet in carbonibus et flamma. Sed neutrum contingit in lumen, quia nec per frigidum nec per humidum extinguitur. Non ergo bene dicitur, quod extinguitur ignis per modum ignis. For no reason can be given why the light of the eye is “extinguished” by darkness. The Platonists said that there are three species of fire, namely light, flame, and ember. Footnote Since fire is naturally hot and dry, it is extinguished by either cold or moisture, and this clearly happens in the case of embers and flame. But neither is a cause of extinction in the case of light, for it is destroyed neither by cold nor by moisture. Therefore it is incorrect to say that light is extinguished in the way fire is.
Alexander autem in commento dicit, quod invenitur alia litera talis: But Alexander says in the commentary that there is another reading, as follows:
qualis videtur quidem in carbonibus esse ignis et flamma in lumine: neutrum autem videtur conveniens. Neque enim humidum, nec frigidum, quibus extinctio fit. 437b15 ... as is seen in fire in embers and flame. But neither seems to belong to darkness. For it is neither moisture nor cold by which the “extinction “ occurs.
Et secundum hanc literam ratio Aristotelis magis videtur esse ad propositum. Lumen enim igneum quod apparet in carbonibus et flamma extinguitur frigido aut humido. Tenebrae autem neque sunt aliquid frigidum nec humidum. Non ergo per tenebras potest extingui lumen igneum egrediens ab oculo. And on this reading Aristotle’s argument seems to be more to the point: the fire-light that appears in embers and flames is found to be extinguished by cold and moisture; but darkness is neither something cold nor something moist; therefore the fire-light that goes out from the eye cannot be extinguished by darkness.
Posset autem aliquis dicere, quod lumen igneum egrediens ab oculo non extinguitur in tenebris, sed quia debile est, nec confortatur ab exteriori lumen, ideo latet nos. Et propter hoc non fit visio. 437b19 Someone might say that the fire-light going out from the eye is not “extinguished” in darkness, but that, because it is not “strengthened” by external light, and so is weak, it escapes our notice, and that this is why vision does not occur.
Sed Aristoteles hoc reprobat ibi, si igitur. But Aristotle disproves this where he says If it were the case.
Circa quod sciendum est, quod lumen igneum extinguitur vel obtenebratur dupliciter. Uno quidem modo secundum proprietatem luminis, prout parvum lumen extinguitur ex praesentia maioris luminis. Alio modo secundum proprietatem ignis, qui extinguitur in aqua. On this point it must be known that fire-light is “extinguished” or darkened in two ways: in one way with respect to a property of light, namely that a little light is extinguished by the presence of a greater light; in another way with respect to a property of fire, which is extinguished in water.
Si ergo illud debile lumen ab oculo egrediens esset igneum, oporteret quod extingueretur in die propter excellentiorem claritatem, et in aqua propter contrarietatem ad ignem; et per consequens inter glacies magis obtenebraretur praedictum lumen visibile. Videmus enim hoc accidere in flamma et in corporibus igneis vel ignitis, quod tamen non accidit circa visum. Unde patet praedictam responsionem vanam esse. Accordingly if the weak light going out front the eye were made of fire, it would have to be extinguished in daylight, because of the greater brightness; and in water, because of its contrariety to fire; and the light of the visual power would be even more darkened where there is ice, for we see that this is what happens in the case of flame and burning bodies. But it does not happen in the case of sight, and so it is clear that the abovementioned response is foolish.
Deinde cum dicit Empedocles autem narrat opinionem Empedoclis, de cuius improbatione iam dictum est: 437b23 Then, when he says Empedocles seems to think, he relates the opinion of Empedocles, the disproof of which has already been touched on.
et dicit quod Empedocles videtur aestimare sicut dictum est, quod visio fiat lumine exeunte: He says that Empedocles seems to think, as was said, that vision occurs by light going out.
et ponit verba eius quae metrice protulit. Dicebat enim quod ita accidit in visu, sicut quando aliquis cogitans progredi per aliquod iter per noctem hyemis, flant venti, praeparat lucernam, accendens lumen ardentis ignis, licet impetus omnium ventorum sufficienter prohibens, ponens accensum in laternam, et per hoc flatum ventorum spirantium impediens, scilicet eos ne possint eorum flatus pervenire usque ad lumen ignis, lumen autem ignis contentum extragrediatur, et quanto magis expansum fuerit extra, tanto magis illustrat aerem, ita tamen quod radii exeuntes sunt domiti, idest attenuati per velum laternae, puta per pellem, vel aliud huiusmodi. Non enim ita clare illuminatur aer per laternam, sicut illuminaretur ab igne non velato. And he gives the words of Empedocles, which were composed in meter. Empedocles said that what happens in vision is like when someone thinking of going out along a road on a winter night—that is, when wind is blowing—prepares a lamp. He kindles a light of burning fire, and to block the force of all winds he puts the light kindled in a lantern, and by this means he deflects the blowing of breathing winds—that is, he prevents their blowing from reaching the light of the fire. But the light contained within goes out, and however farther outward it expands, it illuminates the air more, but in such a way that the rays going out are subdued—that is, weakened—by a covering on the lamp, for instance skin or some such thing; for the air is not as brightly illuminated by the lamp as it would be by unshielded fire.
Et similiter dicit accidere in oculo in quo lumen antiquum, idest a prima formatione oculi ad sensum contutatur, idest tute conservatur in miringis, idest in tunicis oculi per quas sicut per quosdam subtiles linteos lumen diffunditur circumquaque per pupillam, quae quidem tunicae revelant radiis per eas emissis profundum aquae fluentis circa ignis accensum in pupilla ad nutritionem, vel potius contemperationem ignis in profundo collocati. Et sic lumen extra pervenit, quando magis fuerit expansum, ab interiori procedens. And he says that something similar happens in the eye, in which ancient light—that is, light there since the eye’s formation—is guarded—that is, safely preserved—for sensing, in membranes—that is, corneas of the eye—through which, as if through fine linens, light pours out around in all directions through the pupil. These corneas reveal, by the rays emitted through them, a depth of water flowing around the fire kindled in the pupil, water for nourishing, or rather tempering, the fire gathered in the depth. And so the light reaches out, however farther it expands, starting from inside.
Vel quod dicit circulo referendum est ad circularitatem pupillae. Alternatively, his mention of “around in a circle” should be understood with reference to the roundness of the pupil.
Notandum est, quod signanter dixit per velum domitis radiis, ad signandum causam quare non videtur in tenebris, quia scilicet lumen egrediens debilitatur per hoc quod transit per praedicta velamenta ut possint perfecte aerem illuminare. It should be noted that he said, significantly, “with rays subdued by a covering,” to indicate the reason why a thing is not seen in darkness, namely that the light going out is weakened by passing through the above-mentioned coverings, so that it cannot completely illuminate the air.
Positis autem verbis Empedoclis, subiungit, quod aliquando dicebat visionem fieri per emissionem luminis, ut dictum est, aliquando autem dicebat quod visio fit per quaedam corpora defluentia a visibilibus et pervenientia ad visum; et forte eius opinio erat, quod utrumque coniungeretur ad visionem. Having presented the words of Empedocles, he adds that sometimes he said that vision occurs by emission of light, as was said, but sometimes he said that vision occurs by certain bodies emanating from visible things and coming to sight. And perhaps his opinion was that the two are united for vision.


Δημόκριτος δ΄ ὅτι μὲν ὕδωρ εἶναί φησι, λέγει καλῶς, ὅτι δ΄ οἴεται τὸ ὁρᾶν εἶναι τὴν ἔμφασιν, οὐ καλῶς· τοῦτο μὲν γὰρ συμβαίνει ὅτι τὸ ὄμμα λεῖον, καὶ ἔστιν οὐκ ἐν ἐκείνῳ ἀλλ΄ ἐν τῷ ὁρῶντι· ἀνάκλασις γὰρ τὸ πάθος, ἀλλὰ καθόλου περὶ τῶν ἐμφαινομένων καὶ ἀνακλάσεως οὐδέν πω δῆλον ἦν, ὡς ἔοικεν. 438a5 Democritus says correctly that it is water, but not correctly that he thought that the appearance is the seeing itself. For this occurs because the eye is smooth. And it is not in that, but in what is doing the seeing. For the affection is a reflection. But it seems that it was not yet clear to him about appearances and reflection.
ἄτοπον δὲ καὶ τὸ μὴ ἐπελθεῖν αὐτῷ ἀπορῆσαι διὰ τί ὁ ὀφθαλμὸς ὁρᾷ μόνον, τῶν δ΄ ἄλλων οὐδὲν ἐν οἷς ἐμφαίνεται τὰ εἴδωλα. 438a10 But it is inconsistent that it also did not occur to him to wonder why only the eye sees, and none of the other things in which “idols “ appear.
τὸ μὲν οὖν τὴν ὄψιν εἶναι ὕδατος ἀληθὲς μέν, οὐ μέντοι συμβαίνει τὸ ὁρᾶν ᾗ ὕδωρ ἀλλ΄ ᾗ διαφανές· ὃ καὶ ἐπὶ τοῦ ἀέρος κοινόν ἐστιν. ἀλλ΄ εὐφυλακτότερον καὶ εὐπιλητότερον τὸ ὕδωρ τοῦ ἀέρος· διόπερ ἡ κόρη καὶ τὸ ὄμμα ὕδατός ἐστιν. 438a12 For it is indeed true that sight is made of water, but seeing does not occur according as it is water, but according as it is transparent, which is something common to it and air. But water is more preservable than air and denser, which is why the pupil and eye are made of water.
τοῦτο δὲ καὶ ἐπ΄ αὐτῶν τῶν ἔργων δῆλον· φαίνεται γὰρ ὕδωρ τὸ ἐκρέον διαφθειρομένων, καὶ ἔν γε τοῖς πάμπαν ἐμβρύοις τῇ ψυχρότητι ὑπερβάλλον καὶ τῇ λαμπρότητι, καὶ τὸ λευκὸν τοῦ ὄμματος ἐν τοῖς ἔχουσιν αἷμα πῖον καὶ λιπαρόν· ὅπερ διὰ τοῦτ΄ ἐστί, πρὸς τὸ διαμένειν τὸ ὑγρὸν ἄπηκτον, καὶ διὰ τοῦτο τοῦ σώματος ἀρριγότατον ὁ ὀφθαλμός ἐστιν· οὐδεὶς γάρ πω τὸ ἐντὸς τῶν βλεφάρων ἐρρίγωσεν. τῶν δ΄ ἀναίμων σκληρόδερμοι οἱ ὀφθαλμοί εἰσι, καὶ τοῦτο ποιεῖ τὴν σκέπην. 438a17 This is manifested in the very workings. For when eyes are destroyed, water can be seen flowing out. And in completely new-formed ones, there is extreme cold and brightness. And in those that have blood, the white of the eye is fat and thick, to keep the moisture unfrozen; and so the eye is the part of the body that feels cold least, for no one has ever felt cold inside the eyelids. The eyes of bloodless animals are made of hard skin, and this provides protection.
ἄλογον δὲ ὅλως τὸ ἐξιόντι τινὶ τὴν ὄψιν ὁρᾶν, καὶ ἀποτείνεσθαι μέχρι τῶν ἄστρων, ἢ μέχρι τινὸς ἐξιοῦσαν συμφύεσθαι, καθάπερ λέγουσί τινες. 438a25 It is altogether irrational that sight should see by something going out, whether it extends all the way to the stars, or, as some say, it goes only so far and “coalesces.”
τούτου μὲν γὰρ βέλτιον τὸ ἐν τῇ ἀρχῇ συμφύεσθαι τοῦ ὄμματος. 438a27 For in the latter case it is better for it to be united at the beginning, that is, in the eye.
ἀλλὰ καὶ τοῦτο εὔηθες· τό τε γὰρ συμφύεσθαι τί ἐστι φωτὶ πρὸς φῶς, ἢ πῶς οἷόν θ΄ ὑπάρχειν (οὐ γὰρ τῷ [438b] τυχόντι συμφύεται τὸ τυχόν), τό τ΄ ἐντὸς τῷ ἐκτὸς πῶς; ἡ γὰρ μῆνιγξ μεταξύ ἐστιν. 438a29 But this is also foolish. For what is it for light to be “united” to light? Or how is it possible, since not just anything is united with anything? And how is the inner light united with the outer, since the membrane is between?
Post opinionem Platonis et Empedoclis hic tertio philosophus prosequitur de opinione Democriti. 438a5 After the opinions of Plato and Empedocles, here, in the third place, The Philosopher follows up the opinion of Democritus.
Circa quod tria facit. Primo ostendit in quo Democritus bene dixerit et in quo male. Secundo prosequitur illud in quo male dixit, ibi, incongruum autem est. Tertio prosequitur illud, in quo bene dixit, ibi, quod visus namque. On this point he does three things. First he shows what Democritus said correctly and what he said incorrectly. Second he follows up what he said incorrectly, where he says But it is inconsistent (438a10). Third he follows up what he said correctly, where he says For it is indeed true that sight is made of water (438a12).
Dicit ergo primo, quod Democritus bene dixit in hoc, quod visum attribuit aquae; sed in hoc male dixit, quod putavit visionem non aliud esse quam apparitionem rei visae in pupilla ex corporali dispositione oculi, quia scilicet oculus est laevis, idest politus, tersus. Et ita patet quod ipsum videre non consistit in hoc quod est apparere talem formam in oculo; sed consistit in vidente, idest in habente virtutem visivam: non enim oculus est videns propter hoc quod est laevis, sed propter hoc quod est virtutis visivae: illa enim passio, scilicet quod forma rei visae in oculo appareat, est reverberatio, idest causatur ex refractione sive reverberatione formae ad corpus politum. Accordingly he first says that Democritus spoke correctly in assigning sight to water, but he spoke incorrectly in saying he thought that vision is nothing but the appearance in the pupil of the thing seen. For such an appearance occurs in the pupil because of the bodily disposition of the eye, that is, because the eye is smooth, that is, polished and clean, as it were. So it is clear that seeing itself is not located in the appearance of this form in the eye, but in what is doing the seeing, that is, in what has the power of sight: for the eye is a seeing thing not because it is smooth, but because it has the power of sight. For that affection—the appearing of the form of the thing seen in the eye—is a reflection; that is, it is caused by the reflection or rebound of the form from a polished body.
Sicut videmus in speculo accidere: cum enim immutatio diaphani, quae fit a corpore visibili pervenerit ad corpus non diaphanum, non potest ultra immutatio transcendere, sed quodam modo reflectitur ad similitudinem pilae, quae repercutitur proiecta ad parietem; et ex tali repercussione redit forma rei visae ad partem oppositam. Unde contingit quod aliquis in speculo videat seipsum, vel etiam in aliam rem, quae non directe visui eius obiicitur. We see something like this happen in a mirror also. For when the alteration of the transparent caused by a visible body reaches a body that is net transparent, the alteration can go no further, but is somehow turned back, like a ball thrown at a wall and bounced back, and because of this rebound the form of the thing seen goes back in the opposite direction. Thus in a mirror one can see oneself, or even some other thing not directly presented to ones sight.
Sed hoc locum non habet nisi duo concurrant: quorum unum est, ut corpus sit superficie laeve, et ex hoc quodam modo fulgens, ut supra dictum est, per quem fulgorem moderatum manifestatur species in reflexione. Aliud est quod corpus illud sit interius ad aliquid terminatum, ut immutatio praedicta ultra non transeat. Et ideo videmus, quod nisi in vitro apponatur plumbum vel aliquod huiusmodi, quod impediat penetrationem, ne ulterius procedat immutatio, non fit talis apparitio. This takes place only if two things coincide. One is that the body be smooth on its surface, and therefore somewhat bright, as was explained above; the form reflected in it is manifested by this moderate brightness. The other is that the body be terminated within at some point so that the above-mentioned alteration does not go beyond; thus we see that this kind of appearance does net occur, unless glass is covered with lead or something similar to block its transparency, so that the alteration does not go beyond.
Utrumque autem horum concurrit in oculo. Est enim moderate fulgens propter laevitatem, ut supra habitum est, et habet aliquod in fundo, quod terminet eius pervietatem: unde manifestum est quod hoc accidens, scilicet quod forma rei visae appareat in oculo, accidit pure propter refractionem, quae est passio corporalis, quae causatur ex determinata corporis dispositione. Now both of these coincide in the eye: it is moderately bright because of its smoothness, as was established above, and it has something in its depth that terminates its transparency. So it is clear that this event of the form of the thing seen appearing in the eye happens merely because of reflection, which is a bodily affection caused by the determinate disposition of a body.
Democrito tamen nondum erat manifestum de huiusmodi refractionibus, et de formis, quae apparent in corporibus specularibus propter refractionem praedictam. Ipsa autem visio secundum rei veritatem non est passio corporalis, sed principalis eius causa est virtus animae. Democritus tamen ponebat animam esse aliquid corporale; et ideo non est mirum si operationem animae nihil aliud esse dicebat quam passionem corporalem. But it was not yet clear to Democritus about these reflections and about the forms that appear in mirroring bodies because of reflection. Vision itself, according to the truth of the matter, is not a bodily affection: rather, its principal cause is a power of soul. But Democritus held that soul is something bodily, and so it is no wonder that he called an operation of soul nothing but a bodily affection.
Sciendum tamen quod praedicta apparitio, quantum ad primam receptionem formae quae est visionis, est corporalis, non enim visio est actus animae nisi per organum corporeum: et ideo non est mirum si habeat aliquam causam ex parte corporeae passionis; non tamen ita quod ipsa corporea passio sit idem quod visio. Sed aliqua causa est eius quantum ad primam, ut ita dicam, percussionem formae visibilis ad oculum: namque reflexio consequens, nihil facit ad hoc quod oculus videat rem visam per speciem in eo apparentem, sed facit ad hoc quod alteri possit apparere. Unde etiam oculus videns rem per speciem, non videt ipsam speciem in eo apparentem. It should be known, however, that the above-mentioned appearance is a cause of vision with respect to initial reception of the form. For vision is an act of soul only through a bodily organ, and so it is no wonder that it has a cause from the point of view of a bodily affection, but in such a way that the bodily affection is not the same thing as the vision: rather, it is a cause of it with respect to the initial “impact,” if I may so call it, of the visible form on the eye. The subsequent reflection contributes nothing to the eye’s seeing of the thing seen through the form appearing in it, but rather contributes to the form’s being able to appear to someone else; thus the eye that sees the thing by means of the form that appears in it does not see this form itself.
Deinde cum dicit incongruum autem prosequitur quantum ad hoc quod Democritus male dixit. 438a10 Then, when he says But it is inconsistent, he follows up what Democritus said incorrectly.
Et dicit quod valde incongruum videtur quod Democrito ponenti visionem nihil aliud esse quam apparitionem praedictam, non occurrerit ista dubitatio, quare alia corpora, in quibus formae rerum visibilium, quas idola nominabat, specialiter apparent, non videant, sed solus oculus. Ex quo manifeste apparet, quod non tota ratio visionis est praedicta apparitio; sed in oculo est aliquid aliud, quod visionem causat, scilicet virtus visiva. He says that since Democritus held that vision is nothing but the above-mentioned appearance, it seems very inconsistent that the following difficulty did not occur to him: Why do other bodies in which forms, which he called “idols”—of visible things appear as in a mirror not see, but only the eye? From this it is clear that the above-mentioned appearing is not the whole essence (ratio) of vision, but that there is something else in the eye that causes vision, namely the power of sight.
Deinde cum dicit quod visus prosequitur id quod Democritus bene dixit. 438a12 Then, when he says For it is indeed true that sight is made of water, he follows up what Democritus said correctly.
Et primo proponit necessitatem. Secundo manifestat per signa, ibi, et hoc est et ipsis operibus. First he presents the truth. Second he clarifies it by signs, where he says This is manifested (43 8a 17).
Dicit ergo primo: hoc quod Democritus organum visus attribuit aquae, verum est. Sciendum tamen quod visio attribuitur aquae non secundum quod est aqua, sed ratione perspicuitatis, quae communiter in aqua et aere invenitur. Nam visibile est motivum perspicui, ut dicitur in libro de anima. Attribuitur magis tamen visio aquae quam aeri propter duo. Primo quidem, quia aqua magis potest conservari quam aer. Aer enim de facili diffunditur; et ideo ad conservationem visus convenientior fuit aqua quam aer. Natura autem facit semper quod melius est. Secundo, quia aqua est magis spissa quam aer, et ex ratione suae spissitudinis habet quod in ea per quamdam reverberationem appareat forma rei visae; et hoc competit instrumento visus: esse autem perspicuum competit medio in visu, eo quod commune est aeri et aquae: et ideo concludit, quod oculus et pupilla magis attribuuntur aquae quam aeri. Accordingly he first says that what Democritus said in assigning the organ of sight to water is true. However, it must be known that vision is assigned to water not according as it is water, but by reason of transparency, which water and air have in common: for a visible object is something that moves the transparent, as is said in the book On the Soul. Footnote However, vision is assigned to water rather than to air for two reasons. First, water can be preserved better than air (air is easily dispersed), and so it is more suitable for the preservation of sight than is air, and nature always does what is better. Second, water is denser than air, and by reason of its density it allows the form of a thing seen to appear in it by reflection, which is proper to the organ of sight. What is proper to the medium of sight is to be transparent, which is common to air and water. So he concludes that the eye and pupil are to be assigned to water rather than to air.
Est etiam et corpus caeleste perspicuum; sed quia non venit in compositione corporis humani, propter hoc hic praetermittitur. The heavenly body is also transparent, but because it does not enter into the composition of the human body, he passes over it here.
Deinde cum dicit et hoc est manifestat organum visus esse aquae, per tria signa, quae in ipsis operibus manifesta sunt; 438a17 Then, when he says This is manifested, he shows that the organ of sight is made of water by three signs that are manifested in the very workings.
quorum primum est, quod si oculi destruantur, ad sensum apparet inde aqua discurrens. The first is that if the eyes are destroyed, there visibly appears water flowing out of them.
Secundum est, quod in oculis embryonum de novo formatis, qui quasi adhuc recipientes magis virtutem sui principii, excedunt et in frigiditate et claritate, quae duo sunt connaturalia aquae. The second is that the new-formed eyes of embryos—eyes that, as it were, still retain much of the power (virtus) of their origin—have abundant cold and brightness, both of which are connatural to water.
Tertium signum est, quia in animalibus habentibus sanguinem, in quibus potest esse pinguedo, quasi ex sanguine generata, circa pupillam ponitur album oculi habens pinguedinem et crassitudinem quamdam, ut ex eius caliditate permaneat aqueum pupillae humidum absque congelatione, quae perspicuitatem aquae diminueret, et sic impediretur visio. Et ideo ratione praedictae pinguedinis oculus qui pinguescit propter eius caliditatem nullis unquam passus est frigus in toto eo quod intra palpebras continetur. In animalibus vero, quae sunt sine sanguine, in quibus non invenitur pinguedo, natura facit oculos durae pellis, ad protegendum humidum aqueum, quod est intra pupillam. The third sign is that in animals that have blood, in which there is the possibility of generating, so to speak, fat from the blood, the pupil is surrounded by the white of the eye, which has fatness and oiliness so that its heat will keep the water-moisture of the pupil from freezing, which would diminish the transparency of the water, and thus impede vision. And so, by reason of the above-mentioned fat, the eye, because of its heat, does not freeze: for no one has ever suffered cold in the whole of what is contained inside the eyelids. In animals that are bloodless, in which there is no fat, nature made eyes of hard skin to protect the water-moisture that is in the pupil.
Deinde cum dicit irrationale vero accedit ad improbandum quod aliqui posuerunt visionem fieri extramittendo, quod erat ratio attribuendi visum igni: unde hoc remoto, et illud removetur. 438a25 Then, when he says it is altogether irrational, he goes on to disprove what some held, namely that vision occurs by extromission, which was the reason for their assigning sight to fire. Thus, once the latter is eliminated, the former will be too.
Et circa hoc duo facit. Primo proponit duas opiniones ponentium quod videmus extramittendo. Secundo improbat alteram illarum, ibi, isto enim melius est. On this point he does two things. First he presents two opinions of those who held that we see by extromission. Second he disproves the second opinion, where he says For in the latter case (438a27).
Dicit ergo primo, quod irrationale videtur quod visus videat aliquo ab eo exeunte. Quod quidem aliqui posuerunt dupliciter. Accordingly he first says that it seems irrational that sight should see by something going out from it, which was held to occur in two ways.
Uno modo, ut id quod egreditur ab oculo extendatur usque ad rem visam; ex quo sequitur, quod cum nos videamus etiam astra, id quod egreditur a visu, extendatur usque ad astra: In one way such that what goes out from the eye extends all the way to the thing seen, from which it would follow that even when we see the stars, what goes out from sight extends all the way to the stars.
quod continet manifestam impossibilitatem. Cum enim egredi non sit nisi corporum, sequitur quod aliquod corpus egrediens ab oculo perveniet usque ad astra: quod idem apparet falsum multipliciter. This involves an obvious impossibility. Since “going out” pertains only to bodies, it would follow that some body going out from the eye would reach all the way to the stars, which is clearly illogical, for many reasons.
Primo quidem, quia sequeretur plura corpora esse in eodem loco; tum quia illud quod egrederetur ab oculo simul esset cum aere; tum quia huiusmodi egredientia ab oculis oporteret multiplicari in eodem medio secundum multitudinem videntium per idem medium. First because it would follow that there are several bodies in the same place, both because what goes out from the eye would be in the same place as the air, and because these things going out from eyes would have to be multiplied in the same medium according to multiplicity of those who are seeing through the same medium.
Secundo, quia quaelibet emissio corporis in principio quidem est maior, in fine vero attenuatur, propter quod contingit quod flamma ex corpore accenso procedens tendit in summum: hic autem accidit contrarium. Dicunt enim mathematici, quorum est haec positio quod conus corporis egredientis ab oculo, est intra oculum basis illius res visae. Second because any projection of a body is stronger at the beginning but weaker at the end, which is why flame proceeding from a burning body tends towards an apex. But here the contrary happens, for the mathematicians, whose position this is, say that the apex of the body going out from the eye is inside the eye and the base at the thing seen.
Tertio, quia non posset quantitas oculi sufficere ad hoc quod tantum corpus ab eo progrederetur, quod attingeret usque ad astra quantumcumque subtiliaretur: talis enim est terminus subtilitatis corporum naturalium; et propterea quanto esset subtilius, tanto facilius corrumperetur. Third because the size of an eye is insufficient for a body going out from it to be big enough to reach all the way to the stars, however much the body might be rarefied, for there is a limit to the rarefaction of natural bodies; besides, the more rarefied it became, the more easily it would be destroyed.
Et iterum: oporteret quod vel esset aer vel ignis illud corpus emissum ab oculo. Et aerem quidem emitti ab oculo non est necessarium, quia abundat exterius. Si vero esset ignis, videremus etiam ignem, vel non possemus videre media in aqua: nec etiam possemus videre nisi in sursum, quo tendit motus ignis. Again, the body emitted from the eye would have to be either air or fire. There is no need for air to be emitted from the eye because it is abundant outside the eye. And if it were fire we would also see at night; on the other hand, we would not be able to sec through the medium of water; and we would only be able to see upwards, where the movement of fire tends.
Non autem potest dici quod illud corpus, quod egreditur ab oculo, sit lumen, quia lumen non est corpus, ut probatum est in libro de anima. But it cannot be said that the bodily thing that goes out from the eye is light, because light is not a body, as was proved in the book On the soul.
Alia opinio est Platonis qui posuit quod lumen egrediens ab oculo non procedit usque ad rem, sed quodantenus, idest aliquod determinatum spatium, ubi scilicet cohaeret lumini exteriori, ratione cuius cohaerentiae fit visio, ut prius dictum est. The other opinion is that of Plato, who held that light going out from the eye does not go all the way to the thing seen, but only so far, that is, some determinate distance, namely to where it “coalesces” with the external light; and that vision occurs by reason of this coalescence, as was said before.
Deinde cum dicit isto enim melius praetermissa prima opinione tamquam maxime inconvenienti, consequenter improbat secundam dupliciter. 438a27 Then, when he says For in the latter case, he passes over the first opinion as clearly unreasonable, and disproves the second in two ways.
Primo quidem, quia inutiliter et vane aliquid ponitur. Et hoc est quod dicit: melius esset dicere quod lumen interius coniungeretur exteriori in ipsa interiore extremitate oculi, quam extra per aliquam distantiam. Et hoc ideo, quia in illo spatio intermedio, si non est lumen exterius, extingueretur lumen interius a tenebris, secundum eius positionem, ut supra habitum est. Si vero attingat lumen usque ad oculum, melius est quod statim coniungatur; quia quod potest fieri sine medio melius est quam quod fiat per medium: cum aliquid fieri per pauciora melius sit quam per plura. First because it posits something uselessly and unnecessarily, which is just what he says: that it would be better to say that the inner light is united with the outer at the surface of the eye itself rather than outside at some distance. This is because if there is no outer light in the intermediate space, the inner light will be extinguished by darkness according to Plato’s opinion, as was said above. But if light reaches all the way to the eye, it is better for the two to be united immediately, because what can occur without a medium is better than what occurs through a medium, since it is better for something to occur by means of fewer things than more.
Deinde cum dicit sed hoc improbat coniunctionem luminis interioris ad exterius, etiam si fiat in principio oculi. Et hoc tripliciter. 438a29 Second, where he says But this is also foolish, he disproves the union of inner light with outer even on the supposition that it occurs at the beginning, i.e. in the eye itself. He docs this in three ways.
Primo quidem, quia coniungi vel separari est proprie corporum, quorum utrumque habet per se subsistentiam, non autem qualitatum, quae non sunt nisi in subiecto. Unde cum lumen non sit corpus sed accidens quoddam, nihil est dictum quod lumen adiungatur lumini, nisi forte corpus luminosum adiungeretur corpori luminoso. Potest autem contingere quod lumen intendatur in aere per multiplicationem luminarium: sicut et calor intenditur per augmentum calefacientis, quod tamen non est per additionem, ut patet in quarto physicorum. First because “being united and separated” is proper to bodies, each of which has subsistence per se, but not to qualities, which exist only in a subject. Hence, since light is not a body but an accident, it is meaningless to say that light is “united” to light, unless what is meant is that a luminous body is united to a luminous body. However, it is possible for light to be intensified in the air by multiplication of luminous bodies, as heat is intensified by increase in the cause of heat, although this is not by addition, as is clear from Physics IV. Footnote
Secundo improbat per hoc, quod etiam dato quod utrumque lumen esset corpus, non tamen esset possibile quod utrumque coniungeretur, cum non sint eiusdem rationis. Non enim quodlibet corpus natum est coniungi cuilibet corpori, sed solum illa quae sunt aliqualiter homogenea. Second he disproves the point as follows: even granted that both lights are bodies, it would still not be possible for them to be united, since they are not of the same nature. For not just any body is naturally united with just any body, but only those that are in some way homogenous.
Tertio, quia cum inter lumen interius et exterius intercidat corpus medium, scilicet meninga, idest tunica oculi, non potest utriusque luminis esse coniunctio. Third, since an intervening body, namely the membrane—that is, the cornea of the eye—comes between the inner and the enter light, there cannot be a union of the two lights.


περὶ μὲν οὖν τοῦ ἄνευ φωτὸς μὴ ὁρᾶν εἴρηται ἐν ἄλλοις· ἀλλ΄ εἴτε φῶς εἴτ΄ ἀήρ ἐστι τὸ μεταξὺ τοῦ ὁρωμένου καὶ τοῦ ὄμματος, ἡ διὰ τούτου κίνησίς ἐστιν ἡ ποιοῦσα τὸ ὁρᾶν. 438b2 That it is impossible to see without light was said elsewhere. But whether it is light or air that is between the thing seen and the eye, the movement through it causes seeing.
ὁρᾶται δὲ ὥσπερ καὶ ἔξω οὐκ ἄνευ φωτός, οὕτως καὶ ἐντός· διαφανὲς ἄρα δεῖ εἶναι· ἀνάγκη ἄρα ὕδωρ εἶναι, ἐπειδὴ οὐκ ἀήρ. 438b5 It is reasonable that what is inside be made of water, for water is transparent. And it seems that, as what is outside is not without light, so also what is inside. Therefore it must be transparent. Therefore it is necessarily water, because it is not air
οὐ γὰρ ἐπὶ ἐσχάτου τοῦ ὄμματος ἡ ψυχὴ ἢ τῆς ψυχῆς τὸ αἰσθητικόν ἐστιν, ἀλλὰ δῆλον ὅτι ἐντός· διόπερ ἀνάγκη διαφανὲς εἶναι καὶ δεκτικὸν φωτὸς τὸ ἐντὸς τοῦ ὄμματος. 438b8 For the soul, or the sensitive part of soul, is not at the limit of the eye, but clearly inside. Hence the inside of the eye needs to be transparent and receptive of light.
καὶ τοῦτο καὶ ἐπὶ τῶν συμβαινόντων δῆλον· ἤδη γάρ τισι πληγεῖσιν ἐν πολέμῳ παρὰ τὸν κρόταφον οὕτως ὥστ΄ ἀποτμηθῆναι τοὺς πόρους τοῦ ὄμματος ἔδοξε γενέσθαι σκότος ὥσπερ λύχνου ἀποσβεσθέντος, διὰ τὸ οἷον λαμπτῆρά τινα ἀποτμηθῆναι τὸ διαφανές, τὴν καλουμένην κόρην. 438b11 This is also clear from what happens. For when some are wounded in war about the temples in such a way that the passages of the eye are cut off, they experience a darkening as when a lamp is extinguished, because the transparent thing called the pupil is, like a torch, cut off.
ὥστ΄ εἴπερ ἐπὶ τούτων συμβαίνει καθάπερ λέγομεν, φανερὸν ὡς εἰ δεῖ τοῦτον τὸν τρόπον ἀποδιδόναι καὶ προσάπτειν ἕκαστον τῶν αἰσθητηρίων ἑνὶ τῶν στοιχείων, τοῦ μὲν ὄμματος τὸ ὁρατικὸν ὕδατος ὑποληπτέον, ἀέρος δὲ τὸ τῶν ψόφων αἰσθητικόν, πυρὸς δὲ τὴν ὄσφρησιν 438bl6 If then, what happens in these cases is as we have said, it is clear that, if one must, following this method, attribute and assign each one of the sensitive parts to one of the elements, one should think that eyesight is of water, what is perceptive of sounds is of air, and smelling is of fire.
(ὃ γὰρ ἐνεργείᾳ ἡ ὄσφρησις, τοῦτο δυνάμει τὸ ὀσφραντικόν· τὸ γὰρ αἰσθητὸν ἐνεργεῖν ποιεῖ τὴν αἴ σθησιν, ὥσθ΄ ὑπάρχειν ἀναγκαῖον αὐτὴν δυνάμει πρότερον. ἡ δ΄ ὀσμὴ καπνώδης τίς ἐστιν ἀναθυμίασις, ἡ δ΄ ἀναθυμίασις ἡ καπνώδης ἐκ πυρός. 438b21 For what smelling is in actuality the olfactory part is in potentiality. For a sensible object makes a sense-power act, and so the latter necessarily exists first in potentiality. But odor is smoky evaporation. But smoky evaporation is from fire.
διὸ καὶ τῷ περὶ τὸν ἐγκέφαλον τόπῳ τὸ τῆς ὀσφρήσεως αἰσθητήριόν ἐστιν ἴδιον· δυνάμει γὰρ θερμὴ ἡ τοῦ ψυχροῦ ὕλη ἐστίν. 438b25 For this reason the proper sensitive part of smell is in a place around the brain: for the potentially hot is the matter of what is cold.
καὶ ἡ τοῦ ὄμμα τος γένεσις τὸν αὐτὸν ἔχει τρόπον· ἀπὸ τοῦ ἐγκεφάλου γὰρ συνέστηκεν· οὗτος γὰρ ὑγρότατος καὶ ψυχρότατος τῶν ἐν τῷ σώματι μορίων ἐστίν). 438b27 And the generation of the eye also has the same mode: for it stems from the brain, and the brain is coldest and moistest of all parts of the body.
τὸ δ΄ ἁπτικὸν γῆς, τὸ δὲ [439a] γευστικὸν εἶδός τι ἁφῆς ἐστίν. 438b30 But the tactile part is of earth, and the tasting part is a kind of touch.
καὶ διὰ τοῦτο πρὸς τῇ καρδίᾳ τὸ αἰσθητήριον αὐτῶν, τῆς γεύσεως καὶ τῆς ἁφῆς· ἀντίκειται γὰρ τῷ ἐγκεφάλῳ αὕτη, καὶ ἔστι θερμότατον τῶν μορίων. 439a1 And so the sensitive part for these, namely taste and touch, is near the heart: for the heart is opposite the brain, and is the warmest of the parts.
καὶ περὶ μὲν τῶν αἰσθητικῶν τοῦ σώματος μορίων ἔστω τοῦτον τὸν τρόπον διωρισμένα. 439a4 Let it be determined in this way about the sensitive parts of the body.
Postquam philosophus improbavit opinionem ponentium visionem, fieri extramittendo, hic determinat veritatem. Et circa hoc tria facit. 438b2 After the Philosopher has disproved the opinion of those who hold that vision occurs by extromission, here he determines the truth.
Primo manifestat qualiter visio fiat secundum suam sententiam. Secundo ex hoc reddit causam eius quod supra positum est de organo visus, ibi, et rationabiliter. Tertio manifestat causam illam per signum, ibi, et hoc etiam ab accidentibus. On this point he does three things. First he makes clear how vision occurs according to his own thought. Second, on this basis, he gives the cause of something mentioned above concerning the organ of sight where he says It is reasonable (438b5). Third he shows the cause by sign, where he says This is also clear (438b11).
Resumit ergo primo, quod dictum est in libro de anima, quod sine lumine impossibile est videre: quia enim visio fit per medium, quod est diaphanum, requiritur ad visionem lumen, quod facit aliquod corpus esse actu diaphanum, ut dicitur in libro de anima. Et ideo sive illud medium, quod est inter rem visam et oculum sit actu aer illuminatus, sive sit lumen, non quidem per se subsistens, cum non sit corpus, sed quocumque alio corpore, puta aqua vel vitro, motus, qui fit per huiusmodi medium, causat visionem. Accordingly he first takes up something that was said in the book On the Soul, that it is impossible to see without light. Footnote For because vision occurs through a medium that is transparent, vision requires light, which makes a body be transparent in actuality, as was said in the book On the Soul. Footnote And so, whether the medium that is between the thing seen and the eye is air that is illuminated in actuality, or whether it is light—light existing not in itself, since it is not a body, but in something else that is a body, such as glass or water—the movement that occurs through this medium causes vision.
Non est autem intelligendum quod huiusmodi motus sit localis, quasi quorumdam corporum defluentium a re visa ad oculum, sicut Democritus et Empedocles posuerunt: quia sequeretur quod per huiusmodi defluxum corpora visa diminuerentur quo usque totaliter consumerentur; sequeretur etiam quod oculus ex occursu continuo huiusmodi corporum destrueretur; neque etiam esset possibile ut totum corpus ab oculo videretur, sed solum secundum tantam quantitatem, quantam posset pupilla capere. This movement should not be taken to be local movement, as if, as Democritus and Empedocles held, it were a movement of bodies emanating from the thing seen to the eye, because then it would follow that the bodies that are seen would be reduced by this emanation until they were totally worn away. It would also follow that the eye would be injured by the continuous striking of these bodies. Again, it would not be possible for a whole body to be seen by anyone, but only as much as could be taken in by the pupil.
Est autem motus iste secundum alterationem: alteratio autem est motus ad formam, quae est qualitas rei visae, ad quam medium est in potentia inquantum est lucidum in actu, quod est diaphanum interminatum. Color autem est qualitas diaphani terminati, ut infra dicetur. Quod autem interminatum est, sic se habet ad terminatum, sicut potentia ad actum. Nam forma est quidam terminus materiae. Rather, this is “movement” according to alteration: the alteration is a movement towards a form that is a quality of the thing seen. inasmuch as it is bright in actuality, the medium is in potentiality to this form; the medium is an unbounded transparent (color is a quality of a bounded transparent, as will be said below), and what is unbounded is related to what is bounded as potentiality to actuality, for form is a boundary of matter.
Sed propter aliam rationem diaphaneitatis in medio perspicuo, sequitur quod medium recipiat alio modo speciem coloris quam sit in corpore colorato, in quo est diaphanum terminatum, ut infra dicetur. Actus enim sunt in susceptivis secundum modum ipsorum: et ideo color est quidem in corpore colorato sicut qualitas completa in suo esse naturali; in medio autem incompleta secundum quoddam esse intentionale; alioquin non posset secundum idem medium videri album et nigrum. Albedo autem et nigredo, prout sunt formae completae in esse naturali, non possunt simul esse in eodem: sed secundum praedictum esse incompletum sunt in eodem, quia iste modus essendi propter suam imperfectionem appropinquat ad modum quo aliquid est in aliquo in potentia. Sunt autem in potentia opposita simul in eodem. Now because of the different nature (ratio) of the transparent in a transparent medium, the medium receives the form of a color in a mode that is different from the mode in which it exists in the colored body, where there is a bounded transparent, as will be said below; for actualities are in receivers according to the mode of the latter. Thus color is in a colored body as a quality complete in its natural being, but it is in the medium incompletely, according to an intentional being. Otherwise something black and something white could not be seen through the same medium. For whiteness and blackness cannot simultaneously be in the same thing as forms complete in their natural being, but with respect to the above-mentioned incomplete being they do exist in the same thing: for this mode of being, because of its imperfection, approaches the mode by which something exists in something else in potentiality, and opposites are simultaneously in potentiality in the same thing.
Deinde cum dicit et rationabiliter assignat, super id quod dictum est, causam quare necesse sit visum attribuere aquae, quod supra solum per signa ostenderat. 438b5 Then, when he says It is reasonable, in keeping with what was said he gives the cause of the necessity of assigning sight to water, which he showed above only by signs.
Et dicit quod quia immutatio medii illuminati a corpore viso causat visionem, rationabiliter id quod est intra pupillam, quae est organum visus, est aqueum. Aqua enim est de numero perspicuorum. Oportet autem quod, sicut exterius medium est aliquod perspicuum illuminatum sine quo nihil potest videri, ita etiam quod intra oculum sit aliquod lumen. Et, cum non sit visio nisi in perspicuo, necesse est quod est intra oculum sit aliquod perspicuum; non autem corpus caeleste, quia non venit in compositionem humani corporis; et ideo necesse est quod sit aqua quae sit servabilior et spissior quam aer ut dictum est. He says that, because what causes vision is the alteration of a medium made bright by the body seen, it is reasonable that what is inside the pupil, which is the organ of sight, be made of water: for water is one of the transparent things. But the external medium is a transparent thing that has been illuminated, and nothing can be seen without this illumination: so the light must also be inside the eye. And because there can be light only in what is transparent, there must also be something transparent inside the eye. It is not the heavenly body, because this does not enter into the composition of the human body: and so it is necessarily water which is easier to preserve and thicker than air, as was said.
Quare autem ad videndum requiratur lumen interius, manifestat cum dicit: non enim in ultimo. 438b8 Then, when he says For the soul, he makes clear why light within is required for seeing.
Si enim virtus visiva esset in exteriori superficie oculi, sufficeret ad videndum solum lumen exterioris perspicui, per quod immutatio coloris perveniret ad exteriorem superficiem pupillae. Sed anima sive sensitivum animae non est in exteriori superficie oculi, sed intra. If the power of sight were on the outer surface of the eye, the light of the external transparent, through which the alteration by the color reaches the outer surface of the pupil, would alone suffice for seeing. But the soul, or the sensitive part of soul, is not on the outer surface of the eye, but inside.
Et est attendendum quod signanter addit aut animae sensitivum; anima enim cum sit forma totius corporis et singularum partium eius, necesse est quod sit in toto corpore et in qualibet parte eius: quia necesse est formam esse in eo, cuius est forma; sed sensitivum animae dicitur potentia sensitiva, quae quia est principium sensibilis operationis animae quae per corpus exercetur, oportet esse in aliqua determinata parte corporis; et sic principium visionis est interius iuxta cerebrum, ubi coniunguntur duo nervi ex oculis procedentes. It should be noted that he significantly adds “or sensitive part of soul.” Since the soul is the form both of the whole body and of its individual parts, it is necessarily in the whole body and in each of its parts, because a form is necessarily in that of which it is the form. Now the sensitive part of the soul is called the sensitive “power,” being the principle of sensitive operation; and the principle of an operation of soul that is exercised by means of the body must be in a determinate part of the body. Thus the principle of sight is within, near the brain, where two nerves coming from the eyes meet.
Et ideo oportet quod intra oculum sit aliquod perspicuum receptivum luminis, ut sit uniformis immutatio a re visa usque ad principium visivum. Therefore, inside the eye there must be something transparent, receptive of light, so that there is uniform alteration from the thing seen all the way to the principle of sight.
Deinde cum dicit et hoc etiam manifestat quod dixerat per signum, quod accidit in quibusdam, qui in pugnis circa tempora vulnerantur; scissis enim poris, qui pupillam continuant visivo principio, subito tenebrae fiunt per visus amissionem, ac si lucerna extingueretur. Pupilla enim est sicut quaedam lampas illuminata ab exteriori lumine; et ideo, quando praescinduntur pori continuantes pupillam principio visivo, non potest lumen huius lampadis usque ad visivum principium pervenire, et ideo visus obscuratur. 438b11 Then, when he says This is also clear, he makes clear what he said by means of a sign, namely something that happens in some who are wounded around the temples in battle: when the passages that connect the pupil to the principle of sight are cut off, a darkening suddenly occurs through loss of sight, as if a lamp were extinguished. The pupil is like a torch lit up by an external light; thus, when the passages connecting the pupils to the principle of sight are cut off, the light of this torch cannot reach all the way to the principle of sight, and so sight is darkened.
Deinde cum dicit igitur si exclusis falsis opinionibus aliorum, accedit ad principale propositum. 438b16 Then, when he says If, then, what happens in these cases, having eliminated false opinions of others, he proceeds to the principal proposal.
Et primo quantum ad organa sensuum non necessariorum. Secundo quantum ad organa sensuum necessariorum, ibi, tactivum autem. First with respect to the organs of the non-necessary senses. Second with respect to the organs of the necessary senses, where he says But the tactile part (438b30).
Circa primum duo facit. Primo adaptat organa sensuum elementis. Secundo manifestat quod dixerat, ibi, quod enim actu odoratur. On the first point he does two things. First he coordinates sense-organs with elements. Second he clarifies what he said, where he says For what smelling is in actuality (438b21).
Circa primum, considerandum est quod non fuit secundum sententiam Aristotelis quod organa sensuum elementis attribuerentur, ut patet in libro de anima, sed quia alii philosophi organa sensuum quatuor elementis attribuebant; ideo quasi in hoc condescendens, dicit quod suppositis his quae dicta sunt de visu, oportet, secundum quod aliqui dicunt, unumquodque sensitivorum, idest organorum sensus, attribuere alicui uni elementorum, sicut alii faciunt. Existimandum est quod visivum oculi attribuendum sit aquae, sensitivum autem sonorum sit attribuendum aeri, igni vero odorativum. On the first point it must be considered that it was not in keeping with the thought of Aristotle to assign the sense-organs to elements, as is clear in the book On the Soul. Footnote But because other philosophers did assign the sense-organs to the four elements, therefore, condescending Io them, as it were, in this matter, he says that, presupposing what was said about sight, if one must, following what others say, assign each of the sensitive parts—that is, sense-organs—to one of the elements, as others do, one should think that eyesight is to be assigned to water, what is perceptive of sounds to air, and smelling to fire.
Sed hoc videtur esse contra id quod dictum est in libro de anima. Pupilla est aquae, auditus vero aeris, olfactus autem alterius, horum autem ignis aut nullius est, aut omnibus communis. But this seems to be contrary to what was said in on the Soul: “The pupil is of water, hearing of air, and smell is of either of these; but fire either belongs to none or is common to all.” Footnote
Sed dicendum est, quod id quod est odoratus potest accipi dupliciter. Uno modo secundum potentiam; et sic organum odoratus est aeris vel aquae, ut dicitur in secundo de anima. Alio modo secundum actum; et sic est verum quod hic dicitur, ut ipse probabit. Et ideo signanter non dixit odorativum esse ignis, sicut dixerat sensitivum sonorum esse aeris, visivum oculi esse aquae; sed dicit odoratum esse ignis. Odorativum enim dicitur secundum potentiam, sed odoratus secundum actum. In response to this it must be said that what the sense of smell is can be taken in two ways: in one way according to potentiality, and thus the organ itself of smell is made either of air or of water, as is said in On the soul III; Footnote in another way according to actuality, and thus what is said here is true, as he himself will prove. Thus it is significant that he did not say that the “sense of smell” is made of fire, as be did say that “the part perceptive of sounds” is made of air and “eyesight” is made of fire. Rather he says that “smelling” is made of fire. For “sense of smell” refers to the potentiality, but “smelling” to the actuality.
Deinde cum dicit quod enim probat quod dixerat de organo odoratus. 438b21 Then, when he says For what smelling is in actuality, he proves what he has said about the organ of smell.
Et circa hoc tria facit. Primo ostendit odorativum esse in actu ignis. Secundo concludit quale debeat esse organum odoratus, quod est odoratus in potentia, ibi, propter quod et circa cerebrum. Tertio ostendit similitudinem organi odoratus ad organum visus, oculi autem generatio. On this point he does three things. First he shows that the act of smelling in actuality is related to fire. Second he concludes to what should be the quality and place of the organ of smell, which is the act of smelling in potentiality, where he says For this reason (438b25). Third be shows a resemblance of the organ of smell to the organ of sight, where he says And the generation of the eye (438b27).
Ait ergo primo, quod odorativum, idest organum habens virtutem odorandi, oportet quod sit hoc in potentia, quod actualis odoratus est in actu: quod manifestat per hoc quod sensibile facit sensum agere, idest esse in actu vel etiam operari. Oportet enim quod sensitivum sit in potentia sensibile; alioquin non pateretur ab ipso. Unde relinquitur quod sensitivum sit in potentia, sensus in actu. Accordingly he first says that the olfactory part—that is, the organ that has power to smell—must be in potentiality what actual smelling is in actuality. He clarifies this as follows: a sensible object makes a sense-power act, that is, be in actuality, or again, operate. But the sensitive part must be in potentiality the sensible object: otherwise it would not be affected by it. Hence it remains that the sensitive part is in potentiality what sensing is in actuality.
Manifestum est autem quod odor est fumalis evaporatio: non quidem ita quod fumalis evaporatio sit ipsa essentia odoris, hoc enim improbatum est, secundo de anima, longius enim diffunditur odor quam fumalis evaporatio; sed hoc dicitur, quia fumalis evaporatio est causa quod sentiatur odor. Fumalis enim evaporatio est ab igne vel a quocumque calido: ergo odoratus in actu fit per caliditatem, quae principaliter est in igne; et ideo in temporibus et locis calidis flores sunt maioris odoris. Now it is clear that odor is smoky evaporation. Not that “smoky evaporation” is the very essence of odor, for this was disproved in On the Soul it on the grounds that odor spreads farther than does smoky evaporation. Footnote Rather this is said because smoky evaporation is a cause of odor being perceived. But smoky evaporation comes front fire, or whatever is hot. Therefore the sense of smell is brought to actuality by heat, which is in fire as in its principle. This is why flowers have stronger odor in hot times and places.
Deinde cum dicit propter quod concludit ex praemissis, quod organum odoratus dicitur esse in loco, qui est circa cerebrum. 438b25 Then, when he says For this reason, he concludes from the foregoing that the organ of smell should be in a place near the brain.
Organum enim odoratus est in potentia odor in actu, qui est per calorem vel ignem; et ita oportet quod sit potentia: potentia autem calidum est materia contrariorum, nec potest esse in potentia ad unum eorum nisi secundum quod est actu sub altero, vel perfecte, vel imperfecte. Perfecte, sicut quando est sub forma medii, et ideo oportet quod substantia organi odoratus sit id, quod est actus frigidum, quod praecipue est in loco circa cerebrum. For the organ of smell is, in potentiality, odor in actuality; odor in actuality exists by heat or fire; therefore the organ of smell must be hot in potentiality. But the potentially hot is the matter of what is cold, because the matter of contraries is the same, and it cannot be in potentiality to one of them without being in actuality under the other, either perfectly or, when it is under the form of an intermediate, imperfectly. So the substance of the organ of smell must be something that is cold and moist in actuality, and this is especially the case around the brain. Hence the organ of smell is around the brain.
Deinde cum dicit oculi autem ostendit convenientiam organi odoratus ad organum visus: 438b27 Then, when he says And the generation of the eye, he shows a point of agreement between the organ of smell and the organ of sight.
et dicit, quod etiam oculi generatio habet eundem modum quantum ad hoc quod constat ex cerebro, quia cerebrum inter omnes partes corporis est humidius et frigidius, et ita habet naturam aquae quae est naturaliter frigida et humida; et congruit organo odoratus, quod debet esse calidum in potentia, et organo visus quod debet esse aquae. He says that the generation of the eye also has the same mode, inasmuch as it stems front the brain. It does so because the brain is the coldest and moistest of all parts of the body, and so it has the nature of water, which is naturally cold and moist. Thus the brain fits both with the organ of smell, which should be hot in potentiality, and with the organ of sight, which should be made of water.
Sed tunc videtur convenienter attribuisse Plato visum igni, sicut et hic Aristoteles odoratum. But then it seems that Plato fittingly assigned sight to fire, as Aristotle here assigns smell to fire.
Dicendum est autem quod organum odoratus est aquae, inquantum aqua est potentia calidum, quod est ignis; organum autem visus est aqua inquantum est perspicua, et per consequens lucida in potentia. To this it must be said that the organ of smell is made of water inasmuch as water is potentially hot, heat being a feature of fire. But the organ of sight is made of water inasmuch as water is transparent, and consequently luminous in potentiality.
Sed quia ignis est etiam lucidus actu sicut et calidum, adhuc posset aliquis dicere quod convenienter visus attribuitur igni. But because fire is also luminous in actuality, as well as hot, someone might then say that sight is fittingly assigned to fire.
Dicendum est ergo quod eodem modo quo Aristoteles attribuit odoratum igni, nihil prohibet visum attribui igni, non secundum proprias eius qualitates, quae sunt calidum et siccum, sed secundum quod est lucidus actu: To this it must be said that, just as Aristotle assigned smell to fire, so nothing prevents sight from being assigned to fire—not according to the proper qualities of fire, which are heat and dryness, but according as fire is luminous in actuality.
quod etiam attendisse videntur aliquid philosophi, augmentum sumentes a fulgore, qui apparet moto oculo. Sed tamen quantum ad hoc improbavit eorum opinionem Aristoteles; non quidem quia ponebant visum in actu esse ignem, quod aliqualiter esset verum, inquantum scilicet visus in actu, non fit sine lumine, sicut nec odoratus in actu sine calore; sed quia ponebant organum visus esse lucidum actu, ponentes visionem fieri non suscipiendo, sed extramittendo. The other philosophers seem to have focused on this, basing their argument on the shining that appears when the eye is moved. Aristotle disproved their opinion in this regard not because they held that sight in actuality is fire, which in a way would be true, inasmuch as sight in actuality does not occur without light, as the act of smelling in actuality does not occur without heat; rather, he did so because they held that the organ of sight is luminous in actuality, holding as they did that sight occurs not by a taking in, but by an extromission.
Deinde cum dicit tactivum autem determinat de organis sensuum necessariorum. 438b30 Then, when he says But the tactile part, he makes a determination about the organs of the necessary senses.
Et primo ostendit quae cuique elemento sunt attribuenda. Secundo in quo loco sint sita, ibi, et ideo iuxta cor. First he shows the element to which they are to be assigned. Second he shows the place where they are situated, where he says And so the sensitive part (439a1).
Dicit ergo primo, quod organum tactus attribuitur terrae, et similiter organum gustus, qui est tactus quidam, ut in tertio de anima dictum est. Accordingly he first says that the organ of touch is assigned to earth, and similarly the organ of taste, which is a kind of touch, as was said in On the soul II. Footnote
Quod quidem non est sic intelligendum, quasi organum tactus vel gustus sit simpliciter terreum. Capillis enim et crinibus non sentimus, quae sunt magis terrea; sed quia, ut tertio de anima dicitur, terra maxime miscetur in organo ipsorum sensuum. Now this is not to be taken to mean that the organ of touch or taste is simply made of earth, for we do not perceive by means of hair, which contains even more earth. It is rather that, as is said in On the Soul III, earth is mixed into the organs of these senses to the greatest degree. Footnote
Et de organo quidem tactus ratio ista est quia ut dicitur secundo de anima, organum tactus, ad hoc quod sit in potentia ad contrarias qualitates tangibiles, debet esse mediocriter complexionatum: et ideo oportet quod sit ibi secundum quantitatem plus de terra, quae inter alia elementa minus habet de virtute activa. With respect to the organ of touch, the reason, as is said in On the Soul II, is this. Footnote In order for the organ of touch to be in potentiality to contrary tangible qualities, it has to have a composition that is intermediate. Therefore, it has to have the greatest amount of earth, which has less active power than do the other elements.
De organo autem gustus ratio manifesta est. Sicut enim organum odoratus debet esse aqueum, ut sit ibi potentia calidum, sine quo non fit odoratus in actu, ita etiam organum gustus debet esse terreum, ut sit potentia humidum, sine quo non est gustus in actu. With respect to the organ of taste, the reason is clear. The organ of smell has to contain water in order to be in potentiality the hot thing without which there is no smelling in actuality. Similarly, the organ of taste has to contain earth in order to be in potentiality the moist thing without which there is no tasting in actuality.
Deinde cum dicit et ideo ostendit, ubi sit organum tactus et gustus constitutum; 439a1 Then, when he says And so the sensitive part, he shows where the organ of taste and touch is based.
et dicit quod est iuxta cor, et assignat huius rationem, quia cor est oppositum cerebro secundum situm et qualitatem: et sicut cerebrum est frigidissimum omnium, quae in corpore sunt, ita et cor est calidissimum inter omnes corporis partes: et propter hoc sibi invicem opponuntur secundum situm, ut per frigiditatem cerebri temperetur caliditas cordis. He says that it is near the heart, and be gives the reason, namely that the heart is opposite the brain with respect to position and quality. As the brain is the coolest part of the body, the heart is the warmest of all the parts of the body. For this reason they are placed in opposition to one another in order for the heart’s heat to be moderated by the brain’s coolness.
Et inde est quod illi, qui habent parvum caput secundum proportionem ceterorum membrorum, impetuosi sunt, tamquam calore cordis non sufficienter reflexo per cerebrum. Et e converso illi, qui excedunt immoderate in magnitudine capitis sunt nimis humorosi et pinguiores per magnitudinem cerebri calorem cordis impedientem: propter quod oportet organum tactus, quod terreum est, esse principaliter in loco calidissimo corporis, ut per caliditatem cordis ad temperiem terrae frigiditas reducatur. This is why those who have heads that are small in proportion to their other parts are impetuous, as if the heat from the heart were net being pushed back down enough by the brain. Conversely, those who have unusually big heads are very slow and dull, as if the heat from the heart were being impeded by the size of the brain.
Nec obstat quod per totum corpus animal sentit sensu tactus: quia sicut alii sensus fiunt per medium extrinsecum, ita tactus et gustus per medium intrinsecum, quod est caro. Et sicut visivum principium non est in superficie oculi, sed intrinsecus; ita etiam principium tactivum est intrinsecus circa cor. Cuius signum est quod laesio, si accidat in locis circa cor, est maxime dolorosa. Since the organ of touch is made of earth, it must be in the body’s warmest place as in its principle, so that by the heart’s heat the coolness of the earth can be brought to a moderate temperature. This does not prevent an animal from perceiving by means of touch through the whole of its body, because as other senses perceive through an external medium, touch and taste perceive through an internal medium, namely flesh. And just as the principle of sight is not on the surface of the eye, but within, the principle of touch is also within, near the heart, a sign of which is that the most painful wounds are those around the heart.
Nec tamen oportet esse duo principia sensitiva in animali; unum circa cerebrum ubi constituitur principium visivum, odorativum et auditivum, et aliud circa cor ubi constituitur principium tactivum et gustativum. Sensitivum enim principium primo quidem est in corde, ubi est fons caloris in corde animalis. Nihil enim est sensitivum sine calore, ut dicitur in libro de anima. Sed a corde derivatur virtus sensitiva ad cerebrum, et exinde procedit ad organa trium sensuum, visus, auditus et odoratus: tactus autem et gustus referuntur ad ipsum cor per medium coniunctum, ut dictum est. But it cannot be said that there are two sensitive principles in an animal, one near the brain, where the visual, olfactory, auditory principle is established, and one near the heart, where the tactile and gustatory principle is established. The sensitive principle is primarily in the heart, which is also where the source of heat is located in the body of an animal, because nothing is sensitive without heat, as is said in On the Soul. Footnote The sensitive power flows front the heart to the brain, and front there it proceeds to the organs of three senses, sight, hearing, and smell. But touch and taste are relayed to the heart itself through a medium united to the body, as was said.
Ultimo autem epilogat quod de sensitivis partibus corporis sit hoc modo determinatum sicut in superioribus habitum est. 439a4 Finally, by way of an epilogue, he says let it be determined in this way about the sensitive parts of the body—that is, as was done above.


Περὶ δὲ τῶν αἰσθητῶν τῶν καθ΄ ἕκαστον αἰσθητήριον, οἷον λέγω χρώματος καὶ ψόφου καὶ ὀσμῆς καὶ χυμοῦ καὶ ἁφῆς, καθόλου μὲν εἴρηται ἐν τοῖς περὶ ψυχῆς, τί τὸ ἔργον αὐτῶν καὶ τί τὸ ἐνεργεῖν καθ΄ ἕκαστον τῶν αἰσθητηρίων. τί δέ ποτε δεῖ λέγειν ὁτιοῦν αὐτῶν, οἷον τί χρῶμα ἢ τί ψόφον ἢ τί ὀσμὴν ἢ χυμόν, ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ περὶ ἁφῆς, ἐπισκεπτέον, καὶ πρῶτον περὶ χρώματος. 439a6 Concerning sensible objects, in relation to each sensitive part—I mean, for instance, color and sound and odor and taste and touch—it was said in a general way in the discussions On the soul what their action is; and what it is to operate in relation to each sensitive part. But it is necessary to say what each of them is; that is, it must be considered what color is, what sound is, what odor is, what flavor is, and similarly also concerning touch. And first concerning color.
ἔστι μὲν οὖν ἕκαστον διχῶς λεγόμενον, τὸ μὲν ἐνεργείᾳ τὸ δὲ δυνάμει. τὸ μὲν οὖν ἐνεργείᾳ χρῶμα καὶ ψόφος πῶς ἐστὶ τὸ αὐτὸ ἢ ἕτερον ταῖς κατ΄ ἐνέργειαν αἰσθήσεσιν, οἷον ὁράσει καὶ ἀκούσει, εἴρηται ἐν τοῖς περὶ ψυχῆς· τί δὲ ἕκαστον αὐτῶν ὂν ποιήσει τὴν αἴσθησιν καὶ τὴν ἐνέργειαν, νῦν λέγωμεν. 439a12 Each, then, is spoken of in two ways: on one hand in actuality, on the other in potentiality. Accordingly, what color in actuality is, and sound, how they are the same as or other than the sense-powers in actuality, namely seeing and hearing, has been said in the discussions On the soul. But let us now say what each of them is that it should cause sensing and actuality.
ὥσπερ οὖν εἴρηται περὶ φωτὸς ἐν ἐκείνοις, ὅτι ἐστὶ χρῶμα τοῦ διαφανοῦς κατὰ συμβεβηκός ὅταν γὰρ ᾖ τι πυρῶδες ἐν διαφανεῖ, ἡ μὲν παρουσία φῶς, ἡ δὲ στέρησίς ἐστι σκότος· 439a18 Accordingly, as was said about light in those discussions, it is the color of the transparent accidentally. For when something lit up exists in the transparent, the presence is light, and the privation darkness.
ὃ δὲ λέγομεν διαφανὲς οὐκ ἔστιν ἴδιον ἀέρος ἢ ὕδατος οὐδ΄ ἄλλου τῶν οὕτω λεγομένων σωμάτων, ἀλλά τίς ἐστι κοινὴ φύσις καὶ δύναμις, ἣ χωριστὴ μὲν οὐκ ἔστιν, ἐν τούτοις δ΄ ἔστι, καὶ τοῖς ἄλλοις σώμασιν ἐνυπάρχει, τοῖς μὲν μᾶλλον τοῖς δ΄ ἧττον· 439a21 But what we call the transparent is not a property of air or water or any of the bodies mentioned, but is a common nature and power. It is not separate, but it is present in these and in other bodies, in some to a greater extent, in some to a lesser.
ὥσπερ οὖν καὶ τῶν σωμάτων ἀνάγκη τι εἶναι ἔσχατον, καὶ ταύτης ἡ μὲν οὖν τοῦ φωτὸς φύσις ἐν ἀορίστῳ τῷ διαφανεῖ ἐστίν· τοῦ δ΄ ἐν τοῖς σώμασι διαφανοῦς τὸ ἔσχατον ὅτι μὲν εἴη ἄν τι, δῆλον, ὅτι δὲ τοῦτ΄ ἐστὶ τὸ χρῶμα, ἐκ τῶν συμβαινόντων φανερόν. τὸ γὰρ χρῶμα ἢ ἐν τῷ πέρατί ἐστιν ἢ πέρας (διὸ καὶ οἱ Πυθαγόρειοι τὴν ἐπιφάνειαν χρόαν ἐκάλουν)· ἔστι μὲν γὰρ ἐν τῷ τοῦ σώματος πέρατι, ἀλλ΄ οὐ τὸ τοῦ σώματος πέρας, 439a25 Therefore, as there is necessarily a limit of bodies, so there also is of this. Now the nature of light is in the unlimited transparent. But it is obvious that there will be a limit of the transparent that is in bodies, and that this is color is clear from what happens: for color is on the limit or is the limit. Hence the Pythagoreans called color an “epiphany”; for it is on the limit of a body, but it is not the limit of the body.
ἀλλὰ τὴν αὐτὴν φύσιν δεῖ νομίζειν ἥπερ καὶ ἔξω [439b] χρωματίζεται, ταύτην καὶ ἐντός. φαίνεται δὲ καὶ ἀὴρ καὶ ὕδωρ χρωματιζόμενα· καὶ γὰρ ἡ αὐγὴ τοιοῦτόν ἐστιν. ἀλλ΄ ἐκεῖ μὲν διὰ τὸ ἐν ἀορίστῳ οὐ τὴν αὐτὴν ἐγγύθεν καὶ προσιοῦσι καὶ πόρρωθεν ἔχει χρόαν οὔθ΄ ὁ ἀὴρ οὔθ΄ ἡ θάλαττα· ἐν δὲ τοῖς σώμασιν, ἐὰν μὴ τὸ περιέχον ποιῇ μεταβάλλειν, ὥρισται καὶ ἡ φαντασία τῆς χρόας. δῆλον ἄρα ὅτι τὸ αὐτὸ κἀκεῖ κἀνθάδε δεκτικὸν τῆς χρόας ἐστίν. τὸ ἄρα διαφανὲς καθ΄ ὅσον ὑπάρχει ἐν τοῖς σώμασιν (ὑπάρχει δὲ μᾶλλον καὶ ἧττον ἐν πᾶσι) χρώματος ποιεῖ μετέχειν. 439a33 Now one must think that it is the same nature that is colored from without and intrinsically. Air and water appear as colored things, for the dawn is such a thing. But in this case, because it is in something indeterminate, neither the air nor the sea has the same color to those who approach close up and from afar. But in bodies, unless something containing makes a change, there is a determinate fantasia of color. Therefore it is clear that both in the former and in the latter it is the same thing that is receptive of color. Therefore the transparent, according as it exists in bodies—and it exists in all of them, to a greater or lesser extent—is what causes colors to be participated in. But because color is on the limit, it will be a limit of this.
ἐπεὶ δ΄ ἐν πέρατι ἡ χρόα, τούτου ἂν ἐν πέρατι εἴη. ὥστε χρῶμα ἂν εἴη τὸ τοῦ διαφανοῦς ἐν σώματι ὡρισμένῳ πέρας. 439bl 1 Therefore color will be the limit of the transparent in a determinate body.
καὶ αὐτῶν δὲ τῶν διαφανῶν, οἷον ὕδατος καὶ εἴ τι ἄλλο τοιοῦτον, καὶ ὅσοις φαίνεται χρῶμα ἴδιον ὑπάρχειν, κατὰ τὸ ἔσχατον ὁμοίως πᾶσιν ὑπάρχει. 439b12 And in transparent things such as water and any other such thing, and in whatever seems to have a color of its own—in all these it is likewise at the limit.
Postquam philosophus ad organa sensuum applicavit considerationem de sensibus animalium, hic applicat ea ad ipsa sensibilia. 439a6 After The Philosopher has applied the consideration about sense-powers of animals to sense-organs, here he applies it to sensible objects themselves.
Et primo dicit de quo est intentio. Secundo exequitur propositum, ibi, quemadmodum igitur dictum est de lumine. First be states his intention. Second he carries out his proposal, where he says Accordingly, as was said about light (439a18).
Circa primum duo facit. Primo proponit intentum secundo manifestat quod dixerat, ibi, est quidem igitur unumquodque. On the first point be does two things. First he proposes his intention. Second be clarifies what be said, where he says Each, then, is spoken of in two ways (439a12).
Dicit ergo primo, quod de sensibilibus propriis, quae sentiuntur secundum unumquodque sensitivum, idest secundum singula organa sensuum, (quod dicitur ad differentiam sensibilium communium scilicet de colore, sono et odore, quae sentiuntur per visum, auditum et odoratum) et de gustu et tactu, idest de sensibilibus horum sensuum, dictum est in libro de anima, universaliter et quomodo habent in sensum agere, et qualis sit operatio sensus secundum unumquodque organum immutatum a praedicto sensibili. Dictum est enim in secundo de anima, quod sensus est potentia sensibile, et quod sensibilia faciunt sensum esse in actu. Sed nunc considerandum est quid sit quodlibet sensibile secundum seipsum, scilicet quid sit color, quid sonus, quid odor, quid sapor; et similiter de tactu, idest de sensibilibus tactus. Sed primum dicendum est de colore, qui est obiectum visus, eo quod visus est spiritualior inter omnes sensus. Accordingly be first speaks of proper sensible objects, those perceived in relation to each sensitive part, that is, each individual sense-organ, which he says to distinguish them from common sensibles. The proper sensibles are color, sound, and odor, which are sensed through sight, hearing, and smell; and taste and touch—that is, the objects of these senses. He says that it was said in On the soul in a general way both how these act on a sense-power and the nature of the sense-power’s operation in relation to each organ affected by the above-mentioned sensible objects. For it was said in On the Soul II that a sense-power is a sensible object in potentiality, and that sensible objects make a sense-power be in actuality. Footnote But now it must be considered what each sensible object is in itself, that is, what color is, what sound is, what odor is, what flavor is, and similarly concerning touch—that is, the objects of touch. But first color, which is the object of sight, must be discussed, because sight is the most spiritual of the senses.
Non est tamen per hoc intelligendum, quod de omnibus his sensibus in hoc libro determinare intendat; sed quod omnium horum sensibilium consideratio, necessaria sit ad propositam intentionem. Sed cum sensibilia tactus sint vel proprietates elementorum, idest calidum, frigidum, humidum et siccum, de quibus determinatum est in libro de generatione, vel sint proprietates corporum distinctorum, sicut durum et molle et alia huiusmodi, de quibus determinatum est in libro Meteororum; unde nunc restat determinare de tribus, scilicet de colore, odore et sapore. De sono enim determinatum est in libro de anima, eo quod eadem est ratio generationis soni et immutationis auditus organi a sono. Qualiter autem immutentur organa sensuum a sensibilibus, pertinet ad considerationem libri de anima. It is not to be understood by this that he intends to make a determination about all these sensible objects in this book, but rather that consideration of them all is necessary to the proposed intention. But objects of touch are either properties of elements, namely hot, cold, moisture, and dryness, about which a determination was made in the book on Generation and Corruption; Footnote or they are properties of individual bodies, such as hardness and softness, and so on, about which a determination was made in the book the Meteorologica. Footnote So what is left now is to make a determination about three things, namely color, odor, and flavor, For a determination about sound was made in the book On the Soul, because the account of the production of sound is the same as the account of the alteration of the auditory organ by sound, and the way in which sense-organs are altered by sensible objects belongs to the consideration made in the book On the Soul. Footnote
Deinde cum dicit est quidem exponit quod dictum est, scilicet quod considerandum sit quid sit color et sapor et cetera. 439a12 Then, when he says Each, then, is spoken of in two ways, he explains what was said, namely that it must be considered what color is, what flavor is, etc.
Unumquodque horum enim dupliciter est. Uno quidem modo prout sentitur in actu. Alio vero modo, prout est sensibile in potentia. Quid autem sit unumquodque eorum secundum actum, idest secundum quod est color actu perceptus a sensu, aut sapor vel quodcumque aliud sensibile, dictum est in libro de anima, quomodo scilicet unumquodque horum idem sit vel alterum sensui secundum actum, scilicet visioni vel auditioni, quia videlicet visibile in actu est idem visioni in actu, visibile autem in potentia non est idem visui in potentia. Ergo quid unumquodque sensitivum sit in actu dictum est in libro de anima, in quo determinatum est de sensibilibus in actu; sed quid sit unumquodque eorum secundum seipsum, quod natum est facere sensitivum actu, est nunc dicendum in hoc libro. For each of these exists in two ways: in one way inasmuch as it is sensed in actuality, and in another way inasmuch as it is sensible in potentiality. What each of them is according to actuality—that is, according as color, flavor, or any other sensible object, is in actuality perceived by sense—has been said in On the soul. That is, it was said how each of them is the same as or other than a sense-power in actuality, such as seeing or hearing: for the visible in actuality is the same as seeing in actuality, but the visible in potentiality is not the same as sight in potentiality. Accordingly what each of the sensible objects is in actuality was said in On the Soul, where a determination was made about the sense-powers in actuality. Footnote But what each thing that is of such a nature as to cause the sense-power to be in actuality, is in itself must be said now, in the present book.
Deinde cum dicit quemadmodum igitur determinat de sensibilibus secundum modum praetactum. Et primo de colore. Secundo de sapore, ibi, de odore vero et sapore. Tertio de odore, ibi, eodem autem modo oportet intelligere. 439a18 Then, when he says Accordingly, as was said about light, he makes a determination about sensible objects in the order already established: first color; second flavor, where he says Odor and flavor must be discussed (Chapter 8, 440b28); and third odor, where he says Odors must be understood in the same way (Chapter 11, 442b27).
Prima autem pars dividitur in duas partes. In prima, ostendit quid sit color in communi. In secunda parte determinat de differentiis colorum, ibi, est ergo inesse perspicuo. The first part is divided into two parts. in the first be shows what color in general is. in the second be makes a determination about differences among colors, where he says Accordingly, what causes light (Chapter 6, 439b14).
Circa primum duo facit. Primo proponit principia coloris. Secundo investigat coloris definitionem ex huiusmodi principiis, ibi, quemadmodum ergo et corporum. On the first point be does two things. First be presents the principles of color. Second he investigates the definition of color on the basis of these principles, where he says Therefore, as there is necessarily a limit of bodies (439a25).
Est autem duplex coloris principium: unum quidem formale, scilicet lumen; aliud materiale, scilicet perspicuum. Primo ergo tangit principium formale, scilicet lumen. Secundo principium materiale, scilicet perspicuum, ibi, quod autem dicimus. Now there are two principles of color: one is formal, namely light; the other is material, namely the transparent. Accordingly he first touches on the formal principle, light; and second on the material principle, the transparent, where he says But what we call the transparent (439a21).
Dicit ergo primo, quod sicut dictum est in libro de anima, lumen est color perspicui: quod quidem dicitur secundum quamdam proportionem, ex eo quod sicut color est forma et actus corporis colorati, ita lumen est forma et actus perspicui. Accordingly he first says that, as was said in the book On the Soul, light is the color of the transparent. He says this according to an analogy (proportio): as color is the form and actuality of a colored body, so light is the form and actuality of the transparent.
Differt autem quantum ad hoc quod corpus coloratum in seipso habet causam sui coloris, sed corpus perspicuum habet lumen ab alio. Et ideo dicit quod lumen est color perspicui secundum accidens, idest per aliud, non quia lumen sit actus perspicui inquantum huius. Quod autem sit actus eius secundum aliud, manifestat per hoc, quod, quando aliquod corpus ignitum, scilicet actu lucidum, adest perspicuo, ex praesentia eius fit lumen in perspicuo, ex privatione vero fiunt tenebrae. Non sic autem est de colore; quia color manet in corpore colorato quocumque praesente vel absente, licet non sit actu visibilis sine lumine. But they are different inasmuch as a colored body has the cause of its color in itself, but a transparent body has its light only from something else. This is why he says that light is the color of the transparent accidentally, that is, through something else, and not that light is the actuality of the transparent as such. He shows that light is the actuality of the transparent through something else in the following way. When a body that is lit up—that is, bright in actuality—is present to the transparent, light is caused in the transparent by the presence of that body, and darkness by its privation. But it is not so with color, because the color remains in a colored body whatever is present to or absent from it, although it may not be in actuality visible without light.
Deinde cum dicit quod autem determinat de perspicuo: 439a21 Then, when he says But what we call the transparent, he makes a determination about the transparent.
et dicit quod, hoc quod dicitur perspicuum, non est proprium vel aeris vel aquae, vel alicuius huiusmodi corporum, sicut est vitrum et alia corpora transparentia; sed est quaedam natura communis, quae in multis corporibus invenitur; scilicet quaedam naturalis proprietas in multis inventa, quam etiam virtutem nominat, inquantum est quoddam principium visionis. Et quia Platonici ponebant communia, sicut sunt separata secundum rationem, ita etiam separata esse secundum esse, ideo ad hoc excludendum subiungit, quod natura perspicuitatis non est aliqua natura separata, sed est in his corporibus sensibilibus, scilicet in aere et aqua et in aliis; in quibusdam quidem magis, in quibusdam vero minus. He says that what is called the transparent is not a property of either air or water or any such body—for instance glass and other transparent bodies—but is a common “nature” found in many bodies—that is, a natural property found in many things—one that he also calls a “power” (virtus) inasmuch as it is a principle of vision. Now Plato held that, just as what is common is separate in intelligibility (ratio), so it is also separate in existence (esse). Therefore, in order to eliminate this position, he adds that the nature of the transparent is not a separate nature, but is in these sensible bodies—namely air and water—and also others, in some to a greater extent, and in some to a lesser.
Ad cuius evidentiam sciendum est quod philosophus dicit in secundo de anima, visibile non solum est color, sed etiam quoddam aliud, quod ratione comprehenditur innominatum. Est autem in genere visibilis communiter accepti, aliquid ut actus, aliquid vero ut potentia. Non est autem in hoc genere ut actus aliqua qualitas propria alicuius elementorum; sed ipsorum lumen, quod est quidem primo in corpore caelesti, derivatur autem ad inferiora corpora. Ut potentia quidem in hoc genere est id, quod est proprium luminis susceptivum: quod quidem in triplici ordine graduum se habet. To make this clear, it must be known that, as the Philosopher says in On the Soul II, the visible is not color alone, but also something else which is apprehended by reason but unnamed. Footnote Accordingly in the genus of the visible, taken in general, there is something that stands as actuality and something that stands as potentiality. What is in this genus as actuality is not a proper quality of any of the elements, but rather light itself, which exists first in the heavenly body, front which it is derived to lower bodies. What is in this genus as potentiality is what is properly receptive of light, which is arranged in an order of three levels.
Primus quidem gradus, cum id quod est luminis susceptivum est totaliter lumine repletum, quasi perfecte in actum reductum, ita quod ulterius non sit receptivum alicuius qualitatis vel formae huius generis; quod quidem inter omnia corpora maxime competit soli. Unde corpus solare non potest esse medium in visu, ut sit recipiens et reddens formam visibilem. Proprietas autem lucendi secundum ordinem quemdam descendendo, procedit usque ad ignem: ulterius usque ad quaedam corpora, quae propter parvitatem sui luminis, non possunt lucere nisi in nocte, ut supra dictum est. The first level is reached when what is receptive of light is totally filled with it, being, as it were, perfectly brought to actuality, so that it cannot receive any further quality or form of this kind. Of all bodies this is most true of the sun, which is why the body of the sun cannot be a medium in sight that receives and transmits a visible form. And the property of shining, descending in a certain order, reaches fire, and then, beyond that, certain bodies that, because of the smallness of their light, can shine only at night, as was said above.
Secundus gradus est, eorum quae de se non habent lumen in actu, sed sunt susceptiva luminis per totum: huiusmodi corpora proprie dicuntur perspicua sive transparentia, vel diaphana. Phanon enim in Graeco idem est quod visibile. Et haec quidem proprietas transparendi invenitur quidem maxime in corporibus caelestibus, praeter corpora astrorum, quae occultant quod post se est; secundario autem in igne, secundum quod est in propria sphaera propter raritatem; tertio in aere; quarto in aqua; quinto etiam in quibusdam terrenis propter abundantiam aeris vel aquae in ipsis. The second level belongs to what does not of itself have light in actuality, but is receptive of light through the whole of itself. Such bodies are properly called “perspicuous” or “transparent,” or also “diaphanous,” for in Greek means the same as “visible.” This property of being transparent is found to the greatest degree in heavenly bodies, except for the bodies of the stars, which conceal what is behind them. Second, it is in fire, that is, fire in its proper sphere, because of its fineness. Third it is in air, fourth in water, and fifth even in certain bodies made of earth, because of an abundance of air or water that is also in them.
Tertius et infimus gradus est terrae, quae maxime distat a corpore caelesti, quae minime nata est recipere de lumine, sed in superficie tantum: exteriores enim partes propter sui grossitiem interiores obumbrant, ut ad eas non perveniat lumen. The third and lowest level belongs to earth, which is farthest away from the heavenly body, and is by nature receptive of light to the least degree, namely, only on its surface. For its external parts, because of their thickness, overshadow the internal ones so that light cannot reach the latter.
Quamvis autem in solis corporibus medii gradus proprie dicatur perspicuum vel diaphanum secundum nominis proprietatem, communiter tamen loquendo, potest dici perspicuum, quod est luminis susceptivum qualitercumque. Et ita videtur philosophus hic de perspicuo loqui. Now although it is only in the case of bodies of the intermediate level that one properly speaks of the “transparent” or “diaphanous” according to the proper meaning of the term, nevertheless, generally speaking, that can be called “transparent” which is receptive of light in any way whatsoever, and it is in this sense that the Philosopher seems to be speaking here of “the transparent.” Footnote
Deinde cum dicit quemadmodum ergo investigat definitionem coloris. 439a25 Then, when he says Therefore, as there is necessarily a limit of bodies, he investigates the definition of color.
Et primo investigat genus. Secundo differentiam, ibi, sed eamdem naturam. Tertio definitionem concludit, ibi, quare color utique etiam. First he investigates its genus. Second he investigates its difference, where he says No one must think that it is the same nature (439a33). Third he concludes to the definition, where he says Therefore color will be (439b11).
Est autem considerandum quod semper oportet subiectum ponere in definitione accidentis, ut dicitur septimo metaphysicae: differenter tamen. Now it must be considered that one should always put the subject in the definition of an accident, as is said in Metaphysics VII, Footnote although this is done in different ways.
Nam, si accidens definitur in abstracto, subiectum ponitur loco differentiae; id autem, quod pertinet ad genus accidentis, ponitur loco generis; sicut cum dicitur, simitas est curvitas nasi. For if an accident is defined in the abstract, the subject is put in place of the difference and what pertains to the essence of the accident is put in place of the genus, as when it is said that “Snubness is curvedness of nose.”
Cum autem accidens definitur in concreto, e converso subiectum ponitur loco generis, sicut cum dicitur, simus est nasus curvus. But when an accident is defined in the concrete, conversely the subject is put in place of the genus, as when it is said that “A snub is a nose that is curved.”
Quia ergo hic color definiendus est in abstracto, primo incipit investigare loco generis id quod est essentialiter ipse color. Accordingly, because here color is to be defined in the abstract, Aristotle first begins by investigating, in place of a genus, what color itself essentially is.
Et concludit ex praedictis, quod, cum perspicuum non sit natura separata, sed in corporibus existens; necesse est quod sicut corporum, in quibus haec natura invenitur, est aliquod ultimum, si sit finita: ita et ipsius perspicui, quod significat qualitatem talium corporum, oportet esse aliquod ultimum. Et eadem ratio est de omnibus qualitatibus corporum quae per accidens fiunt quanta secundum corporum quantitatem: unde per accidens terminatur secundum corporum terminationem. He concludes from what was said that, since the transparent is not a separate nature, but one existing in bodies, it is necessary that, just as there is a limit of bodies in which this nature is found if the bodies are finite, so also there must be a limit of the transparent itself, which signifies a quality of such bodies. And the argument is the same for all qualities of bodies that are accidentally quantities as a result of the quantities of the bodies, and hence are accidentally limited as a result of the limits of the bodies.
Est ergo considerandum quod sicut corporum, quaedam terminata dicuntur, quia propriis terminis terminantur, sicut corpora terrestria; quaedam interminata, eo quod non terminantur propriis terminis, sed alienis: ita etiam est et circa perspicuum. Quoddam enim est interminatum ex seipso, quia nihil habet in se determinatum unde ipsum videatur. Quoddam autem est terminatum, quia determinate habet aliquid in seipso, unde videatur secundum propriam terminationem. Accordingly it must be considered that, just as some bodies (for instance, those that consist of earth) are said to be “limited” because they are limited by limits of their own, and others are said to be “unlimited” because they are limited not by limits of their own, but by the limits of other things, so it is in the case of the transparent. One kind is “unlimited” of itself because it has in itself nothing determinate by which it may be seen, but another is limited because it does have something in itself by which it may be seen with respect to its own limit.
Perspicuum igitur indeterminatum est susceptivum luminis, cuius natura non est ut suscipiatur solum in extremo, sed per totum medium. Manifestum est autem quod ipsius perspicui, quod significat qualitatem in corporibus existentem, ut dictum est, est aliquid ultimum: et quod sit color, manifestum est ex his, quae accidunt; non enim videntur corpora colorata, nisi secundum suas extremitates. Per quod apparet quod color, vel est extremitas corporis, vel est in extremitate corporis. Et inde est quod Pythagorici colorem vocabant Epiphaniam, idest apparitionem, quia illud, quod apparet in superficie corporum, color est. Non est autem verum quod color sit extremitas corporis, ut Pythagorici posuerunt; quia sic esset superficies, vel linea, vel punctus; sed est in extremitate corporis, sicut natura perspicui est in corporibus. Accordingly, the unlimited transparent is receptive of light, the nature of which is such as to be received not only at a limit, but throughout a whole. But it is clear that there is a limit of this transparent that, as was said, is a quality existing in bodies. And that this is color is clear front what happens. For colored bodies are seen only at their limits, from which it is evident that color either is the limit of a body or is on the limit of a body. And hence it is that the Pythagoreans called color an “epiphany”—that is, an “appearance on”—because what appears on the surface of bodies is color. But it is not true that color is the limit of a body, as the Pythagoreans held, because thus it would be a surface or line or point. But it is on the limit of a body, just as the nature of the transparent is on bodies.
Deinde cum dicit sed eamdem investigat id quod ponitur in definitione coloris sicut differentia; scilicet eius subiectum, quod est perspicuum. 439a33 Then, when he says Now one must think that it is the same nature, he investigates what is put in the definition of color as the difference, namely its subject, which is the transparent.
Et dicit, quod oportet existimare eamdem naturam esse, quae est susceptiva coloris in corporibus, quae colorantur exterius, idest non per proprium colorem, sed ex aliquo exteriori, et in his quae colorantur interius per proprium colorem. Illa autem quae colorantur ab exteriori, sunt perspicua, sicut aer et aqua: et hoc manifestat per colorem, qui apparet in aurora ex resplendentia radiorum solis ad aliqua corpora. He says that one must think that it is the same nature that is receptive of color in bodies that are colored from without—that is, not by their own color but by something outside them—and in those that are colored intrinsically by their own color. Those that are colored from without are transparent, for instance air and water; he makes this clear with the color that appears at dawn through the shining of the sun’s rays on certain bodies.
Assignat tamen differentiam inter corpora quae colorantur ab exteriori vel a seipsis. In his enim quae ab exteriori colorantur, propter hoc quod non habent determinatum colorem de se, non videtur idem color de prope et de longe, sicut apparet in aere et aqua maris, quae de longe apparet alterius coloris quam de prope. Quia enim horum color videtur secundum aliquam reverberationem, necesse est quod secundum varietatem situs prospicientis varietur apparitio propter diversam reverberationis figuram; sed in corporibus quae de se habent determinatum colorem est determinata phantasia, idest apparitio coloris, et non variatur secundum diversum situm aspicientium, nisi forte per accidens, puta cum corpus continens facit aliquam transmutationem apparitionis, vel quando color videtur per alium; sicut quae continentur in vase vitri rubei videntur rubea, vel etiam per aliquam reverberationem splendoris, sicut patet in collo columbae. However, he does provide a difference between bodies that are colored from without and those colored of themselves. In those that are colored from without, because they do not have of themselves a determinate color, the color does not seem to be the same from close up and from afar, as is clear in the case of the air and the water of the sea, which from afar appear to be of another color than they do from close up; for because their color is seen by a reflection, its appearance necessarily varies with variation of the location of those looking at it because of the different angles of reflection. But in bodies that of themselves have a determinate color, there is a determinate “fantasia”—that is, appearance—of color and it does not vary with the different locations of those looking at it, except perhaps accidentally, for instance when a containing body causes a change of appearance; or when one color is seen through another, as when what is contained in a vessel of red glass seems red; or again by the kind of reflection of light such as appears in the pigeon’s neck.
Quia igitur color, qui videtur in utrisque corporibus, non differt secundum proprium subiectum coloris, sed secundum apparitionis causam, quae est vel interius vel exterius; manifestum etiam quod utrobique est idem susceptivum coloris. Manifestum etiam quia in iis quae colorantur ab exteriori, perspicuum est susceptivum coloris, et etiam quod in his quae colorantur interius, perspicuum est quod facit ea participare colorem: quod quidem perspicuum in corporibus invenitur secundum magis et minus, ut dictum est. Quae enim istorum corporum plus habent de aere vel aqua, plus habent de perspicuo; minus autem habent quae superabundant in terrestri. Therefore, because color, which is seen in both kinds of body, does not differ with respect to the proper subject of color, but only with respect to the cause of its appearance, which is either intrinsic or extrinsic, it is clear that in both cases it is the same thing that is receptive of color. And because the transparent is what is receptive of color in what is colored from without, the transparent is clearly also what causes intrinsically color things to participate in color. Indeed, the transparent is found in bodies according to more and less, as was said: bodies that have more air or water have more of the transparent, and those that have an overabundance of earth have less.
Si ergo coniungamus duo quae dicta sunt: scilicet quod color sit in extremitate corporis, et quod corpora participent colorem secundum perspicuum; sequitur quod color sit quaedam extremitas perspicui. Therefore if we unite the two things said—that color is on the limit a body, and that bodies participate in color with respect to the transparent—it follows that color is the limit of the transparent.
Deinde cum dicit quare color concludit definitionem coloris. 439b11 Then, when he says Therefore color will be, he concludes to the definition of color.
Et primo in his quae per se colorantur interius. Secundo in his quae colorantur ab exteriori, ibi, et ipsorum autem perspicuorum. He does so first in the case of what is colored of itself, intrinsically. Second in the case of what is colored from without, where he says An in transparent things (439b 12).
Concludit ergo, quod color est extremitas perspicui in corpore determinato: quod quidem additur, eo quod huiusmodi corpora sunt, quae secundum se colorantur. In definitione autem debet poni id quod est per se. Accordingly he concludes that color is the limit of the transparent. He adds in a determinate body, because such bodies are those that are themselves colored, and what is per se should be put in the definition of a thing.
Quod autem dicit colorem esse extremitatem perspicui, non repugnat ei quod dixerat supra, colorem non esse extremitatem. Illud enim dixit de extremitate corporis; hoc autem de extremitate perspicui, quod nominat corporis qualitatem, sicut calidum et album. Et ideo color non est in genere quantitatis, sicut superficies, quae est extremum corporis; sed est in genere qualitatis, sicut et perspicuitas; quia extremum et id cuius est extremum, unius generis sunt. Si autem corpora intrinsecus quidem habent superficiem in potentia, non autem actu, ita etiam intrinsecus non colorantur in actu, sed in potentia, quae reducitur ad actum facta corporis divisione: illud autem intrinsecum non habet virtutem movendi visum, quod per se colori convenit. Now his saying that color is the limit of the transparent is not opposed to what he said above, that color is not a limit. For he said that with reference to the limit of a body, but here he is speaking of the limit of the transparent, which he calls a quality of a body, like hot and white Thus color is not in the category of quantity—like surface, which is the limit of a body—but in the category of quality. The transparent is also in the category of quality, because a limit and that of which it is the limit belong to one category. And just as bodies have surface in their interior in potentiality but not actuality, so they are also colored in their interior in potentiality but not actuality, and this potentiality is brought to actuality when division of the body occurs. For what is interior does not in actuality have the power to move sight, a power that belongs per se to color.
Deinde cum dicit et ipsorum manifestat rationem coloris quantum ad ipsa perspicua interminata, sicut est aqua vel quicquid aliud huiusmodi habet aliquem colorem; quia in omnibus his non est color, nisi secundum extremitatem. 439b12 Then, when he says And in transparent things, he clarifies the nature (ratio) of color in the case of unlimited transparent things such a water, or any other thing of this kind that has a color: in all these there is color only with respect to the limit.

ἔστι μὲν οὖν ἐνεῖναι ἐν τῷ διαφανεῖ τοῦθ΄ ὅπερ καὶ ἐν τῷ ἀέρι ποιεῖ φῶς, ἔστι δὲ μή, ἀλλ΄ ἐστερῆσθαι. ὥσπερ οὖν ἐκεῖ τὸ μὲν φῶς τὸ δὲ σκότος, οὕτως ἐν τοῖς σώμασιν ἐγγίγνεται τὸ λευκὸν καὶ τὸ μέλαν. 439b14 Accordingly, what causes light in the air may be present in the transparent. But it may also not be present in it; instead, its privation may be. Thus, just as in that case the one is light and the other darkness, so white and black are caused in bodies.
περὶ δὲ τῶν ἄλλων χρωμάτων ἤδη, διελομένοις ποσαχῶς ἐνδέχεται γίγνεσθαι, λεκτέον. ἐνδέχεται μὲν γὰρ παρ΄ ἄλληλα τιθέμενα τὸ λευκὸν καὶ τὸ μέλαν, ὥσθ΄ ἑκάτερον μὲν εἶναι ἀόρατον διὰ σμικρότητα, τὸ δ΄ ἐξ ἀμφοῖν ὁρατόν, οὕτω γίγνεσθαι. τοῦτο γὰρ οὔτε λευκὸν οἷόν τε φαίνεσθαι οὔτε μέλαν· ἐπεὶ δ΄ ἀνάγκη μέν τι ἔχειν χρῶμα, τούτων δ΄ οὐδέτερον δυνατόν, ἀνάγκη μεικτόν τι εἶναι καὶ εἶδός τι χρόας ἕτερον. ἔστι μὲν οὖν οὕτως ὑπολαβεῖν πλείους εἶναι χρόας παρὰ τὸ λευκὸν καὶ τὸ μέλαν, 439b18 But we must speak about the other colors, dividing the number of ways they might come to be. It can happen that, if white and black are placed beside one another, each of them invisible because of their smallness, what is made up of both thus becomes visible. It is seen neither as white nor as black. But because it necessarily has some color, and neither of these is possible, it necessarily is mixed, and is another species of color. Thus one can admit of more colors than white and black.
πολλὰς δὲ τῷ λόγῳ (τρία γὰρ πρὸς δύο, καὶ τρία πρὸς τέτταρα, καὶ κατ΄ ἄλλους ἀριθμοὺς ἔστι παρ΄ ἄλληλα κεῖσθαι· τὰ δ΄ ὅλως κατὰ μὲν λόγον μηδένα, καθ΄ ὑπεροχὴν δέ τινα καὶ ἔλλειψιν ἀσύμμετρον), 439b27 But many are in a proportion, for they can be put together in the proportion of three to two, and of three to four, and according to other numbers. But some are together in no proportion at all, but in an incommensurable more and less.
καὶ τὸν αὐτὸν δὴ τρόπον ἔχειν ταῦτα ταῖς συμφωνίαις· τὰ μὲν γὰρ ἐν ἀριθμοῖς εὐλογίστοις χρώματα, καθάπερ ἐκεῖ τὰς συμφωνίας, τὰ ἥδιστα τῶν χρωμάτων εἶναι δοκοῦντα, οἷον [440a] τὸ ἁλουργὸν καὶ τὸ φοινικοῦν καὶ ὀλίγ΄ ἄττα τοιαῦτα (δι΄ ἥνπερ αἰτίαν καὶ αἱ συμφωνίαι ὀλίγαι), τὰ δὲ μὴ ἐν ἀριθμοῖς τἆλλα χρώματα· 439b30 So it must be the same as in harmonies: the most well-proportioned colors are those based on numbers, as in the case of harmonies, and these seem to be the most pleasant of colors, for instance scarlet and purple. But such are few, due to the same cause harmonies are also few. And the other colors are those not based on numbers.
ἢ καὶ πάσας τὰς χρόας ἐν ἀριθμοῖς εἶναι, τὰς μὲν τεταγμένας τὰς δὲ ἀτάκτους, καὶ αὐτὰς ταύτας, ὅταν μὴ καθαραὶ ὦσι, διὰ τὸ μὴ ἐν ἀριθμοῖς εἶναι τοιαύτας γίγνεσθαι. εἷς μὲν οὖν τρόπος τῆς γενέσεως τῶν χρωμάτων οὗτος, 440a3 Or, all colors are ordered on the basis of numbers, but some are disordered when they are not pure, and they become such because they are not based on number. This is one way for the generation of colors.
εἷς δὲ τὸ φαίνεσθαι δι΄ ἀλλήλων, οἷον ἐνίοτε οἱ γραφεῖς ποιοῦσιν, ἑτέραν χρόαν ἐφ΄ ἑτέραν ἐναργεστέραν ἐπαλείφοντες, ὥσπερ ὅταν ἐν ὕδατί τι ἢ ἐν ἀέρι βούλωνται ποιῆσαι φαινόμενον, καὶ οἷον ὁ ἥλιος καθ΄ αὑτὸν μὲν λευκὸς φαίνεται, διὰ δ΄ ἀχλύος καὶ καπνοῦ φοινικοῦς. 440a7 Another one is that they appear through one another, in the way that painters sometimes place one color over another, more manifest one, as they do when they wish to make something appear to be in water or in air And in this way the sun of itself appears white, but through fog and smoke it appears purple.
πολλαὶ δὲ καὶ οὕτως ἔσονται χρόαι τὸν αὐτὸν τρόπον τῷ πρότερον εἰρημένῳ· λόγος γὰρ ἂν εἴη τις τῶν ἐπιπολῆς πρὸς τὰ ἐν βάθει, τὰ δὲ καὶ ὅλως οὐκ ἐν λόγῳ. 440a12 And there will also be many colors in the same way as described above: there will be a proportion of those on the surface to those in the depth; but some are not in any proportion at all.
Postquam philosophus ostendit quid est color, hic procedit ad distinguendum species colorum. 439bl4 After the Philosopher has shown what color is, here he proceeds to distinguish the species of colors.
Et primo quantum ad colores extremos. Secundo quantum ad colores medios, ibi, de aliis autem coloribus. First with respect to extreme colors; second with respect to intermediate colors, where he says But we must speak about the other colors (439b18).
Quia vero differentiae, quibus species distinguuntur, debent esse per se generis divisivae et non per accidens, ut patet in septimo metaphysicae; ideo ex ipsa natura coloris, quam per definitionem supra positam explicaverat, concludit diversitatem specierum ipsius. Now the differences by which species are distinguished should divide a genus per se, not accidentally, as is clear in Metaphysics VII. Footnote Therefore, he concludes to the variety of species of color from the very nature of color, which he explained through the definition given above.
Habitum est enim ex praemissis, quod subiectum coloris est perspicuum secundum suum extremum in corporibus terminatis. Proprius autem actus perspicui inquantum huius est lux, cuius praesentia in diaphano non determinato, sicut est aer, facit lumen, eius autem absentia facit tenebras. Contingit ergo in extremo perspicui terminatorum corporum inesse illud, quod in aere facit lumen; et hoc faciet ibi colorem album, et per eius absentiam efficietur color niger. It is established from the foregoing that the subject of color is the transparent at its limit in limited bodies. But the proper actuality of the transparent as such is light, the presence of which in the unlimited transparent, for instance air, causes light, but the absence of which causes darkness. Therefore, what causes light in the air may be present on the limit of the transparent belonging to limited bodies, where it will cause the color white; and the color black will be caused by its absence.
Quod quidem non est sic intelligendum quasi in colore nigro nihil sit luminis: sic enim nigredo non esset contraria albedini, utpote non participans eamdem naturam, sed esset pura privatio, sicut tenebra aeris. Sed dicitur nigredo causari per absentiam luminis, quia minimum habet de lumine inter omnes colores, sicut albedo plurimum. Contraria enim sunt, quae in eodem genere maxime distant, ut dicitur decimo metaphysicae. This is not to be understood as if there were no light in the color black, for thus black would not be contrary to white, since it would not participate in the same nature; rather, it would be a pure privation, like darkness. Black is said to be caused by absence of light because it of all colors has the least light, as white has the most; for contraries are things that stand farthest apart in the same genus, as is said in Metaphysics X. Footnote
Deinde cum dicit de aliis procedit ad distinguendum colores medios; 439b18 Then, when he says But we must speak about the other colors, he proceeds to distinguish intermediate colors.
et dividitur in partes duas. In prima ponit quosdam modos generationis distinctionis colorum mediorum, non secundum ipsorum existentiam, sed secundum apparentiam. Secundo assignat veram generationem mediorum colorum secundum suam naturam, ibi, si autem commixtio est corporum. This is divided into two parts. In the first he presents certain ways for the generation and distinction of intermediate colors not according to their existence, but according to their appearance. Second be gives the true generation of intermediate colors according to their nature, where he says But there is mixture of bodies not only (Chapter 7, 440a31).
Circa primum philosophus duo facit. Primo ponit duos modos generationis et distinctionis mediorum colorum secundum apparentiam. Secundo comparat illos modos adinvicem, ibi, dicere autem sicut antiqui. On the first point he does two things. First he presents two ways for the generation and distinction of intermediate colors according to appearance. Second he compares those ways to one another, where he says But to say, like the Ancients (Chapter 7, 440a15).
Prima pars dividitur in duas, secundum duos modos, quos ponit. Secunda pars incipit ibi, unus autem apparere. The first part is divided into two according to the two ways he presents; the second part begins where he says Another one is that they appear (440a7).
Circa primum duo facit. Primo ponit generationem colorum mediorum. Secundo assignat distinctionem ipsorum, ibi, multos autem proportione. On the first point he does two things. First he presents the generation of intermediate colors. Second, where he says But many are in a proportion (439b27), he gives their distinction.
Dicit ergo primo, quod cum dictum sit de coloribus extremis, dicendum est de aliis coloribus, scilicet mediis, distinguendo quot modis contingit eos generari. Accordingly he first says that since the extreme colors have been discussed, we must speak about the other colors—that is, the intermediate ones—distinguishing the number of ways they might be generated.
Supponitur ergo aliquid esse invisibile propter eius parvitatem. Contingit ergo duobus parvis corporibus non visibilibus propter parvitatem iuxta se positis, quorum unum sit nigrum, et aliud sit album, illud quod ex utroque compositum est, videri propter maiorem quantitatem. Omne autem quod videtur in huiusmodi corporibus, secundum aliquem colorem videtur. Illud autem totum, nec videtur ut album, nec ut nigrum: quia tam illud quod est album, quam illud quod est nigrum in ipso, positum est esse invisibile propter parvitatem. Unde necesse est quod videatur quasi quidam color ex utroque commixtus: et sic fit alia species coloris praeter album et nigrum. Ex quo patet quod contingit colores plures accipere, quam album et nigrum. Let it be supposed, then, that there is something invisible because of its smallness. Thus it can happen that if two small bodies, invisible because of their smallness, are placed next to one another, one of them being black and the other white, what is composed of both can be seen, because of the greater quantity. Now everything that is seen in bodies of this kind is according to some color. But the whole is seen neither as white nor as black, because both what is white in it and what is black have been assumed to be invisible because of their smallness. Hence it is necessarily seen as a color mixed from both, as it were, so that thus there is another species of color besides white and black. From this it is clear that one can admit of more colors than black and white.
Deinde cum dicit multos autem assignat distinctionem mediorum colorum. 439b27 Then, when he says But many are in a proportion, he gives the distinction of intermediate colors.
Et primo assignat causam distinctionis mediorum colorum ex diversa proportione albi et nigri. Secundo assignat causam quare quidam colores medii sunt delectabiles, et quidam non, ibi, et eodem itaque modo. First he assigns the cause of distinction of intermediate colors to various proportions of black and white. Second he gives the cause why some intermediate colors are pleasant and some not, where he says So it must be the same as in harmonies (439b30).
Circa primum considerandum est quod sicut philosophus dicit decimo metaphysicae, ratio mensurae primo quidem invenitur in numeris, secundo in quantitatibus continuis, deinde ultimo transfertur etiam ad quantitates, secundum quod in eis potest inveniri excessus unius qualitatis super aliam, sive per modum intensionis, prout aliquid dicitur albedo maior, quae est in maiori superficie. On the first point it must be considered that, as the Philosopher teaches in Metaphysics X, the notion (ratio) of measure is found first in numbers, and second in continuous quantities. Footnote From the latter it is transferred even to qualities, insofar as among them one quality can be more than another, whether by way of intension, as one thing is said to be “whiter” than something else, or by way of extension, as whiteness on a bigger surface is said to be “bigger.”
Quia vero proportio est quaedam habitudo quantitatum adinvicem; ubicumque dicitur quantum aliquo modo, ibi potest dici proportio. Now because proportion is a relation of quantities to one another, wherever one speaks of quantity in any sense, one can also speak of proportion.
Et primo quidem in numeris; quia omnes in prima mensura, quae est unitas, sunt adinvicem commensurabiles. Communicant autem omnes in prima mensura, quae est unitas. First in the case of numbers, which are all commensurable with one another, for they all share in the first measure that is unity.
Sunt autem diversae proportiones numerorum, secundum quod diversi numeri adinvicem comparantur. Alia enim est proportio trium ad duo, quae vocatur sesquialtera, et alia quatuor ad tria, quae vocatur sesquitertia. And there are various proportions of numbers according as various numbers are related to one another: the proportion of three to two, which is called “sesquialteral,” is different from that of four to three, which is called “sesquitertial.”
Quia vero quantitates continuae non resolvuntur in aliquod indivisibile, sicut numeri in unitatem, non est necesse omnes quantitates continuas esse adinvicem commensurabiles; sed est invenire aliquas, quarum una excedat alteram, quae tamen non habent commensurationem. Quaecumque tamen quantitates continuae proportionantur adinvicem, secundum proportionem numeri ad numerum, earum est una mensura communis; puta si una sit trium cubitorum, et alia quatuor, utraque mensuratur cubito. But because continuous quantities cannot be resolved into some thing indivisible as numbers are into unity, not all continuous quantities are necessarily commensurate with one another; rather, one can find some in which one is more than another but they have no one common measure. However, whatever continuous quantities are proportioned to one another according to the proportion of number to number do have one common measure: for instance, if one is three cubits long and another four, both are measured by the cubit.
Et ad hunc modum in qualitatibus etiam contingit esse excessum et defectum, vel secundum aliquam proportionem numeralem, vel secundum excessum incommensurabilem. In this way too, there can be more and less among qualities either according to a numerical proportion or according to an incommensurable difference.
Et hoc est quod dicit quod contingit esse multos medios colores secundum diversas proportiones. Contingit enim quod album iaceat iuxta nigrum secundum proportionem duorum ad tria, vel trium ad quatuor, vel quorumlibet aliorum numerorum: aut secundum nullam proportionem numeralem, sed solum secundum incommensurabilem superabundantiam et defectum. And that is what he says: that there can be many intermediate colors in various proportions. For it can happen that white is juxtaposed to black in the proportion of two to three, or of three to four, or of any other numbers; or again, in no numerical proportion, but only in an incommensurable more and less.
Deinde cum dicit eodem itaque ostendit quare quidam colores sunt delectabiles et quidam non; 439b30 Then, when he says So it must be the same as in harmonies, he shows why some colors are pleasant and some not.
et assignat circa hoc duas rationes. Secundam ponit, ibi, vel etiam omnes colores. He gives two reasons for this. He gives the second where he says Or, all colors are ordered on the basis of numbers (440a3).
Dicit ergo primo, quod ex quo medii colores distinguuntur secundum diversas proportiones albi et nigri, eodem modo oportet se habere in mediis coloribus, sicut et in consonantiis quae causantur secundum proportionem vocis gravis et acutae. Sicut enim in consonantiis illae sunt proportionatissimae et delectabilissimae quae consistunt in numeris, sicut diapason in proportione duorum ad unum, et diapente in proportione trium ad duo; ita etiam in coloribus illi qui consistunt in proportione numerali sunt proportionatissimi, et hi etiam videntur delectabilissimi, sicut croceus et purpureus, idest rubeus. Et sicut paucae symphoniae delectabiles, ita etiam pauci sunt colores tales. Alii vero colores, qui non sunt delectabiles, non consistunt in proportione numerali. Accordingly he first says that, given that intermediate colors are distinguished according to various proportions of white and black, it must be the same with intermediate colors as it is with harmonies, which are caused according to a proportion between a low and a high tone. For just as in the case of harmonies, the most well proportioned and pleasant are those based on numbers, as the octave is in the proportion of two to one, and the fifth in the proportion of three to two; so also in the case of colors, those based on numerical proportion are the most well-proportioned. And these also seem to be most pleasant, for example scarlet and purple, that is, red and dark red. And just as pleasant harmonies are few, so also such colors are few. But other colors, those that are not pleasant, are not established in numerical proportion.
Deinde cum dicit vel etiam assignat aliam rationem, quare quidam colores sunt delectabiles, et quidam non. 440a3 Then, when he says Or, all colors are ordered on the basis of numbers, he gives another reason why some colors are pleasant and some not.
Et dicit quod omnes species colorum possunt dici quod sint ordinatae secundum numeros. Et potest ad hoc movere, quia si sit excessus solum secundum superabundantiam et defectum, non erit alia species coloris, sed tunc solum quando superabundantia et defectus est secundum aliquam proportionem numeralem. Hoc autem supposito, adhuc sequeretur ipsos eosdem colores esse inordinatos quando sunt puri; puta si in una parte sit excessus albi supra nigrum secundum unam proportionem, in alia autem parte secundum aliquam aliam numeralem proportionem, et hoc confuse et absque ordine. Et ideo, quando non erit per totum eadem proportio numeralis, sequitur quod huiusmodi colores erunt inordinati et indelectabiles. He says that all species of colors can be said to be ordered according to numbers. And he can make this change because now there will be a different species of color not merely if there is difference according to more and less, but only when there is more and less according to a numerical proportion. If this is supposed, it will follow that these same colors are disordered when they are not “pure,” that is, if there is more white than black according to one proportion in one part, but according to another numerical proportion in another part, and this confusedly and without order. And so, because there will not be the same numerical proportion throughout the whole, it will follow that these colors will be disordered and unpleasant.
Ultimo autem concludit hunc esse unum modum generationis mediorum colorum. Finally he concludes that this is one way of generation of intermediate colors.
Deinde cum dicit unus autem ponit secundum modum generationis mediorum colorum. 440a7 Then, when he says Another one is that they appear through one mother, he presents the second way of generation of intermediate colors.
Et primo assignat generationem colorum mediorum. Secundo distinctionem ipsorum, ibi, multi autem et sic erunt. First he explains the generation of intermediate colors; second their distinction, where he says And there will also be many colors (440a 12).
Dicit ergo primo, quod praeter modum praedictum est unus alius modus generationis mediorum colorum secundum apparentiam, per hoc, quod unus colorum apparet per alium, ita quod ex duobus coloribus resultat apparitio cuiusdam medii coloris. Et ponit duo exempla: Accordingly he first says that, besides the above-mentioned way, there is one other way of generation of intermediate colors according to appearance: by one of the colors appearing through another so that from two colors there results an appearance of an intermediate color. And he gives two examples.
primum in artificibus; sicut quandoque faciunt pictores ponentes unum colorem super alium, ita tamen quod manifestior color, idest fortior et tenacior, subtus ponatur; alioquin si debilior poneretur subtus, nullatenus apparet: et hoc praecipue faciunt quando volunt facere in sua pictura quod aliquid appareat ac si esset in aere vel aqua, ut puta cum pingunt pisces quasi in mari natantes, tunc enim superponunt fortiori colori piscium, quaedam debilem colorem, quasi aqua. The first is taken from artificial things. Painters sometimes place one color over another, in such a way that the more manifest—that is, the stronger and more lively—color is placed underneath: otherwise, if the weaker one were placed underneath, it would not appear at all. And they do this in particular when they wish to make something appear in their picture as if it were in air or in water, for instance when they paint fish swimming in the sea: for then they put over the stronger color of the fish some weaker color as the color of the water.
Aliud vero exemplum ponit in rebus naturalibus. Sol enim secundum se videtur albus propter luminis claritatem; sed quando videtur a nobis mediante caligine sive fumo resoluto a corporibus, fit tunc puniceus, idest rubicundus. Et sic patet quod id quod secundum se est unius coloris, quando videtur per alium colorem, facit apparentiam tertii coloris. Fumus enim secundum se non est rubeus, sed magis niger. The other example is taken from natural things. The sun of itself appears white because of the brightness of light, but when it is seen by us through a medium of fog, or smoke released front dry bodies, then it seems purple—that is, ruddy. Thus it is clear that what is in itself one color, when it is seen through another color, causes the appearance of a third color: for smoke in itself is not red, but rather black.
Deinde cum dicit multi autem assignat etiam secundum hunc modum rationem distinctionis colorum. 440a12 Then, when he says And there will also be many colors, he gives the explanation of the distinction of colors according to this way.
Et dicit, quod eodem modo multiplicantur medii colores secundum hunc modum generationis eorum, sicut et secundum praedictum, scilicet secundum diversas proportiones. Est enim accipere quamdam proportionem coloris infra positi, quod dicit esse in profundo, ad colorem supra positum, quem dicit esse in superficie. Et quidam tamen colores, supra et infra positi, non sunt in proportione aliqua numerali, et ideo causantur colores ut delectabiles et indelectabiles, ut supra dictum est. He says that intermediate colors are multiplied, in this way of generating them, in the same way as they are in the above-mentioned way, namely according to different proportions: one can take a proportion of the color placed underneath—which he describes as “in the depth”—to the color placed above—which he describes as “on the surface. “ However some colors placed above and below one another are not in a proportion—that is, a numerical one—and so unpleasant colors are caused, as was also said above.


τὸ μὲν οὖν, ὥσπερ οἱ ἀρχαῖοι, λέγειν ἀπόρροιαν εἶναι τὴν χρόαν καὶ ὁρᾶσθαι διὰ τοιαύτην αἰτίαν ἄτοπον· πάντως γὰρ δι΄ ἁφῆς ἀναγκαῖον αὐτοῖς ποιεῖν τὴν αἴσθησιν, ὥστ΄ εὐθὺς κρεῖττον φάναι τῷ κινεῖσθαι τὸ μεταξὺ τῆς αἰσθήσεως ὑπὸ τοῦ αἰσθητοῦ γίγνεσθαι τὴν αἴσθησιν, ἁφῇ καὶ μὴ ταῖς ἀπορροίαις. 440a15 But to say, like the Ancients, that color is an emanation, and is seen due to such a cause, is incoherent. For in any case it was necessary for them to make sensing occur through contact. Therefore it is better to say at once that sensing occurs by the medium of sensing being moved by the sensible object, than by contact and emanations.
ἐπὶ μὲν οὖν τῶν παρ΄ ἄλληλα κειμένων ἀνάγκη ὥσπερ καὶ μέγεθος λαμβάνειν ἀόρατον, οὕτω καὶ χρόνον ἀναίσθητον, ἵνα λανθάνωσιν αἱ κινήσεις ἀφικνούμεναι καὶ ἓν δοκῇ εἶναι διὰ τὸ ἅμα φαίνεσθαι· ἐνταῦθα δὲ οὐδεμία ἀνάγκη, ἀλλὰ τὸ ἐπιπολῆς χρῶμα ἀκίνητον ὂν καὶ κινούμενον ὑπὸ τοῦ ὑποκειμένου οὐχ ὁμοίαν ποιήσει τὴν κίνησιν. 440a20 Accordingly, in the position that bodies are juxtaposed, just as it is necessary to assume an invisible magnitude, so it is also necessary to assume a length of time imperceptible to sense, so that the movements escape notice as they arrive, and it is thought that they are one thing because they appear simultaneously. But in the latter case there is no such necessity: rather, the color that is on the surface, being immobile, and moved by the one placed under it, will cause a movement that is dissimilar, and so something else will appear, and it will be neither white nor black.
διὸ καὶ ἕτερον φαίνεται καὶ οὔτε λευκὸν οὔτε μέλαν. ὥστ΄ εἰ μὴ ἐνδέχεται μηδὲν εἶναι μέγεθος ἀόρατον, ἀλλὰ πᾶν ἔκ τινος ἀποστήματος ὁρατόν, καίτοι αὕτη τις ἂν εἴη χρωμάτων μίξις. κἀκείνως δ΄ οὐδὲν κωλύει φαίνεσθαί τινα χρόαν κοινὴν τοῖς πόρρωθεν· ὅτι γὰρ οὐκ ἔστιν οὐδὲν μέγεθος ἀόρατον, ἐν τοῖς ὕστερον ἐπισκεπτέον. 440a26 Therefore if it cannot be that any magnitude is invisible, but any one is visible from some distance, this latter case, too, will be a mixture of colors. But also in the former way, nothing stands in the way of a common color appearing to those who are at a distance. For that there is no magnitude that is invisible is to be considered in what comes after.
εἰ δ΄ ἔστι μίξις τῶν σωμάτων [440b] μὴ μόνον τὸν τρόπον τοῦτον ὅνπερ οἴονταί τινες, παρ΄ ἄλληλα τῶν ἐλαχίστων τιθεμένων, ἀδήλων δ΄ ἡμῖν διὰ τὴν αἴσθησιν, ἀλλ΄ ὅλως πάντη πάντως, ὥσπερ ἐν τοῖς περὶ μίξεως εἴρηται καθόλου περὶ πάντων (ἐκείνως μὲν γὰρ μείγνυται ταῦτα μόνον ὅσα ἐνδέχεται διελεῖν εἰς τὰ ἐλάχιστα, καθάπερ ἀνθρώπους ἢ ἵππους ἢ τὰ σπέρματα· τῶν μὲν γὰρ ἀνθρώπων ἄνθρωπος ἐλάχιστον, τῶν δ΄ ἵππων ἵππος· ὥστε τῇ τούτων παρ΄ ἄλληλα θέσει τὸ πλῆθος μέμεικται τῶν συναμφοτέρων· ἄνθρωπον δὲ ἕνα ἑνὶ ἵππῳ οὐ λέγομεν μεμεῖχθαι· ὅσα δὲ μὴ διαιρεῖται εἰς τὸ ἐλάχιστον, τούτων οὐκ ἐνδέχεται μίξιν γενέσθαι τὸν τρόπον τοῦτον ἀλλὰ τῷ πάντη μεμεῖχθαι, ἅπερ καὶ μάλιστα μείγνυσθαι πέφυκεν· πῶς δὲ τοῦτο γίγνεσθαι δυνατόν, ἐν τοῖς περὶ μίξεως εἴρηται πρότερον) 440a31 But there is mixture of bodies not only in the way that some think here is: by minimal parts being juxtaposed, but being unapparent to us because of the sense-power. There is also that of a whole being wholly mixed with a whole, as was said of all bodies in the discussions of mixture in general. For in the former way only those things can be mixed that can be divided into smallest parts, like men, horses, or seeds: men can be divided to a man, and horses to a horse. And so, by juxtaposition of these there is mixed together a multitude that consists simultaneously of both. But we do not say that one man is mixed with one horse. But whatever is not divided into a smallest part cannot be mixed in this way, but by being mixed from the whole, and such things are by nature mixed most thoroughly. How it is possible for this to occur was said before in the discussions on mixture.
ἀλλ΄ ὅτι ἀνάγκη μειγνυμένων καὶ τὰς χρόας μείγνυσθαι, δῆλον, καὶ ταύτην τὴν αἰτίαν εἶναι κυρίαν τοῦ πολλὰς εἶναι χρόας, ἀλλὰ μὴ τὴν ἐπιπόλασιν μηδὲ τὴν παρ΄ ἄλληλα θέσιν· οὐ γὰρ πόρρωθεν μὲν ἐγγύθεν δ΄ οὒ φαίνεται μία χρόα τῶν μεμειγμένων, ἀλλὰ πάντοθεν. 440b13 But at the same time it is clear what necessity there is, when these are mixed, for colors also to be mixed. And this—not overlay, nor juxtaposition—is the principal cause of there being many colors,: for it is not just from a distance and not close up, that one of the mixed colors appears, but from anywhere.
πολλαὶ δ΄ ἔσονται χρόαι διὰ τὸ κατὰ πολλοὺς λόγους ἐνδέχεσθαι μείγνυσθαι ἀλλήλοις τὰ μειγνύμενα, καὶ τὰ μὲν ἐν ἀριθμοῖς τὰ δὲ καθ΄ ὑπεροχὴν μόνον. καὶ τἆλλα δὴ τὸν αὐτὸν τρόπον ὅνπερ ἐπὶ τῶν παρ΄ ἄλληλα τιθεμένων χρωμάτων ἢ ἐπιπολῆς, ἐνδέχεται λέγειν καὶ περὶ τῶν μειγνυμένων. διὰ τίνα δ΄ αἰτίαν εἴδη τῶν χρωμάτων ἐστὶν ὡρισμένα καὶ οὐκ ἄπειρα, καὶ χυμῶν καὶ ψόφων, ὕστερον ἐπισκεπτέον. 440b18 And there will be many colors because what is mixed together can be mixed in many proportions, some on the basis of numbers, but some according to difference alone. And the other things that were said about colors placed beside one another, and about overlay, can similarly be said of mixtures also. But the cause of species of colors, and those of flavors and of sounds, being limited and not infinite, must be considered later.
Τί μὲν οὖν ἐστὶ χρῶμα καὶ διὰ τίν΄ αἰτίαν πολλαὶ χρόαι εἰσίν, εἴρηται· [περὶ δὲ ψόφου καὶ φωνῆς εἴρηται πρότερον ἐν τοῖς περὶ ψυχῆς·] 440b26 What color is, then, and the cause of there being many colors, been said. But about sound and voice something was said before in the discussions On the soul.
Positis duobus modis generationis colorum mediorum, hic comparat praedictos modos adinvicem. 440a15 Having presented two ways of generation of intermediate colors, here he compares the ways mentioned to one another.
Et circa hoc tria facit. Primo excludit quamdam positionem, ex qua procedebat unus praedictorum modorum. Secundo comparat praedictos modos adinvicem, ibi, in his autem quae secus invicem. Tertio ostendit quantum ad quid utrique praedictorum modorum sustineri possint, ibi, quare si non contingit. On this point he does three things. First he eliminates a position from which one of the ways mentioned followed. Second he compares the ways mentioned to one another, where he says Accordingly, in the position that bodies are juxtaposed (440a20). Third he shows how far each of the ways mentioned can be maintained, where he says Therefore if it can be that any magnitude is invisible (440a26).
Dicit ergo primo, quod antiqui posuerunt colorem nil aliud esse quam quemdam effluxum a corporibus visis, sicut supra Democritus, et etiam Empedocles posuerunt, quod visio sit propter huiusmodi causam, scilicet propter defluxum idolorum a corporibus visis. Et quia unumquodque videtur per proprium colorem, ideo crediderunt nihil aliud esse colorem quam huiusmodi defluxionem. Sed hoc dicere est omnino incongruum. Accordingly be first says that the Ancients held that color is nothing but an emanation from bodies that are seen. For as was said above, Democritus and also Empedocles held that vision occurs from such a cause a this, namely emanation of “idols” from bodies that are seen. And because everything is seen by means of its own color, they believed that color is nothing but this emanation. But to say this is completely incoherent.
Non enim poterant ponere, quod huiusmodi corpora, defluentia a corporibus visis ingrederentur intra oculum, quia sic corrumperetur substantia eius: unde oportebat omnibus modis quod visio fieret per contactum corporum resolutorum ad ipsum oculum, ex huiusmodi contactu immutatum ad videndum. Si ergo immutatio talis sufficit ad causandum visionem, melius est dicere quod visio fiat per hoc quod medium statim a principio moveatur a sensibili, quam dicere visionem fieri per contactum et defluxionem. Natura enim per pauciora se expedit inquantum potest. For they could not hold that these bodies emanating from bodies seen enter inside the eye, because thus its substance would be destroyed. Hence in any case they had to hold that vision occurs through contact of the released bodies on the eye itself, which by this contact is altered to a state of seeing. Hence if such alteration suffices to cause vision, it is better to say that vision occurs by the medium being immediately from the beginning, moved by the sensible object, than to say that vision occurs through contact and emanation: for nature provides for herself by means of as few things as possible.
Sunt autem et alia, quibus praedicta positio ostenditur esse falsa. But there are also other considerations that show the abovementioned position to be false.
Primo quidem, quia si visio fieret per contactum, tunc sensus visus non distingueretur a tactu, quod patet esse falsum. Visus enim non est cognoscitivus contrarietatum tactus. First because if vision occurred by contact, the sense of sight would not be distinct from touch, which is clearly false, for sight is not apprehensive of the contraries of touch.
Secundo, quia corpora visa per continuum defluxum diminuerentur, et tandem totaliter consumerentur, nisi aliis defluxionibus supervenientibus, eorum quantitas servaretur. Second because bodies seen through continuous emanation would be diminished, and finally completely used up; or if their quantity were preserved by other emanations coming to them, < ... >.
Tertio quia huiusmodi corpora defluentia a rebus visis cum sint subtilissima, a ventis propellerentur. Unde non fieret recta visio. Third because since these bodies emanating from things seen would be extremely fine, they would be driven by the winds, and so direct vision would not occur.
Quarto, quia visus non indigeret lumine ad videndum, ex quo visio fieret per contactum visibilis: Fourth because sight would not need light for seeing, since vision would occur through contact of the visible.
et multa alia huiusmodi inconvenientia sequuntur quae, quia manifesta sunt, philosophus praetermisit. And many other such inconsistencies follow, which, because they are obvious, the Philosopher passed over.
Deinde cum dicit in his autem comparat praedictos modos adinvicem. 440a20 Then when he says Accordingly, in the position that bodies are juxtaposed, he compares the two ways mentioned to one another.
Ubi considerandum est quod primum modus generationis mediorum colorum assignabatur ab illis, qui ponebant colorem esse defluxionem. Et ideo, postquam Aristoteles ostendit falsitatem huius positionis secundum se, concludit inconveniens, quod sequitur in eis hac assignatione generationis colorum mediorum. Here it must be considered that the first way of generation of intermediate colors was given by those who held that color is an emanation; and so, after Aristotle shows the falsity of the position in itself, he concludes to an inconsistency that follows for them in this way of explaining the generation of colors.
Et dicit, quod qui ponunt medios colores generari, per hoc quod colores extremi secus invicem ponuntur necesse est eis dicere non solum quod magnitudo sit invisibilis, sed etiam, quod aliquod tempus sit insensibile ad hoc quod habeant propositum; quia ponebant visionem fieri per motum localem corporum defluentium. Nihil autem movetur ad aliquam distantiam secundum motum localem, nisi in tempore. Oportet autem assignare aliquod tempus, in quo defluxus fiat a re visa ad oculum; et tanto oportet ponere maius tempus, quanto fuerit maior distantia. He says that in holding that intermediate colors are generated by the extreme colors being juxtaposed, it is necessary for them to say not only that there is a magnitude that is invisible, but also that there is a length of time that is imperceptible, to maintain their proposal. For because they held that vision occurs through local motion of emanating bodies, and because nothing is moved any distance by local motion except in time, they must assign some time in which the emanation from the thing seen to the eye occurs, and they must posit a greater time to the extent that there is greater distance.
Manifestum est autem quod corporum minimorum secus invicem positorum non est omnino eadem distantia ad oculum: et sic oportet diversa esse tempora, in quibus perveniunt motus ab eis ad oculum. Non ergo videbitur totum, quod ex huiusmodi corporibus componitur, ut unum, sicut supra ponebatur nisi lateat tempus, in quo unus motus praeoccupat alium. Et ita necesse est ponere tempus insensibile in hoc modo generationis colorum. Now it is clear that there is not the same distance to the eye for all the infinitesimal bodies juxtaposed, and thus there must be different lengths of time in which the movements from them reach the eye. Therefore the whole composed of such bodies will not be seen as one thing, as was held above, unless the time in which one movement precedes another escapes notice, in which case it is necessary to posit an imperceptible length of time in this way of explaining the generation of colors.
Sed hic, in secundo modo generationis colorum nulla necessitas est quod ponatur tempus insensibile, quia non ponitur visio fieri per defluxum secundum motum localem, sed ille color, qui in superficie, ponitur immobilis existens, idest cum maneat immobilis secundum locum, immutatur tamen per motum alterationis ab inferiori colore, ita ut non similiter moveat, visum, sicut per se moveret vel color supra positus vel suppositus, vel alius color medius apparebit et nec album nec nigrum. But in the latter case—that is, in the second way—there is no necessity for an imperceptible length of time to be posited, because it is not held that vision occurs through emanation by local movement. But although the color placed on the surface remains immobile with respect to place, it is nevertheless changed by way of alteration by the color underneath, so that it affects sight in a way dissimilar to that in which either the color placed on top or the one placed underneath would of itself. Hence another, intermediate color will appear, and it will be neither white nor black.
Est autem considerandum quod ponentibus visum fieri per defluxionem et tactum, etiam remota generatione mediorum colorum, quam ponebant, sequitur tempus esse insensibile. Oportet enim eos dicere quod nullum corpus totum simul videatur, sed per aliquam temporis successionem, cum ponant visum fieri per contactum. Non est autem possibile quod totum aliquod magnum corpus, vel defluxus eius, simul tangatur a pupilla, propter eius parvitatem. Et ideo sequitur tempus esse insensibile, cum de aliquibus nobis videatur, quod simul ea tota videamus. Now it must be considered that, even if we set aside the generation of intermediate colors that they posit, it follows for those who hold that sight occurs through emanation and contact that there is a length of time that is imperceptible. For they must say that any whole body is not seen all at once, but only through a succession of time, since they hold that sight occurs by contact, and it is not possible for a whole large body or its emanation to be touched all at once by the pupil, because of it smallness. And so it follows that there is an imperceptible length of time, since in the case of some things, it does seem to us that we see the whole of them all at once.
Est tamen considerandum quod aliquod corpus visui se offerens potest considerari dupliciter. But it must be considered that a body that presents itself to sight can be considered in two ways.
Uno modo secundum quod est totum unum in actu, et singulae partes eius in eo existentes sunt quodammodo in potentia, et sic visio fertur in totum simul sicut in aliquid unum, non autem in aliquam eius partem determinate. in one way according as it is one whole in actuality, and its individual parts existing in it are in a way in potentiality: thus vision is directed to the whole all at once, as a unit, but not determinately to any part of it.
Alio autem modo potest considerari corpus, quod visui se offert, secundum quod aliqua pars ipsius accipitur ut determinata in seipsa, et quasi ab aliis partibus distincta; et sic visus non fertur in totum simul, sed in unam partem post aliam. Et hoc quidem tempus, quo visio totius mensuratur, non est insensibile simpliciter, cum anima sentiendo prius et posterius in motu, sentiat tempus, ut patet in quarto physicorum. Sed tanto est huiusmodi tempus sensibilius quanto sensus fuerit perspicacior, et maior diligentia fuerit apposita. In the other way, a body that presents itself to sight can be considered according as a part of it is taken as determinate in itself, and distinct, as it were, from other parts. And thus sight is not directed to the whole all at once, but to one part after another. And this time by which the sight of the whole is measured is not simply imperceptible, since the soul, in sensing before and after in movement, senses time, as is clear from Physics IV. Footnote But this time is more perceptible to the extent that the sense-power is sharper, and greater attentiveness is applied.
Deinde cum dicit quare si non ostendit qualiter praedicti duo modi generationis colorum sustineri possint, et usque ad quid se extendant, scilicet usque ad apparentiam; 440a26 Then, when he says Therefore if it cannot be that any magnitude is invisible, he shows how the two ways of generation of colors can be maintained, and how fat they extend, namely to appearance.
concludens ex praedictis, quod si non contingit aliquam magnitudinem esse invisibilem, sed quaelibet magnitudo ab aliqua distantia est visibilis, ut sequitur, erit quaedam commixtio colorum haec, scilicet per alternos colores, et illo etiam modo per positionem colorum secus invicem, nihil prohibet, quin appareat quidam color communis ab aliqua distantia, ex qua scilicet non potest videri per se uterque color simplicium propter corporis parvitatem. Quod autem nulla magnitudo sit invisibilis simpliciter propter parvitatem, dicit in sequentibus esse videndum. He concludes from what was said above that, if it cannot be that any magnitude is invisible, but any magnitude is visible from some distance, it indeed follows that there will be a mixture of colors, that is, by layered colors. And also in the former way—that is, by placing of colors next to one another—nothing prevents a common color from appearing from a certain distance from which neither of the simple colors can be seen because of the smallness of the bodies. But that no magnitude is simply invisible because of smallness he says is to be made clear in what follows.
Deinde cum dicit si autem ponit modum generationis mediorum colorum, qui est non solum secundum apparentiam, sed secundum existentiam. 440a31 Then, when he says But there is mixture of bodies not only, he presents the way of the generation of intermediate colors that is according to existence, not just appearance.
Et primo determinat generationem mediorum colorum. Secundo assignat rationem distinctionis ipsorum secundum istum modum generationis, ibi, multi autem erunt. First he determines the generation of intermediate colors; second he gives the reason for their distinction according to this way of generation, where he says And there will be many colors (440b18).
Quia vero iste modus generationis mediorum colorum accipitur secundum mixtionem corporum, ideo praemittit primo de mixtione corporum adinvicem; et subiungit secundo de mixtione colorum, ibi, simul autem quae sit necessitas. But because this way of the generation of intermediate colors is understood in relation to mixture of bodies, first he prefaces something about mixture of bodies, and second he adds something about mixture of colors, where he says But at the same time it is clear (440b13).
Dicit ergo primo, quod mixtio corporum adinvicem non solum est secundum quidem hunc modum, quem quidam putaverunt, quod quaedam minima iuxta alia ponerentur, quae propter parvitatem essent nostris sensibus immanifesta. Sed contingit aliqua corpora totaliter immisceri, ita scilicet quod totum toti immisceatur, sicut dictum est in libro de generatione, ubi universaliter tractatum est de corporum mixtione. Accordingly he first says that mixture of bodies with one another does not occur only in the way that some thought—namely by some infinitesimals being juxtaposed with others, all of them being unapparent to our senses because of their smallness. Rather, some bodies can be totally mixed into one another, in such a way that whole is mixed with whole, as was said in the book On Generation, Footnote where there was treatment of mixture of bodies in general.
Est autem verum, quod quaedam miscentur illo modo scilicet per positionem minimorum iuxta invicem, quaecumque scilicet possunt usque ad minima dividi; sicut multitudo hominum dividitur usque ad unum hominem, tamquam usque ad aliquid unum minimum, et multitudo equorum usque ad unum equum, et multitudo seminum usque ad unum semen, quod est unum granum tritici, vel aliquid huiusmodi. Unde bene potest dici quod talium multitudo est permixta per hoc, quod minima secus invicem ponuntur, sicut si homines confuse equis permiscentur, vel semina tritici seminibus hordei, non tamen erit permixtio talium totaliter. Singulae enim partes multitudinum remanebunt impermixtae, quia unus homo non permiscetur uni equo, nec aliquod aliud huiusmodi alicui tali. But it is true that some things are mixed in the former way—that is, by juxtaposition of minimal parts—namely whatever can be divided down to smallest parts, as a multitude of men is divided down to one man as its one smallest part, and a multitude of horses down to one horse, and a multitude of seeds clown to one seed, i.e. one grain of wheat or some such thing. Hence it can certainly be said that a multitude of such things is mixed by the smallest parts being juxtaposed, for instance if men are confusedly mixed with horses or seeds of wheat with seeds of barley. However, the mixture of such things will not be total, for individual parts of the multitudes will remain unmixed, because one man will not be mixed with one horse, nor any other such thing with any other.
Sed eorum quae non dividuntur usque ad minimum, scilicet corporum continuorum et similium partium, sicut vinum et aqua, non potest fieri mixtio modo praedicto, scilicet per positionem minimorum iuxta invicem, quia non est in eis accipere minimum; sed per hoc quod totum toti commiscetur, ita quod nulla pars remanet impermixta. Et haec sunt, quae maxime et verissime nata sunt permisceri. Quomodo autem haec fieri possint, determinatum est in libro de generatione. But whatever is not divided into a smallest part—that is, bodies that are continuous and have similar parts, such as wine and water—is not mixed in the above-mentioned way—that is, by juxtaposition of smallest parts—because one cannot take a smallest part in them. Rather, it happens by a whole being mixed with a whole in such a way that no part remains unmixed. And such things are by nature most thoroughly—and most truly—mixed. How this can occur was determined in the book On Generation. Footnote
Deinde cum dicit simul autem post commixtionem corporum tangit commixtionem colorum. 440b13 Then, after mixture of bodies, he touches on mixture of colors, when he says But at the same time it is clear.
Et dicit manifestum esse secundum praedeterminata quae sit necessitas quod commixtis corporibus colores misceantur. Dictum enim est supra quod perspicuum secundum quod existit in corporibus, facit colores participari. Perspicuum autem diversimode invenitur in corporibus secundum maius et minus, et similiter lucidum; et ideo permixtis coloribus in quibus est lucidum et diaphanum, necesse est quod fiat permixtio colorum. Et ista est principalis causa quod sunt multi colores praeter album et nigrum. Non autem est principalis causa supernatatio, idest quod unus color ponatur super alium, neque secus invicem positio, scilicet quod minima colorata iuxta invicem ponantur, quia color medius videtur praeter album et nigrum, non quidem de longe, nec de prope, sed ex quacumque distantia. Et ita patet quod iste est modus generationis colorum mediorum secundum ipsorum existentiam; alii autem duo modi pertinent ad solam apparentiam. He says that from what was determined above it is clear what necessity there is that when bodies are mixed, colors are mixed. For it was said above that the transparent, according as it exists in bodies, makes colors be participated, and that the transparent is found in bodies in different ways, namely according to more and less, as is also likewise brightness. And so when bodies, in which there are brightness and the transparent, are mixed, a mixture of colors necessarily occurs, and this is the principal cause of there being many colors besides white and black. The principal cause is not overlay—that is, one color being placed over another—nor is it juxtaposition—that is, infinitesimal colored bodies being placed next to one another—because an intermediate color besides white and black appears not just from afar and not close up, but from any distance. Thus it is clear that this is the way of the generation of intermediate colors according to their existence, but that the other two ways pertain only to their appearance.
Deinde cum dicit multi autem assignat causam distinctionis colorum mediorum secundum praedictum modum generationis. Et dicit quod multi generantur colores medii, quoniam multis proportionibus solum invicem contingit commiscere corpora, et per consequens ipsos colores. Quaedam quidem secundum determinatos numeros, quaedam vero secundum solam superabundantiam incommensurabilem. Et alia omnia eodem modo hic dicenda sunt circa mixtionem, quae supradicta sunt in aliis duobus modis, scilicet in positionem colorum iuxta invicem, et in superpositione unius coloris super alterum. 440b18 Then, when he says And there will be many colors, he gives the cause of the distinction of intermediate colors according to the way of generation just described. He says that many intermediate colors are generated because bodies can be mixed together in many proportions, and consequently so can colors themselves: some according to determinate numbers, but some according to incommensurable difference alone. And all the other things must similarly be said here about mixture that were said above in the other two ways, namely juxtaposition of colors and imposition of one color over another.
Unum autem est, quod restat posterius determinandum, quare scilicet sint finitae et non infinitae species colorum, saporum et sonorum. There is one thing that remains to be determined later, namely why species of colors, flavors, and sounds are finite and not infinite.
Ultimo autem epilogando concludit. Iam dictum est quid sit color, et propter quam causam sint multi colores. Excusat autem se deinceps a determinatione soni et vocis: quia de his iam determinatum est in libro de anima, eo quod eadem est ratio generationis ipsorum et immutationis, quae secundum quod immutant pertinent ad considerationem libri de anima. 440b26 Finally, by way of epilogue, he concludes that it has now been said what color is and the cause of there being many colors. He excuses himself from a determination of sound and voice because a determination was already made about these in the book On the soul. For the account of their generation is the same as that of the alteration by which they alter the sense-power, which pertains to the consideration of the book On the Soul.


περὶ δὲ ὀσμῆς καὶ χυμοῦ λεκτέον. σχεδὸν γάρ ἐστι τὸ αὐτὸ πάθος, οὐκ ἐν τοῖς αὐτοῖς δ΄ ἐστὶν ἑκάτερον αὐτῶν. 440b28 Odor and flavor must be discussed, for they are almost the same affection. But the two of them are not in the same things.
ἐναργέστερον δ΄ ἡμῖν ἐστι τὸ τῶν χυμῶν γένος ἢ τὸ τῆς ὀσμῆς. τούτου δ΄ αἴτιον ὅτι χειρίστην [441a] ἔχομεν τῶν ἄλλων ζῴων τὴν ὄσφρησιν καὶ τῶν ἐν ἡμῖν αὐτοῖς αἰσθήσεων, τὴν δ΄ ἁφὴν ἀκριβεστάτην τῶν ἄλλων ζῴων· ἡ δὲ γεῦσις ἁφή τίς ἐστιν. 440b30 But the genus of flavors is more evident to us than that of odor. The cause of this is that we have a sense of smell that is worse than that of other animals and than the senses that are in us, but a surer sense of touch than do the other animals. But taste is a kind of touch.
ἡ μὲν οὖν τοῦ ὕδατος φύσις βούλεται ἄχυμος εἶναι· ἀνάγκη δ΄ ἢ ἐν αὑτῷ τὸ ὕδωρ ἔχειν τὰ γένη τῶν χυμῶν ἀναίσθητα διὰ μικρότητα, καθάπερ Ἐμπεδοκλῆς φησίν, ἢ ὕλην τοιαύτην εἶναι οἷον πανσπερμίαν χυμῶν, καὶ ἅπαντα μὲν ἐξ ὕδατος γίγνεσθαι, ἄλλο δ΄ ἐξ ἄλλου μέρους, ἢ μηδεμίαν ἔχοντος διαφορὰν τοῦ ὕδατος τὸ ποιοῦν αἴτιον εἶναι, οἷον εἰ τὸ θερμὸν καὶ τὸν ἥλιον φαίη τις. 441a3 The nature of water, then, tends to be flavor. Therefore, according to what Empedocles says, water necessarily has in itself the kinds of flavors, imperceptible because of the smallness. Or, such matter is present in it like a “panspermia” of flavors, and all of them are made of water, different ones front different parts. Or, water does not contain the difference, but the cause is something acting; as some might say, it is heat and the sun.
τούτων δ΄ ὡς μὲν Ἐμπεδοκλῆς λέγει λίαν εὐσύνοπτον τὸ ψεῦδος· ὁρῶμεν γὰρ μεταβάλλοντας ὑπὸ τοῦ θερμοῦ τοὺς χυμοὺς ἀφαιρουμένων τῶν περικαρπίων [εἰς τὸν ἥλιον] καὶ πυρουμένων, ὡς οὐ τῷ ἐκ τοῦ ὕδατος ἕλκειν τοιούτους γιγνομένους, ἀλλ΄ ἐν αὐτῷ τῷ περικαρπίῳ μεταβάλλοντας, καὶ ἐξικμαζομένους δὲ καὶ κειμένους διὰ τὸν χρόνον αὐστηροὺς ἐκ γλυκέων καὶ πικροὺς καὶ παντοδαποὺς γιγνομένους, καὶ ἑψομένους εἰς πάντα τὰ γένη τῶν χυμῶν ὡς εἰπεῖν μεταβάλλοντας. 441a10 Now to say what Empedocles did is a very obvious falsehood. For we see that heat changes flavors when fruits are placed in the sun, or on a fire, in such a way that these flavors are net caused by a “drawing in” from water, but by a change and a drying in the fruit itself. And when they are laid out for a time, they are changed from sweet to harsh, bitter, and everything else. And when they are cooked they are changed to every kind of flavor, so to speak.
ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ τὸ πανσπερμίας εἶναι τὸ ὕδωρ ὕλην ἀδύνατον· ἐκ τοῦ αὐτοῦ γὰρ ὁρῶμεν ὡς [ἐκ τῆς αὐτῆς] τροφῆς γιγνομένους ἑτέρους χυμούς. λείπεται δὴ τῷ πάσχειν τι τὸ ὕδωρ μεταβάλλειν. 441a18 Likewise it is also impossible for water to be the matter of a “panspermia.” For we see different flavors caused from the same thing, and from the same food. It remains, then until the water is changed in being affected by something.
ὅτι μὲν τοίνυν οὐχ ὑπὸ τῆς τοῦ θερμοῦ μόνον δυνάμεως λαμβάνει ταύτην τὴν δύναμιν ἣν καλοῦμεν χυμόν, φανερόν. λεπτότατον γὰρ πάντων τῶν οὕτως ὑγρῶν τὸ ὕδωρ ἐστί, καὶ αὐτοῦ τοῦ ἐλαίου (ἀλλ΄ ἐπεκτείνεται ἐπὶ πλέον τοῦ ὕδατος τὸ ἔλαιον διὰ τὴν γλισχρότητα· τὸ δ΄ ὕδωρ ψαθυρόν ἐστι, διὸ καὶ χαλεπώτερον φυλάξαι ἐν τῇ χειρὶ τὸ ὕδωρ ἤπερ ἔλαιον), ἐπεὶ δὲ θερμαινόμενον οὐδὲν φαίνεται παχυνόμενον τὸ ὕδωρ αὐτὸ μόνον, δῆλον ὅτι ἑτέρα τις ἂν εἴη αἰτία· οἱ γὰρ χυμοὶ πάντες πάχος ἔχουσι μᾶλλον· τὸ δὲ θερμὸν συναίτιον. 441a21 It is clear, then, that it does not get this power we call flavor only from the power of heat. For water is the finest of all moistures, finer even than oil itself. Oil spreads out farther than water because of its stickiness; water is easily broken up, which is why it is harder to hold water in the hand than oil. When water—water alone—is heated, it does not show thickening. Therefore it is clear that there is another cause. For all flavors have more density. But heat is a co-cause.
Postquam philosophus determinavit de colore, hic consequenter determinat de sapore. 440b28 After the Philosopher has determined about color, here he next determines about flavor.
Et primo dicit de quo est intentio. Secundo exequitur propositum, ibi, igitur aquae natura. First he says what his intention is about. Second he carries out the proposal, where he says The nature of water (441a3).
Dicit ergo primo, quod post colorem dicendum est de odore et sapore. Accordingly he first says that after color odor and flavor must be discussed.
Et circa hoc assignat duorum causam. On this point he gives the cause of two things.
Prima quidem, quare coniunctim de eis sit agendum, scilicet propter eorum convenientiam, quia utrumque eorum est fere eadem passio. Nominat autem utrumque passionem, quia utrumque eorum est in tertia specie qualitatis, quae est passio, vel passibilis qualitas. Dicit autem saporem et odorem fere esse eamdem passionem, quia utrumque causatur ex permixtione humidi et sicci secundum aliqualem terminationem a calido: non tamen utrumque eorum est omnino in eisdem: quia odor magis sequitur siccum, et ideo principalius est in fumali evaporatione; sapor autem magis sequitur humidum. The first is why these should be treated in conjunction, namely because of their association, for the two are almost the same affection. He calls each of them an “affection” because both are in the third species of quality, which is “affection” or “passible quality.” He says that flavor and odor are “almost the same” affection because both are caused by mixture of moistness and dryness following an alteration caused by heat. However, the two of them are not altogether in the same things, because odor is more a result of dryness, and so is more principally in evaporation of smoke, but flavor is more a result of moistness.
Deinde cum dicit manifestius autem assignat causam, quare prius dicendum est de sapore quam de odore. Videbatur enim esse dicendum de odore immediate post colorem, quia odor sentitur per medium extrinsecum sicut et color, non autem sapor. 440b30 Second, where he says But the genus of flavors, be gives the cause why flavor must be discussed before odor. For it would seem that odor should be discussed immediately after color, because odor like color is perceived through an external medium, but flavor is not.
Sed ordo disciplinae requirit, ut a manifestioribus ad minus manifesta procedatur: manifestius est autem nobis genus saporum quam odorum. Unde de saporibus prius est agendum. But the order of learning requires that one proceed from the more to the less evident, and the genus of flavors is more evident to us than that of odors. Hence flavors must be treated first.
Ideo autem sapor est nobis manifestior, quia certiori sensu sentitur a nobis. Sensum enim olfactus peiorem habemus et per comparationem ad cetera animalia, et per comparationem ad ceteros sensus qui in nobis sunt. Flavor is more evident to us because it is perceived by us with a surer sense. For we have a sense of smell that is worse both in comparison to other animals and in comparison to other senses that are in us.
Cuius ratio est, quia sicut supra dictum est, odoratus in actu perficitur per calidum igneum. Est autem organum olfactus circa cerebrum, quod est frigidius et humidius omnibus partibus corporis, ut supra habitum est. Homo autem inter omnia animalia habet cerebrum maius secundum quantitatem sui corporis, ut dicitur in libro de partibus animalium. Et ideo oportet quod homo deficiat in sensu odoratus. The reason for this is that, as was said above, the sense of smell is brought to complete actuality by heat of fire. Now the organ of smell is near the brain, which is cooler and moister than all other parts of the body, as was established above, and the human being of all animals has it the largest brain in relation to the size of his body, as is said in the book On Parts of Animals. Footnote Therefore the human being is necessarily deficient in the sense of smell.
Sed homo habet certissimum tactum inter omnia animalia. Cum enim tangibilia sint ea ex quibus constituitur corpus animalis, scilicet calidum et frigidum, humidum et siccum, et alia huiusmodi, quae consequuntur; non potuit esse, quod organum tactus esset denudatum ab omni qualitate tangibili, sicut pupilla caret omni colore; sed oportuit organum tactus esse in potentia ad qualitates tangibiles, sicut medium est in potentia ad extrema, ut dicitur in secundo de anima. Et ideo oportet, quod sensus tactus tanto sit certior quanto complexio corporis est magis temperata, quasi ad medium reducta. Hoc autem maxime oportet esse in homine, ad hoc quod corpus eius sit proportionatum nobilissimae formae. Et ideo homo inter alia animalia habet certissimum tactum, et per consequens gustum, qui est tactus quidam. Et huius signum est, quod homo minus potest sustinere vehementiam frigoris et caloris quam alia animalia: et etiam inter homines tanto est aliquis magis aptus mente, quanto est melioris tactus; quod apparet in his qui habent molles carnes, sicut dictum est in secundo de anima. But the human being has a surer sense of touch than do the other animals, for the following reason. Since an animal’s body is constituted out of objects of touch—namely heat and cold, moistness and dryness, and other such things that follow from these—it was impossible for the organ of touch to be divested of every tangible quality in the way that the pupil is without any color: rather, the organ of touch had to be in potentiality to tangible qualities in the way that an intermediate is in potentiality to the extremes, as is said in On the Soul. Footnote And so the sense of touch is necessarily surer to the extent that the body’s complexion is more well-tempered, being brought, as it were, to an intermediate state. This must be most true in the human being, in order for his body to be proportioned to the noblest form, and so the human being of all animals has the surest touch, and consequently the surest taste, which is a kind of touch. A sign of this is that the human being is less able to withstand extremes of cold and heat than are other animals. And even among human beings, one is more mentally capable than others to the extent that he bas a better sense of touch, which is evident in those who have soft flesh, as was said in On the Soul. Footnote
Deinde cum dicit igitur aquae exequitur propositum. 441a3 Then, when he says The nature of water, be carries out the proposal.
Et primo determinat de sapore secundum veritatem. Secundo excludit falsas positiones quorumdam de natura saporis, ibi, Democritus autem. First be makes a determination about flavor according to the truth; second he eliminates the false positions of some on the nature of flavor, where he says Democritus and most students of nature (Ch. 10, 442a29).
Prima pars dividitur in duas. In prima determinat quae sit natura saporis. In secunda determinat de speciebus saporum, ibi, quemadmodum autem colores. The first part is divided into two. In the first be determines what the nature of flavor is, in the second be determines the species of flavors, where he says As colors come from mixture (Ch. 10, 442a 12).
Circa primum duo facit. Primo excludit opiniones quasdam circa generationem saporum. Secundo determinat veritatem, ibi, apparent autem sapores. On the first point be does two things. First be eliminates some opinions about the generation of flavors. Second be determines the truth, where he says However many flavors (Ch.9, 441a30).
Circa primum duo facit. Primo ponit tres opiniones circa generationem saporum. Secundo improbat eas, ibi, horum autem, sicut Empedocles. On the first point be does two things. First be presents three opinions about the generation of flavors. Second be disproves them, where he says Now to say what Empedocles did (441a10).
Incipit autem determinare naturam sive generationem saporum ab aqua, quae videtur esse subiectum saporum; In determining the nature or generation of flavor he starts with water, which seems to be the subject of flavor.
et dicit, quod ipsa natura aquae secundum se, vult esse idest habet naturalem aptitudinem ad hoc quod sit insipida: et si aqua habet aliquem saporem, hoc est per mixtionem alicuius terrestris. Tamen quamvis aqua sit secundum se insipida, est tamen radix et principium omnium saporum. Qualiter autem hoc esse possit, tripliciter aliqui assignaverunt. He says that the very nature of water of itself tends to be—that is, has a natural aptitude to be flavorless, and if water does have some flavor, this is from admixture of something earthen. Yet although water is of itself flavorless, it is the root and principle of all flavors, and how this is possible was explained in three ways.
Empedocles enim dixit, quod omnes sapores sunt actu in ipsa aqua, sed sunt insensibiles propter parvitatem partium, in quibus radicantur. Empedocles said that all flavors are in water itself in actuality, but are imperceptible because of the smallness of the parts they are rooted in.
Secunda opinio fuit Democriti et Anaxagorae, sicut dixit Alexander in commento, quod in aqua quidem non erant sapores, idest actu, sed erat ibi quaedam materia saporum quemadmodum pansperma, idest universale semen, ita scilicet quod omnes sapores fiant quidem ex aqua, sed alii sapores ex aliis aquae partibus. Ponebant enim partes indivisibiles esse principia corporum. Nullum autem indivisibile est actu saporosum, sed oportet corpus sapidum esse compactum. Et ideo non ponebant esse sapores in actu sed saporum semina, ita tamen quod diversa indivisibilia corpora sint semina diversorum saporum, sicut et diversarum naturarum. The second opinion was that of Democritus and Anaxagoras, as Alexander says in the commentary. It was that flavors are not in water in actuality, but that there is in water a matter of flavors like a “pansperma”—that is, a universal seed—in such a way that all flavors are made of water, different flavors from different parts of water; for they held that the principles of bodies are indivisible parts. But no indivisible part is flavored in actuality: rather, a flavored body must be something composite. And so they held that these parts are not flavors in actuality, but the “seeds” of flavors, in such a way that different indivisible bodies are seeds of different flavors, as well as of different natures.
Tertia opinio est dicentium quod differentia saporum non est ex parte ipsius aquae, sed solum ex parte agentis, quod aquam transmutat diversimode, sicut sol, vel quodcumque aliud calidum. The third opinion is of those who say that the difference among flavors is due not to water itself, but to an agent that alters water in different ways, such as the sun or some other hot thing.
Deinde cum dicit horum autem improbat per ordinem praedictas tres opiniones. 441a10 Then, when he says Now to say what Empedocles did, he disproves the opinions mentioned in order.
Et primo opinionem Empedoclis: dicens quod dictum Empedoclis est apertum mendacium. Si enim diversitas saporum esset actus in parvis partibus aquae, oporteret quod immutatio saporum non fieret nisi per hoc quod diversae partes aquae attraherentur ad corpus cuius sapores immutantur: hoc autem non semper fit. Si enim fructus ablati ab arbore exponantur soli, vel etiam decoquantur ad ignem, manifestum est quod immutatur eorum sapor per actionem caloris et non per aliam actionem ab aqua, quod posset dici de fructibus, qui dum pendent in arbore, mutant saporem attrahendo diversos humores a terra, sed in fructibus decisis ab arbore, videmus transmutationem saporum factam, per hoc quod ipsi fructus transmutantur facta resolutione interioris humoris per modum cuiusdam resudationis; et ita, dum iacent aliquo tempore ad solem, transmutantur de dulcedine in amaritudinem, aut e converso, vel ad quoscumque alios sapores, secundum diversam qualitatem decoctionis. First, the opinion of Empedocles. He says that the statement of Empedocles is an obvious falsehood. For if the difference among flavors were present in actuality in the small parts of water, it would have to be that a change of flavor could occur only by different parts of water being drawn into the body of which the flavor is changed. But this is not always what happens: if fruits picked from a tree are exposed to the sun, or again, cooked at a fire, it is clear that their flavor is changed by the action of heat, not by some “drawing in” from water. The latter might be said about fruits that change flavor while hanging on a tree by drawing different moistures from the earth. But in fruits cut from a tree we see a change of flavor that is caused by the fruits themselves changing when there is a dissolution of the moisture in them through drying. Thus, when they are laid out for a certain time in the sun, they change from sweet to bitter, or the reverse, or to any other flavors, according to different amounts of cooking.
Secundo cum dicit similiter autem improbat secundam opinionem Democriti et Anaxagorae. 441a18 Second, when he says Likewise it is also impossible (441a18), he disproves the second opinion, that of Democritus and Anaxagoras.
Et dicit, quod etiam impossibile est aquam esse materiam saporum, quasi continentem omnia semina eorum, ita scilicet quod diversae partes eius sint semina diversorum saporum; quia videmus omnes unum et idem corpus immutari ad diversos sapores. Sicut enim eadem esca, quae sumitur ab animali vel planta, convertitur in diversas partes animalis vel plantae, ita et convertitur in diversos sapores convenientes diversis partibus; sicut unius plantae alius sapor est radicis, seminis et fructus; et diversarum plantarum ex eodem cibo nutritarum sunt diversi sapores. Et hoc est manifestum indicium quod diversi sapores non causantur ex diversis partibus aquae. Unde relinquitur quod causantur ex hoc quod aqua transmutatur in diversos sapores, secundum quod aliqualiter patitur ab aliquo immutante. He says that it is also impossible for water to be the matter of flavors in the sense that it contains the “seeds” of them all in such a way that its different parts would be the seeds of the different flavors, because we see the one and the same body changes to different flavors. For just as the same food taken by an animal or plant is converted into different parts of the animal or plant, so it is also converted into the different flavors appropriate to the different parts; for example, in one and the same plan there are different flavors in the root, the seed, and the fruit. And different plants fed the same nourishment have different flavors. This is clear indication that different flavors are not caused by different parts of water. It remains, then, that they are caused by the fact that water changes from one flavor to another according as it is somehow affected by something that alters it.
Tertio ibi, quod quidem improbat tertiam opinionem dicentium, quod sapores causantur ex mutatione aquae a solo calido. 441a21 Third, where he says It is clear, then (441a21), he disproves the third opinion, that of those who say that flavors are caused only by alteration of water by heat.
Et dicit manifestum esse quod aqua non accipit qualitatem saporis ex sola virtute calidi immutantis: aqua enim est subtilissima inter omnes humores et inter omnia corpora, quae sensibiliter humectant. Non autem dicit, inter omnia humida, quia aer, qui est humidus, est subtilior aqua. He says that it is clear that water does not get the quality of a flavor only from the power of heat that alters it. For water is the finest of all moistures, that is, of all bodies that are perceptibly moist; he does not say “of all moist things” because air, which is moist, is finer than water.
Poterat autem esse dubium de oleo propter hoc quod supernatat aquae et plus diffunditur quam aqua. Et ideo ad hoc removendum subdit, quod aqua est subtilior etiam ipso oleo, et quod oleum supernatet aquae est propter aeritatem vel raritatem ipsius, sicut et ligna supernatant aquae. Sed quod oleum plus diffundatur quam aqua contingit propter eius lubricitatem et viscositatem: aqua enim est valde divisibilis, et ita una pars eius non sequitur ad aliam, sicut contingit in oleo. Et propter hoc quia aqua est subtilior oleo et magis divisibilis, difficilius est conservare aquam in manu, quam oleum: facilius enim tota cum manu elabitur, quam oleum. Now there might be a doubt about oil, because it floats on water and spreads out farther than water does. And so, to remove the doubt, he adds that water is finer even than oil itself. The fact that oil floats on water is because of its component of air, which is also why wood floats on water. The fact that oil spreads out farther than water is because of its slipperiness and stickiness; water is very easily divided, and so one part of it does not follow after another, as happens with oil. And because water is finer and more easily divided than oil, it is more difficult to hold water in the hand than oil, for the whole of it more easily slides out of the hand.
Quia igitur aqua, propter sui subtilitatem, si sit pura non habens aliquid permixtum, non ingrossatur a calido agente, sicut alia, in quibus sunt partes terrestres, quae remanent subtili humido exhalante, manifeste sequitur quod oportet aliquam aliam causam ponere generationis saporum, quam immutationem aquae a caliditate: quia omnes sapores inveniuntur in corpore aliquo grossitudinem habente. Non tamen removetur, quod calidum sit aliqua causa immutans aquam ad saporem; sed non est tota causa: requiritur enim aliquid aliud; unde est magis concausa quam causa. If water is pure and has nothing mixed with it, then, because of its fineness, it is not thickened by a hot agent as are other things, in which there are earthen parts that remain when the fine moisture evaporates. Therefore, it clearly follows that one must posit another cause of the generation of flavors than alteration of water by heat, because all flavors are found in bodies with some density. This does not exclude heat as a cause that changes water to a certain flavor; but it is not the whole cause, for something else is required. Hence it is a co-cause rather than a cause.


φαίνονται δ΄ οἱ χυμοὶ ὅσοιπερ καὶ ἐν τοῖς περικαρπίοις, [441b] οὗτοι ὑπάρχοντες καὶ ἐν τῇ γῇ. 441a30 However many flavors show up in fruits, these exist also in earth.
διὸ καὶ πολλοί φασι τῶν ἀρχαίων φυσιολόγων τοιοῦτον εἶναι τὸ ὕδωρ δι΄ οἵας ἂν γῆς πορεύηται. καὶ τοῦτο δῆλόν ἐστιν ἐπὶ τῶν ἁλμυρῶν ὑδάτων μάλιστα· οἱ γὰρ ἅλες γῆς τι εἶδός εἰσιν. καὶ τὰ διὰ τῆς τέφρας διηθούμενα πικρᾶς οὔσης πικρὸν ποιεῖ τὸν χυμόν, εἰσί τε κρῆναι πολλαὶ αἱ μὲν πικραί, αἱ δ΄ ὀξεῖαι, αἱ δὲ παντοδαποὺς ἔχουσαι χυμοὺς ἄλλους. 441b1 Therefore many of the ancient students of nature say that water is of the same kind as whatever earth it passes through. This is most evident in salty water, for salt is a kind of earth. And that which is filtered through ash, which is bitter, produces a bitter flavor. There are also many springs, some bitter some sharp-tasting, and others with every other kind of flavor.
εὐλόγως δ΄ ἐν τοῖς φυομένοις τὸ τῶν χυμῶν γίγνεται γένος μάλιστα. 441b7 And so it is reasonable that the genus of flavors is produced especially in growing things.
πάσχειν γὰρ πέφυκε τὸ ὑγρόν, ὥσπερ καὶ τἆλλα, ὑπὸ τοῦ ἐναντίου· ἐναντίον δὲ τὸ ξηρόν. διὸ καὶ ὑπὸ τοῦ πυρὸς πάσχει τι· ξηρὰ γὰρ ἡ τοῦ πυρὸς φύσις. ἀλλ΄ ἴδιον τοῦ πυρὸς τὸ θερμόν ἐστι, γῆς δὲ τὸ ξηρόν, ὥσπερ εἴρηται ἐν τοῖς περὶ στοιχείων. 441b8 For the moist is naturally affected by its contrary, as are other things, and the contrary is the dry. Therefore it is also affected in some way by fire, for the nature of fire is dry. And heat is proper to fire and dryness to earth, as was said in the discussion of elements.
ᾗ μὲν οὖν πῦρ καὶ ᾗ γῆ, οὐδὲν πέφυκε ποιεῖν καὶ πάσχειν, οὐδ΄ ἄλλο οὐδέν· ᾗ δ΄ ὑπάρχει ἐναντιότης ἐν ἑκάστῳ, ταύτῃ πάντα καὶ ποιοῦσι καὶ πάσχουσιν. 441b12 As fire, then, and as earth, they by nature neither act nor are affected at all; nor is this the case with anything else. Rather, they act and are acted on inasmuch as there is contrariety in each of them.
ὥσπερ οὖν οἱ ἐναποπλύνοντες ἐν τῷ ὑγρῷ τὰ χρώματα καὶ τοὺς χυμοὺς τοιοῦτον ἔχειν ποιοῦσι τὸ ὕδωρ, οὕτως καὶ ἡ φύσις τὸ ξηρὸν καὶ γεῶδες, καὶ διὰ τοῦ ξηροῦ καὶ γεώδους διηθοῦσα καὶ κινοῦσα τῷ θερμῷ ποιόν τι τὸ ὑγρὸν παρασκευάζει. 441b15 Accordingly, just as those who soak colors and flavors in moisture make the water be of the same kind, nature does likewise with the dry and earthen: by filtering the moist through what is dry and earthen, and by changing it through heat, it makes the moist be of a certain quality.
καὶ ἔστι τοῦτο χυμός, τὸ γιγνόμενον ὑπὸ τοῦ εἰρημένου ξηροῦ πάθος ἐν τῷ ὑγρῷ, τῆς γεύσεως τῆς κατὰ δύναμιν ἀλλοιωτικὸν ὂν εἰς ἐνέργειαν· 441b19 And this is flavor: an affection caused in moistness by the dryness just mentioned, an affection capable of changing the sense of taste in potentiality or actuality.
ἄγει γὰρ τὸ αἰσθητικὸν εἰς τοῦτο δυνάμει προϋπάρχον· οὐ γὰρ κατὰ τὸ μανθάνειν ἀλλὰ κατὰ τὸ θεωρεῖν ἐστι τὸ αἰσθάνεσθαι. 441b21 For it brings the sensitive part which already exists in potentiality to this. For sensing is not like learning, but contemplation.
ὅτι δ΄ οὐ παντὸς ξηροῦ ἀλλὰ τοῦ τροφίμου οἱ χυμοὶ ἢ πάθος εἰσὶν ἢ στέρησις, δεῖ λαβεῖν ἐντεῦθεν, ὅτι οὔτε τὸ ξηρὸν ἄνευ τοῦ ὑγροῦ οὔτε τὸ ὑγρὸν ἄνευ τοῦ ξηροῦ· τροφὴ γὰρ οὐχ ἓν μόνον τοῖς ζῴοις, ἀλλὰ τὸ μεμειγμένον. 441b23 Now we must take it that flavors are affections or privations not of every kind of dryness, but only the kind that nourishes, because it is neither dryness without moistness nor moistness without dryness. For food for animals is not one simple thing, but something mixed. Neither is food for plants: it is something mixed.
καὶ ἔστι τῆς προσφερομένης τροφῆς τοῖς ζῴοις τὰ μὲν ἁπτὰ τῶν αἰσθητῶν αὔξησιν ποιοῦντα καὶ φθίσιν· τούτων μὲν γὰρ αἴτιον ᾗ θερμὸν καὶ ψυχρὸν τὸ προσφερόμενον (ταῦτα γὰρ ποιεῖ καὶ [442a] αὔξησιν καὶ φθίσιν), τρέφει δὲ ᾗ γευστὸν τὸ προσφερόμενον (πάντα γὰρ τρέφεται τῷ γλυκεῖ, ἢ ἁπλῶς ἢ μεμειγμένῳ). 441b27 Of the sensible qualities of the food provided to animals, the objects of touch are what produce growth and diminution: for the cause of these is the heat and cold that is provided, for these produce growth and diminution. But what is provided nourishes according as it is an object of taste: for everything is nourished by sweetness, whether it is simple or mixed.
δεῖ μὲν οὖν διορίζειν περὶ τούτων ἐν τοῖς περὶ γενέσεως, νῦν δ΄ ὅσον ἀναγκαῖον ἅψασθαι αὐτῶν. τὸ γὰρ θερμὸν αὐξάνει, καὶ δημιουργεῖ τὴν τροφήν, καὶ τὸ κοῦφον ἕλκει, τὸ δ΄ ἁλμυρὸν καὶ πικρὸν καταλείπει διὰ τὸ βάρος. ὃ δὴ ἐν τοῖς ἔξω σώμασι ποιεῖ τὸ ἔξω θερμόν, τοῦτο τὸ ἐν τῇ φύσει τῶν ζῴων καὶ φυτῶν· διὸ τρέφεται τῷ γλυκεῖ. 442a3 We must determine about these points in the discussion of generation, but touch on them now as far as is necessary. Heat augments, and it prepares nourishment, because it draws out what is light, but leaves what is bitter and salty because of its weight. Thus what the external heat does in external bodies is what the heat in the nature of animals and plants does. Therefore they are nourished by sweetness.
συμμείγνυνται δ΄ οἱ ἄλλοι χυμοὶ εἰς τὴν τροφὴν τὸν αὐτὸν τρόπον τῷ ἁλμυρῷ καὶ ὀξεῖ, ἀντὶ ἡδύσματος, ταῦτα δὲ διὰ τὸ ἀντισπᾶν τῷ λίαν τρόφιμον εἶναι τὸ γλυκὺ καὶ ἐπιπολαστικόν. 442a8 But other flavors, like spicy and sharp, are mixed into food for seasoning. And they are for opposing, because sweetness is excessively nourishing, and floating.
Postquam philosophus exclusit opiniones aliorum de causa generationis saporum, hic assignat veram causam secundum propriam opinionem. 441a30 After the Philosopher bas eliminated opinions of others on the cause of the origin of flavors, here he gives the true cause according to his own opinion.
Et circa hoc tria facit. Primo assignat causam generationis saporum. Secundo definit saporem, ibi, et hoc est sapor. Tertio manifestat quod dixerat, ibi, quoniam autem non omnis sicci. On this point be does three things. First he gives the cause of the generation of flavors. Second he defines flavor, where he says And this is flavor (441b19). Third be clarifies something he said, where he says Now we must take it that flavors are affections (441b23).
Circa primum tria facit. Primo ostendit quod sapor est terrae et non solum aquae, ut antiqui ponebant. Secundo ostendit quod aqua immutatur a sicco terrestri ad sapores, ibi, pati enim et cetera. Tertio concludit causam generationis saporum, ibi, quemadmodum igitur qui lavant. On the first point be does three things. First he shows that flavors pertain to earth, and not only, as the Ancients held, water. Second he shows that water is changed with respect to flavors by dryness of earth, where he says For the moist is naturally affected (441b8). Third he concludes to the cause of generation of flavors, where he says Accordingly, just as those who soak colors (441b15).
Circa primum duo facit. Primo proponit quod intendit. Secundo manifestat propositum, ibi, quare multi antiquorum. On the first point he does two things. First he proposes what he intends. Second be clarifies the proposal, where he says Therefore many of the ancient students of nature (441b1).
Dicit ergo primo, quod omnes sapores quicumque apparent in fructibus plantarum, in quibus manifeste diversificantur sapores, sunt et in terra: non quidem ita quod terra pura saporem habeat, cum non habeat humorem; sed ad modicam permixtionem humidi, cum alteratione calidi, acquirit aliquem saporem. Accordingly he first says that all flavors that show up in fruits of plants, in which flavors are clearly differentiated, are also present in earth. Not that pure earth has flavor, for it has no moisture: but with a small admixture of moisture, together with an alteration caused by heat, it does acquire a flavor.
Deinde cum dicit quare multi manifestat quod dixerat, per duo signa. 441b1 Then, when he says Therefore many of the ancient students of nature, be clarifies what he said by means of two signs.
Quorum primum sumitur secundum dictum, in quo multi antiquorum naturalium conveniunt: qui dicunt talis saporis esse aquam, per qualem terram transeat; et hoc manifestum est maxime in salsis aquis, non quidem ipsius maris, quia hoc habet aliam causam, ut in libro Meteororum ostensum est; sed quia aquae quorumdam fontium sunt salsae, propter hoc quod transeunt per similem terram. Nec hoc debet videri mirum; quia sal est quaedam species terrae, sicut et alumen vel sulphur. Unde et quidam montes inveniuntur de sale: hoc etiam apparet in aquis colatis per cinerem, quae habent amarum saporem, sicut cinis, per quem colantur. Inveniuntur quoque fontes diversorum saporum propter diversas terras per quas transeunt. The first is taken front a saying on which many of the ancient natural philosophers agree, namely those who say that water is of the same kind of flavor as the earth it passes through. This is most evident in salty water: not that of the sea itself, for that has another cause, as was shown in the book The Meteorology. Footnote rather, this is evident because the waters of certain springs are salty, having passed through earth that is similar. This should not seem surprising, because salt is a kind of earth, as are alum and sulphur; thus some mountains are made of salt. The point is also clear in the case of waters filtered through ash, which have a bitter flavor, as does the ash through which they are filtered. And there are also springs of different flavors because of the different kinds of earth through which they pass.
Est autem considerandum quod Aristoteles non inducit hoc ad ostendendum universaliter causam generationis saporum: quia per hoc non manifestatur nisi causa saporum in aquis; sed totum hoc inducit quasi quoddam signum ad ostendendum quod sapores conveniunt terrae et non soli aquae. It should be considered that Aristotle does not introduce this point to show the universal cause of the generation of flavors, because it only clarifies the cause of flavors in water. Rather, he introduces all this as a sign to show that flavors pertain to earth, and not only to water.
Secundum signum ponit ibi rationabiliter itaque 441b7 He presents the second sign where he says And so it is reasonable.
et dicit quod sapores conveniunt terrae rationabiliter, quia saporum genus maxime manifestatur et diversificatur in his quae nascuntur immediate ex terra, propter affinitatem ipsorum ad terram. He says that because flavors pertain to earth, it is reasonable that the genus of flavors is most evident and most various in what grows directly out of the earth, because of the affinity of such things with earth.
Deinde cum dicit pati enim probat quod humidum aquae immutatur ad sapores a terra. 441b8 Then, when he says For the moist is naturally affected, he proves that moisture of water is changed with respect to flavors by earth.
Et primo probat propositum. Secundo excludit quamdam obiectionem, ibi, qua quidem igitur. First he proves the proposition. Second he eliminates an obstacle, where he says As fire, then (441b12).
Dicit ergo primo, quod humidum natum est pati a suo contrario sicut et omnia alia patiuntur a suis contrariis, ut probatum est in primo de generatione. Contrarium autem humido est siccum: unde humidum naturaliter patitur a sicco. Et, quia non solum terra est sicca, sed etiam ignis; ideo etiam patitur ab igne; Accordingly he first says that the moist is naturally affected by its contrary, just as all other things are also affected by their contraries, as was proved in On Generation I. Footnote But what is contrary to the moist is the dry. Hence the moist is naturally affected by the dry. And because not only earth is dry, but also fire, the moist is also affected by fire.
quamvis quatuor qualitatum elementalium duae conveniant singulis, nam ignis est calidus et siccus, aer calidus et humidus, aqua frigida et humida, terra frigida et sicca. In singulis tamen elementis singulae harum qualitatum principaliter inveniuntur quasi propriae ipsis. Now although two of the four elemental qualities belong to each individual element—fire is hot and dry, air is hot and moist, water is cold and moist, earth is cold and dry—each individual quality is in one individual element principally, as proper to that element.
Nam ignis proprie calidus est, quia ignis est nobilissimum inter elementa et propinquissimum caelesti corpori, ideo contingit ei proprie et secundum se calidum esse, quod est maxime activum; siccum vero competit ei propter excessum caliditatis, quasi iam humiditate consumpta. Heat is proper to fire, for because fire is the noblest of the elements and the one closest to the heavenly body, what belongs to it properly and itself is heat, which is the most active quality. Dryness belongs to fire because of the extremity of the heat: the moistness is as it were consumed.
Aeri vero competit quidem calidum secundario ex affinitate ad ignem; secundum se autem competit ei humidum, quod est nobilius inter qualitates passivas, quasi calore resolvente humiditatem et non consumente propter maiorem distantiam a prima causa caloris, quae est corpus caeleste. Heat belongs to air secondarily because of the latter’s affinity with fire. What belongs to air of itself is moistness, which is the nobler of the passive qualities. The heat as it were dissolves the moistness, but doe not completely consume it, because of air’s greater distance from the first cause of heat, the heavenly body.
Aquae vero proprie et secundum se competit frigidum, quod est secunda qualitas activa, quasi privative se habens ad calidum: competit autem ei humidum secundario secundum propinquitatem ad aerem. What properly and of itself belongs to water is cold, which is the second active quality, being as it were privatively related to heat. What belongs secondarily to water is moistness, in keeping with the nearness of water to air.
Terrae vero competit quidem frigidum secundario, quasi ex propinquitate aquae; siccum autem competit ei proprie et per se, quasi propter longissimam distantiam a fonte caloris non soluta terra in humiditatem, sed in ultima grossitie permanente. Cold belongs to earth secondarily, because of earth’s nearness to water, as it were. Dryness belongs properly and of itself to earth: because of earth’s very great distance from the source of heat, as it were, it is not dissolved into moistness, but remains at the extreme of density.
Et haec determinata sunt in libro de elementis, idest in secundo de generatione, These points were determined in the book on elements—that is, in On Generation II. Footnote
unde humidum maxime natum est pati a sicco terrestri. Hence the moist is by nature most affected by dryness of earth.
Deinde cum dicit qua quidem excludit quamdam obiectionem. 441b12 Then, when he says As fire, then, he eliminates an obstacle.
Non enim sequitur quod humidum a magis sicco patiatur, nisi patiatur a sicco in quantum est siccum. Posset autem aliquis hoc negans dicere, quod humidum patitur maxime ab igne inquantum est ignis; It does not follow that the moist is more affected by a greater dryness unless it is affected by dryness as dryness. But someone might deny this by saying that the moist is most affected by fire as tire.
et ideo ad hoc excludendum dicit quod ignis inquantum est ignis, nihil natum est facere vel pati, nec etiam aliquod aliud corporum. Et hoc probat, quia secundum hoc nata sunt aliqua agere et pati abinvicem, quia habent contrarietatem, ut ostensum est in primo de generatione. Igni autem inquantum ignis, et terrae, inquantum terrae, nihil est contrarium, sicut nec alicui substantiae. Unde relinquitur quod huiusmodi corpora non agant et patiantur inquantum sunt ignis vel terra vel aliquid huiusmodi; sed inquantum calidum vel frigidum, humidum et siccum. So to eliminate this, he says that fire, as fire, by nature neither acts nor is affected at all; nor is this the case with any other body. He proves this as follows. Things by nature act and are affected by one another, according as they have contrariety, as was shown in On Generation I. But nothing is contrary to fire inasmuch as it is fire, or to earth inasmuch as it is earth, or to any substance. Hence it remains that these bodies do not act and are not affected inasmuch as they are fire or earth or any such thing, but inasmuch as they are hot and cold, moist and dry.
Sed contra hoc videtur esse dubitatio. Si enim igni competit per se esse calidum et siccum, si agit inquantum est calidum, videtur sequi quod agit inquantum est ignis. But against this there seems to be a difficulty: if it belongs to fire of itself to be hot and dry, then, if fire acts inasmuch as it is hot, it seems to follow that it acts inasmuch as it is fire.
Ad hoc sciendum est, quod quidam opinati sunt calorem esse formam substantialem ignis, et secundum suam formam substantialem habebit aliquod contrarium et per consequens erit activus: sed quia ignis non solum significat formam, sed compositum ex materia et forma, ideo hic dicitur, quod ignis non est activus, nec est ei aliquid contrarium. Et sic solvit Alexander in commento. On this point it must be known that some thought that heat is the substantial form of fire, and according to this position, fire will have a contrary according to its substantial form, and consequently will be active according to it. But because “fire” signifies not the form alone, but the composite of matter and form, it is said in the text that fire is not active and that there is nothing contrary to it. This is how Alexander solves the difficulty in the commentary.
Sed hoc non potest stare; quia idem non potest esse in genere substantiae et accidentis secundum illud philosophi primo physicorum: quod vere est, nulli accidit. Forma autem substantialis ignis reducitur ad genus substantiae; ergo non potest esse quod calor sit forma substantialis ignis, cum sit accidens aliorum. But this cannot stand, because the same thing cannot be in the genus of substance and that of accident, according to the Philosopher’s remark in Physics I: what truly is does not become an accident of anything. Footnote But substantial form is reduced to the genus of substance. Hence it cannot be that heat is the substantial form of fire, since it is an accident of other things.
Item forma substantialis non percipitur sensu, sed intellectu: nam quod quid est, est proprium obiectum intellectus, ut dicitur tertio de anima. Unde cum calidum sit sensibile per se, non potest esse forma substantialis alicuius corporis. Again, substantial form is perceived not by sense but by intellect, for “what something is” is the proper object of intellect, as is said in On the Soul III. Footnote Hence, since heat is something sensible per se, it cannot be the substantial form of a body.
Est ergo dicendum, quod calor per se inest igni non sicut forma substantialis, quae non percipitur sensu, sed sicut proprium accidens eius; et quia actio naturalis est alicuius contrarii alternantis, ideo ignis agit secundum suum calorem, cuius est aliquid contrarium; non autem secundum suam formam substantialem, quae caret contrarietate; Therefore it must be said that heat per se is present in fire not as its substantial form, but as its proper accident. And because natural action belongs to a contrary that causes alteration, fire acts according to its heat, to which there is something contrary, and not according to its substantial form, which has no contrariety.
nisi contrarietas large accipiatur secundum differentiam perfecti et imperfecti in eodem genere; per quem modum etiam in numeris contrarietas invenitur, secundum quod minor numerus est ut imperfectum et pars respectu maioris. Formae autem substantiales rerum sunt sicut numeri, ut dicitur octavo metaphysicorum. Et per hunc modum est etiam inter differentias cuiuslibet generis contrarietas, ut in decimo metaphysicorum: sic enim animatum et inanimatum, sensibile et insensibile sunt contraria. This is unless “contrariety” is taken in a wide sense with respect to the difference between perfect and imperfect in the same genus. in this sense contrariety is also found in numbers according as a smaller number stands as something imperfect, and a part, in relation to a larger one. The substantial forms of things are like numbers, as is said in Metaphysics VIII. Footnote And in this sense there is also contrariety between the differences of any genus, as is said in Metaphysics X, for thus animate and inanimate, and sensible and insensible, are contraries. Footnote


Sed adhuc potest esse dubitatio. Si enim in elementis non est principium actionis forma substantialis sed accidentalis; cum nihil agat ultra speciem, non videtur, quod per actionem naturalem elementorum transmutetur ad formam substantialem, sed solum ad formam accidentalem. But there still might be a difficulty. For if the principle of action in the elements is not substantial, but accidental, form, then, since nothing acts beyond its own nature, it does not seem that matter is changed by the natural action of the elements with respect to substantial form, but only with respect to accidental form.
Et propter hoc quidam posuerunt quod omnes formae substantiales sunt a causa supernaturali, et quod agens naturale solum alterando disponat ad formam. Et hoc reducitur ad opinionem Platonicorum, qui posuerunt quod species separatae sunt causae generationis, et quod omnis actio est a virtute incorporea. Stoici autem, sicut Alexander dicit, posuerunt quod corpora secundum seipsa agunt, inquantum scilicet sunt corpora. Aristoteles autem hic tenet mediam viam, quod corpora agunt secundum qualitates suas. For this reason some held that all substantial forms are from a supernatural cause, and that a natural agent merely disposes to a form by altering. Footnote This reduces to an opinion of the Platonists, who held that separate forms are the cause of generation and that all action is from an incorporeal power. On the other hand the Stoics, as Alexander says, held that bodies act of themselves, that is, inasmuch as they are bodies. But Aristotle here holds the middle way, which is that bodies act according to their qualities.
Et ideo dicendum quod unumquodque agit secundum quod est in actu, ut patet primo de generatione. Necesse est autem quod esse qualitatum elementalium derivetur a principiis essentialibus eorum; ita etiam, ut virtus Angeli competat huiusmodi qualitatibus ex virtute formarum substantialium. Omne autem, quod agit in virtute alterius, facit simile ei in cuius virtute agit; sicut terra facit domum ex virtute domus quae est in anima; et calor naturalis generat carnem animatam ex virtute animae; et per hunc etiam modum, per actionem qualitatum elementalium transmutatur materia ad formas substantiales. And so it must be said that each thing acts according as it is (ens) in actuality, as is clear from On Generation I. Footnote But just as the being (esse) of elemental qualities is derived from their essential principles, so, necessarily, power of acting also belongs to such qualities from the power of the substantial forms. But everything that acts by the power of something else produces something like that in the power of which it acts: for instance a saw makes a house by the power of the house that is in the soul; and natural heat generates animate flesh by a power of soul. And it is also in this way that matter is changed by the action of elemental qualities with respect to substantial form.
Deinde cum dicit quemadmodum ergo concludit ex praemissis generationem saporum. 441b15 Then, when he says Accordingly, just as those who soak colors, he concludes from the foregoing to the generation of flavors.
Et dicit, quod sicut illi qui in humido aqueo lavant colores et sapores, idest corpora colorata et saporosa, faciunt aqua habere talem colores et saporem: ita etiam e converso, quando humidum aqueum colatur per siccum terrestre, et cum hoc fit aliqua immutatio a calido digerente et quodammodo commiscente humidum sicco, qualificatur humor aqueus qualitate saporosa. He says that just as those who soak colors and flavors—that is, colored and flavored bodies—in moisture of water make the water be of the same kind of color and flavor, so, conversely, when moistness of water is filtered through dryness of earth, and at the same time there is a change caused by heat digesting the moistness, and making a kind of mass moistness with dryness, then the moistness of water becomes qualified by a flavored quality.
Deinde cum dicit et hoc est inducit, ex praemissis praedictis, definitionem saporum; 441b19 Then, when he says And this is flavor, he introduces a definition of flavor on the basis of the foregoing.
et dicit, quod sapor nihil est aliud quam passio facta in humido aqueo a dicto sicco, scilicet terrestri cum additione calidi, quae gustum secundum potentiam alterando, in actum reducit; quod quidem additur ad differentiam odoris et quarumdam aliarum passionum, quae causantur ab humido et sicco per actionem calidi, quae tamen non sunt immutativa gustus, sed aliorum sensuum. He says that flavor is nothing but an affection caused in moistness of water by the dryness mentioned—that is, dryness of earth—with addition of heat; an affection that, by changing the sense of taste in potentiality, brings it to actuality. This last part is added to differentiate odor from other affections that are caused by moistness and dryness through action of but that alter not taste, but other senses.
Deinde cum dicit ducit enim manifestat definitionem saporis, et quantum ad ultimam partem eius: nam prima pars eius manifesta est ex praecedentibus. Dixerat autem quod sapor alterat gustum secundum potentiam: 441b21 Then, when he says For it brings the sensitive part, he clarifies the definition of flavor just stated with respect to its last part. For the first part is clear front the foregoing; but he said that flavor alters the sense of taste “in potentiality.”
et ad hoc manifestandum subdit, quod sapor, sicut et quodlibet sensibile, reducit in actum sensitivum, quod prius erat in potentia ad sensibile; quia sentire, quod sequitur actionem sensibilis in sensum, non fit secundum addiscere, sed secundum speculari, idest non habet similitudinem cum eo quod est addiscere, quia alias in eo qui addiscit, generatur habitus scientiae de novo; sed in eo qui sentit, non generatur sensus de novo per actionem sensibilis, sed sensus fit actu operans, sicut contingit in eo qui speculatur actu. To clarify this he adds that flavor, like any sensible object, brings to actuality the sensitive part, which previously was in potentiality to the sensible object, because sensing, which follows from the action of a sensible object on a sense-power, is not like learning, but contemplation. That is, it is unlike what learning is, because a habit of science is newly produced in one who learns, but a sense-power is not newly produced by the action of the sensible object in one who senses: rather, the sense-power is made operative in actuality, which is like what happens in one who contemplates in actuality.
Deinde cum dicit quoniam autem manifestat quod supra dixerat, scilicet quod sapor non sit solum in humido sive sicco. 441b23 Then, when he says Now we must take it that flavors are affections, he clarifies something he said above, namely that flavor is not only in moistness or in dryness.
Et circa hoc tria facit. Primo ostendit quod sapor fundatur simul in humido et sicco. Secundo probat quoddam quod supposuerat, ibi, et sunt oblati cibi. Tertio probationem manifestat, ibi, oportet quidem. On this point he does three things. First he shows that flavor is based on the moist and the dry together. Second he proves something he presupposed, where he says Of the sensible qualities (441b27). Third he clarifies the proof, where he says We must determine (442a3).
Dicit ergo primo, quod sapores sunt passiones quantum ad dulce, vel privationes quantum ad amarum, quod se habet ut imperfectum et privatio ad dulce sicut nigrum ad album; sed non cuiuslibet sicci, sed nutrimentalis; ex quo scilicet possunt nutriri animalia et plantae. Ex hoc possumus accipere quod nec siccum sine humido, nec humidum sine sicco pertinet ad sapores; quia esca, qua nutriuntur animalia, non est solum humidum, vel solum siccum, sed commixtum ex his. Ex iisdem enim nutrimur, ex quibus sumus, ut dictum est secundo de generatione et eadem ratio est de plantis. Accordingly he first says that flavors are affections—with respect to sweet—or privations—with respect to bitter, which is related to sweet, as black is to white, that is, as something imperfect and a privation—not of just any dryness, but of nourishing dryness—that is, the dryness by which animals or plants can be nourished. From this we can take it that neither dryness without moistness nor moistness without dryness pertains to flavor, because the food by which animals are nourished is not what is just moist or dry, but something mixed front these. For we are nourished by the same things out of which we are composed, as was said in On Generation II. Footnote And the argument is the same in the case of plants.
Deinde cum dicit et sunt probat quod supposuerat, quod sapor sit passio vel perfectio nutrimenti. 441b27 Then, when he says Of the sensible qualities, he proves something he presupposed, namely that flavor is an affection or privation in nourishment.
Ubi considerandum est quod cibi, qui offeruntur animalibus, ad duo eis deserviunt: scilicet ad augmentum, quo perducuntur ad perfectam quantitatem, et ad nutrimentum, per quod conservatur substantia. Deserviunt etiam cibi et ad generationem; sed hoc iam non pertinet ad individuum, sed ad speciem. Here it must be considered that the food that is provided to animals serves them for two purposes, namely growth, by which they are brought to perfect size, and nourishment, by which their substance is preserved. Food also serves them for generation, but this no longer pertains to the individual, but the species.
Dicit ergo, quod cibi animalibus oblati, cum sint de numero sensibilium, inquantum sunt tangibilia, causant augmentum et decrementum, quia calidum et frigidum facit augmentum et decrementum; ita quod calidum proprie facit augmentum: eius est enim dilatare et diffundere quasi movendo ad circumferentiam; frigidum autem causat decrementum, quia eius est constringere, quasi movendo ad centrum, unde in iuventute animalia augentur, in senectute decrescunt. Accordingly he says that the food provided to animals, being sensible objects inasmuch as they are objects of touch, cause growth and diminution, because heat and cold cause growth and diminution: heat properly causes growth, for it belongs to heat to expand and spread out, moving, as it were, towards a circumference; cold causes diminution, because it belongs to cold to constrict, moving, as it were, towards a center. Hence animals grow in youth and shrink in old age.
Nec est contrarium quod dicitur secundo de anima, quod cibus auget prout est quantus; quia quantitas non sufficeret ad augmentum, nisi esset calor convertens et dirigens; sed cibus oblatus nutrit, inquantum est gustabilis. Et hoc probat per hoc quod omnia nutriuntur dulci, quod percipitur gustu; et hoc vel simplici dulci, vel commixtione aliorum saporum. Nec etiam est contrarium, quod secundo de anima dictum est, quod tactus est sensus animalium alimenti; quia ibi humorem, idest saporem ponit inter tangibilia; et ibidem dicit, quod sapor est delectamentum nutrimenti, inquantum scilicet indicat convenientiam eius. The remark in On the Soul it that food causes growth inasmuch as it is quantitative does not contradict this, because quantity would not suffice for growth if there were not heat to convert and digest it. Footnote But the food provided nourishes inasmuch as it is an object of taste. He proves this as follows: everything is nourished by sweetness, which is perceived by taste, whether by simple sweetness or by sweetness mixed with other flavors. And the remark of On the Soul it that touch is “the sense of food” does not contradict this, because there he places “moisture”—that is, flavor—among the objects of touch, and in the same place he says that flavor is “the pleasurable in food” inasmuch as it indicates suitability of food. Footnote
Deinde cum dicit oportet quidem confirmat probationem praemissam. 442a3 Then, when he says We must determine, he confirms the foregoing proof.
Et primo quantum ad hoc, quod dixit omnia nutriri dulci. Secundo quantum ad hoc quod dixerat de commixtione aliorum, ibi, commiscetur autem. First inasmuch as he said that everything is nourished by sweetness. Second inasmuch as he said something about admixture of other flavors, where he says But other flavors (442a8).
Dicit ergo primo: quae pertinent ad augmentum et nutrimentum, oportet determinare in his quae sunt de generatione: dixit autem de his in libro de generatione in universali, sed adhuc magis dicendum est de his in libro de generatione animalium, ad quem pertinet consideratio de alimento animalium; nunc autem quantum ad propositum pertinet, tangendum est aliquid, scilicet quod calor naturalis active causat augmentum per extensionem quamdam; et construit nutrimentum digerendo, inquantum scilicet attrahit id quod est leve et dulce, et relinquit id quod est salsum et amarum propter gravitatem. Unde omnes faeces animalium sunt satis amarae vel salsae; et hoc manifestat per similitudinem in toto universo. Quia facit calor naturalis in animalibus et plantis, quod facit calor solis in corporibus exterioribus: attrahit enim humidum subtile, et relinquit id quod est terrestre et grossum; unde aquae complutae sunt dulces, quamvis mare a quo plurima fit resolutio, sit quod alii sapores commiscentur in cibo dulci quod solum nutrit, loco condimenti; sicut manifeste apparet de sapore salso et acuto, ut scilicet per huiusmodi sapores reprimatur dulce, ne nimis nutriat. Est enim nimis repletivum et supernatativum, quia facile attrahitur a calore propter sui levitatem. Accordingly he first says that we must determine what pertains to growth and nourishment in the discussion of generation. He said something about this in the book On Generation in general, Footnote but still more has to be said about it in the book On the Generation of Animals, to which the consideration of food of animals pertains. it But now, as far as pertains to the present proposal, one point must be touched on, namely that natural heat actively augments by an expansion, and prepares nourishment by digesting, inasmuch as it draws out what is light and sweet and leaves what is salty and bitter because of its heaviness, which is why all feces of animals are quite bitter or salty. He illustrates this by something similar in the universe as a whole. What natural heat does in animals and plants, the sun’s heat does in external bodies: it draws out the fine moistness and leaves what is earthen and dense. Hence rainwater is sweet, although the sea, from which most evaporation occurs, is salty. From this he concludes that all things are nourished by sweetness, which is drawn out by natural heat.
Deinde cum dicit commiscentur autem assignat causam commixtionis aliorum saporum ad nutrimentum. 442a8 Then when he says But other flavors, he gives the cause of the admixture of other flavors into food.
Et dicit salsum. Ex hoc concludit quod omnia nutriuntur dulci, quod est attractum a calido naturali. He says that other flavors are mixed in sweet food, which alone nourishes, for seasoning, as is evident with the spicy and sharp flavor, so that they may restrain the sweetness from nourishing excessively. For sweetness is extremely filling, and floating, for it is easily drawn out by heat because of its lightness.

ὥσπερ δὲ τὰ χρώματα ἐκ λευκοῦ καὶ μέλανος μίξεώς ἐστιν, οὕτως οἱ χυμοὶ ἐκ γλυκέος καὶ πικροῦ, 442a12 As colors come from mixture of white and black, so flavors from sweet and bitter.
καὶ κατὰ λόγον δ΄ ἢ τῷ μᾶλλον καὶ ἧττον ἕκαστοί εἰσιν, εἴτε κατ΄ ἀριθμούς τινας τῆς μίξεως καὶ κινήσεως, εἴτε καὶ ἀορίστως, οἱ δὲ τὴν ἡδονὴν ποιοῦντες μειγνύμενοι, οὗτοι ἐν ἀριθμοῖς μόνον· 442a13 And these are also according to proportions, for each is more or less, whether according to numbers in the mixture and the change, or indeterminately. But the ones that cause pleasure are only those mixed numerically.
ὁ μὲν οὖν λιπαρὸς τοῦ γλυκέος ἐστὶ χυμός, τὸ δ΄ ἁλμυρὸν καὶ πικρὸν σχεδὸν τὸ αὐτό, ὁ δὲ δριμὺς καὶ αὐστηρὸς καὶ στρυφνὸς καὶ ὀξὺς ἀνὰ μέσον. 442a17 The sweet flavor is rich-tasting; bitter and salty are almost the same; pungent, harsh, astringent, and sharp are in the middle.
σχεδὸν γὰρ ἴσα καὶ τὰ τῶν χυμῶν εἴδη καὶ τὰ τῶν χρωμάτων ἐστίν· ἑπτὰ γὰρ ἀμφοτέρων εἴδη, ἄν τις τιθῇ, ὥσπερ εὔλογον, τὸ φαιὸν μέλαν τι εἶναι· λείπεται γὰρ τὸ ξανθὸν μὲν τοῦ λευκοῦ εἶναι ὥσπερ τὸ λιπαρὸν τοῦ γλυκέος, τὸ φοινικοῦν δὲ καὶ ἁλουργὸν καὶ πράσινον καὶ κυανοῦν μεταξὺ τοῦ λευκοῦ καὶ μέλανος, τὰ δ΄ ἄλλα μεικτὰ ἐκ τούτων. 442a19 The species of moistures and of colors are almost equal. If one posits seven species of each, then, as it is reasonable for gray to be a kind of black, it follows that yellow belongs to white as oily does to sweet. And in the middle between black and white are punic, alurgon, green, and cyanum. And the others are mixed from these.
καὶ ὥσπερ τὸ μέλαν στέρησις ἐν τῷ διαφανεῖ τοῦ λευκοῦ, οὕτω τὸ ἁλμυρὸν καὶ τὸ πικρὸν τοῦ γλυκέος ἐν τῷ τροφίμῳ ὑγρῷ. διὸ καὶ ἡ τέφρα τῶν κατακαιομένων πικρὰ πάντων· ἐξίκμασται γὰρ τὸ πότιμον ἐξ αὐτῶν. 442a25 As black is privation of white in the transparent, so bitter and salty are of sweet in the nourishing moist. Therefore the ash of all burnt things is bitter, for the potable has been evaporated from them.
Δημόκριτος δὲ καὶ οἱ πλεῖστοι τῶν φυσιολόγων, ὅσοι λέγουσι περὶ αἰσθήσεως, ἀτοπώτατόν τι [442b] ποιοῦσιν· πάντα γὰρ τὰ αἰσθητὰ ἁπτὰ ποιοῦσιν. καίτοι εἰ τοῦτο οὕτως ἔχει, δῆλον ὡς καὶ τῶν ἄλλων αἰσθήσεων ἑκάστη ἁφή τίς ἐστιν· τοῦτο δ΄ ὅτι ἀδύνατον, οὐ χαλεπὸν συνιδεῖν. 442a29 Democritus and most students of nature—whichever ones speak about the senses—do something very inconsistent: they make all sensible objects, objects of touch. If this is so, it is clear also that each of the other senses is a kind of touch. But it is not difficult to discern that this is impossible.
ἔτι δὲ τοῖς κοινοῖς τῶν αἰσθήσεων πασῶν χρῶνται ὡς ἰδίοις· μέγεθος γὰρ καὶ σχῆμα καὶ τὸ τραχὺ καὶ τὸ λεῖον, ἔτι δὲ τὸ ὀξὺ καὶ τὸ ἀμβλὺ τὸ ἐν τοῖς ὄγκοις, κοινὰ τῶν αἰσθήσεών ἐστιν, εἰ δὲ μὴ πασῶν, ἀλλ΄ ὄψεώς γε καὶ ἁφῆς. διὸ καὶ περὶ μὲν τούτων ἀπατῶνται, περὶ δὲ τῶν ἰδίων οὐκ ἀπατῶνται, οἷον ἡ ὄψις περὶ χρώματος καὶ ἡ ἀκοὴ περὶ ψόφων. 442b4 Moreover, they treat the common objects of all the senses as if they were proper. Size and shape, rough and smooth, and the sharp and dull that are in masses, are common objects of the senses—if not of all of them, then of sight and touch. Therefore they are deceived about these, but they are not deceived about the proper objects; for instance, sight is not deceived about color or hearing about sounds.
οἱ δὲ τὰ ἴδια εἰς ταῦτα ἀνάγουσιν, ὥσπερ Δημόκριτος· τὸ γὰρ λευκὸν καὶ τὸ μέλαν τὸ μὲν τραχύ φησιν εἶναι τὸ δὲ λεῖον, εἰς δὲ τὰ σχήματα ἀνάγει τοὺς χυμούς. 442b10 Some reduce the proper objects to these, as Democritus does. Of white and black, he says that one is “rough, “ the other “smooth.” And he reduces flavors to shapes.
καίτοι ἢ οὐδεμιᾶς ἢ μᾶλλον τῆς ὄψεως τὰ κοινὰ γνωρίζειν. εἰ δ΄ ἄρα τῆς γεύσεως μᾶλλον, τὰ γοῦν ἐλάχιστα τῆς ἀκριβεστάτης ἐστὶν αἰσθήσεως διακρίνειν περὶ ἕκαστον γένος, ὥστε ἐχρῆν τὴν γεῦσιν καὶ τῶν ἄλλων κοινῶν αἰσθάνεσθαι μάλιστα καὶ τῶν σχημάτων εἶναι κριτικωτάτην. 442b13 But to know the common objects belongs either to no sense, or above all to sight. If it were above all to taste, then, since it belongs to the surest sense to discern what is smallest in any genus, taste would have to be best at perceiving the other common objects, and best at discerning shapes.
ἔτι τὰ μὲν αἰσθητὰ πάντα ἔχει ἐναντίωσιν, οἷον ἐν χρώματι τῷ μέλανι τὸ λευκὸν καὶ ἐν χυμοῖς τῷ γλυκεῖ τὸ πικρόν· σχῆμα δὲ σχήματι οὐ δοκεῖ εἶναι ἐναντίον· τίνι γὰρ τῶν πολυγώνων τὸ περιφερὲς ἐναντίον; 442b17 Moreover, all sensible objects have contrariety, for example of white to black in color, and of bitter to sweet in flavors. But shape is not thought to be contrary to shape. For to which of the polygons is the circumference contrary?
ἔτι ἀπείρων ὄντων τῶν σχημάτων ἀναγκαῖον καὶ τοὺς χυμοὺς εἶναι ἀπείρους· διὰ τί γὰρ ὁ μὲν τῶν χυμῶν αἴσθησιν ποιήσει, ὁ δ΄ οὐκ ἂν ποιήσειεν; 442b21 Moreover, since there are infinite shapes, there would necessarily be infinite flavors. Why then does this one cause a sensation but not that one?
καὶ περὶ μὲν τοῦ γευστοῦ καὶ χυμοῦ εἴρηται· τὰ γὰρ ἄλλα πάθη τῶν χυμῶν οἰκείαν ἔχει τὴν σκέψιν ἐν τῇ φυσιολογίᾳ τῇ περὶ τῶν φυτῶν. 442b23 Something, then, has been said about flavor and the object of taste. Other affections of flavors have their proper consideration in the philosophy about plants.
Postquam philosophus determinavit generationes saporum, hic distinguit species saporum. 442a12 After the Philosopher has determined the generation of flavor, here he distinguishes species of flavors.
Et circa hoc tria facit. Primo ostendit in communi generationem mediorum saporum. Secundo ostendit quomodo medii sapores diversificantur, ibi, et secundum proportionem et cetera. Tertio ostendit quomodo album et nigrum se habeant adinvicem, ibi, et quemadmodum nigrum. On this point he does three things. First he shows the generation of intermediate flavors in general. Second be shows how intermediate flavors are diversified, where he says And these are also according to proportions (442a13). Third he shows how sweet and bitter are related to one another, where he says As black is privation of white (442a25).
Dicit ergo primo, quod sicut alii colores medii generantur ex commixtione albi et nigri, et ipsorum secundum se vel ex compositione causarum albi et nigri, ita medii sapores generantur mixtione dulcis et amari, vel ipsorum secundum se, vel ex mixtione causarum dulcis et amari. Accordingly he first says that as intermediate colors are generated from mixture of white and black, so intermediate flavors are generated from mixture of sweet and bitter, whether from these in themselves or from mixture of the causes of sweet and bitter.
Calidum enim perfecte digerens humidum, causat saporem dulcem; Heat causes the sweet flavor by thoroughly digesting the moisture.
privatio autem humidi perfecte digesti, est causa amaritudinis. Alii vero sapores causantur secundum quod humidum medio modo se habet, nec totaliter est consumptum, nec totaliter est indigestum. The cause of bitterness is privation of this completely digested moisture. Other flavors are caused according as the moisture is in an intermediate state because it is neither wholly consumed nor wholly undigested.
Quia enim sapor propinquius sequitur humorem quam calorem, non oportet considerare medium et extrema secundum calidum, sed secundum humidum aliqualiter passum a sicco et calido, quia in hoc principaliter consistit natura saporis; alioquin si medium et extrema acciperentur in saporibus secundum calidum, non essent dulce et amarum extrema, sed dulce esset medium. Nam calidum intensum et consumens frigidum, aut digerens calidum, aut omnino deficiens in digerendo propter victoriam frigidi, causat Ponticum vel acetosum saporem; calor autem moderatus sufficiens ad digerendum causat dulcedinem. Flavor more immediately follows from moisture than from heat. Therefore, one should consider the intermediate and extremes not in relation to heat, but in relation to moisture affected in a way by dryness and heat, for the nature of flavor principally consists in this. Otherwise, it the intermediate and extremes in flavor were taken in relation to heat, sweet and bitter would not be extremes, but sweet would be intermediate. For intense heat that consumes the cold, but does not digest <the moisture>, causes bitterness; heat that, because of the dominance of cold, entirely fails to digest <the moisture> causes the pungent or the sour flavor; and a moderate heat sufficient to digest <the moisture> causes sweetness.
Deinde cum dicit et secundum agit de distinctione mediorum saporum. 442a13 Then, when he says And these are also according to proportions, he treats of the distinction of intermediate flavors.
Et primo quantum ad differentiam delectabilis et indelectabilis. Secundo quantum ad nomina, ibi, qui quidem ergo pinguis. Tertio quantum ad numerum, per similitudinem ad colores, ibi, fere enim aequales. First with respect to the difference between pleasant and unpleasant; second with respect to terms, where he says The sweet flavor is rich-tasting (442al7); third with respect to number, in a comparison with colors, where he says The species of moistures (442a 19).
Dicit ergo primo, quod medii sapores diversificantur secundum proportionem commixtionis, inquantum scilicet unusquisque eorum vel magis vel minus accedit ad dulcedinem, sive amaritudinem. Quod quidem contingit dupliciter, sicut in coloribus dictum est: uno modo secundum numeralem proportionem observatam in praedicta commixtione et transmutationem humidi a calido; alio modo secundum indeterminatam superabundantiam, absque proportione numerali. Solum autem illi sapores delectant gustum, qui sunt commixti secundum numeralem proportionem. Accordingly he first says that intermediate flavors vary according to different proportions of the mixture, that is, inasmuch as each of them either more or less approaches sweetness or bitterness. This happens in two ways, as described in the case of colors: in one way according to a numerical proportion observed in the mixture described, and in the alteration of the moisture by the heat; in another way according to an indeterminate difference without numerical proportion. And only those flavors are pleasing to taste that are mixed according to a numerical proportion.
Distinguit sapores medios secundum nomina. 442a17 Then, when he says The sweet flavor is rich-tasting, he distinguishes intermediate flavors by name.
Et dicit quod sapor pinguis est quasi idem cum dulci: uterque enim sapor designat digestionem humidi a calido: verumtamen in dulci sapore ostendit calor magis dominari super humidum; unde pinguis sapor propinquior est aquoso sive insipido sapori propter abundantiam humiditatis. He says that the rich-tasting flavor is almost the same as the sweet, for both indicate digestion of the moisture by the heat. However, the heat evidently dominates the moisture more in the sweet flavor. Thus the rich-tasting flavor is closer to a watery or insipid flavor, because of an abundance of the moisture in it.
Similiter etiam amarus sapor et salsus fere sunt idem: uterque enim ostendit excessum caloris consumentis humidum: verumtamen in amaro videtur esse maior consumptio humiditatis quam in salso quia in salso videtur esse consumptum humidum infusum corpori: in amaro autem videtur esse ulterius resolutum et consumptum, vel totaliter vel in parte, humidum, conglutinans substantiam corporis. Unde faeces corporum resolutorum et interminatorum sunt amarae. Likewise the bitter flavor and the salty are almost the same, for both evidence an extreme heat that consumes the moisture. However, there seems to be greater consumption of moisture in the bitter than in the salty: in the salty the moisture infused into the body seems to be consumed; but in the bitter the moisture binding together the substance of the body seems to be not just consumed, but dissolved, whether in whole or in part. Hence the remains of dissolved and burnt bodies are bitter.
In medio autem sunt Ponticus sive mordicativus sapor, et austerus, idest acetosus, et acutus: In the middle are the pungent flavor, i.e. the flavor with “bite”; the harsh, i.e. vinegary flavor; the astringent; and the sharp.
ita tamen quod Ponticus et acetosus consistunt in humore nondum digesto propter defectum caloris: propter quod fructus indigesti sunt vel acetosi saporis, ut poma acerba vel Pontici, sicut pyra acerba. Ponticus tamen sapor videtur plus habere de terrestri. Unde et terra fere Ponticum saporem habet: acetosus autem videtur plus habere de frigido. The pungent and the vinegary consist in moisture that, because of the weakness of the heat, is undigested. For this reason unripened fruits have either a vinegar flavor, like sour plums, or a pungent flavor, like sour pears. But the pungent seems to have more earth, which is why earth has an almost pungent flavor. The vinegary seems to have more cold.
Stypticus autem sapor videtur etiam multum habere de terrestri, propinquius enim est Ponticus, sed plus habet de calido, magis enim ad digestionem accedit; unde etiam quaedam digesta habent saporem stypticum, sicut fructus myrti. The astringent flavor seems also to have much earth: it is close to the pungent, but it has more heat, for it more closely approaches digestion <of the moisture>. Hence some dried fruits (digesta), for example myrtle-berries, have an astringent flavor.
Acutus autem sapor significat excessum caloris, non quidem consumentis, sed superdigerentis humidum. The sharp flavor indicates an excess of heat that does not consume, but thoroughly digests, the moisture.
Deinde cum dicit fere enim distinguit sapores medios secundum numerum per similitudinem ad colores. 442a19 Then, when he says The species of moistures, he distinguishes intermediate flavors with respect to number by means of a comparison with colors.
Et dicit quod species humorum, idest saporum, sunt fere aequales numero speciebus colorum: septem autem species saporum sic numerandae sunt, ut pinguis sapor non distinguatur a dulci, salsum autem distinguatur ab amaro: ita quod si his tribus saporibus addantur alii quatuor supernumerati, erunt septem sapores. He says that the species of “moistures”—that is, flavors—are almost equal in number to the species of colors. Seven species of flavors are to be enumerated, in such a way that the rich-tasting flavor is not distinguished from the sweet, but the salty is distinguished from the bitter. Thus, if to the other four are added these three flavors, there will be seven flavors.
Similiter etiam rationabiliter dicitur ex parte colorum, quod lividum se habet ad nigrum sicut salsum ad amarum; flavum autem ad album, sicut pingue ad dulce. Likewise it is reasonable to say, on the side of colors, that gray is related to black as salty is to bitter; and that yellow is related to white as rich-tasting is to sweet.
In medio autem erunt hi colores: puniceus, idest rubeus, et alurgon, idest citrinus, et viridis et ciarium, idest color caelestis, ita tamen quod viride et ciarium magis appropinquant ad nigrum, puniceum autem et citrinum magis appropinquant ad album. In the middle will be these colors: “punic,” i.e. red; “alurgon,” i.e. citron; green; and “cyanum” or blue, i.e. the color of the sky. These are arranged such that green and blue more closely approach black, while red and citron more closely approach white.
Sunt autem aliae species plurimae colorum et saporum, ex commixtione praedictarum specierum adinvicem. There are also very many other species of colors and flavors by mixture of the species mentioned with one another.
Deinde cum dicit et quemadmodum comparat amarum ad dulce. 442a25 Then, when he says As black is privation of white, he compares bitter to sweet.
Et dicit, quod sicut nigrum est privatio albi in perspicuo, ita amarum et salsum est privatio dulcis in humido nutrimentali. Semper enim alterum contrariorum est ut privatio, ut patet ex decimo metaphysicorum. Et, quia amarum est privatio dulcis, inde est quod omnium combustorum cinis est amarus, propter exhalationem humidi nutrimentalis, quod potabile vocat. He says that as black is the privation of white in the transparent, so bitter or salty is the privation of sweet in nourishing moisture. For one of two contraries always stands as a privation, as is clear from Metaphysics X. Footnote Because bitter is the privation of sweet, the ash of all burnt things is bitter, because of evaporation of the nourishing moistness, which he calls “the potable.”
Deinde cum dicit Democritus autem excludit falsas opiniones aliorum de natura saporum. 442a29 Then, when he says Democritus and most students of nature, he eliminates false opinions of others about the nature of flavors.
Primo in generali quantum ad omnia sensibilia. Secundo in speciali, quantum ad sapores, ibi, quidam autem proprie. First with reference to all sensible objects in general. Second with reference to flavors in particular, where he says Some reduce the proper objects (442b10).
Circa primum duo facit. Primo improbat opinionem antiquorum, quantum ad hoc quod reducebant omnia sensibilia ad qualitates tangibiles, secundo quantum ad hoc quod reducebant sensibilia propria ad sensibilia communia, ibi, amplius autem communibus. On the first point he does two things. He disproves the opinion of the Ancients, first inasmuch as they reduced all sensible objects to tangible qualities; second inasmuch as they reduced proper sensible objects to common sensibles, where he says Moreover, they treat the common objects (442b4).
Dicit ergo primo, quod Democritus et plurimi naturalium philosophorum, quicumque intromittunt se ad loquendum de sensibilibus, faciunt quoddam incongruissimum, quia omnia, scilicet sensibilia, dicunt esse tangibilia: quod si esset verum, sequeretur quod quilibet sensus esset tactus, cum potentiae distinguantur secundum obiecta. Quod autem hoc sit falsum, facile est videre; quia alii sensus sentiuntur per medium extraneum, non autem tactus. Accordingly he first says that Democritus and most natural philosophers—whichever ones got involved in speaking about the senses—do something very inconsistent, because they say that all sensible objects are objects of touch. If this were true, it would follow that any sense-power would be touch, since powers are distinguished according to objects. But it is easy to see that this is false, because other senses perceive through an external medium, and touch does not.
Deinde cum dicit amplius autem arguit antiquos in hoc, quod utebantur sensibilibus communibus quasi propriis. Reducebant enim colores et sapores et alia sensibilia ad magnitudinem et figuram. Magnitudo enim et figura, et asperum et leve, secundum quod ad figuram pertinent, et similiter acutum et obtusum, quae etiam pertinent ad dispositiones figurarum habentium angulos, sunt communia sensuum: quamvis non omnia haec percipiantur ab omnibus sensibus, percipiuntur tamen saltem tactu et visu; et ita non sunt propria sensibilia, quia sic uno solo sensu sentirentur. 442b4 Then, when he says Moreover, they treat the common objects, he criticizes the Ancients for treating the common sensible objects as if they were proper. They reduced colors, flavors, and other sensible objects to size and shape. Size and shape; rough and smooth according as they pertain to shape; and likewise sharp and dull, which pertain to features of shapes that have angles—these are common objects of the senses. Although not all of them are perceived by all senses, all are perceived at least by touch and sight, and so they are not proper sensibles, because thus they would be perceived by only one sense.
Dicit autem quod acutum et obtusum, quod est in melodiis, vel in magnitudinibus secundum aliam literam, id est in corporibus ad differentiam acuti, secundum quod est in vocibus et in saporibus. He speaks of the sharp and the dull “in masses” (in glebis), or, according to another reading, “in bulks” (in molibus). He means the sharp and the dull “in bodies,” and he says this in order to distinguish them from what is called “sharp” in the case of voices, and in the case of flavors.
Et quod praedicta sunt sensibilia communia, manifestat per quoddam signum, quod circa huiusmodi, quae dicta sunt decipiuntur sensus, qui tamen non decipiuntur de propriis sensibilibus, sicut visus non decipitur de colore, nec auditus de sonis. He shows that the foregoing are common sensibles by means of a sign: the senses are deceived about the kinds of things mentioned, but are not deceived about the proper sensibles; for instance, sight is not deceived about color or hearing about sounds.
Deinde cum dicit quidam autem excludit opiniones praedictas in speciali. 442b10 Then, when he says Some reduce the proper objects, he eliminates the opinions on a specific point.
Et primo narrat eas. Secundo improbat, ibi, quamvis autem nullius. First he relates them. Second he disproves them, where he says But to know the common objects (442b13).
Dicit ergo primo, quod quidam reducunt propria sensibilia ad ista communia, sicut Democritus, qui nigrum dixit esse asperum, existimans obscuritatem nigri causari propter hoc quod partes, quae supereminent in aspero, occultant alias. Album autem dixit esse laeve, existimans claritatem albi provenire ex hoc, quod laeve totaliter illustretur propter hoc quod partes eius aequaliter iacent. Sapores autem reduxit ad figuras propter hoc, quod invenit acutum et obtusum in saporibus sicut in figuris, aequivocatione deceptus. Accordingly be first says that some reduce the proper sensible objects to these common ones. For example, Democritus said that black is rough, thinking that the darkness of black is caused by higher parts in the roughness hiding the other parts; and he said that white is smooth, thinking that the brightness of white comes from the smoothness being completely illuminated because its parts lie level. And he reduced flavors to shapes, because he found “sharp and dull” in flavors as well as in shapes, being deceived by an equivocation.
Secundo ibi, quamvis aut improbat praedictam opinionem de saporibus tribus rationibus. 442bl3 Then, when he says But to know the common objects, he disproves the abovementioned opinion about flavors by three arguments.
Quarum prima est, quod nullus sensus cognoscit figuras quasi propria sensibilia; et si essent alicui sensui propria maxime pertinerent ad visum. Sed, si sapores essent figurae, sequeretur quod gustus magis ea cognosceret. Si ergo hoc est verum, cum sensus aliquis quanto est certior tanto possit maxime discernere etiam minima in unoquoque genere, sequeretur, quod gustus tamquam certissimus cognosceret communia sensibilia, et maxime discerneret figuras: quod patet esse falsum, quia visus in hoc est potentior. The first is that no sense apprehends shapes as its proper objects, and if they were the proper objects of a sense, they would pertain above all to sight. But if flavors were shapes, it would follow that taste above all would know them. If this is true, then, since any sense is surer inasmuch as it can better discern even what is smallest in any genus, it would follow that taste, as the surest sense, would be best at sensing the common sensibles, and best at discerning shapes, which is obviously false, because sight is more powerful in this regard.
Secundam rationem ponit ibi amplius sensibilia 442b17 He presents the second argument where he says Moreover, all sensible objects.
quae talis est. Omnia sensibilia habent contrarietatem, quia secundum ea fit alteratio, ut probatum est septimo physicorum, sicut in colore sunt contraria album et nigrum, in saporibus autem dulce et amarum, et idem patet in aliis. It is this. All sensible objects have contrariety, because alteration occurs with respect to them, as was proved in Physics VII. Footnote For example, in color the contraries are black and white, in flavors sweet and bitter, and the same is clear in other cases.
Videtur autem esse instantia in lumine, quod secundum se non habet contrarietatem, utpote qualitas propria existens supremi corporis contrarietate carentis. Tenebra vero opponitur ei ut privatio, non ut contrarium. Habet tamen contrarietatem secundum quod participat in coloribus. There seems to be an exception in the case of light, which of itself does not have contrariety: for it exists as a proper quality of the highest body, which is without contrariety; and darkness is opposed to it as a privation, not a contrary. However, light does have contrariety according as it is participated in colors.
Sed figura non videtur esse contraria figurae; non enim est assignare quod polygoniarum, idest figurarum habentium multos angulos sit contrarium circumferens, idest circulus, qui nullum angulum habet. Contraria enim maxime distant. Non enim est dare aliquam figuram, qua non sit invenire aliam plures angulos habentem: ergo sapores non sunt figurae. But shape does not seem to be contrary to shape, for it is impossible to determine to which of the polygons—that is, figures with several angles—the circumference—that is, the circle, which has no angles—is contrary. For contraries stand farthest apart, but no shape can be instanced such that another shape with more angles cannot be found. Therefore flavors are not shapes.
Tertiam rationem ponit ibi amplius et quae talis est. Figurae sunt infinitae, sicut et numeri: 442b21 He presents the third argument where he says Moreover, since there are infinite shapes.
multiplicantur enim secundum numerum angulorum et linearum, ut patet in triangulo. Si ergo sapores essent figurae, sequeretur quod essent infinitae species saporum: quod patet esse falsum, quia nulla esset ratio quare unus sapor sentiretur et non alius. Non autem discernit sensus infinitos sapores: ergo sapores non sunt figurae. It is this. Shapes are infinite, as are also numbers, for they are multiplied according to the number of angles and lines, as is clear in the triangle and the square. Therefore, if flavors were shapes, it would follow that there are infinite species of flavors. This is clearly false, because there is no reason why one flavor would be perceived and not another. But the sense-power does not discern an infinite number of flavors. Therefore flavors are not shapes.
Ultimo autem epilogando concludit quod dictum est de sapore et gustabili: quaedam autem aliae proprietates saporum propriam habent considerationem in libro de plantis, quem Aristoteles non fecit, sed Theophrastus, ut Alexander hic dicit in commento. 442b23 Finally, adding an epilogue, he concludes that something has been said about flavor and the object of taste, but other properties of flavors have their proper consideration in the book On Plants. However, Aristotle did not write this book, but Theophrastus, as Alexander says at this point in the commentary.


Τὸν αὐτὸν δὲ τρόπον δεῖ νοῆσαι καὶ περὶ τὰς ὀσμάς· ὅπερ γὰρ ποιεῖ ἐν τῷ ὑγρῷ τὸ ξηρόν, τοῦτο ποιεῖ ἐν ἄλλῳ γένει τὸ ἔγχυμον ὑγρόν, ἐν ἀέρι καὶ ὕδατι ὁμοίως. 442b27 Odors must be understood in the same way. For what dryness causes moistness, enchymous moistness causes in another genus, namely air, and water as well.
(κοινὸν δὲ κατὰ τούτων νῦν μὲν λέγομεν τὸ διαφανές, ἔστι δ΄ [443a] ὀσφραντὸν οὐχ ᾗ διαφανές, ἀλλ΄ ᾗ πλυτικὸν καὶ ῥυπτικὸν ἐγχύμου ξηρότητος.) 442b29 We now call what is common in these the transparent. But this is an object of smell not according as it is transparent, but according as it is capable of being soaked or cleansed by enchymous dryness.
οὐ γὰρ μόνον ἐν ἀέρι ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐν ὕδατι τὸ τῆς ὀσφρήσεώς ἐστιν. δῆλον δ΄ ἐπὶ τῶν ἰχθύων καὶ τῶν ὀστρακοδέρμων· φαίνονται γὰρ ὀσφραινόμενα οὔτε ἀέρος ὄντος ἐν τῷ ὕδατι (ἐπιπολάζει γὰρ ὁ ἀήρ, ὅταν ἐγγένηται) οὔτ΄ αὐτὰ ἀναπνέοντα. 443a2 The odorous is not only in air, but also in water. This is clear in the case of fish and testacea, for they seem to smell. And air does not exist in water, for it floats to the top when it is in water. And these animals do not breathe.
εἰ οὖν τις θείη καὶ τὸν ἀέρα καὶ τὸ ὕδωρ ἄμφω ὑγρά, εἴη ἂν ἡ ἐν ὑγρῷ τοῦ ἐγχύμου ξηροῦ φύσις ὀσμή, καὶ ὀσφραντὸν τὸ τοιοῦτον. 443a6 Accordingly, if one holds that water and air are both moist, odor will be the nature of enchymous dryness in moisture, and the odorous is what is such.
ὅτι δ΄ ἀπ΄ ἐγχύμου ἐστὶ τὸ πάθος, δῆλον ἐκ τῶν ἐχόντων καὶ μὴ ἐχόντων ὀσμήν· τά τε γὰρ στοιχεῖα ἄοσμα, οἷον πῦρ ἀὴρ γῆ ὕδωρ, διὰ τὸ τά τε ξηρὰ αὐτῶν καὶ τὰ ὑγρὰ ἄχυμα εἶναι, ἂν μή τι μειγνύμενον ποιῇ. διὸ καὶ ἡ θάλαττα ἔχει ὀσμήν (ἔχει γὰρ χυμὸν καὶ ξηρότητα), καὶ ἅλες μᾶλλον νίτρου ὀσμώδεις (δηλοῖ δὲ τὸ ἐξικμαζόμενον ἐξ αὐτῶν ἔλαιον), τὸ δὲ νίτρον γῆς ἐστι μᾶλλον. 443a8 That this affection is caused by the enchymous is clear both from what has and from what does not have odor. For the elements, namely fire, air, earth, water, are odorless, because both the dry and the moist ones are achymous unless a mixture is made. This is why the sea has odor, for it has moisture and dryness. And salt is more odorous than niter (the fact that oil flows out of these is revealing), but niter has more earth.
ἔτι λίθος μὲν ἄοσμον, ἄχυμον γάρ, τὰ δὲ ξύλα ὀσμώδη, ἔγχυμα γάρ· καὶ τούτων τὰ ὑδατώδη ἧττον. Moreover, a stone is odorless, for it is achymous. But woods are odorous, for are enchymous, and those that are watery are less odorous.
ἔτι ἐπὶ τῶν μεταλλευομένων χρυσὸς ἄοσμον, ἄχυμον γάρ, ὁ δὲ χαλκὸς καὶ ὁ σίδηρος ὀσμώδη· ὅταν δ΄ ἐκκαυθῇ τὸ ὑγρόν, ἀοσμότεραι αἱ σκωρίαι γίγνονται πάντων· ἄργυρος δὲ καὶ καττίτερος τῶν μὲν μᾶλλον ὀσμώδη τῶν δ΄ ἧττον· ὑδατώδη γάρ. Moreover, among metals, gold is odorless, for it is achymous. Brass and iron are odorous, but when the moisture is burned out of them, their slag is made odorless. Silver and tin are more odorous than some, but less than others, for they are watery.
δοκεῖ δ΄ ἐνίοις ἡ καπνώδης ἀναθυμίασις εἶναι ὀσμή, οὖσα κοινὴ γῆς τε καὶ ἀέρος [καὶ πάντες ἐπιφέρονται ἐπὶ τοῦτο περὶ ὀσμῆς]· διὸ καὶ Ἡράκλειτος οὕτως εἴρηκεν, ὡς εἰ πάντα τὰ ὄντα καπνὸς γένοιτο, ῥῖνες ἂν διαγνοῖεν, καὶ πάντες ἐπιφέρονται ἐπὶ τοῦτο περὶ ὀσμῆς, οἱ μὲν ὡς ἀτμίδα, οἱ δ΄ ὡς ἀναθυμίασιν, οἱ δ΄ ὡς ἄμφω ταῦτα· ἔστι δ΄ ἡ μὲν ἀτμὶς ὑγρότης τις, ἡ δὲ καπνώδης ἀναθυμίασις, ὥσπερ εἴρηται, κοινὸν ἀέρος καὶ γῆς· καὶ συνίσταται ἐκ μὲν ἐκείνης ὕδωρ, ἐκ δὲ ταύτης γῆς τι εἶδος. 443a21 Now it seems to some that odor is a smoky evaporation, and that this common to earth and air. They all speak of odor on this basis. Thus Heraclitus says that if all beings became smoke, the nostrils would discern them. They all introduce some such cause of odor, some presenting it as an “exhalation,” some as an “evaporation,” and some as both of these. Vapor is a kind of moisture, but smoky exhalation, as was said, is something common to air and earth. Water is produced from the former, but a kind of earth from the latter.
ἀλλ΄ οὐδέτερον τούτων ἔοικεν· ἡ μὲν γὰρ ἀτμίς ἐστιν ὕδατος, ἡ δὲ καπνώδης ἀναθυμίασις ἀδύνατος ἐν ὕδατι γενέσθαι· ὀσμᾶται δὲ καὶ τὰ ἐν τῷ ὕδατι, [443b] ὥσπερ εἴρηται πρότερον. 443a29 But odor seems to be neither of these, for vapor belongs to water, but smoky evaporation cannot occur in water. For animals in water also smell, as was said above.
ἔτι ἡ ἀναθυμίασις ὁμοίως λέγεται ταῖς ἀπορροίαις· εἰ οὖν μηδ΄ ἐκεῖναι καλῶς, οὐδ΄ αὕτη καλῶς. 443b1 Moreover, they use the term “evaporation “ as they do the term “emanations.” Therefore, if the latter is not correct, neither is the former.
ὅτι μὲν οὖν ἐνδέχεται ἀπολαύειν τὸ ὑγρόν, καὶ τὸ ἐν τῷ πνεύματι καὶ τὸ ἐν τῷ ὕδατι, καὶ πάσχειν τι ὑπὸ τῆς ἐγχύμου ξηρότητος, οὐκ ἄδηλον· καὶ γὰρ ὁ ἀὴρ ὑγρὸν τὴν φύσιν ἐστίν. 443b3 Therefore it is not hard to see that moisture—both that in wind and that in water—can receive and be affected in some way by enchymous dryness. For air too is by nature moist.
ἔτι δ΄ εἴπερ ὁμοίως ἐν τοῖς ὑγροῖς ποιεῖ καὶ ἐν τῷ ἀέρι οἷον ἀποπλυνόμενον τὸ ξηρόν, φανερὸν ὅτι δεῖ ἀνάλογον εἶναι τὰς ὀσμὰς τοῖς χυμοῖς. 443b6 Moreover, if this produces in what is moist and in air something like dryness that has been soaked, it is clear that odors must be analogous to moistures.
ἀλλὰ μὴν τοῦτό γε ἐπ΄ ἐνίων συμβέβηκεν· καὶ γὰρ δριμεῖαι καὶ γλυκεῖαί εἰσιν ὀσμαὶ καὶ αὐστηραὶ καὶ στρυφναὶ καὶ λιπαραί, καὶ τοῖς πικροῖς τὰς σαπρὰς ἄν τις ἀνάλογον εἴποι· διὸ ὥσπερ ἐκεῖνα δυσκατάποτα, τὰ σαπρὰ δυσανάπνευστά ἐστιν. δῆλον ἄρα ὅτι ὅπερ ἐν τῷ ὕδατι ὁ χυμός, τοῦτ΄ ἐν τῷ ἀέρι καὶ ὕδατι ἡ ὀσμή. 443b8 And in some cases they are so, for odors are also “sour” and “sweet” and “harsh “ and “pungent” and “rich.” And one might say that what is putrid is analogous to what is bitter: as the latter is difficult to drink, what is putrid is dysanapneustic. It is clear, then, that what flavor is in water, odor is in air an water.
καὶ διὰ τοῦτο τὸ ψυχρὸν καὶ ἡ πῆξις καὶ τοὺς χυμοὺς ἀμβλύνει καὶ τὰς ὀσμὰς ἀφανίζει· τὸ γὰρ θερμὸν τὸ κινοῦν καὶ δημιουργοῦν ἀφανίζουσιν ἡ ψύξις καὶ ἡ πῆξις. 443b14 For this reason cold and cohesion make flavors dull and drive out odors: for cold and cohesion remove the heat that moves and generates them.
Postquam philosophus determinavit de saporibus, hic incipit determinare de odoribus. 442b27 After the Philosopher has made a determination about flavors, here he begins to make a determination about odors.
Et dividitur in duas partes. In prima determinat de odoribus. In secunda comparat sensum odoratus ad alios sensus, ibi, videtur autem sensus, qui est odorandi. This is divided into two parts. In the first he makes the determination about odors. In the second he compares the sense of smell to the other senses, where he says The senses exist in an odd number (Chapter 13, 445a4).
Circa primum duo facit. Primo determinat generationem et naturam odoris. Secundo determinat species ipsius, ibi, species autem odorabilis. On the first point he does two things. First he determines the generation and the nature of odor. Second he determines the species of odor, where he says There are two species of the odorous (Chapter 12, 443b17).
Circa primum duo facit. Primo manifestat quid sit passivum in generationem odorum. Secundo quid sit activum, ibi, quoniam vero ab enchymo. On the first point he does two things. First he shows what is passive in the generation of odors. Second he shows what is active in it, where he says That this affection is caused by the enchymous (443a8).
Circa primum tria facit. Primo proponit quod intendit. Secundo exponit quod dixerat, ibi, commune autem his. Tertio probat, ibi, non enim solum. On the first point he does three things. First he presents his intention. Second, he explains something he said, where he says We now call what is common (442b29). Third he proves it, where he says The odorous is not only in air (443a2).
Dicit ergo primo, quod eodem modo oportet intelligere in generatione odorum, sicut et in generatione saporum: scilicet quod aliquid est in generatione saporum passivum, et aliquid activum. Dictum est enim circa sapores, quod humidum aqueum patitur a sicco terrestri, et sic reducitur per actionem caloris ad hoc quod sit saporosum: in generatione autem odoris est activum humidum enchymum. Et dicitur enchymum ab en, quod est in, et chymos, quod est humor, quasi humore existente imbibito et incorporato alicui sicco. Hoc igitur est activum in odore; passivum autem est aliquod aliud genus, quod comprehendit sub se aerem et aquam. Accordingly he first says that the generation of odors must be understood in the same way as that of flavors: that is, there is something passive and something active. What was said about flavors was that the moistness of water is affected by the dryness of earth, and thus is brought by the action of heat to the condition of being flavored. But what is active in the generation of odor is enchymous moistness. It is called “enchymous” from “en,” which means “in,” and “chymous,” which means “moisture”: for the moisture exists as, so to speak, drunk in by and incorporated into something dry. This, then, is what is active in odor. What is passive is another genus that includes air and water.
Deinde cum dicit commune autem exponit quid sit illud genus commune aeri et aquae, quod est susceptivum odoris. 442b29 Then when he says We now call what is common, he explains that this genus is that is common to air and water and is receptive of odor.
Et dicit, quod commune utrique dicitur esse perspicuum, non tamen perspicuum, inquantum perspicuum est susceptivum odoris, sed coloris, ut supra habitum est; sed est susceptivum odoris secundum quod est lavabile vel mundabile enchymae siccitatis, idest secundum quod est receptivum enchymi sicci: quam quidem receptionem vocat lavationem, vel mundationem, inquantum aliquid per humidum receptivum natum est ablui vel mundari. He says that what is common to the two is called the transparent. However, the transparent as transparent is receptive not of odor, but of color, as was established above: but it is receptive of odor according as it is capable of being soaked or cleansed by enchymous dryness, that is, according as it is receptive of enchymous dryness. He calls this reception a “soaking” or a cleansing” inasmuch as a thing is naturally washed or cleansed by the moisture it receives.
Deinde cum dicit non enim probat quod supposuerat, scilicet quod susceptivum odoris non solum sit aer, sed etiam aqua. 443a2 Then when he says The odorous is not only in air, he proves something he presupposed, namely that not only air but also water is receptive of odor.
Et primo inducit huius probationem. Secundo concludit quid sit proprium susceptivum odoris, ibi, si quis ergo. First he introduces a proof of this. Second he concludes to what is properly receptive of odor, where he says Accordingly, if one holds that water and air (443a6).
Dicit ergo primo, quod odor non solum suscipitur in aere, sed etiam in aqua; et hoc manifeste ostenditur propter hoc quod pisces aliqui, ut sunt ostracoderma, idest animalia durae testae, viventia in aqua, videntur odorare ex hoc quod a longe odore trahuntur ad alimentum, quod videre non possunt. Et ex hoc apparet quod aqua est susceptiva odoris, duplici ratione. Accordingly he first says that odor is received not only in air, but also in water This is clearly shown by the fact that fish and testacea—that is, hard-shelled animals that live in water—seem to smell from the fact that they are attracted from a distance by odor to food they cannot see. From this it is it is clear, by two arguments, that water is receptive of odor.
Primo quidem, quia huiusmodi animalia non vivunt in aere, sed in aqua. Quod autem sub aqua, in qua huiusmodi pisces degunt, non sit aer sed aqua, probat per hoc, quod aer supernatet aquae etiam si infra aquam ponatur; sicut patet de ventre inflato, si per violentiam submergatur, quod supernatabit aquae. First, these animals live not in air but water. And he proves that there is no air under water, where fish of this kind live, by the fact that air floats to the top of water even if it is put underwater. This is evident in the case of an inflated bag, which, if submerged by force, will float to the surface of the water.
Secundo etiam, quia si daretur quod aer esset intra aquam, cum tamen huiusmodi animalia non respirent aerem, ita non sentirent odorem, si solus aer esset odoris susceptivus. Second, even granting that there is air under water, nevertheless such animals do not breathe air. Therefore, if only air were receptive of odor, they would not perceive odor.
Deinde cum dicit si quis ergo concludit quid sit proprium susceptivum odoris: 443a6 Then, when he says Accordingly, if one holds that water and air, he concludes to what is properly receptive of odor.
et dicit quod aer et aqua, quae sunt susceptiva odoris, sunt humida; sequitur quod odor nihil sit aliud quam quaedam natura, scilicet forma ab enchymo sicco impressa in humido, quod est aer et aqua; et illud est odorabile, quod est tale, idest humidum habens naturam sibi impressam ab enchymo sicco. He says that because air and water, which are receptive of odor, are moist, it follows that odor is nothing but the “nature”—that is, the form—impressed by enchymous dryness on the moisture that is air and water. And the odorous is what is such: that is, moisture with a “nature” impressed on it by enchymous dryness.
Deinde cum dicit quoniam vero probat quod enchymus sit effectivum odoris. 443a8 Then, when he says That this affection is caused by the enchymous, he proves that the enchymous causes odor.
Et hoc probat tripliciter. Primo quidem per ea quae habent vel non habent odorem. Secundo per diversas opiniones quorumdam de odore, ibi, videtur autem quibusdam. Tertio per affinitatem odoris ad saporem, ibi, adhuc autem siquidem. He proves this in three ways: first by what has and what does not have odor; second, where he says Now it seems to some (443a21), by different opinions some have held about odor; third, where he says Moreover, if this produces (443b6), by the affinity of odor with flavor.
Dicit ergo primo, quod manifestum est et per ea quae habent odorem, quod haec passio, quae est odor, sit impressa ab enchymo, idest ab humore imbibito et comprehenso a sicco, ut supra dictum est. Accordingly he first says that it is clear, both from what has and from what does not have odor, that this affection that is odor is impressed by the enchymous—that is, by moistness instilled in and absorbed by dryness, a was said above.
Primo enim elementa omnia, scilicet ignis, aqua, terra, carent odore; quia sive sint humida, sive sicca, sunt achyma, idest sine humore comprehenso a sicco; quia quae eorum sunt humida habent humidum sine sicco; quae autem eorum sunt sicca habent siccum sine humido, nisi sit facta aliqua commixtio elementorum. Unde mare habet aliquem odorem, quia in eo siccum terrestre est admixtum humido aqueo, ut manifestatur per salsum saporem. Sal etiam magis habet odorem, quam nitrum. Et quod ista duo, scilicet sal et nitrum, habeant aliquid de enchymo, manifestatur per hoc quod oleum exit ab eis per aliquod artificium; et ex hoc manifestatur quod est in eis aliquis humor pinguis comprehensus a sicco: sed nitrum minus habet de huiusmodi humore quam sal; et ideo est minus odorabile. First, because all the elements, namely fire, air, water, and earth, lack odor. For whether they are moist or dry, they are achymous—that is, without moisture absorbed by dryness—for those that are moist have moistness without dryness, and those that are dry have dryness without moistness. This is the case unless a mixture of elements is made. Thus the sea has an odor, because dryness of earth has been mixed into moisture of water in it, as is clear front its salty flavor: for salt has even more odor than does niter. And that these two—salt and niter—do have something of the enchymous, is clear from the oil that is brought out of them by means of a certain technique, which shows that there is in them an oily moisture absorbed by dryness. But niter has less of this moisture than does salt, and so is less odorous.
Secundo manifestat idem in lapidibus et lignis: et dicit quod lapis solidus et durus caret odore, quia non habet praedictum humorem, a quo odor causatur, propter magnam sui terrestritatem; sed ligna habent odorem, quia habent aliquid de praedicto humore: quod patet ex hoc, quia inflammabilia sunt propter pinguedinem in eis existentem. Unde ligna, quae habent humorem magis aquosum et minus pinguem, quasi non comprehensum a sicco, sunt minus odorabilia, sicut patet de ligno populeo: ligna autem abietis et pinea sunt multum odorabilia, propter pinguedinem humoris ipsorum. Second, he shows the same thing in the case of stones and woods. He says that a solid and hard stone lacks odor because, due to its great component of earth, it does not have the odor-causing moisture mentioned. But woods do have odor because they do have something of the moisture mentioned, as is clear front the fact that they are inflammable because of an oiliness that exists in them. Hence woods that have a more watery and less oily moisture—one that is not absorbed, as it were, by dryness—are less odorous. This is clearly the case with poplar wood. But fir and pine woods are very odorous because of the oiliness of their moisture.
Tertio manifestat idem in metallis, inter quae aurum est minime odorabile, eo quod caret praedicto humore: quod contingit propter eius magnam terrestritatem, quae significatur ex maximo pondere eius. Est enim ponderosius ceteris metallis. Sed aes et ferrum est odorabile, quia humidum in eis digestum est imbibitum a sicco, et non est totaliter ab eo separatum, sicut in auro. Unde et scoriae eorum, propter adustionem humidi, sunt minus odorabiles. Argentum vero et stannum sunt magis odorabilia quam aurum, minus vero quam aes et ferrum: habent enim humorem magis aquaticum et minus comprehensum a sicco quam aes et ferrum. Quia tamen humiditas eorum aliqualiter comprehenditur a sicco, non sunt penitus absque odore, sicut aurum. Third, he shows the same thing in the case of metals, among which gold is completely odorless, because it lacks the moisture mentioned; this is due to its large component of earth, which is indicated by its very great weight: for it is heavier than other metals. Brass and iron are odorous, because the moisture in them is digested and drunk in by the dryness, but not wholly overcome by it, as it is in the case of gold; hence their slag is less odorous because of the burning off of the moisture in them. Silver and tin are more odorous than gold, but less than brass and iron: for they have a moisture that is more watery and less absorbed by dryness than do brass and iron; however, because their moisture is in a way absorbed by dryness, they are not completely odorless like gold.
Deinde cum dicit videtur autem ostendit quod enchymum sit activum odoris per opiniones aliorum. Secundo excludit eas, ibi, sed neutrum horum. Tertio concludit propositum, ibi, quoniam ergo. 443a21 Then, when he says Now it seems to some, he shows that the enchymous is what is active in odor through opinions of others.On this point he does three things. First he presents the opinions of the others. Second he eliminates them, where he says But odor seems to be neither of these (443a29). Third he concludes to his proposal, where he says Therefore it is not hard to see (443b3).
Dicit ergo primo: quibusdam videtur quod odor sit fumalis evaporatio, quae est communis aeri et terrae, quasi medium inter ea, quia est aliquid resolutum a sicco terrestri non pertingens ad subtilitatem aeream: et omnes antiqui qui loquuntur de odore, propinqui fuerunt ad hanc positionem. Unde et Heraclitus dicit, quod, si omnia entia resolverentur in fumum, nares percipientes odorem, discernerent omnia entia, quasi omnia entia essent odores. Existimabat enim Heraclitus vaporem esse rerum principium. Accordingly he first says that it seems to some that odor is a smoky evaporation, smoke being common to air and earth, i.e. an intermediary between them, as it were, because it is something dissolved from dryness of earth that does not achieve the fineness of air. All of the Ancients speak of odor in a way close to this position. Hence Heraclitus says that if all beings were dissolved into smoke, the nostrils, in perceiving odor, would discern all beings, as if to say that all beings would be odors. For Heraclitus thought that vapor is a principle of things.
Quia tamen non omnes philosophi posuerunt odorem esse fumum, sed quidam aliquid simile, ideo ad hanc diversitatem manifestandam subiungit, quod quidam attribuebant odori exhalationem, quidam evaporationem, quidam utrumque; et ostendit differentiam inter haec duo; quia evaporatio nihil aliud est quam quaedam humiditas aquea resoluta; exhalatio autem sive fumus est commune aeri et terrae, cum sit resolutio quaedam ex sicco terrestri, sicut dictum est. Et signum huius differentiae est quod ex evaporatione quando condensatur, generatur aqua, ex fumali autem evaporatione aliquid terrestre. But not all philosophers held that odor is smoke; some held that it is just something like it. Therefore, in order to show this diversity, he adds that some assigned “exhalation” to odor, some “evaporation,” and some both. And he shows the difference between these two: evaporation is nothing but dissolved moisture of water, but exhalation or smoke is something common to air and earth, since it is something dissolved from dryness of earth, as was said. A sign of this difference is that when vapor is condensed, water is generated from it, but when exhalation of smoke is condensed, something earthen is generated from it.
Secundo ibi sed neutrum excludit praedictas positiones duabus rationibus. 443a29 Then, when he says But odor seems to be neither of these, he eliminates the above-mentioned positions by two arguments.
Quarum prima est, quia vapor pertinet ad aquam, quae non est odorabilis absque admixtione sicci, sicut supra dictum est; fumus autem non potest fieri in aqua, tamen fit odor, ut supra est ostensum per hoc, quod quaedam animalia odorant in aqua: ergo odor non est fumus nec vapor. The first is that vapor pertains to water, which is not odorous without an admixture of dryness, as was said above. But smoke cannot occur in water, although odor does occur in it, as was shown above by the fact that some animals can smell in water. Therefore odor is neither smoke nor vapor.
Secundam rationem ponit ibi amplius evaporatio 443b1 Then, when he says Moreover, they use the term “evaporation,” he presents the second argument.
quae talis est. Similis ratio est quod evaporatio dicatur odor, et quod colores dicantur effluxiones; sed illud non dicitur de coloribus, ut supra dictum est; ergo nec istud bene dicitur de odoribus. Utrobique enim sequitur quod sensus fiat per tactum, et odorum, et colorum; et quod corpora odorata et visa diminuerentur, et tandem totaliter resolverentur per effluxionem: et hoc est inconveniens, praesertim cum inveniatur tam a remotis aliquid videri et odorari, quod nullo modo resolutio corporis usque illuc reduci possit. Sic enim ad tantam distantiam, et color et odor per spiritualem immutationem medii percipi possunt. It is this. The argument that odor should be called an “evaporation” is similar to the argument that colors should be called “emanations. “ But as was shown above, the latter is not a correct description of colors; therefore, neither is the former a correct description of odors. For in both cases would follow that sensing occurs through contact, whether of the odors or of the colors, and that bodies seen and smelled are diminished and finally completely dissolved by the emanation or dissolution. And this is unreasonable, especially since a thing can be seen and smelled from such a distance that there is no way that something dissolved from the body could be carried that far. Rather, perception of both color and odor occurs at such distance through a spiritual alteration of the medium.
Deinde cum dicit quod ergo concludit propositum, scilicet quod ex quo odor non est nec vapor, nec fumus, manifestum est quod humidum, quod est in spiritu, idest in aere et in aqua, patitur ab enchyma siccitate, et sic odor fit et sentitur. Humidum enim non solum invenitur in aqua, sed etiam in aere. 443b3 Then, when he says Therefore it is not hard to see, be concludes to the proposal, namely that, because odor is neither vapor nor smoke, it is clear that moisture in “wind”—that is, air—and water is affected by enchymous dryness, and thus odor occurs and is perceived. For moisture is present not only in water, but also in air.
Deinde cum dicit adhuc autem manifestat quod enchymum sit activum odoris per affinitatem ad saporem. 443b6 Then, when he says Moreover, if this produces, he shows that the enchymous is what is active in odor by the affinity of odor with flavor.
Et circa hoc tria facit. On this point he does three things.
Primo proponit dicens: et si enchymum similiter facit odorem in humido aqueo et in aere, sicut siccum terrestre lavatum per humidum aqueum facit sapores, manifestum est quod odores oportet proportionatos esse saporibus. First he presents the proposal. He says that if the enchymous causes odor in the moisture of water and air, in the way that the dryness of earth soaked by the moisture of water causes flavors, it is clear that odors must be analogous to flavors.
Secundo ibi, sed adhuc manifestat propositum adaptando odores saporibus. 443b8 Second, where he says And in some cases, he clarifies the proposal by co-coordinating odors with flavors.
Et dicit quod in quibusdam hoc accidit manifeste. Dicuntur enim acetosi et dulces odores, et austeri, et styptici, et Pontici, et crassi, sicut et sapores; sed amaros odores non dicimus, sed putridi odores proportionabiliter respondent amaris saporibus, quia amari sapores difficile sorbentur. Putrida sunt dysanapneusta, idest difficilis respirationis. Unde manifestum est ex hac affinitate odoris ad saporem, quod sicut sapor fit in aqua, ita odor in aere et aqua. He says that in some cases this coordination is evident. For odors are called “sour” and “sweet” and “harsh”—that is, astringent—and “pungent” and “rich,” just like flavors. But we do not call odors ‘bitter”: rather, putrid odors correspond analogously to bitter flavors, for just as bitter flavors are swallowed with difficulty, so what is putrid is “dysanapneustic”—that is, difficult to inhale. Hence it is clear from this affinity of odor with flavor that flavor occurs in water in the way that odor occurs in air and water.
Tertio ibi, et propter. Probat praedictam affinitatem per impedimenta saporis et odoris; 443b14 Third, where he says For this reason, he proves the abovementioned affinity through impediments to flavor and odor.
quia per frigus et congelationem, sapores hebetantur et odores, exterminantur, inquantum per praedicta aufertur calidum, quod generat et movet odores et sapores, ut ex dictis apparet. Flavors are made dull, and odors are driven out, by cold and freezing, as the heat that generates and moves odors and flavors is removed by cold and freezing, as is clear from what was said.


εἴδη δὲ τοῦ ὀσφραντοῦ δύο ἐστίν· οὐ γάρ, ὥσπερ τινές φασιν, οὐκ ἔστιν εἴδη τοῦ ὀσφραντοῦ, ἀλλ΄ ἔστιν. διοριστέον δὲ πῶς ἔστι καὶ πῶς οὐκ ἔστιν· 443b17 There are two species of the odorous. For it is not the case that, as some say, there are no species of the odorous; there are. But the ways in which there are and are not must be determined.
τὸ μὲν γάρ ἐστι κατὰ τοὺς χυμοὺς τεταγμένον αὐτῶν, ὥσπερ εἴπομεν, καὶ τὸ ἡδὺ καὶ τὸ λυπηρὸν κατὰ συμβεβηκὸς ἔχουσιν (διὰ γὰρ τὸ τοῦ θρεπτικοῦ πάθη εἶναι, ἐπιθυμούντων μὲν ἡδεῖαι αἱ ὀσμαὶ τούτων εἰσί, πεπληρωμένοις δὲ καὶ μηδὲν δεομένοις οὐχ ἡδεῖαι, οὐδ΄ ὅσοις μὴ καὶ ἡ τροφὴ ἡ ἔχουσα τὰς ὀσμὰς ἡδεῖα, οὐδὲ τούτοις) ὥστε αὗται μέν, καθάπερ εἴπομεν, κατὰ συμβεβηκὸς ἔχουσι τὸ ἡδὺ καὶ λυπηρόν, διὸ καὶ πάντων εἰσὶ κοιναὶ τῶν ζῴων· 443b19 One kind of odor is ordered according to flavors, as was said. These contain the pleasant and unpleasant accidentally. For because odor is an affection of nourishment, these odors are pleasant to those that have an appetite. But to those that are full and not in need, neither the odors nor the food that has the odors is pleasant. Therefore, as we said, these contain the pleasant and unpleasant accidentally, and for this reason they are common objects for all animals.
αἱ δὲ καθ΄ αὑτὰς ἡδεῖαι τῶν ὀσμῶν εἰσιν, οἷον αἱ τῶν ἀνθῶν· 443b26 But some odors, such as those of flowers, are pleasant of themselves.
οὐδὲν γὰρ μᾶλλον οὐδ΄ ἧττον πρὸς τὴν τροφὴν παρακαλοῦσιν, οὐδὲ συμβάλλονται πρὸς ἐπιθυμίαν οὐδέν, ἀλλὰ τοὐναντίον μᾶλλον· ἀληθὲς γὰρ ὅπερ Εὐριπίδην σκώπτων εἶπε Στράττις, ὅταν φακῆν ἕψητε, μὴ ΄πιχεῖν μύρον. 443b28 For they do not follow from food with respect to more and less. And they do not contribute anything to desire, but rather the contrary. For what Thracius said in criticism of Euripides is true: “When you cook lentils, you don’t pour on ointment.”
οἱ δὲ νῦν μειγνύντες [444a] εἰς τὰ πόματα τὰς τοιαύτας δυνάμεις βιάζονται τῇ συνηθείᾳ τὴν ἡδονήν, ἕως ἂν ἐκ δύ΄ αἰσθήσεων γένηται τὸ ἡδὺ ὡς ἂν καὶ ἀπὸ μιᾶς. 443b31 And those who do mix such virtues into drinks do violence to pleasure by the practice until it becomes pleasant to two senses, in the way that one thing is pleasant to one.
τοῦτο μὲν οὖν τὸ ὀσφραντὸν ἴδιον ἀνθρώπου ἐστίν, ἡ δὲ κατὰ τοὺς χυμοὺς τεταγμένη καὶ τῶν ἄλλων ζῴων, ὥσπερ εἴρηται πρότερον· κἀκείνων μέν, διὰ τὸ κατὰ συμβεβηκὸς ἔχειν τὸ ἡδύ, διῄρηται τὰ εἴδη κατὰ τοὺς χυμούς, ταύτης δ΄ οὐκέτι, διὰ τὸ τὴν φύσιν αὐτῆς εἶναι καθ΄ αὑτὴν ἡδεῖαν ἢ λυπηράν. 444a3 This species of the odorous, then, is proper to the human being. But the kind that is ordered according to flavors is also an object for other animals, as was said above. And because the latter contains the pleasant accidentally, its species are divided according to flavors. But the former is not, because its very nature is, of itself pleasant or unpleasant.
αἴτιον δὲ τοῦ ἴδιον εἶναι ἀνθρώπου τὴν τοιαύτην ὀσμὴν διὰ τὴν ἕξιν τὴν περὶ τὸν ἐγκέφαλον. ψυχροῦ γὰρ ὄντος τὴν φύσιν τοῦ ἐγκεφάλου, καὶ τοῦ αἵμα τος τοῦ περὶ αὐτὸν ἐν τοῖς φλεβίοις ὄντος λεπτοῦ μὲν καὶ καθαροῦ, εὐψύκτου δέ (διὸ καὶ ἡ τῆς τροφῆς ἀναθυμίασις ψυχομένη διὰ τὸν τόπον τὰ νοσηματικὰ ῥεύματα ποιεῖ), τοῖς ἀνθρώποις πρὸς βοήθειαν ὑγιείας γέγονε τὸ τοιοῦτον εἶδος τῆς ὀσμῆς· οὐδὲν γὰρ ἄλλο ἔργον ἐστὶν αὐτῆς ἢ τοῦτο. τοῦτο δὲ ποιεῖ φανερῶς· 444a8 Now the cause of this kind of odor being proper to the human being is the coolness around his brain. For the brain is cool by nature. And the blood around it in narrow veins is fine and pure, but easily cooled. For this reason, fumes from food, when cooled because of the coolness of this region, cause rheumatic illnesses in human beings. This kind of odor is produced as an aid to health, for it has no other function than this, and this it clearly has.
ἡ μὲν γὰρ τροφὴ ἡδεῖα οὖσα, καὶ ἡ ξηρὰ καὶ ἡ ὑγρά, πολλάκις νοσώδης ἐστίν, ἡ δ΄ ἀπὸ τῆς ὀσμῆς τῆς καθ΄ αὑτὴν ἡδείας εὐωδία ὁπωσοῦν ἔχουσιν ὠφέλιμος ὡς εἰπεῖν αἰεί. 444a16 The odor that is pleasant because of food, dry or moist, is often unhealthy. But that which is pleasant because of odor that is of itself odorous, whatever it may be, is always useful, so to speak.
καὶ διὰ τοῦτο γίγνεται διὰ τῆς ἀναπνοῆς, οὐ πᾶσιν ἀλλὰ τοῖς ἀνθρώποις καὶ τῶν ἐναίμων οἷον τοῖς τετράποσι καὶ ὅσα μετέχει μᾶλλον τῆς τοῦ ἀέρος φύσεως· 444a19 For this reason it is done by breathing—not in all animals, but in human beings and those that have blood, such as quadrupeds and those participate more in the nature of air.
ἀναφερομένων γὰρ τῶν ὀσμῶν πρὸς τὸν ἐγκέφαλον διὰ τὴν ἐν αὐταῖς τῆς θερμότητος κουφότητα ὑγιεινοτέρως ἔχει τὰ περὶ τὸν τόπον τοῦτον· ἡ γὰρ τῆς ὀσμῆς δύναμις θερμὴ τὴν φύσιν ἐστίν. κατακέχρηται δ΄ ἡ φύσις τῇ ἀναπνοῇ ἐπὶ δύο, ὡς ἔργῳ μὲν ἐπὶ τὴν εἰς τὸν θώρακα βοή θειαν, ὡς παρέργῳ δ΄ ἐπὶ τὴν ὀσμήν· ἀναπνέοντος γὰρ ὥσπερ ἐκ παρόδου ποιεῖται διὰ τῶν μυκτήρων τὴν κίνησιν. ἴδιον δὲ τῆς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου φύσεώς ἐστι τὸ τῆς ὀσμῆς τῆς τοιαύτης γένος διὰ τὸ πλεῖστον ἐγκέφαλον καὶ ὑγρότατον ἔχειν τῶν ἄλλων ζῴων ὡς κατὰ μέγεθος· διὰ γὰρ τοῦτο καὶ μόνον ὡς εἰπεῖν αἰσθάνεται τῶν ζῴων ἄνθρωπος καὶ χαίρει ταῖς τῶν ἀνθῶν καὶ τῶν τοιούτων ὀσμαῖς· σύμμετρος γὰρ αὐτῶν [444b] ἡ θερμότης καὶ ἡ κίνησις πρὸς τὴν ὑπερβολὴν τῆς ἐν τῷ τό πῳ ὑγρότητος καὶ ψυχρότητός ἐστιν. 444a22 When odors rise to the brain because of the lightness of the heat in them, this area is healthier. For odor by nature has the power of heat. Nature uses breathing for two things: actively as an aid to the chest, and adventitiously for odor. For in breathing one causes movement through the nostrils as through passageway. This genus of odor is proper to the nature of the human being because he has a bigger and moister brain in proportion to his size than do the other animals. And for this reason the human being, alone among the animals so to speak, senses and enjoys the odors of flowers and such things: for their heat and movement are commensurate with the hyperbole in this area of coolness and moistness.
τοῖς δ΄ ἄλλοις ὅσα πνεύμονα ἔχει διὰ τοῦ ἀναπνεῖν τοῦ ἑτέρου γένους τῆς ὀσμῆς τὴν αἴσθησιν ἀποδέδωκεν ἡ φύσις, ὅπως μὴ δύο αἰσθητήρια ποιῇ· ἀπόχρη γάρ, ἐπείπερ καὶ ὣς ἀναπνέουσιν, ὥσπερ τοῖς ἀνθρώποις ἀμφοτέρων τῶν ὀσφραντῶν, τούτοις τῶν ἑτέρων μόνων ὑπάρχουσα ἡ αἴσθησις. 444b2 To the other animals that have lungs nature gave sensation of the other kind of odor by means of breathing, so as not to make two sensitive parts. For this is sufficient. Just as it is by breathing that human beings have sensation of both kinds of the odorous, in the same way these animals have sensation of just one kind.
Postquam philosophus determinavit generationem et naturam odoris, hic determinat de speciebus odorum. 443b17 After the Philosopher has determined the generation and nature of odor, here be determines the species of odors.
Et circa hoc duo facit. Primo determinat diversas species odoris. Secundo determinat modum odorandi, ibi, et propter hoc fit per respirationem. On this point be does two things. First be determines the various species of odor. Second he determines the modes of smelling, where he says For this reason (444a 19).
Circa primum tria facit. Primo proponit esse aliquas species odoris. Secundo determinat de speciebus odoris per convenientiam ad species saporum, ibi, hoc quidem enim est secundum sapores. Tertio determinat species, quae sunt odoris secundum se, ibi, quidam autem secundum ipsos. On the first point be does three things. First be proposes that there are species of odor. Second he determines the species of odor by correspondence with species of flavor, where he says One kind of odor (443b19). Third be determines the species belonging to odor of itself, where he says But some odors (443b26).
Dicit ergo primo, quod duae sunt species odorabilis: una quidem per convenientiam ad sapores, alia secundum se. Falsum est enim quod quidam dicunt, odorabile species non habere; sed oportet determinare quomodo habeat, et quomodo non habet. Accordingly be first says that there are two species of the odorous, one by correspondence with flavors, the other pertaining to odor in itself. For what some say, that the odorous does not have species, is false, for it does. But we have to determine the ways in which it does and does not have species.
Est enim determinare species odorum secundum convenientiam ad species saporum, ut supra dictum est; non autem sunt determinatae odoris species secundum se nisi solum secundum diversa odorabilia; sicut si dicamus alium esse odorem rosarum et violarum, et aliorum huiusmodi. Discernitur tamen in his odoribus delectabile et abominabile. It is possible to determine species of odors by agreement with species of flavors, as was said above. But the species of odor in itself are determined only by reference to the different kinds of odorous things, as when we say that the odors of roses, violets, and other such things are different. It is in these odors that the pleasant and the unpleasant are discerned.
Deinde cum dicit hoc quidem determinat de speciebus odorum, quae consequuntur species saporum. 443b19 Then, when he says One kind of odor, be determines about the species of odors that follow from the species of flavors.
Et dicit, quod inter odorabilia aliquid est odorativum secundum saporis species, ut supra dictum est; et ideo delectabile et contristans est in eis secundum accidens, idest non inquantum habent odorem, sed inquantum eorum odor significat nutrimentum. Odor enim est quaedam passio nutrimenti, sicut et sapor: animal enim discernit conveniens nutrimentum a remotis per odorem, sicut coniunctum per saporem. Et ideo huiusmodi odores non sunt delectabiles animalibus repletis, et quae cibo non indigent, sicut nec esca habens hos odores est his delectabilis; sed animalibus appetentibus cibum, idest esurientibus vel sitientibus, sunt huiusmodi odores appetibiles, sicut et cibus vel potus est eis appetibilis. Unde manifestum est quod huiusmodi odorabile habet delectationem et tristitiam secundum accidens, sicut dictum est, scilicet ratione nutrimenti. He says that among odorous things, one kind is ordered according to the species of flavor, as was said above, and so the pleasant and unpleasant are in them accidentally, that is, not inasmuch as they have odor, but inasmuch as their odor indicates nourishment. For odor is an affection of nourishment, as flavor also is: for an animal discerns appropriate nourishment from a distance by means of odor, as it discerns appropriate nourishment taken in by means of flavor. And so these odors are not pleasant to animals that are full and not in need of food, just as neither is food that has these odors pleasant to them; but it is pleasant to animals that have an appetite for food—that is, ones that are thirsty or hungry—just as food or drink is also desirable to them. Hence it is clear that this kind of odorous contains the pleasant and unpleasant accidentally—that is, because of nourishment—as was said.
Et, quia nutrimentum est commune omnibus animalibus, idcirco omnia animalia percipiunt hos odores: quod tamen intelligendum est de omnibus animalibus habentibus motum progressivum, quae necessario habent quaerere alimentum ex longinquo per odorem: animalibus autem immobilibus sufficit gustus et tactus ad discernendum convenientiam alimenti. And because nourishment is common to all animals, all animals perceive these odors. But the “all” must be understood with reference to animals that have forward movement, and have to seek food from a distance by means of odor; in the case of immobile animals, taste and touch suffice for discerning suitability of food.
Deinde cum dicit quidam autem determinat species odoris per se. 443b26 Then, when he says But some odors, he determines the per se species of odor.
Et primo ponit huiusmodi species odoris. Secundo ostendit a quibus animalibus percipiantur, ibi, hoc quidem igitur odorabile. First he presents these species odor. Second he shows which animals perceive them, where he says This species of the odorous (444a3).
Circa primum tria facit. Primo proponit quid intendit. Secundo probat propositum, ibi, nihil enim magis. Tertio excludit obiectionem contrariam, ibi, qui autem nunc commiscent. On the first point he does three things. First he presents what he intends. Second he proves the proposal, where he says For they do not follow (443b28). Third he eliminates an objection to the contrary, where he says And those who do mix (443b31).
Dicit ergo primo, quod quidam odores sunt delectabiles secundum seipsos, idest non per comparationem ad alimentum, sicut fit de odoribus florum. Accordingly he first says that some odors are pleasant of their very selves, that is, not in relation to food, and this is said to be the case with the odors of flowers.
Deinde cum dicit nihil enim probat quod huiusmodi odores sunt secundum se delectabiles; quia scilicet non habent conferre ad escam, ut videlicet appetentes escam magis his odoribus delectentur, et repleti minus. Neque etiam huiusmodi odores conferunt aliquid ad desiderium escae, sicut odores, de quibus supra dictum est, promoventes escae appetitum; sed magis accidit contrarium: quia per immixtionem horum odorabilium, redditur esca indelectabilis, quia frequenter quae bene redolent secundum huiusmodi odorem, sunt mali saporis. 443b28 Then, when he says For they do not follow, he proves that such odors are of themselves pleasant. This is because they are not related to food as a consequence of it, that is, such that animals with an appetite for food take more pleasure in these odors, and animals that are full less full less pleasure. Also, such odors do not contribute anything to desire for food in the way that the odors discussed above provoke an appetite for food. Rather the contrary occurs: food is made unpleasant by being mixed with things that have this kind of odor, because often what smells good inasmuch as it has this kind of odor, nevertheless has a bad taste.
Et inducit ad hoc verbum cuiusdam poetae comici, qui Stratis dicebatur, qui in vituperium alterius poetae, scilicet Euripidis exquirentis cibaria nimis delicate parata, dixit: quando lentem decoquis, non infundas myron, idest unguentum suaviter redolens: quia non oportet quod in pulmento tuo apponas aliqua suaviter redolentia. To confirm this he introduces a saying of a certain comic poet named Thracius or Stratides, who, in criticism of another poet—namely Euripides, who devised very fastidiously prepared dishes—said: “When you cook lentils, you don’t pour on ointment”—that is, sweet-smelling perfume; as if to say: “You shouldn’t add anything sweet-smelling to your relish.”
Deinde cum dicit qui autem excludit obiectionem quae posset fieri propter consuetudinem quorumdam talia cibis admiscentium. 443b3l Then, when he says And those who do mix, he eliminates an objection that could be made because of the custom of some who do mix such things into food.
Sed ipse respondet dicens, quod illi qui huiusmodi virtutes, idest res odoriferas, commiscent cibis et potibus, faciunt per consuetudinem quamdam violentiam naturali delectationi, ut scilicet perveniant ad hoc quod unum et idem sit delectabile duobus sensibus, scilicet gustui et odoratui, sicut naturaliter est unum delectabile uni sensui. He answers by saying that those who do mix “virtues”—that is, odorous things—of this kind with food and drink do violence to natural pleasure by their custom in order to reach a point where one and the same thing is pleasant to two senses, namely taste and smell, whereas by nature one thing is pleasant to one sense.
Deinde cum dicit hoc quidem ostendit a quibus huiusmodi odorabilia percipiantur. 444a3 Then when he says This species of the odorous, he shows by what animals such objects of smell are perceived.
Et circa hoc tria facit. Primo proponit quid intendit. Secundo assignat causam dictorum, ibi, causa autem est. Tertio excludit obiectionem, ibi, cibus. On this point he does three things. First he presents what he intends. Second he gives a cause of what was said, where he says Now the cause of this kind of odor (444a8). Third he excludes an objection, where he says The odor that is pleasant (444a 16).
Dicit ergo primo, quod hoc odorabile, quod secundum se delectat vel contristatur, est proprium hominis, quia scilicet solus homo huiusmodi odorabilia discernit, et in eis delectatur vel contristatur. Unde quantum ad hoc abundat in homine sensus odoratus prae aliis animalibus. Sed odor, qui coordinatur sapori, competit etiam aliis animalibus, quae in huiusmodi odoribus discernendis habent acutiorem sensum quam homo; et quantum ad hoc supra dixit, quod sensum odoratus habemus peiorem aliis animalibus. Et, quia illi odores, qui coordinantur saporibus, habent delectationem per accidens, scilicet per comparationem ad escam; ideo species eorum distinxit secundum species saporum: quod non contingit in his odoribus, qui secundum propriam naturam habent tristitiam vel delectationem; sed huius odoris species distingui non possunt nisi secundum odorabilia, ut dictum est. Accordingly he first says that this species of the odorous that of itself pleases or displeases is proper to the human being, for the human being alone discerns such objects of smell and is pleased or displeased by them; hence, to this extent, the sense of smell is richer in the human being than in other animals. But odor that is coordinated with flavor is also an object for other animals, which have a more acute sense than does the human being for discerning such odors; and to this extent, as he said above, we have a worse sense of smell than do other animals. And because those odors that are coordinated with flavors contain the pleasant accidentally—that is, in relation to food—their species are distinguished according to species of flavors, which is not the case with these odors that of their own nature contain the unpleasant or pleasant: rather, species of this kind of odor can be distinguished only with reference to odorous things, as was said.
Deinde cum dicit causa autem assignat causam praedictorum: et dicit, quod odor secundum se delectabilis, est proprius hominis ad contemperandum frigiditatem cerebri ipsius. Homo enim habet maius cerebrum secundum quantitatem sui corporis inter cetera animalia: cerebrum autem secundum suam naturam est frigidum, et sanguis qui circa cerebrum continetur in quibusdam subtilibus venis, est de facili, infrigidabilis; et ex hoc contingit, quod fumi resoluti a cibo sursum ascendentes propter loci infrigidationem, inspissantur infrigidati, et ex hoc causantur rheumaticae infirmitates in hominibus; et ideo in adiutorium sanitatis contra superfluam cerebri frigiditatem attributa est ita species odoris hominibus; et si quandoque huiusmodi odores gravent cerebrum, hoc est quia non adhibentur secundum quod debent, sed superflue ipsum calefacientes faciunt nimiam resolutionem; sed, si modo debito adhibeantur, conferunt ad sanitatem; et hoc manifeste apparet ex effectu, cum tamen nulla alia utilitas appareat talis odoris: parum enim deservit intellectui perceptio talium odorum ad investigandas naturas rerum, cui multum deservit visus et auditus, ut supra ostensum est. 444a8 Then, when he says Now the cause of this kind of odor, he gives the cause of what was said. He says that odor that is of itself pleasant is an object proper to the human being for moderating the coolness of his brain. For the human being has a larger brain, in relation to the size of his body, than do other animals. But the brain is by its nature cool, and the blood contained in fine veins around the brain is easily cooled. Because of this, vapors dissolved from food, rising upwards and being cooled because of the coolness of the region, sometimes become thick, which causes rheumatic illnesses in human beings. And so this kind of odor was given to human beings as an aid to health, to counter the excessive coolness of the brain. And if such odors sometimes cause headache, this is because they are not applied as they should be, but rather overheat the brain and cause too much evaporation. But if they are applied in the right way they contribute to health. And this clearly appears from their effect, although no other usefulness of such odor is apparent: for perception of such odors hardly serves intellect at all for investigating natures of things, whereas sight and hearing serve it very much, as was shown above.
Deinde cum dicit cibus enim excludit quamdam obiectionem. Posset enim aliquis dicere, quod ad praedictum remedium sanitatis sufficeret aliqua species odorabilis, quae coordinatur sapori. 444a16 Then, when he says The odor that is pleasant, he eliminates an objection. For someone might say that the other kind of object of smell which is coordinated with flavor, would suffice for the remedy of health mentioned.
Sed ipse respondet, quod illa species odoris, quae est delectabilis propter cibum, multotiens magis gravat caput, vel propter superfluam humiditatem, vel propter superfluam siccitatem. Sed illa species odoris, quae est secundum se delectabilis, semper est utilis ad sanitatem ex sui natura. Addit autem ut est dicere, propter indebitum usum. He answers that the kind of odor that is pleasant because of food often rather causes headache, because of either excessive moistness or excessive dryness. But the kind of odor that is in itself pleasant is always useful for health of its own nature. He adds “so to speak” because of the improper use.
Deinde cum dicit et propter concludit ex praedictis debitum modum odorandi. 444a19 Then, when he says For this reason, he concludes from what was said above to the appropriate modes of smelling.
Et primo in hominibus et in aliis animalibus respirantibus. Secundo in animalibus non respirantibus, ibi, quae vero non respirant. First in the human being and other breathing animals; second in non-breathing animals, where he says It is clear that the ones that do not breathe (Ch. 13, 444b7).
Circa primum tria facit. Primo proponit quod intendit. Secundo assignat causam propositam quantum ad homines, ibi, ascendentibus namque. Tertio quantum ad alia animalia, ibi, aliis vero. On the first point he does three things. First he presents what he intends. Second he gives the cause proposed with reference to human beings, where he says When odors rise to the brain (444a22); and third with reference to other animals where he says To the other animals (444b2).
Dicit ergo primo, quod, quia odor utilis est ad contemperandum cerebri frigiditatem, ideo odoratio fit per respirationem; non quidem in omnibus animalibus, sed in hominibus et quibusdam animalibus habentibus sanguinem, sicut in quadrupedibus et avibus, quae etiam magis participant aerem et naturam aeris, ut eorum motus demonstrat. Accordingly he first says that because odor is useful for moderating coolness of the brain, smelling is done by breathing—not in all animals, but in human beings and those that have blood, such as quadrupeds and birds, the latter of which also participate more in the nature of air, as their movement shows.
Deinde cum dicit ascendentibus namque manifestat causam, quare odor percipitur respirando quantum ad homines. 444a22 Then, when he says When odors rise to the brain, he shows the cause why odor is perceived by breathing with reference to human beings.
Et dicit quod odores ascendunt ad cerebrum, quia calor igneus, qui resolvit odores, dat eis quamdam levitatem, ut superiora petant; et ex hoc sequitur quaedam sanitas circa cerebrum. Odor enim habet virtutem calefaciendi, propter calidum igneum a quo causatur et resolvitur. Unde natura utitur respiratione ad duo: ut operose quidem, id est principaliter ad adiutorium thoracis, id est pectoris et ad refrigerium caloris. Ut adventitie autem, idest secundario ad percipiendum odorem. Dum enim homo respirat commovet aerem per nares attrahendo, et sic facit pertransire odores usque ad organum olfactus. He says that odors rise to the brain because the heat of fire that releases odors gives them a lightness so that they move towards higher regions, and from this there follows a condition of health in the area of the brain. For odor has power to heat because of the heat of fire by which it is caused and released. Hence nature uses breathing for two things: actively—that is, principally—as an aid to the chest—that is, the breast; in other words, for cooling the heart’s heat—but adventitiously—that is, secondarily—for perceiving odor. For when the human being breathes, he moves air through the nostrils by drawing it in, and so causes odors to go to the organ of smell.
Ideo autem tale genus est proprium naturae humanae, quia homo habet inter cetera animalia, secundum proportionem suae magnitudinis, maius cerebrum et humidius aliis animalibus: et ideo solus homo inter cetera animalia sentit et delectatur in odoribus florum et aliorum huiusmodi odorum, et motus ad cerebrum reducet ad debitam mensuram hyperbolem, id est superexcessum frigiditatis et humiditatis cerebri. Addit autem ut est dicere quia alia animalia fugiunt malos odores inquantum sunt corruptivi. The reason why this genus of sensible objects is proper to human nature is because the human being has a bigger brain in proportion to its size, and a moister one, than do the other animals. And the reason why the human being alone among the animals senses and takes pleasure in the odors of flowers and other such things is that the heat of such odors and their movement towards the brain reduce the “hyperbole”—that is, the excess of the brain’s coolness and moistness to the right measure. He added “so to speak” because other animals do flee bad odors inasmuch as they are destructive.
Deinde cum dicit aliis vero assignat causam odorandi per respirationem quantum ad alia animalia. Et dicit, quod animalibus habentibus pulmonem, quae sola respirant, natura dedit sensum alterius odoris, idest pertinentia ad cibum per respirationem, ut non faciat duo organa, unum respirandi et alium odorandi, cum sufficiat organum respirandi etiam ad odorandum, sicut hominibus, quantum ad duo genera odorabilium, et ita etiam aliis animalibus quantum ad unum tantum. 444b2 Then, when he says To the other animals, he gives the cause of smelling by breathing with reference to other animals. He says that nature gave to animals with lungs, which are the only ones that breathe, sensation of the other kind of odor—that is, the one related food—by means of breathing so as not to make two organs, one an organ of breathing and the other an organ of smelling. For the organ of breathing is sufficient also for smelling: just as for the human being it suffices for the two kinds of the odorous, so for other animals it suffices for the one alone.


τὰ δὲ μὴ ἀναπνέοντα ὅτι μὲν ἔχει αἴσθησιν τοῦ ὀσφραντοῦ, φανερόν· καὶ γὰρ ἰχθύες καὶ τὸ τῶν ἐντόμων γένος πᾶν ἀκριβῶς καὶ πόρρωθεν αἰσθάνεται, διὰ τὸ θρεπτικὸν εἶδος τῆς ὀσμῆς, ἀπέχοντα πολὺ τῆς οἰκείας τροφῆς, οἷον αἵ τε μέλιτται [ποιοῦσι πρὸς τὸ μέλι] καὶ τὸ τῶν μικρῶν μυρμήκων γένος, οὓς καλοῦσί τινες κνῖπας, καὶ τῶν θαλαττίων αἱ πορφύραι, καὶ πολλὰ τῶν ἄλλων τῶν τοιούτων ζῴων ὀξέως αἰσθάνεται τῆς τροφῆς διὰ τὴν ὀσμήν. 444b7 It is clear that the ones that do not breathe have sensation of the odorous. For both fish and the whole class of insects keenly sense from a distance because of the nutritive species of odor, although they are very far from their proper food. So do bees in relation to honey; and the genus of small ants some call “hexapods”; and, among marine animals, the purple-fish. And many other such animals acutely sense their food because of odor.
ὅτῳ δὲ αἰσθάνεται, οὐχ ὁμοίως φανερόν. διὸ κἂν ἀπορήσειέ τις τίνι αἰσθάνονται τῆς ὀσμῆς, εἴπερ ἀναπνέουσι μὲν γίγνεται τὸ ὀσμᾶσθαι μοναχῶς (τοῦτο γὰρ φαίνεται ἐπὶ τῶν ἀναπνεόντων συμβαῖνον πάντων), ἐκείνων δ΄ οὐθὲν ἀναπνεῖ, αἰσθάνεται μέντοι, εἰ μή τις παρὰ τὰς πέντε αἰσθήσεις ἑτέρα. τοῦτο δ΄ ἀδύνατον· τοῦ γὰρ ὀσφραντοῦ ὄσφρησις, ἐκεῖνα δὲ τούτου αἰσθάνεται, 444b15 But what they sense it with is not so clear. Therefore someone might raise the difficulty what it is they sense odor with, since smelling takes place in all animals that do breathe in one and the same way: for this is what seems to happen in all animals that do breathe, but none of these animals breathe, and yet they do sense. Unless there is some other sense besides the five? But this is impossible: for the odorous is the object of the sense of smell, and the odorous is what they sense.
ἀλλ΄ οὐ τὸν αὐτὸν ἴσως τρόπον, ἀλλὰ τοῖς μὲν ἀναπνέουσι τὸ πνεῦμα ἀφαιρεῖ τὸ ἐπικείμενον ὥσπερ πῶμά τι (διὸ οὐκ αἰσθάνεται μὴ ἀναπνέοντα), τοῖς δὲ μὴ ἀναπνέουσιν ἀφῄρηται τοῦτο, καθάπερ ἐπὶ τῶν ὀφθαλμῶν τὰ μὲν ἔχει βλέφαρα τῶν ζῴων, ὧν μὴ ἀνακαλυφθέντων οὐ δύναται ὁρᾶν, τὰ δὲ σκληρόφθαλμα οὐκ ἔχει, διόπερ οὐ προσδεῖται οὐδενὸς τοῦ ἀνακαλύψοντος, ἀλλ΄ ὁρᾷ ἐκ τοῦ δυνατοῦ ὄντος αὐτοῖς εὐθύς. 444b21 But perhaps not in the same way. In the ones that breathe, the breath removes something that lies over as a covering, which is why they do not sense when they are not breathing. But in the ones that do not breathe this is absent. It is similar with the eyes. Some animals have eyelids, and when these are not opened they cannot see at all. But animals that have hard eyes do not have these, and so they do not need anything to open them; rather, they see immediately by the faculty in them.
ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ τῶν ἄλλων ζῴων ὁτιοῦν οὐδὲν δυσχεραίνει τῶν καθ΄ αὑτὰ δυσωδῶν τὴν ὀσμήν, ἂν μή τι τύχῃ φθαρτικὸν ὄν, ὑπὸ τούτων δ΄ ὁμοίως φθαρεῖται καθάπερ καὶ οἱ ἄνθρωποι ὑπὸ τῆς τῶν ἀνθράκων ἀτμίδος καρηβαροῦσι καὶ φθείρονται πολλάκις· οὕτως ὑπὸ τῆς τοῦ θείου δυνάμεως καὶ τῶν ἀσφαλτωδῶν φθείρεται [445a] τἆλλα ζῷα, καὶ φεύγει διὰ τὸ πάθος. αὐτῆς δὲ καθ΄ αὑτὴν τῆς δυσωδίας οὐδὲν φροντίζουσιν (καίτοι πολλὰ τῶν φυομένων δυσώδεις ἔχει τὰς ὀσμάς), ἐὰν μή τι συμβάλληται πρὸς τὴν γεῦσιν ἢ τὴν ἐδωδὴν αὐτοῖς. 444b28 Likewise, none of the other animals disdains what is of itself foul with respect to odor, unless something happens to be injurious, and they are inured by such things in the same way. Just as human beings suffer cold in the head from coal-smoke, and are often injured by it, and are injured by the power of sulfur, so other animals also avoid these because of the affection. But they do not care about the foulness itself in itself—although many growing things have foul odors—but only whether it affects the taste or the food.
ἔοικε δ΄ ἡ αἴσθησις ἡ τοῦ ὀσφραίνεσθαι, περιττῶν οὐσῶν τῶν αἰσθήσεων καὶ τοῦ ἀριθμοῦ ἔχοντος μέσον τοῦ περιττοῦ, καὶ αὐτὴ μέση εἶναι τῶν τε ἁπτικῶν, οἷον ἁφῆς καὶ γεύσεως, καὶ τῶν δι΄ ἄλλου αἰσθητικῶν, οἷον ὄψεως καὶ ἀκοῆς. διὸ καὶ τὸ ὀσφραντὸν τῶν θρεπτικῶν ἐστὶ πάθος τι (ταῦτα δ΄ ἐν τῷ ἁπτῷ γένει), καὶ τοῦ ἀκουστοῦ δὲ καὶ τοῦ ὁρατοῦ, διὸ καὶ ἐν ἀέρι καὶ ἐν ὕδατι ὀσμῶνται. ὥστ΄ ἐστὶ τὸ ὀσφραντὸν κοινόν τι τούτων ἀμφοτέρων, καὶ τῷ τε ἁπτῷ ὑπάρχει καὶ τῷ ἀκουστῷ καὶ τῷ διαφανεῖ· διὸ καὶ εὐλόγως παρείκασται ξηρότητος ἐν ὑγρῷ καὶ χυτῷ οἷον βαφή τις εἶναι καὶ πλύσις. πῶς μὲν οὖν εἴδη δεῖ λέγειν καὶ πῶς οὐ δεῖ τοῦ ὀσφραντοῦ, ἐπὶ τοσοῦτον εἰρήσθω. 445a4 The senses exist in an odd number, and an odd number has a middle. The sense for smelling seems to be a middle between the tactile senses, touch and taste, and those that sense through something else, sight and hearing. Thus the odorous is an affection of nourishment; the objects of the former senses are in the same genus. But it is also in the genus of the visible and the audible; thus things are smelled both in air and in water. So the odorous is something common to both; it is both in the genus of the tangible, and in that of the transparent and the audible. Therefore odorous enchymous dryness in moistness and fluidity is reasonably compared to a tincture and a wash. Let this much be said, then, about how we should speak of species of the odorous, and how we should not.
ὃ δὲ λέγουσί τινες τῶν Πυθαγορείων, οὐκ ἔστιν εὔλογον· τρέφεσθαι γάρ φασιν ἔνια ζῷα ταῖς ὀσμαῖς. 445a16 What some Pythagoreans say is not reasonable: they say that some animals are nourished by odors.
πρῶτον μὲν γὰρ ὁρῶμεν ὅτι τὴν τροφὴν δεῖ εἶναι συνθετήν (καὶ γὰρ τὰ τρεφόμενα οὐχ ἁπλᾶ ἐστιν, διὸ καὶ περιττώματα γίγνεται τῆς τροφῆς, ἢ ἐν αὐτοῖς ἢ ἔξω, ὥσπερ τοῖς φυτοῖς, ἐπεὶ δ΄ οὐδὲ τὸ ὕδωρ ἐθέλει αὐτὸ μόνον ἄμεικτον ὂν τρέφεινσω ματῶδες γάρ τι δεῖ εἶναι τὸ συστησόμενονἔτι πολὺ ἧττον εὔλογον τὸν ἀέρα σωματοῦσθαι)· 445a17 For, first, we see that food must be composite, for what is nourished is also non-simple. This is also why a superfluity of food is produced, whether inside, or, in the case of plants, outside. Moreover, water alone is not going to nourish by itself for what is going to build up has to be something bodily. Moreover, it is much less reasonable that air should become bodily.
πρὸς δὲ τούτοις, ὅτι πᾶσιν ἔστι τοῖς ζῴοις τόπος δεκτικὸς τῆς τροφῆς, ἐξ οὗ ἕλκον λαμβάνει τὸ σῶμα· τοῦ δ΄ ὀσφραντοῦ ἐν τῇ κεφαλῇ τὸ αἰσθητήριον, καὶ μετὰ πνευματώδους εἰσέρχεται ἀναθυμιά σεως, ὥστ΄ εἰς τὸν ἀναπνευστικὸν βαδίζοι ἂν τόπον. ὅτι μὲν οὖν οὐ συμβάλλεται εἰς τροφὴν τὸ ὀσφραντόν, ᾗ ὀσφραντόν, δῆλον· 445a23 In addition to this, we see that all animals have a place that is able to receive food, from which, after the food enters, the body receives it. But the place for the odorous is in the head, and odor enters with the breath, and so goes to the place for breathing. It is clear, then, that the odorous as such does not contribute to nourishment.
ὅτι μέντοι εἰς ὑγίειαν, καὶ ἐκ τῆς αἰσθήσεως καὶ ἐκ τῶν εἰρημένων φανερόν, ὥστε ὅπερ ὁ χυμὸς ἐν τῷ θρεπτικῷ καὶ πρὸς τὰ τρεφόμενα, τοῦτ΄ ἐστὶ πρὸς ὑγίειαν τὸ [445b] ὀσφραντόν. 445a29 But it is clear that it does contribute to health, both from observation and from what has been said. Thus the odorous is to health what flavor, in nourishing part, is to nourishment.
καθ΄ ἕκαστον μὲν οὖν αἰσθητήριον διωρίσθω τὸν τρόπον τοῦτον. 445b1 Let this be the determination, then, with respect to each sensitive part.
Postquam philosophus ostendit quod homines et quaedam alia animalia odorant respirando, hic inquirit quomodo animalia non respirantia odorant. 444b7 After the Philosopher has shown that men and certain other animals smell by breathing, here he inquires into the way non-breathing animals smell.
Et circa hoc duo facit. Primo ostendit quid circa huiusmodi animalia sit manifestum. Secundo quid circa ea sit dubium, ibi, quomodo autem et cetera. On this point he does two things. First he shows what is clear in such animals; second what is unclear, where he says But what they sense with it (444b 15).
Dicit ergo primo manifestum esse quod animalia quae non respirant, sentiant odorabile, ex hoc quod videmus pisces et omne genus entomorum, idest insectorum animalium, sicut sunt formicae, apes, et huiusmodi, acute sentire de longe nutrimentum suum, quando distant a proprio cibo, plus quam per proprium visum possent id percipere. Unde manifestum est, quod id percipiunt propter nutritivam speciem odoris, scilicet inquantum sentiunt illam odoris speciem, quae proportionatur sapori, et indicat qualitatem nutrimenti. Accordingly he first says that it is clear that animals that do not breathe sense the odorous, because, as we see, fish and the whole class of insects—that is, partitioned animals such as ants, bees, and the like—acutely sense their nourishment from a distance, when they are too distant from their proper food to be able to perceive it by their own sense of sight. Hence it is clear that they perceive it because the nutritive species of odor—that is, inasmuch as they perceive the kind of odor that is analogous to flavor, and indicates quality of nourishment.
Et ponit exemplum de apibus, quae longe moventur ad suum cibum quaerendum, scilicet mel, et de quibusdam formicis parvis, quae habent sex pedes, et quibusdam animalibus aliis, quae purpurae vocantur propter colorem, et similiter multa animalia non respirantia inveniuntur, quae acute a remotis sentiunt suam escam propter odorem. He gives the example of bees, which are moved from a distance to seek honey; and that of small six-legged ants, which are also moved from a distance to seek their food; and that of certain other animals called purple-fish because of their color. Likewise many non-breathing animals are found that acutely sense their food from a distance because of odor.
Deinde cum dicit quomodo autem ostendit quid circa huiusmodi animalia sit dubium. 444b15 Then, when he says But what they sense it with, he shows what the difficulty is with such animals.
Et circa hoc tria facit. Primo movet dubitationem. Secundo solvit, ibi, sed non forte eodem. Tertio manifestat solutionem magis per simile, ibi, similiter autem et aliorum. On this point he does three things. First he raises the difficulty. Second he solves it, where he says But perhaps not in the same way (444b21). Third he clarifies the solution by means of a comparison, where he says Likewise, none of the other animals (444b28).
Dicit ergo primo, quod, cum manifestum sit quod praedicta animalia sentiunt odorem, non est manifestum quomodo sentiant odorem. Et ratio dubitationis est, quia omnia animalia respirantia percipiunt odorem uno modo, scilicet respirando. Hoc enim per experimentum apparet accidere in omnibus animalibus respirantibus. Sed circa praedicta animalia apparet quod non respirant et tamen sentiunt odorabile. Accordingly he first says that although it is clear that the above-mentioned animals perceive odor, what they sense it with is not so clear. The reason for the difficulty is that all breathing animals sense odor in one and the same way, namely by breathing: for it is clear from experience that this seems to happen in all breathing animals. But in the case of the abovementioned animals, it is clear that they do not breathe, and that yet they do sense the odorous.
Posset autem aliquis assignare rationem, dicens quod quodam alio sensu, qui est propter quinque sensus nominatos, huiusmodi animalia sentiunt odorabile; et posset videri responsio probabilis, quia sentire est pati quoddam, unde diversus modus sentiendi est quasi diversus modus patiendi, qui indicat diversitatem potentiae passivae, sicut diversus modus agendi significat diversitatem virtutis activae: videmus enim quod quanto calor est fortior tanto calefactio est vehementior; et sic ex parte passivorum quae alio modo patiuntur, aliam potentiam passivam habere videntur; et sic quae alio modo sentiunt videntur habere alium sensum. However, one might give a reason for this difference by saying that such animals sense the odorous by some other sense besides the five senses to which names have been given. This answer might seem probable for the following reason. To sense is to be affected by something, and so a different mode of sensing is as it were a different mode of being affected that indicates a difference of passive power. It is like the way in which a different mode of acting signifies a difference of active power; as we see, the stronger heat is, the more vehement is the action of heating. Likewise, then, on the side of what is passive, what is affected in a different mode seems to have a different passive power, and thus what senses in a different mode seems to have a different sense-power.
Sed quod alio modo sentiant odorabile est impossibile; quia ubi est idem sensibile est idem sensus. Potentiae enim distinguuntur secundum obiecta. Idem autem est sensibile, quod sentiunt utraque animalia, scilicet odorabile. Unde non potest esse alius et alius sensus. But it is impossible for them to sense the odorous in a different mode, because where there is the same sensible object there is the same sense-power, for powers are distinguished according to objects. But it is the same sensible object that both kinds of animal sense, namely the odorous. Hence it cannot be that the sense-powers are different.
Deinde cum dicit sed non forte solvit praemissam dubitationem per hoc quod idem odorabile sentiunt cum eodem sensu, sed non eodem modo. 444b21 Then, when he says But perhaps not in the same way, he solves the difficulty presented as follows: the two kinds of animal perceive the same object of smell, and with the same sense-power, but not in the same way.
Considerandum enim est quod modus sentiendi potest diversificari dupliciter. For it must be considered that the mode of sensing can be varied in two ways.
Uno modo per se, quod est secundum diversam habitudinem sensibilis ad sensum; et talis diversitas in modo sentiendi diversificat sensum; puta quod unus sensus sentit sensibile coniunctum, sicut tactus, alius autem sensibile remotum, sicut visus. One is per se: this is according to the different relationships of sensible objects to sense-powers, and such variation in mode of sensing makes for different senses. For example, one sense, such as touch, perceives an object united to it, but another, such as sight, perceives a remote object.
Est et alia diversitas in modo sentiendi per accidens, quae non diversificat sensum et attenditur secundum remotionem prohibentis; et talis diversitas in modo sentiendi est in proposito, quia in animalibus respirantibus per respirationem removetur quoddam quod per modum cooperculi subiacet organo odoratus; et ideo quando non respirant impediuntur ab odorando propter huiusmodi cooperculum. Sed animalia non respirantia carent huiusmodi cooperculo, et ideo non indigent respiratione ad odorandum, sicut videmus in oculis, quod quaedam animalia, habent palpebras, quae si non aperiantur, non possunt huiusmodi animalia videre. But there is another variation in mode of sensing that is accidental: this does not make for different sense-powers; rather, it is understood with respect to removal of an impediment. It is this kind of variation in mode of sensing that is under discussion. For in animals that breathe, something that lies over the organ of smell a covering is removed by the breathing, and so when they are not breathing they are prevented from smelling because of this covering. But animals that do not breathe lack such a covering, and so they do not need to breathe in order to smell.
Huiusmodi autem palpebras dedit natura animalibus indigentibus acutiori visu propter securitatem oculi ut oculus conservetur. Unde animalia habentia duros oculos, quasi non indigentia acuto visu, non habent huiusmodi palpebras, et ideo non indigent aliquo motu aperiente palpebras ad videndum, sed statim oculos habent ad videndum, et facultatem nullo remoto. Likewise we see that some animals have eyelids, and if these are not opened such animals cannot see. Nature gave such eyelids to animals that need a more acute sense of sight in order to preserve their eyes, which are soft. Hence animals that have hard eyes—animals that, as it were, do not need an acute sense of sight—do not have such eyelids, and so do not need any movement of opening the eyelids in order to see. Rather the eye has the faculty for seeing immediately, without the removal of anything.
Deinde cum dicit similiter autem manifestat praedictam solutionem per aliud simile per olfactum, in quo est quaedam alia diversitas, inter animalia, quae non diversificat sensum. Nullum enim aliorum animalium, praeter hominem, graviter fert ea quae habent foetidum odorem secundum seipsa, idest non per comparationem ad nutrimentum. 444b28 Then, when he says Likewise, none of the other animals, he clarifies the above-mentioned solution through another comparison involving the sense of smell, in which there is another variation among animals that does not make for difference of sense-power. None of the other animals besides the human being is pained by what has foul odor of itself—that is, not in relation to nourishment.
Et hoc quidem superius dixerat. Sed poterat esse circa haec dubitatio ex hoc quod quaedam animalia videntur huiusmodi foetidos odores fugere. He said this above, but there might be a difficulty on the point, because some animals seem to avoid foul odors of this kind; and so he has returned to the point to remove this difficulty.
Et ideo repetit ut hanc dubitationem removeret; et dicit, quod alia animalia non fugiunt odores secundum se foetidos nisi per accidens, inquantum, scilicet accidit huiusmodi foetidum odorem esse corruptivum. Cum enim odor causetur ex calido, humido et sicco, ut supra dictum est: quandoque contingit quod foetidus odor provenit ex magna distemperantia in praedictis qualitatibus, et sic simul cum odore immutatur medium ad aliquam pessimam passivam dispositionem, quae corrumpit corpora aliorum animalium, sicut et hominis; quam quidem immutationem alia animalia sentiunt per sensum tactus, et ideo fugiunt huiusmodi foetida. He says that the other animals do not avoid odors that are of themselves foul except accidentally, that is, inasmuch as a foul odor of this kind happens to be injurious. For since odor is caused by heat, moisture, and dryness, as was said above, it sometimes happens that a foul odor comes from a great disorder in the qualities mentioned, and so, in receiving the odor, the medium is simultaneously altered to an extremely harmful condition that destroys the bodies of the other animals as well as that of the human being. The other animals sense this alteration by touch, and so flee such foul things.
Et ponit exemplum, quod homines patiuntur gravedinem capitis a fumo carbonum propter eius distemperantiam et quandoque usque ad corruptionem. Similiter est de sulphure. Unde animalia fugiunt huiusmodi corruptiva propter passionem corporis, quam sentiunt; sed de ipsa foetiditate odoris secundum se considerata non curant, quamvis multa terrae nascentium habeant foetidos odores nisi secundum quod foetiditas odoris repraesentat aliquod circa gustum, vel circa convenientiam proprii nutrimenti. He gives the example of human beings suffering cold in the head from coal-smoke, because of its disorder, sometimes to the point of destruction; and it is the same with sulfur. Hence animals avoid these destructive things because of the affection of destruction they perceive. But they do not care about the foulness itself of the odor considered in itself—although many things that grow from the earth have foul odors—but only according as the foulness of the odor represents something concerning taste, or concerning the suitability of their proper nourishment.
Deinde cum dicit videtur autem comparat sensum odoratus ad alios sensus. 445a4 Then when he says The senses exist in an odd number, be compares the sense of smell to other senses.
Et primo determinat veritatem. Secundo excludit errorem, ibi, quod autem quidam. First he determines the truth. Second he eliminates an error, where he says What some Pythagoreans say (445a16).
Circa primum considerandum est quod secundum consuetudinem Pythagoricorum philosophus utitur huiusmodi proprietate numeri ad ostendendum comparationem sensuum. Numerus enim impar non potest dividi in duo media, sicut par; sed in medio remanet aliquid indivisum inter duas partes aequales, sicut in quinario remanet unitas media inter duo et duo. Cum autem sensus sint in impari numero constituti, scilicet quinario, duo eorum sunt tactivi, quia scilicet sentiunt suum sensibile coniunctum non per medium extraneum, scilicet tactus et gustus; duo autem eorum, scilicet visus et auditus, sentiunt suum sensibile remotum per alia, idest per extrinseca media. Odoratus autem in medio utrorumque, unde et cum utriusque convenit: On the first point it must be considered that, following the custom of the Pythagoreans, the Philosopher here uses a property of number in order to draw a comparison among the senses. An odd number cannot be divided into two halves like an even one: rather there remains something undivided in the middle between two equal parts, as in a group of five there remains an intermediate unit between two groups of two. Now the senses are set up in an odd number, that is, a group of five. Two of them are tactile, because they do not perceive their objects, which are united to them, through external media, and these are touch and taste. Two of them, namely sight and hearing, perceive their remote objects through something else, that is, external media. But smell is in the middle between the two groups of two, and so it also has something in common with both groups.
cum tactu quidem et gustu, qui sunt sensus nutrimenti, ut dicitur in secundo de anima, inquantum odorabile est quaedam passio nutritivorum secundum quod odor proportionatur sapori. Et sic tangibilia et gustabilia sunt in eodem genere cum odoribus: et est idem genus visibilis et audibilis et odorabilis, inquantum scilicet utraque cognoscuntur per medium extraneum. Unde odorant animalia per aerem et aquam, sicut vident et audiunt. It has something in common with touch and taste, which are the senses of nourishment, as is said in On the Soul II Footnote inasmuch as the odorous is an affection of nourishment, according as odor is analogous to flavor, and thus objects of touch and taste are in the same genus with objects of taste. The genus of the visible and the audible is the same as that of the odorous inasmuch as both are apprehended through external media; hence animals smell through air and water, just as they also see and hear through them.
Et sic patet quod odorabile est aliquid commune utrisque. Inest enim tactuali, secundum quod est passio nutrimenti, et sic concurrit in eodem cum tangibili et gustabili qualitate; et similiter inest perspicuo et audibili, idest percipitur per medium perspicuum, per quod videtur, et per quod etiam auditur, idest per aerem et aquam; licet non inquantum huiusmodi sunt perspicua, sed inquantum sunt susceptiva enchymae siccitatis, ut supra dictum est. Et ideo a quibusdam rationabiliter ista duo assimilantur, ut esse enchymae siccitatis odoriferae in humido aqueo et fusibili, idest aereo propter facilem diffusionem, sit sicut tinctura quaedam, quae refertur ad immutationem medii a colore, et sicut lotura, quae refertur ad sapores, quia scilicet odor habet convenientiam cum utrisque. Thus it is clear that the odorous is something common to both genera of sensible objects. For it is in the genus of the tangible according as it is an affection of nourishment and thus comes together in the same genus with the tangible and tastable qualities. Likewise, it is in the genus of the transparent and the audible—that is, it is perceived through the transparent medium through which a thing is seen as well as heard, namely air and water, although it is perceived through these not inasmuch they are transparent, but inasmuch as they are receptive of enchymous dryness, as was said above. And so some reasonably compare it to two things: the being of odorous enchymous dryness in moistness of water and fluidity—that is, fluidity of air—is, because of its ready diffusion, like a tincture—which refers to alteration of a medium by color—and like a wash—which refers to flavors—for odor has something in common with both.
Et post hoc epilogando concludit, dictum esse quomodo oporteat distinguere species odorabilis, et quomodo non, inquantum scilicet accipiuntur odores secundum seipsos. After this, as an epilogue, he concludes that it has been said how we should distinguish species of the odorous, and how we should not, namely inasmuch as odors are taken in themselves.
Deinde cum dicit quod autem excludit errorem. 445a16 Then when he says What some Pythagoreans say, he eliminates an error.
Et circa hoc tria facit. Primo narrat erroneam opinionem. Secundo improbat eam, ibi, primum quidem enim. Tertio respondet tacitae obiectioni, ibi, quod quidem igitur. On this point he does three things. First he relates the erroneous opinion. Second he disproves it, where he says For, first, we see that food (445a17). Third he responds to a tacit objection, where he says But it is clear (445a29).
Dicit ergo primo, non esse rationabile quod quidam Pythagorici dixerunt, quaedam animalia nutriri odoribus: secundum quos, odoratus non esset medius inter sensus, ut dictum est, sed omnino connumerandus est sensibus nutrimenti. Movebantur autem ad hoc dicendum, quod videbant homines et animalia confortari odoribus. Accordingly he first says that what some Pythagoreans said—that some animals are nourished by odors—is not reasonable. According to them, smell would not be intermediate among the senses, as was said, but would have to be completely included with the senses of nourishment. They were moved to say this because they saw that human beings and other animals are fortified by odors.
Deinde cum dicit primum quidem improbat praedictam opinionem duabus rationibus. 445a17 Then, when he says For, first, we see that food, he disproves the above-mentioned opinion by two arguments.
Quarum prima est, quia oportet cibum compositum esse ex pluribus elementis. Simplicia enim elementa non nutriunt, quia animalia, quae ex his nutriuntur, composita sunt ex elementis. Ex eisdem autem nutritur aliquid ex quibus est: ut dictum est in secundo de generatione. Et per huiusmodi signum concludit quod ex cibis generatur aliqua superfluitas interius, sicut patet in animalibus intra quorum corpora sunt quaedam loca deputata ad congregationem superfluitatum, vel exterius emittitur, sicut patet de gummis arborum et de aliis huiusmodi. Si autem aliquod animal vel planta, nutriretur simplici elemento, nulla fieret superfluitas, cum non sit ibi aliqua difformitas partium: cum autem nullum elementum sit aptum nutritioni propter simplicitatem. Adhuc amplius aqua habet speciale impedimentum quare sola non possit nutrire sine commixtione alicuius terrestris; sicut agricultores adhibent fimum, ut aqua commixta nutriat plantas: quia nutrimentum constituit et generat aliquid in substantia nutriti, et ideo oportet quod sit aliquid corporale et solidum, quod non competit aquae. Unde aqua sola non potest nutrire, et multo minus aer: unde relinquitur quod odor nutrire non possit. Manifestum est enim quod odor, cum sit qualitas, secundum se non potest nutriendo constituere substantiam, nisi forte ratione susceptivi, quod est aer vel aqua. Et si odor esset evaporatio vel fumalis exhalatio, ut antiqui dixerunt, adhuc ratio remanet, quia utrumque pertinet ad naturam aeris, ut supra dictum est. The first is that food must be composed of more than one element. For simple elements do not nourish, because animals that are nourished by them are composed of the four elements, and a thing is nourished by the same things by which it exists, as was said in On Generation II. Footnote He concludes that a sign of this is that a superfluity is produced from food: whether within, as is evident in animals, in the bodies of which are places assigned for the gathering of superfluities, or outside, in the case of plants, the superfluities of which are immediately expelled outward, as is clear in the case of gums of trees and other such things. If an animal or plant were nourished by one simple element, no superfluity would occur, since in a simple element there is uniformity of parts. And although no one element is suitable for nutrition, because of its simplicity, water in addition has a special impediment because of which it cannot nourish alone, without the admixture of something earthen, which is why farmers add manure to nourish plants with water mixed with something: nourishment builds up and generates something in the substance of what is nourished, and so it has to be something bodily and solid, which is not true of water. Hence water alone cannot nourish, and much less can air. And hence it remains that neither can odor nourish: for it is clear that odor, since it is a quality, cannot of itself build up a substance by nourishing it, except perhaps by reason of what is receptive of it, namely air or water. Even if odor were evaporation, or exhalation of smoke, as the Ancients said, the argument would still stand, because both of these pertain to the nature of air, as was said above.
Secundam rationem ponit ibi, cum his. Et dicit quod in omnibus animalibus est aliquis locus, in quo primo recipitur cibus scilicet stomachus, unde derivatur ad singulas partes corporis. Quia vero animalia plurima respirando odorant, si consideremus ipsum odorabile, manifestum est quod sentitur organo circa cerebrum existente, ut supra dictum est. Ipse autem aer respiratus, cum quo odor attrahitur, vadit ad locum respirativum, idest ad pulmonem. Manifestum est autem quod in animalibus, neque cerebrum neque pulmo est locus recipiens cibum. Unde manifestum est quod odor non nutrit, confortat autem propter immutationem, quae est a calido humido et sicco, et propter delectationem, sicut et malus odor corrumpit, ut supra dictum est. 445a23 Then, when he says In addition to this, we see, he presents the second argument. He says that all animals have a place in which food is first received—that is, the stomach—from which it is drawn off into individual parts of the body. If we consider the odorous itself, it is clear (since most animals smell by breathing) that it is perceived by an organ near the brain, as was said above. But the air inbreathed, with which odor is drawn in, goes to the place for breathing, that is, the lung. Now it is clear that neither the brain nor the lung is the place in animals that first receives food. Hence it is clear that odor does not nourish. But it does fortify because of alteration by heat, moistness, and dryness, and because of pleasure; just as bad odor is destructive, as was said above.
Deinde cum dicit quod quidem respondet tacitae obiectioni. Posset enim aliquis obiicere. Si odor non nutrit, ergo ad nihil est utilis. Sed ipse respondet quod licet non nutriat, tamen confert ad sanitatem, sicut manifestum est ad sensum et per ea quae supra dicta sunt. Unde concludit quod sicut sapor ordinatur ad nutritionem, ita odor ad sanitatem. 445a29 Then, when he says But it is clear, he responds to a tacit objection. For one might object: if odor does not nourish, it is utterly useless. He answers that although it does not nourish, nevertheless it does contribute to health, as is clear from observation, and from what has been said above. Hence he concludes that, as flavor is ordered to nutrition, so odor is ordered to health.
Ultimo autem epilogando concludit quod dictum est de sensibilibus secundum unumquodque organum sensus. 445b1 Finally, by way of epilogue, he concludes that sensible objects have been discussed with respect to each organ of sense.


Ἀπορήσειε δ΄ ἄν τις, εἰ πᾶν σῶμα εἰς ἄπειρον διαιρεῖται, ἆρα καὶ τὰ παθήματα τὰ αἰσθητά, οἷον χρῶμα καὶ χυμὸς καὶ ὀσμὴ καὶ ψόφος, καὶ βαρῦ καὶ κοῦφον, καὶ θερμὸν καὶ ψυχρόν, καὶ σκληρὸν καὶ μαλακόν, ἢ ἀδύνατον. 445b3 But someone will raise an objection: if every body is infinitely divisible, are sensible affections also? For instance, color and flavor and odor and sound, and heaviness and coldness, and hot and light, and hard and soft.
ποιητικὸν γάρ ἐστιν ἕκαστον αὐτῶν τῆς αἰσθήσεως (τῷ δύνασθαι γὰρ κινεῖν αὐτὴν λέγεται πάντα), ὥστ΄ ἀνάγκη, εἰ ἡ δύναμις, καὶ τὴν αἴσθησιν εἰς ἄπειρα διαιρεῖσθαι καὶ πᾶν εἶναι μέγεθος αἰσθητόν (ἀδύνατον γὰρ λευκὸν μὲν ὁρᾶν, μὴ ποσὸν δέ)· 445b6 But this is impossible. For each of these is something that activates a sense-power. For all are named from the fact that they are able to move a sense-power. Necessarily, then, sense is infinitely divisible, and every magnitude is sensible. For it is impossible to see something that is white but not a quantity.
εἰ γὰρ μὴ οὕτως, ἐνδέχοιτ΄ ἂν εἶναί τι σῶμα μηδὲν ἔχον χρῶμα μηδὲ βάρος μηδ΄ ἄλλο τι τοιοῦτον πάθος, ὥστ΄ οὐδ΄ αἰσθητὸν ὅλως· ταῦτα γὰρ τὰ αἰσθητά. τὸ ἄρ΄ αἰσθητὸν ἔσται συγκείμενον οὐκ ἐξ αἰσθητῶν. ἀλλ΄ ἀναγκαῖον· οὐ γὰρ δὴ ἔκ γε τῶν μαθηματικῶν. 445b11 For if this is not so, then there can be a body that has no color, or heaviness, or other such affection, and so is not sensible at all: for these are the sensible objects. Therefore, there will be something sensible composed of what is not sensible. But it necessarily is, for it is not composed of mathematical objects.
ἔτι τίνι κρινοῦμεν ταῦτα καὶ γνωσόμεθα; ἢ τῷ νῷ; ἀλλ΄ οὐ νοητά, οὐδὲ νοεῖ ὁ νοῦς τὰ ἐκτὸς μὴ μετ΄ αἰσθήσεως. 445b15 Moreover, what will we assign them to other than intellect, or how will we know them? But they are not intelligible, for intellect does not understand what is outside except with sensation.
ἅμα δ΄ εἰ ταῦτ΄ ἔχει οὕτως, ἔοικε μαρτυρεῖν τοῖς τὰ ἄτομα ποιοῦσι μεγέθη· οὕτω γὰρ ἂν λύοιτο ὁ λόγος. ἀλλ΄ ἀδύνατα· εἴρηται δὲ περὶ αὐτῶν ἐν τοῖς λόγοις τοῖς περὶ κινήσεως. 445b17 But if this is so, it seems to support those who make indivisible magnitudes: thus the discussion is resolved. But this is impossible, as was said before in the discussions of motion.
περὶ δὲ τῆς λύσεως αὐτῶν ἅμα δῆλον ἔσται καὶ διὰ τί πεπέρανται τὰ εἴδη καὶ χρώματος καὶ χυμοῦ καὶ φθόγγων καὶ τῶν ἄλλων αἰσθητῶν. ὧν μὲν γάρ ἐστιν ἔσχατα, ἀνάγκη πεπεράνθαι τὰ ἐντός· τὰ δ΄ ἐναντία ἔσχατα, πᾶν δὲ τὸ αἰσθητὸν ἔχει ἐναντίωσιν, οἷον ἐν χρώματι τὸ λευκὸν καὶ τὸ μέλαν, ἐν χυμῷ γλυκὺ καὶ πικρόν· καὶ ἐν τοῖς ἄλλοις δὴ πᾶσίν ἐστιν ἔσχατα τὰ ἐν αντία. 445b20 With the resolution of this, it will at the same tine also be made clear why the species of color and flavor and sounds and other sensible objects are limited. For what is inside the extremes is necessarily determinate, and extremes are contraries. But every kind of sensible object has contrariety, for instance black and white in color, sweet and bitter in flavor. And so in all the others there are extremes that are contraries.
τὸ μὲν οὖν συνεχὲς εἰς ἄπειρα τέμνεται ἄνισα, εἰς δ΄ ἴσα πεπερασμένα· τὸ δὲ μὴ καθ΄ αὑτὸ συνεχὲς εἰς πεπερασμένα εἴδη. 445b27 A continuum, then, is divisible into an infinite number of unequal parts, but into a finite number of equal species. And what is not of itself continuous is divisible into finite species.
ἐπεὶ οὖν τὰ μὲν πάθη ὡς εἴδη λεκτέον, ὑπάρχει δὲ συνέχεια ἀεὶ ἐν τούτοις, ληπτέον ὅτι τὸ δυνάμει καὶ τὸ ἐνεργείᾳ ἕτερον· καὶ διὰ τοῦτο τὸ μυριοστημόριον λανθάνει [446a] τῆς κέγχρου ὁρωμένης, καίτοι ἡ ὄψις ἐπελήλυθεν, καὶ ὁ ἐν τῇ διέσει φθόγγος λανθάνει, καίτοι συνεχοῦς ὄντος ἀκούει τοῦ μέλους παντός· τὸ δὲ διάστημα τὸ τοῦ μεταξὺ πρὸς τοὺς ἐσχάτους λανθάνει. ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ ἐν τοῖς ἄλλοις αἰσθητοῖς τὰ μικρὰ πάμπαν· δυνάμει γὰρ ὁρατά, ἐνεργείᾳ δ΄ οὔ, ὅταν μὴ χωρὶς ᾖ· καὶ γὰρ ἐνυπάρχει δυνάμει ἡ ποδιαία τῇ δίποδι, ἐνεργείᾳ δ΄ ἤδη ἀφαιρεθεῖσα. 445b29 We must speak of the affections as “species,” although they exist in a continuity and in these parts. Therefore, we must take it that what is in potentiality and what is in actuality are different. For this reason a tenth of a thousandth of a grain of millet escapes the notice of sight, although sight goes over it. And the sound in a diesis escapes notice, although all of the singing, which is continuous, is heard. The distance between the extremes escapes notice. It is similar with the extremely small in other sensible objects. They themselves are visible in potentiality, but not in actuality when they are net separated. Thus a one-foot length exists in potentiality in something two feet long, and exists in actuality when it is divided off.
χωριζόμεναι δ΄ αἱ τηλικαῦται ὑπεροχαὶ εὐλόγως μὲν ἂν καὶ διαλύοιντο εἰς τὰ περιέχοντα, ὥσπερ καὶ ἀκαριαῖος χυμὸς εἰς τὴν θάλατταν ἐγχυθείς. 446a7 But it is reasonable that separated parts of such extremely small size are dissolved into the surroundings, like a tiny amount of flavor poured into the sea.
οὐ μὴν ἀλλ΄ ἐπειδὴ οὐδ΄ ἡ τῆς αἰσθήσεως ὑπεροχὴ καθ΄ αὑτὴν αἰσθητὴ οὐδὲ χωριστή (δυνάμει γὰρ ἐνυπάρχει ἐν τῇ ἀκριβεστέρᾳ ἡ ὑπεροχή), οὐδὲ τὸ τηλικοῦτον αἰσθητὸν χωριστὸν ἔσται ἐνεργείᾳ αἰσθάνεσθαι. ἀλλ΄ ὅμως ἔσται αἰσθητόν· δυνάμει τε γάρ ἐστιν ἤδη, καὶ ἐνεργείᾳ ἔσται προσγενόμενον. ὅτι μὲν οὖν ἔνια μεγέθη καὶ πάθη λανθάνει, καὶ διὰ τίν΄ αἰτίαν, καὶ πῶς αἰσθητὰ καὶ πῶς οὔ, εἴρηται. 446a10 But there is no extremity of the sense-power to correspond to that of the sensible object itself, even if it is separated. The extreme smallness is in potentiality to a surer sense-power. And a separated sensible object of such a size will not be sensed in actuality. Still, it will be a sensible object, for there is already the power, and it will be in actuality when a sense-power comes to it. Thus it has been said that some magnitudes and affections escape notice; and for what cause; and the way in which they are sensible objects, and the way in which they are not.
ὅταν δὲ δὴ ἐνυπάρχῃ τούτῳ τοσαῦτα ὥστε καὶ ἐνεργείᾳ αἰσθητὰ εἶναι, καὶ μὴ μόνον ὅτι ἐν τῷ ὅλῳ ἀλλὰ καὶ χωρίς, πεπερασμένα ἀνάγκη εἶναι τὸν ἀριθμόν, καὶ χρώματα καὶ χυμοὺς καὶ φθόγγους. 446a16 But since there are quantities existing within so as to be sensible in actuality, and not only as in the whole, but also separately, they—colors and flavors and sounds—are necessarily finite according to some number.
Postquam philosophus determinavit de organis sensuum et de sensibilibus, hic determinat quasdam quaestiones circa sensum et sensibilia 445b3 After the Philosopher has determined about sense-organs and sensible objects, here he determines some questions about the sense-power and sensible objects.
et primo movet quamdam quaestionem circa ipsa sensibilia. Secundo movet aliam circa immutationem sensus a sensibili, ibi, obiiciet utique aliquis. Tertio movet tertiam circa ipsum sensum, ibi, est autem quaedam obiectio. First he raises a question about sensible objects themselves. Second he raises another about alteration of the sense-power by a sensible object, where he says But someone will raise an objection (Ch. 15, 446a20). Third he raises a third about the sense-power itself, where he says But there is also another such objection (Ch. 16, 447a 12).
Circa primum tria facit. Primo movet quaestionem, ibi, aut impossibile. Tertio solvit, ibi de solutione autem eorum. On the first point he does three things. First he raises the question. Second be introduces arguments about it, where he says But this is impossible (445b6). Third he solves it, where he says With the resolution of this (445b20).
Dicit ergo primo, quod omne corpus in infinitum dividitur: hoc enim est de ratione continui, ut patet in libro physicorum. Qualitates autem sensibiles, quae passiones dicuntur, ut dicitur in praedicamentis, sunt in corpore aliquo sicut in subiecto. Est ergo quaestio, quam quis obiicere potest, utrum et ipsae qualitates sensibiles, scilicet color et sapor et alia huiusmodi in infinitum dividantur. Accordingly be first says that every body is infinitely divisible: for this is of the nature of a continuum, as is clear in the book the Physics. Footnote But sensible qualities—which are called affections, as is said in the Categories Footnote —are in a body as in their subject. Therefore there is a question someone can raise in objection: whether sensible qualities themselves, such as color and flavor and so on, are infinitely divisible also.
Deinde cum dicit aut impossibile obiicit ad quaestionem motam. 445b6 Then, when he says But this is impossible, he raises objections concerning the question posed.
Et primo ad ostendendum quod qualitates sensibiles non dividuntur in infinitum. Secundo ad oppositum, ibi, si enim non sic. Tertio excludit quamdam solutionem, ibi, sed si haec habent sic. First he raises objections to show that sensible qualities are not infinitely divisible. Second be raises objections on the other side, where he says For if this is not so (445b11). Third he eliminates a false solution, where he says But if this is so (445b 17).
Dicit ergo primo, quod impossibile videtur qualitates sensibiles dividi in infinitum, quia unaquaeque praedictarum sensibilium qualitatum est nata agere in sensum. In hoc enim propria ratio uniuscuiusque earum consistit, ut moveat sensum, sicut ad rationem coloris pertinet quod possit movere visum. Si ergo praedictae qualitates in infinitum dividuntur, consequens erit quod sensus, id est ipsum sentire, in infinitum dividatur, secundum quod moveri dividitur in infinitum secundum divisionem magnitudinis, secundum quam aliquid movetur: et ita sequeretur, quod sicut id quod movetur pertransit quamlibet magnitudinem, ita sentiens sentiret omnem magnitudinem quantumcumque parvam, et sic omnis magnitudo esset sensibilis. Accordingly he first says that it seems impossible for sensible qualities to be divided infinitely, because each of the above-mentioned sensible qualities naturally acts on a sense-power. For the proper nature of each of them consists in this: it is able to move a sense-power; for example, it belongs to the nature of color to be able to move the sense of sight. If, then, the above-mentioned qualities are infinitely divisible, the consequence will be that sense—that is, the act of sensing itself—is infinitely divisible. Now an instance of being moved is infinitely divisible according to division of the magnitude through which a thing is moved; and so it would follow that, as something moved goes through every part of the magnitude, so one who senses would sense any magnitude, however small, and so every magnitude would be sensible.
Subdit autem rationem quare non concludit etiam puncta esse sensibilia; quia impossibile est videre album quod non sit quantum; et eadem ratio est de sensibilibus aliis. Huius autem ratio est quia sensus est virtus in magnitudine, cum sit actus organi corporei: et ideo non potest pati nisi ab habente magnitudinem. Activum enim debet esse proportionatum passivo. But he adds a reason why he does not conclude that even points are perceptible to sense: because it is impossible to see something white that is not a quantity; and the argument is the same with respect to other sensible objects. The reason for this is that a sense-power is a power in a magnitude, since it is the actuality of a bodily organ, and so it can be affected only by what has magnitude: for what is active must be proportioned to what is passive.
Relinquitur autem pro inconvenienti omnem magnitudinem esse sensibilem: quod quomodo sit intelligendum, infra patebit; unde concludi potest, quod qualitates sensibiles non dividuntur in infinitum. There remains the problem that every magnitude is perceptible; how is this is to be understood will be made clear below. Hence it can be concluded that sensible qualities are not infinitely divisible.
Deinde cum dicit si enim obiicit ad oppositum duabus rationibus. Quarum prima talis est. Si qualitates sensibiles non dividantur, contingit esse aliquod corpus minimum transcendens divisionem sensibilium qualitatum nullam habens sensibilem qualitatem, idest neque colorem, neque gravitatem, neque aliquod aliud huiusmodi; et ita huiusmodi corpus non erit sensibile, quia solae praedictae qualitates sunt sensibiles. Cum igitur huiusmodi parva corpora sint partes totius corporis, quod est sensibile, sequitur quod corpus sensibile sit compositum non ex sensibilibus. Sed necesse est sensibile corpus ex sensibilibus componi. Non enim potest dici, quod corpus sensibile componatur ex mathematicis, scilicet corporibus, in quibus consideratur quantitas, sine qualitatibus sensibilibus. Relinquitur ergo quod oportet qualitates sensibiles in infinitum dividi. 445b11 Then, when he says For if this is not so, he raises objections on the opposite side with two arguments. The first is this. If sensible qualities are not infinitely divisible, then there can be a minimal body that transcends division of sensible qualities and has no sensible quality, i.e. neither color nor heaviness nor any other such quality. And so such a body will not be sensible, because only the qualities mentioned are sensible objects. Therefore, since these tiny bodies are parts of a whole body that is sensible, it will follow that a sensible body is composed of what is not sensible. But a sensible body is necessarily composed of what is sensible, for it cannot be said that a sensible body is composed of mathematical bodies, in which quantity is considered without sensible qualities, Therefore it remains that sensible qualities must be infinitely divisible.
Secundam rationem ponit ibi, amplius quoniam. Et procedit ratio sua ex hoc quod, anima nata est cognoscere omnia vel secundum sensum, vel secundum intellectum, ut habitum est in tertio de anima. 445b15 He presents the second argument where he says Moreover, what will we assign them to. His argument proceeds from the point that the soul by nature knows all things, whether by sense or intellect, as was established in On the Soul III. Footnote
Si ergo praedicta minima corpora, quae transcendunt divisionem qualitatum sensibilium, non fuerint sensibilia, utpote sensibilibus qualitatibus carentia, non possunt iudicari nisi per intellectum, ut cognoscantur per ipsum. Sed non potest dici quod sunt intelligibilia. Nihil enim eorum quae sunt extra animam, intellectus intelligit, nisi cum sensu eorum, idest simul ea sentiendo. Si ergo huiusmodi minima corpora non sentiuntur, intelligi non poterunt. Accordingly, if the above-mentioned minimal bodies that transcend division of sensible qualities are not sensible because they lack sensible qualities, they can be assigned only to intellect as the power that knows them. But it cannot be said that they are intelligible: for intellect understands none of the things outside the soul except with sensation of them—that is, by simultaneously sensing them. If, therefore, these minimal bodies are not sensed, they will not be able to be understood.
Dicit autem hoc ad excludendum opinionem Platonis, qui posuit formas intellectas esse extra animam. Secundum autem Aristotelem res intellectae sunt ipsae naturae rerum, quae sunt in singularibus, quae quidem secundum quod in singularibus sunt, cadunt sub apprehensione sensus: intellectus autem apprehendit huiusmodi naturas abstracte, et attribuit eis quasdam intentiones intelligibiles, scilicet esse genus vel speciem; quae quidem intentiones sunt solum in intellectu, non autem exterius. Unde solus intellectus eas cognoscit. He says this to eliminate an opinion of Plato, who held that the forms understood exist outside the soul. But according to Aristotle the things understood are the very natures of things in singulars, which, inasmuch as they are in singulars, fall under the apprehension of the sense-power. But the intellect apprehends these natures in an absolute way and assigns to them certain intelligible intentions, namely that of being a genus or species. These intentions exist only in the intellect, not outside it: hence only the intellect knows them.
Deinde cum dicit sed, si haec excludit falsam responsionem. Posset enim aliquis dicere, quod ex quo posita divisione magnitudinis in infinitum, sequitur inconveniens, quicquid dicatur de sensibilibus qualitatibus, sive quod dividantur in infinitum, sive quod non; videtur hoc attestari opinionem illorum, qui ponunt aliquas magnitudines indivisibiles. Per hunc enim modum praedicta dubitatio solvetur. Si enim corpus non est divisibile in infinitum, non sequetur aliqua corpora esse insensibilia, si in infinitum non dividetur qualitas sensibilis. Sed hoc est impossibile, scilicet aliquas magnitudines esse indivisibiles, ut patet per ea quae dicta sunt in sermonibus de motu, id est in sexto physicorum. 445b17 Then, when he says But if this is so, he eliminates a false response. One might argue as follows. A problem follows from positing the infinite divisibility of magnitude, whatever may be said about sensible qualities, whether that they are infinitely divisible or not. This, then, seems to support the opinion of those who posit indivisible magnitudes, because the difficulty is solved in this way: for if a body is not infinitely divisible, then, since sensible quality is not infinitely divisible, it will not follow that there are bodies that cannot be sensed. But this opinion that some magnitudes are indivisible is impossible, as is evident from what was said in the discussions of motion, that is, in Physics VI Footnote
Deinde cum dicit de solutione solvit praedictam quaestionem, quam moverat de divisione sensibilium qualitatum. 445b20 Then, when he says With the resolution of this, he solves the question he raised above about division of sensible qualities.
Et primo agit de formali divisione earum quae est generis in species. Secundo de divisione quantitativa, ibi, continuum quidem igitur. And first he treats their formal division, that is, of genus into species. Second their quantitative division, where he says A continuum, then (445b27).
Dicit ergo primo, quod cum solutione praedictarum dubitationum, simul manifestandum erit quare sunt finitae species coloris, et saporis, et aliorum huiusmodi: hoc enim supra determinandum promiserat. Accordingly be first says that, together with the solution of the abovementioned difficulties, at the same time it will have to be made clear why the species of color and flavor and other such things are finite: for he promised above that this would be determined.
Et huius rationem assignat, quia, si est devenire ad ultimum ex parte utriusque extremi necesse est ea quae in medio sunt, esse finita, ut probatum est in primo posteriorum. Manifestum est autem quod in quolibet genere sensibilium est quaedam contrarietas quae est maxima distantia. Et ideo contraria oportet esse ultima: sicut in colore, album et nigrum; in sapore, dulce et amarum; et in aliis similiter. Unde relinquitur quod species mediae sunt finitae. He gives the following reason for this. If it is possible to reach the furthest point starting from either extreme, what is in the middle is necessarily finite, as was proved in Posterior Analytics I. Footnote Now it is clear that in any genus of sensible objects there is a contrariety that is the greatest distance, and so the contraries must be the extremes, for instance black and white in color, sweet and bitter in flavor, and likewise in the others. Hence it remains that intermediate species are finite.
Deinde cum dicit continuum quidem solvit prius motam quaestionem de divisione quantitativa sensibilium qualitatum. 445b27 Then, when he says A continuum, then, he solves the question raised earlier about quantitative division of sensible qualities.
Et primo praesupponit quaedam. Secundo procedit ad solvendum, ibi, quoniam igitur passiones. First he makes some presuppositions. Second he proceeds to solve the question where he says We must speak of the affections (445b29).
Circa primum, praesupponit duo. On the first point he makes two presuppositions.
Quorum primum est quod continuum quodammodo dividitur in infinita. Si enim fiat divisio in partes aequales, non poterit divisio in infinitum procedere, dummodo continuum sit finitum. Quia, si ab unoquoque finito semper subtrahatur aliquid ad mensuram palmi, totaliter consumetur. Si vero fiat divisio per partes inaequales, procedit divisio in infinitum: puta si totum dividatur in dimidium, et iterum dimidium in dimidium, quod est quarta pars totius, in infinitum procedet divisio. The first is that a continuum is in a way divisible into an infinite number of parts, and in another way into a finite number. For if a division into equal parts is made, it will not be able to proceed to infinity as long as the continuum is finite, because if one repeatedly removes something the size of a palm from anything finite, it will be completely taken away. But if a division into unequal parts is made, it will proceed to infinity: for instance, if a whole is divided in half, and again the half in half, which is a quarter of the whole, the division will proceed to infinity.
Secunda suppositio est quod id quod non est secundum se continuum, sed per accidens, sicut color et alia huiusmodi, dividitur per se quidem formaliter in species finitas, sicut paulo ante dictum est. The second supposition is that what is continuous not of itself but accidentally, for example color and other such things, is of itself formally divided into finite species, as was said a little before.
Deinde cum dicit quoniam ergo procedit ad solvendum principalem quaestionem quae erat de divisione sensibilium qualitatum. 445b29 Then, when he says We must speak of the affections, he proceeds to solve the principal question, which was about division of sensible qualities.
Et quia ad hanc quaestionem, rationem assumpserat ex apparentia sensus, ideo primo inquirit de divisione in infinitum quantum ad ipsum sentire. Secundo excludit propositum, quantum ad ipsa sensibilia, ibi, cum autem utique. Because he had taken his argument on this question from what appears in sensation, first he inquires about division to infinity with respect to the act of sensing itself. Second he concludes to his proposal with respect to sensible things themselves, where he says But since there are quantities (446a16).
Circa primum duo facit. Primo inquirit utrum sentire procedat in infinitum secundum partes existentes in toto. Secundo, utrum secundum partes separatas, ibi, separatae. On the first point he does two things. First he inquires whether sensing proceeds to infinity with respect to parts existing in a whole. Second, whether it does so with respect to separated parts, where he says But it is reasonable (446a7).
Dicit ergo primo, quod, quia passiones, idest sensibiles qualitates dicendae sunt quasi quaedam species et formae, quae non sunt infinitae secundum se consideratae, sicut dictum est, et cum existunt in continuo sicut in subiecto, secundum cuius divisionem per accidens dividitur, consequens est quod sicut in continuo aliud est in actu, sicut pars separata, et aliud in potentia, scilicet pars in continuo existens non separata, ita etiam in his qualitatibus, quae sunt divisibiles per accidens, pars separata est actus existens, unde potest actu sentiri; pars autem indivisa est in potentia, et ideo non sentitur in actu. Accordingly he first says that because we must speak of the affections—that is, the sensible qualities—as “species” and forms that are not, considered in themselves, infinite, as was said; and nevertheless they exist in a continuum as their subject, by division of which they are accidentally divided; it follows that, as in a continuum there is something in actuality—namely a separated part—and something else in potentiality—namely a part existing in the continuum unseparated—so also in these qualities that are divisible accidentally a separated part exists in actuality, and hence can be sensed in actuality, but a part not divided off exists in potentiality, and so is not sensed in actuality.
Et inde quod quamvis superveniat visus, tamen aliqua pars eius minima, puta decima millesima, latet visum; et similiter quamvis totus cantus continuus audiatur, tamen auditum aliquid latet parvum de cantu, puta diesis, quod est minimum in melodia, quasi distantia quaedam toni et semitoni: huiusmodi autem distantia media inter ultima latet. Et ita est in aliis sensibus, quod ea quae sunt omnino parva, latent omnino sensuum. Sunt enim sensibilia in potentia, non autem in actu, nisi quando separantur: sic videmus in magnitudinibus quod linea unius pedis est in potentia in linea bipedali, sed tunc est actu quando dividitur a toto. And thus, although sight goes over a grain of millet, nevertheless some tiny part of the latter—say a tenth of a thousandth—escapes the notice of sight. Likewise, although a whole continuous singing is heard, nevertheless some small part of the singing—such as a diesis, which is the smallest unit in melody, being a distance between a tone and a semitone—escapes the notice of hearing. For this kind of intermediate distance between the extremes escapes notice. And so in the case of other sensible objects what is extremely small altogether escapes the notice of the sense-power. For it is visible in potentiality, but not in actuality, except when it is separated. Similarly we see in magnitudes that a one-foot line exists in potentiality in a two-foot fine, but exists in actuality when it is divided from the whole.
Patet autem ex praemissis falsum esse quod quidam mathematici dicunt, quod nihil simul totum videtur, sed visus percurrit per partes visibiles ac si videret sic continuum, sicut et moveri. Decipiuntur autem in hoc, quod partes continui non sunt visibiles actu, sed solum in potentia. Unde visus utitur toto visibili ut quodammodo uno indivisibili in suo genere, nisi forte utatur partibus non divisis ut divisis, sicut cum sigillatim inspicit unamquamque. Sed tamen nec in hoc procedit visus usque ad quascumque minimas partes, quia sic sentire divideretur in infinitum, quod supra dimissum est pro inconvenienti. It is clear from the foregoing that what some mathematicians say is false: that nothing is seen whole all at once, but rather sight runs over the parts of a visible object as if seeing were a continuum, like being moved. They are mistaken in this, because the parts of a continuum are visible not in actuality, but only in potentiality. Hence sight takes a visible whole as an indivisible unit belonging to a genus of its own—unless it takes parts that are not divided off as if they were, as when it looks at each, one by one. Nevertheless, even this does not reach as far as every minimal part, because then sensing would be infinitely divisible, which was dismissed above as inconsistent.
Deinde cum dicit separatae autem ostendit quod etiam partes separatae non sunt in infinitum sensibiles. 446a7 Then, when he says But it is reasonable, he shows that not even parts separated off are infinitely perceptible by sense.
Et primo ex parte ipsarum partium. Secundo ex parte ipsius sensus, ibi, quinimmo. First from the point of view of the parts themselves. Second from the point of view of the sense-power itself, where he says But there is no extremity (446a10).
Dicit ergo primo, quod, si partes in parvitate superabundantes, separantur a toto, rationabiliter videtur quod non possunt permanere propter parvitatem virtutis conservantis, quia virtus corporalis dividitur secundum divisionem magnitudinis, ut patet in septimo physicorum; et ideo minima separata convertuntur in corpus continens, puta aerem vel aquam, sicut patet de aliquo liquore saporoso, qui infunditur mari. Accordingly he first says that if extremely small parts are separated from a whole, it seems reasonable, because of the smallness of their power of self -preservation, that they cannot continue to last; for bodily power is divided according to division of magnitude, as is clear from Physics VII. Footnote And so those separated minimal parts are immediately converted into the surrounding body, for instance air or water, as is clear in the case of flavored drink poured into the sea.
Et ex hoc patet, quare corpus mathematicum est divisibile in infinitum, in quo consideratur sola ratio quantitatis in qua nihil est repugnans divisioni infinitae. Sed corpus naturale, quod consideratur sub tota forma, non potest in infinitum dividi, quia, quando iam ad minimum deducitur, statim propter debilitatem virtutis convertitur in aliud. Unde est invenire minimam carnem, sicut dicitur in primo physicorum: nec tamen corpus naturale componitur ex mathematicis, ut obiiciebatur. From this it is clear why a mathematical body—in which only the nature of quantity, which has nothing to oppose infinite division, is considered—is infinitely divisible. But a natural body, which is considered under a whole form, cannot be infinitely divided, because once it is reduced to its smallest part, it is immediately, because of the weakness of its power, changed into something else. Hence one can find a smallest part of flesh, as is said in Physics I. Footnote But a natural body is not, as was said in objection, composed out of mathematical ones.
Deinde cum dicit quinimmo quoniam ostendit propositum ex parte ipsius sensus. Ad cuius evidentiam sciendum est, quod quanto virtus sensitiva est excellentior, tanto minorem immutationem organi a sensibili percipit. Manifestum est autem quod quanto minus est sensibile, tanto maiorem immutationem facit organi; et ideo indiget excellentiori virtute sensus ad hoc quod sentiatur in actu. Manifestum est autem quod potentia sensitiva non crescit in infinitum, sicut nec aliae virtutes naturales. 446a10 Then, when he says But there is no extremity, he shows the proposal from the point of view of the sense-power itself. For evidence on this point it must be known that the more excellent a sensitive power is, the more it can perceive a smaller alteration of the organ by a sensible object. But it is clear that the smaller a sensible object is, the smaller the alteration it causes of the organ, and so the more excellent power of sense it needs in order to be sensed in actuality. But it is clear that sensitive power cannot be increased infinitely, any more than can other natural powers.
Unde etiam si corpora sensibilia in infinitum dividerentur, tamen non semper inveniretur superabundantia sensus in excellentia virtutis, secundum ipsam superabundantiam sensibilis in parvitate; nec etiam hoc esset superabundanti parvitate sensibilis separata remanente; quia superabundans parvitas sensibilis, est in potentia ut sentiatur a certiori et perfectiori sensu: qui si non adsit, non poterit actu sentiri, sed tamen erit sensibile, quantum est in se; iam enim ex quod separatum est, habet potentiam activam ad immutandum sensum, et quando sensus adveniet sentietur in actu. Sic igitur patet verum esse quod supra dixit, nullam magnitudinem esse invisibilem, scilicet quantum est in se, quamvis sit invisibilis propter defectum visus. Hence even if sensible bodies were infinitely divisible, nevertheless there would not always be extremity of the sense-power in superiority of power to correspond to the extremity of the sensible object in smallness—not even if the extreme smallness of the sensible object continued to last when separated. For the extreme smallness of the sensible object exists in potentiality, to be perceived by a surer and more perfect sense-power, and if the latter is not present, it will not be able to be sensed in actuality. Still, it will be a sensible object in itself, for already, by being separated, it has active power to alter a sense, and when a sense comes to it, it will be perceived in actuality. Therefore it is clear that what be said above is true, that no magnitude is invisible—that is, in itself, although a magnitude may be invisible because of imperfection of sight.
Concludit ergo quod dictum est quod quaedam magnitudines et passibiles qualitates lateant sensum, et propter quam causam; et quomodo sint sensibilia, et quomodo non. Therefore he concludes that it has been said that some magnitudes and affective qualities escape the notice of the sense-power; and for what cause; and the way in which they are sensible objects, and the way in which they are not.
Deinde cum dicit cum autem concludit ex praemissis quod, cum aliquae partes sensibilium corporum, hoc modo habeant quantitatem ut sint actu sensibilia, non solum in toto existentes, sed etiam divisim, necesse est quod huiusmodi partes sint finitae secundum aliquem numerum, sive in coloribus, sive in sonis. Et sic, secundum quod actu sunt sensibilia, in infinitum non dividuntur. 446a16 Then, when he says But since there are quantities, he concludes from the foregoing that since some parts of sensible bodies have quantity in this way—so as to be sensible in actuality not only when existing in a whole, but also when divided off—parts of this kind are necessarily finite according to some number, whether in the case of colors or flavors or sounds. And thus, according as they are perceptible in actuality, they are not infinitely divisible.


ἀπορήσειε δ΄ ἄν τις, ἆρ΄ ἀφικνοῦν ται ἢ τὰ αἰσθητὰ ἢ αἱ κινήσεις αἱ ἀπὸ τῶν αἰσθητῶν (ὁποτέρως ποτὲ γίγνεται ἡ αἴσθησις), ὅταν ἐνεργῶσιν, εἰς τὸ μέσον πρῶτον, οἷον ἥ τε ὀσμὴ φαίνεται ποιοῦσα καὶ ὁ ψόφος· πρότερον γὰρ ὁ ἐγγὺς αἰσθάνεται τῆς ὀσμῆς, καὶ ὁ ψόφος ὕστερον ἀφικνεῖται τῆς πληγῆς. ἆρ΄ οὖν οὕτω καὶ τὸ ὁρώμενον καὶ τὸ φῶς, 446a20 But someone will raise an objection: do either the sensible objects or the movements caused by the sensible objects—however sensation occurs—first reach a midpoint when they act? Odor and sound seem to do this: for one who is closer senses odor earlier, and sound arrives after the striking. Is it the same, then, in the case of a visible object and light?
καθάπερ καὶ Ἐμπεδοκλῆς φησιν ἀφικνεῖσθαι πρότερον τὸ ἀπὸ τοῦ ἡλίου φῶς εἰς τὸ μεταξὺ πρὶν πρὸς τὴν ὄψιν ἢ ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν; 446a26 Empedocles says that light from the sun in this way arrives at a midpoint before arriving at the sense of sight or the earth.
δόξειε δ΄ ἂν εὐλόγως τοῦτο συμβαίνειν· τὸ γὰρ κινούμενον κινεῖταί ποθέν ποι, ὥστ΄ ἀνάγκη εἶναί τινα καὶ χρόνον ἐν ᾧ κινεῖται ἐκ θατέρου πρὸς θάτερον· ὁ δὲ [446b] χρόνος πᾶς διαιρετός, ὥστε ἦν ὅτε οὔ πω ἑωρᾶτο ἀλλ΄ ἔτ΄ ἐφέρετο ἡ ἀκτὶς ἐν τῷ μεταξύ. 446a28 It might be thought reasonable that this is what happens. For what is moved is moved from something to something, and so there is necessarily a time in which it is moved from one to the other. But every length of time is divisible. Thus there was a time when the ray was not seen, but was still being brought in the medium.
καὶ εἰ καὶ ἅπαν ἅμα ἀκούει καὶ ἀκήκοε, καὶ ὅλως αἰσθάνεται καὶ ᾔσθηται, καὶ μή ἐστι γένεσις αὐτῶν, ἀλλ΄ εἰσὶν ἄνευ τοῦ γίγνεσθαι, ὅμως οὐδὲν ἧττον, ὥσπερ ὁ ψόφος ἤδη γεγενημένης τῆς πληγῆς οὔ πω πρὸς τῇ ἀκοῇδηλοῖ δὲ τοῦτο καὶ ἡ τῶν γραμμάτων μετασχημά τισις, ὡς γιγνομένης τῆς φορᾶς ἐν τῷ μεταξύ· οὐ γὰρ τὸ λεχθὲν φαίνονται ἀκηκοότες διὰ τὸ μετασχηματίζεσθαι φερόμενον τὸν ἀέραἆρ΄ οὖν οὕτω καὶ τὸ χρῶμα καὶ τὸ φῶς; οὐ γὰρ δὴ τῷ πως ἔχειν τὸ μὲν ὁρᾷ τὸ δ΄ ὁρᾶται, ὥσπερ ἴσα ἐστίν· οὐθὲν γὰρ ἂν ἔδει που ἑκάτερον εἶναι· τοῖς γὰρ ἴσοις γιγνομένοις οὐδὲν διαφέρει ἢ ἐγγὺς ἢ πόρρω ἀλλήλων εἶναι. 446b2 Everything simultaneously hears and has heard, and in general senses and has sensed. There is no generation of sensations; they have no coming into being. Nevertheless sound is not already at the sense of hearing when the blow is struck. The reconfiguration of letters when they are carried through a medium makes this clear: people apparently have not heard what was said, because the air carried is reconfigured in being carried. It is thus in the case of color and light: for it is not the case that this sees and that is seen if they are related in just any way. This is how it is with things that are equal: neither has to be in a particular place, since when things are made equal, it makes no difference if they are either near to or far from one another.
ἢ περὶ μὲν τὸν ψόφον καὶ τὴν ὀσμὴν τοῦτο συμβαίνειν εὔλογον· ὥσπερ γὰρ ὁ ἀὴρ καὶ τὸ ὕδωρ, συνεχῆ μέν, μεμέρισται δ΄ ἀμφοτέρων ἡ κίνησις. διὸ καὶ ἔστι μὲν ὡς τὸ αὐτὸ ἀκούει ὁ πρῶτος καὶ ὁ ὕστερος καὶ ὀσφραίνεται, ἔστι δ΄ ὡς οὔ. Now this [travelling through successive positions in the medium] may with good reason take place as regards Sound and Odour, for these, like [their media] Air and Water, are continuous, but the movement of both is divided into parts. This too is the ground of the fact that the object which the person first in order of proximity hears or smells is the same as that which each subsequent person perceives, while yet it is not the same.
δοκεῖ δέ τισιν εἶναι ἀπορία καὶ περὶ τούτων· ἀδύνατον γάρ φασί τινες ἄλλον ἄλλῳ τὸ αὐτὸ ἀκούειν καὶ ὁρᾶν καὶ ὀσφραίνεσθαι· οὐ γὰρ οἷόν τ΄ εἶναι πολλοὺς καὶ χωρὶς ὄντας ἓν ἀκούειν καὶ ὀσφραίνεσθαι· τὸ γὰρ ἓν χωρὶς ἂν αὐτὸ αὑτοῦ εἶναι. ἢ τοῦ μὲν κινήσαντος πρώτου, οἷον τῆς κώδωνος ἢ λιβανωτοῦ ἢ πυρός, τοῦ αὐτοῦ καὶ ἑνὸς ἀριθμῷ αἰσθάνονται πάντες, τοῦ δὲ δὴ ἰδίου ἑτέρου ἀριθμῷ, εἴδει δὲ τοῦ αὐτοῦ, διὸ ἅμα πολλοὶ ὁρῶσι καὶ ὀσμῶνται καὶ ἀκούουσιν; 446b13 On the other hand, it is reasonable for this to happen in the case of sound and odor. For air and water are indeed in a way continua, but the movements of both are divisible. For this reason too, it is the same thing that the first person and the last person hears and smells, but in a way it is not. But there seems to some to be an objection also about this. For some say that it is impossible for each person, by means of what is different, to hear and see and smell the same thing. For it is not possible for many who stand apart from one another to hear and smell the same thing, that is, for it to be cut off from itself. On the other hand, all sense the original mover—for example the quince, or incense, or fire—which is numerically one and the same. What is individual is numerically different, but specifically the same. Therefore many simultaneously see and smell and hear.
ἔστι δ΄ οὔτε σώματα ταῦτα, ἀλλὰ πάθος καὶ κίνησίς τις (οὐ γὰρ ἂν τοῦτο συνέβαινεν), οὔτ΄ ἄνευ σώματος. 446b25 But these things are not bodies, but an affection and a movement. For otherwise this would not happen. Nor are they independent of body.
περὶ δὲ τοῦ φωτὸς ἄλλος λόγος· τῷ ἐνεῖναι γάρ τι τὸ φῶς ἐστιν, ἀλλ΄ οὐ κίνησίς τις. 446b27 But the account of light is different, for there is light through some one single being, but there is not a movement.
ὅλως δὲ οὐδὲ ὁμοίως ἐπί τε ἀλλοιώσεως ἔχει καὶ φορᾶς· αἱ μὲν γὰρ φοραὶ εὐλόγως εἰς τὸ μεταξὺ πρῶτον ἀφικνοῦνται (δοκεῖ δ΄ ὁ ψόφος εἶναι φερομένου [447a] τινὸς κίνησις), ὅσα δ΄ ἀλλοιοῦται, οὐκέτι ὁμοίως· 446b28 In general, alteration and transfer are not alike. For it is reasonable that transfers should first reach a midpoint; and sound seems to be a movement of transfer. But what is altered is not like this.
ἐνδέχεται γὰρ ἀθρόον ἀλλοιοῦσθαι, καὶ μὴ τὸ ἥμισυ πρότερον, οἷον τὸ ὕδωρ ἅμα πᾶν πήγνυσθαι. 447a1 For it can happen that a whole is altered all at once, not half of it first, for example when a whole body of water is solidified all at once.
οὐ μὴν ἀλλ΄ ἂν ᾖ πολὺ τὸ θερμαινόμενον ἢ πηγνύμενον, τὸ ἐχόμενον ὑπὸ τοῦ ἐχομένου πάσχει, τὸ δὲ πρῶτον ὑπ΄ αὐτοῦ τοῦ ἀλλοιοῦντος μεταβάλλει καὶ ἀνάγκη ἅμα ἀλλοιοῦσθαι καὶ ἀθρόον. ἦν δ΄ ἂν καὶ τὸ γεύεσθαι ὥσπερ ἡ ὀσμή, εἰ ἐν ὑγρῷ ἦμεν καὶ πορρωτέρωθεν πρὶν θιγεῖν αὐτοῦ ᾐσθανόμεθα. 447a3 Nevertheless, if what is heated or solidified is large, what is contiguous is affected by the contiguous. But the first is necessarily altered, all at once and instantaneously, by the very thing that is acting. And tasting would be like odor if we existed in moisture, and sensed it from a distance before touching it.
εὐλόγως δὴ ὧν ἐστι μεταξὺ τοῦ αἰσθητηρίου, οὐχ ἅμα πάντα πάσχει, πλὴν ἐπὶ τοῦ φωτὸς διὰ τὸ εἰρημένον, διὰ τὸ αὐτὸ δὲ καὶ ἐπὶ τοῦ ὁρᾶν· τὸ γὰρ φῶς ποιεῖ τὸ ὁρᾶν. 447a8 But it is reasonable, where the sensitive part has a medium, that not all of it be affected all at once, except in the case of light, because of what was said above, and, for the same reason, in the case of seeing: for light causes seeing.
Postquam philosophus prosecutus est quaestionem primam pertinentem ad ipsa sensibilia, hic accedit ad quaestionem secundam, quae pertinet ad immutationem sensus a sensibilibus. 446a20 After the Philosopher bas followed up the first question, which concerns sensible things themselves, here he proceeds to the second question, which concerns the alteration of the sense-power by sensible objects.
Et circa hoc tria facit. Primo movet quaestionem. Secundo argumentatur ad ipsam, ibi, quemadmodum et Empedocles. Tertio solvit, ibi, vel circa sonum. On this point he does three things. First he raises the question. Second he argues it, where he says Empedocles says (446a26). Third he solves it, where he says On the other hand (446b 13).
Circa primum considerandum est, quod, sicut supra habitum est, quidam posuerunt sensum immutari a sensibilibus per modum cuiusdam defluxus, ita quod ipsa sensibilia et defluentia ab eis, perveniunt usque ad sensum: ipse vero posuit quod sensibilia per modum cuiusdam alterationis immutant medium, ita quod huiusmodi permutationes perveniunt usque ad sensum. On the first point it must be considered that, as was established above, some held that a sense-power is changed by sensible things by way of an emanation, so that it is the sensible things themselves—that is, the emanations from them—that reach the sense-power. But Aristotle himself held that the sensible things change the medium by way of a certain alteration, so that it is the changes of this kind that reach the sense-power.
Est ergo quaestio, qualitercumque fiat sensus, utrum vel sensibilia secundum aliorum opinionem, vel immutationes quae sunt a sensibilibus secundum suam opinionem, primo perveniant ad medium, quam ad sensum. Et hoc non habet dubitationem in auditu et odoratu. Manifestum est enim quod aliquis de propinquo prius sentit odorem, et similiter sonus posterius pervenit ad auditum quam faciat ictus percussionis quae causat sonum, sicut manifeste potest percipere, qui percussionem inspicit ex longinquo. Manifestum est etiam quod in gustu et tactu haec quaestio locum non habet, quia non sentiunt per medium extrinsecum. Unde dubitatio videtur esse de solo visu, utrum scilicet visibile, et lumen quod facit videre, prius perveniat ad medium quam ad sensum, vel ad quemcumque terminum. Therefore there is a question, however sensation occurs: whether the sensible objects themselves—according to the opinion of others—or alterations caused by the sensible objects—according to Aristotle’s own opinion—first reach a midpoint before reaching the sense-power. There is no difficulty about this in the case of hearing and smell, for it is clear that one senses odor earlier from nearby, and similarly that sound reaches hearing after the striking of the blow that causes sound occurs, as one who sees the blow from a distance can clearly perceive. And it is clear that this question has no place in the case of taste and touch, because they do not perceive through an external medium. Hence the difficulty seems to be about sight alone, that is, whether a visible object and the light that causes seeing first reach a midpoint before reaching the sense-power or any terminus.
Deinde cum dicit quemadmodum et obiicit ad quaestionem motam. 446a26 Then, when he says Empedocles says, he raises an objection concerning the question asked.
Et primo argumentatur ad partem falsam quaestionis. Secundo excludit quamdam falsam solutionem, ibi, et si omne simul. First he argues on the false side of the question. Second he eliminates a false solution where he says Everything simultaneously hears (446b2).
Argumentatur autem ad quaestionem, primo per auctoritatem Empedoclis, qui dixit quod lumen a sole progrediens, primo pervenit ad medium quam ad visum qui videt lumen, vel ad terram, quae videtur per lumen et ultra, quam radius solis non procedit. Et hanc quidem opinionem tetigit in secundo de anima; sed improbavit eam per hoc, quod in tam magno spatio, sicut est ab oriente usque ad nos, latere nos temporis successionem impossibile est. He argues in response to the question first by the authority of Empedocles, who said that light proceeding from the sun first reaches a midpoint before reaching the sense of sight that sees the light, or the earth that is seen by means of the light, and beyond which the sun’s ray does not proceed. He touched on this question in On the Soul II, but disproved the opinion as follows: in such a great distance as there is from the rising sun to ourselves, it is impossible for a temporal succession to escape our notice. Footnote
Secundo ibi putabitur autem argumentatur ad idem per rationem. Et dicit quod hoc videtur rationabiliter accidere, scilicet quod visibile vel lumen primo perveniat ad medium quam ad visum. Videtur enim esse quidam motus ipsius visibilis, vel luminis pervenientis ad visum. Omne autem quod movetur ab aliquo in aliud, ita se habet quod prius sit in termino a quo movetur, et posterius in termino ad quem movetur: alioquin, si simul esset in utroque termino, non moveretur de uno in aliud. Prius autem et posterius in motu, numeratur tempore: ergo necesse est esse aliquod tempus, in quo visibile vel lumen movetur a corpore visibili vel illuminante usque ad visum: omne autem tempus est divisibile, ut probatum est in sexto physicorum. Si ergo accipiamus medium illius temporis, adhuc radius luminis, vel ipsius visibilis, nondum pervenit ad visum, sed adhuc movebatur per medium, quia oportet dividi per magnitudinem per quam aliquid movetur, secundum divisionem temporis, ut probatum est in sexto physicorum. 446a28 Second, where he says It might be thought reasonable, he argues the same point by reason. He says that it seems reasonable for this to happen—that is, for the visible object or light to first reach a midpoint before reaching the sense of sight. For there seems to be some movement of the visible object itself, or of the light, in coming to the sense of sight. But everything that is moved is moved from something to something, in such a way that before, it is in the terminus from which it is moved, and after, it is at the terminus to which it is moved: otherwise, if it were simultaneously at both termini, it would not be moved from one to the other. But before and after in movement are counted by time. Therefore there is necessarily some time in which the visible object, or the light, is moved from the visible or illuminating body to the sense of sight. But every length of time is divisible, as was proved in Physics VI. Footnote Therefore if we take the midpoint of the time in question, at that point the ray of light, or the visible object itself, has not yet reached the sense of sight, but is still being moved through the medium, because the magnitude through which something is moved must be divided according to division of time, as was proved in Physics VI. Footnote
Deinde cum dicit et in omne excludit quamdam insufficientem responsionem. Posset enim aliquis putare quod sensibilia non prius perveniant ad medium quam ad sensum, quia sensus simul percipit sensibile absque successione, ita quod in auditione non prius est audire quam auditum esse, sicut in successivis prius est moveri quam motum esse; sed simul dum aliquis audit, iam audivit, quia in instanti perficitur tota auditio. Et universaliter hoc est verum in omni sensu, quod simul scilicet aliquod sentit et sensit. Et hoc ideo quia non est generatio eorum, sed sunt absque fieri. 446b2 Then, when he says Everything simultaneously hears, he eliminates an inadequate response. Someone could think that sensible objects do not first reach a midpoint before reaching the sense-power because sense perceives a sensible object all at once, without successiveness. Thus, in hearing, hearing does not come before having been heard in the way that, in what is successive, being moved does come before having been moved: rather, when someone is hearing, he simultaneously already has heard, because the whole act of hearing is completed in an instant. And this is universally true of every sense, that is, that it simultaneously senses and has sensed something. This is so because there is no generation of sensations; they have no coming into being.
Illorum enim dicitur esse generatio, ad quorum esse pervenitur per aliquem motum successivum; sive illius successivi motus sit ipsa eorum forma terminus, sicut si album dicatur generari, quia per successivam alterationem pervenitur ad albedinem; sive ipsa dispositio ad formam ipsorum sit motus successivi termini, sicut ignis et aqua dicuntur generari, quia dispositiones ad formam ipsorum, quae sunt qualitates elementales, per alterationem successivam acquiruntur. We say that there is a “generation” of things that have a being (esse) which is reached by a successive or gradual movement: whether the terminus of the successive movement is the very form of the things, as when a white thing is said to be generated because a thing reaches whiteness through successive alteration; or whether the terminus of the successive movement is a disposition to their form, as fire and water are said to be generated because dispositions to their forms—that is, elemental qualities—are acquired through successive alteration.
Illa vero incipiunt esse absque hoc quod generentur vel fiant, quae nec secundum se, nec secundum aliquas dispositiones praecedentes in ipsis per motum successivum causantur, sicut dextrum causatur in aliquo, nullo successivo motu praeexistente in ipso, sed quodam alio facto sibi sinistro. Similiter et aer incipit illuminari nullo motu successivo praeexistente in ipso, sed ad praesentiam corporis illuminantis. Et similiter sensus incipit sentire, nullo motu in ipso praeexistente, sed ad debitam oppositionem sensibilis. Et ideo simul aliquis sentit, et iam sensit. But those things begin to be without being generated or coming into being that are not—either of themselves or with respect to any preceding dispositions in them—caused through successive movement. For example, “to the right” is caused in a thing not by any successive movement pre-existing in it, but by something else having been made “to the left” of it. Likewise, air begins to be illuminated not by any movement pre-existing in it, but at the presence of an illuminating body. And likewise, a sense-power begins to sense not by any movement pre-existing in it, but at the requisite placing of a sensible object before it. Thus one simultaneously senses and already has sensed.
Nihilominus tamen propter hoc non oportet quod sensibilia vel motus sensibilium, absque successione sensibilium perveniant ad sensus; manifeste enim apparet, quod simul aliquis audit, et audivit statim, et tamen sonus, non statim facto ictu, qui causat sonum, pervenit ad auditum. Nevertheless it is not for this reason necessary that sensible objects, or movements of sensible objects, reach a sense-power without succession. For it is clear that one simultaneously is hearing and has heard, and nevertheless sound does not reach hearing immediately when the blow that causes the sound is struck.
Et hoc fit manifestum per transfigurationem literarum, quando alicuius locutio auditur ex longinquo, ac si sonus vocis literatae deferatur per medium successive. Propter hoc enim audientes sonum, non videntur auditu discrevisse literas prolatas, quia aer motus in medio transfiguratur, quasi admittens impressionem primi sonantis. This is made clear by the reconfiguration of letters that occurs when someone’s speech is heard from a distance, indicating that the sound of the voice formed into letters is being carried successively through the medium. It is for this reason that those who hear the sound apparently have not by hearing distinguished the letters pronounced: because the air moved in the medium is reconfigured, as if losing the impression made by the one who first caused the sound.
Quod quidem contingit quandoque propter aliquam aliam aeris immutationem, sicut cum multis loquentibus non potest discerni quod aliquis eorum dicat, propter hoc quod motus invicem se impediunt. Quandoque vero contingit propter distantiam: sicut enim actio calefacientis, in remotioribus debilitatur, ita etiam immutatio aeris, quae est a primo sonante; ex quo contingit quod ad illos qui sunt prope loquentem, perfecte contingit sonus locutionis cum debita expressione litterarum; ad remotos autem cum quadam confusione. This sometimes happens because of some other alteration in the air, for example when, because many are speaking, it is impossible to make out what one of them is saying, for it the movements impede one another. But sometimes it happens because of distance: for as the action of heating is weakened in what is farther away, so also does the alteration of the air by the one who first produces the sound, and as a result the sound of the speech may reach those who are near the speaker perfectly, with the requisite articulation of letters, but reach those who are farther away with some confusion.
Videtur igitur similiter se habere et de colore et de lumine; quia etiam color et lumen non videntur quomodocumque sint disposita secundum situm, sed requiritur determinata distantia. Sicut enim locutiones a remotis audiuntur, absque discretione literarum, ita etiam corpora videntur a remotis absque discretione dispositionis singularum partium. 446b9 The case of color and light, then, seems to be similar, for color and light also cannot be seen by being positioned in just any way: rather, a determinate distance is required. For just as utterances are heard by those at a distance without distinction of the letters, so also bodies are by those at a distance without distinction of the arrangement of individual parts.
Nec est ita de relatione visus et visibilis, sicut de relatione aequalitatis: ad hoc enim quod aliqua sint aequalia, non requiritur aliquis determinatus situs, sed qualitercumque varietur eorum situs, semper manent eodem modo aequalia. Nec differt utrum sint prope vel longe. Videtur ergo quod sicut transfiguratio literarum manifestat sonum successive pervenire ad auditum, quamvis postquam iam pervenerit simul audiatur, ita etiam imperfecta visio visibilium remotorum, videtur significare quod color et lumen successive perveniant ad visum quamvis simul videantur. The relation between the sense of sight and the visible object is not like the relation of equality: for no determinate location is required in order for things to be equal; rather, however their location varies, they always remain equal in the same way, and it makes no difference whether they are near or far. Therefore it seems that just as the the configuration of letters makes it clear that sound reaches the sense of hearing by succession, although once it has reached hearing, it is heard it at once; so the incomplete vision of remote visible objects seems to indicate that color and light reach the sense of sight by succession, although they are seen all at once.
Deinde cum dicit vel circa hoc ponit veram solutionem, ostendens differentiam visus ad alios duos sensus, qui sunt per media exteriora, auditum et olfactum. 446bl3 Then, when he says On the other hand, he presents the true solution, showing the difference between sight and the other two senses that perceive through external media, namely hearing and smell.
Et dividitur in partes duas. Primo namque assignat differentiam visus ad auditum et odoratum. Secundo excludit obiectionem, ibi, rationabiliter autem. This is divided into two parts. First he gives the difference of sight from hearing and smell. Second he concludes to his proposal, where he says But it is reasonable (447a8).
Prima pars dividitur in duas secundum duas differentias quas ponit. Secunda incipit, ibi, omnino autem, nec similiter. The first part is divided into two according to the two differences he gives. The second begins where he says In general, alteration and transfer (446b28).
Dicit ergo primo, quod rationabile est hoc accidere circa sonum et odorem, quod successive perveniant. Cuius rationem assignat ex hoc, quod aer et aqua quae sunt media, quibus huiusmodi sensibilia deferuntur ad sensus sunt quidem secundum suam substantiam continua, sed tamen in eis possunt fieri motus abinvicem divisi; Accordingly he first says that it is reasonable for this to happen in the case of sound and odor, namely that they reach the sense-power by succession. He gives as the reason for this the fact that air and water, which are the media by which these objects are brought to the sense-power, are indeed in their substance, continua, and yet movements distinct from one another can take place in them.
quod contingit propter facilem divisionem aeris et aquae, sicut patet in motu proiectionis, ut philosophus ostendit septimo physicorum, in quo sunt multi motus, multa moventia et mota. Nam una pars aeris movetur ab alia, et sic sunt diversi motus sibi invicem succedentes, quia pars aeris mota adhuc remanet movens, postquam cessat moveri, et sic non omnes motus partium aeris sunt simul, sed sibi invicem succedunt, ut ostenditur in octavo physicorum. This can happen because of the easy divisibility of air and water which, as the Philosopher shows in Physics VII, is evident in the movement of throwing something, where there are many movements, many movers, and many things moved. Footnote For one part of the air is moved by another, and thus there are different movements succeeding one another, because a part of the air that has been moved still remains a mover after it ceases to be moved. Thus the movements of the parts of the air are not all simultaneous; rather they succeed one another, as is shown in Physics VIII. Footnote
Et hoc etiam apparet in sono, qui causatur ex quadam aeris percussione; non tamen ita quod totus aer, qui est medius, uno motu moveatur a percutiente; sed sunt motus multi sibi succedentes ex eo quod una pars primo mota movet aliam. Et inde est quod quodammodo idem est quod audit primus qui est propinquus percussioni causanti sonum, et extremus qui est remotus; quodam autem modo non idem. This is also evident in the case of sound, which is caused by a striking of air, but not in such a way that the whole of the air in between is moved by what strikes it in one movement. Rather, there are many movements succeeding one another, for one part, having been moved first, then moves another. Thus in a way it is the same thing that the first person hears—the one who is close to the striking that causes the sound—and that the last person hears—the one who is at a distance. But in a way it is not the same thing.
Apud quosdam enim videtur de hoc esse dubitatio: quia quidam dicunt, quod, cum diversi per diversa organa sentiant, impossibile est quod idem sentiant. Quod quidem verum est, si referatur ad id quod proxime movet sensum, quia diversorum sensus immutantur immediate a diversis partibus medii sibi propinquis, et ita intercipitur hoc, et distinguitur illud quod unus sentit, ab eo quod sentit alius. Si vero accipitur id quod primo movet medium, sic erit unum idem quod omnes sentiunt, sicut unius percussionis sonum audiunt omnes, sive propinqui sive remoti; et similiter unum corpus odoriferum, puta cothonium vel thus in igne ardens, odorant omnes; sed id, quod iam proprie pervenit ad unumquemque est alterum numero, sed est idem specie, quia ab eadem forma primi activi, omnes huiusmodi immutationes causantur. Unde simul multi vident et odorant et audiunt idem sensibile, per diversas immutationes ad eos pervenientes. 446b17 According to some, there seems to be a difficulty on this point: some say that, since different people sense by means of different organs, it is impossible that they sense the same thing. Now this is true if it refers to what proximately moves the sense-power, because the senses of different people are immediately altered by the different parts of the medium that are close to them, and so what one senses is “cut off,” and distinct from, what another senses. But if what is understood is what first moved the medium, then all sense one and the same thing. For instance everyone, whether near or far, hears the sound of the one blow; likewise, everyone smells the one odorous body, for example the quince, or the incense burning in fire. What reaches each one individually one is numerically different, but is specifically the same, because all these alterations are caused by the same form, the form of what first activates them. Hence many simultaneously see and smell and hear the same sensible object by the different alterations that reach them.
Huiusmodi autem quae perveniunt ad singulorum sensus, non sunt corpora defluentia a corpore sensibili, ut quidam posuerunt; sed singulum eorum est motus et passio medii immutati per actionem sensibilis. Si enim essent diversa corpora, quae ad diversos per defluxum pervenirent, non accideret hoc, quod scilicet idem omnes sentirent, sed unum sentiret, scilicet solum corpus ad ipsum perveniens. Et quamvis non sint corpora, non tamen sunt sine corpore, vel medio, quasi passo et moto a sensibili, quasi primo movente et agente. Sic ergo per praedicta patet, quod sonus pervenit ad auditum per multos motus partium medii sibiinvicem succedentes; et simile est de odore, nisi quod mutatio odoris fit per alterationem medii: immutatio autem soni per motum localem. 446b25 But these things that reach the senses of each individual are not bodies emanating from a sensible body, as some held: rather, every individual one of them is a movement and an affection of a medium that has been altered by the action of a sensible object. For if they were different bodies that reached different individuals by emanation, then this—that is, everyone sensing the same thing—would not happen, but each would perceive only the body that reached him. And although they are not bodies, nevertheless they are not independent of body, or of the medium that is as it were affected and moved, or of the sensible object that is as it were what first moves and acts. 446b27 It is clear, then, from what has been said that sound reaches the sense of hearing through many successive movements of parts. And it is similar in the case of odor, except that alteration by odor occurs through alteration of a medium, but alteration by sound through local movement.
Sed de lumine est alia ratio. Non enim per motus sibi succedentes in diversis partibus medii pervenit lumen usque ad visum; sed per unum aliquod esse, idest per hoc quod totum medium sicut unum mobile, movetur uno motu a corpore illuminante. Sed non est ibi motus, qui succedat motui, sicut dictum est de odore et sono. But the account of light is different. For light does not reach the sense of sight through many movements succeeding one another in different parts of the medium, but through one single being (esse)—that is, by the whole medium being moved, as one moveable thing, in one movement, by an illuminating body. In this case there is not one movement succeeding another, as there was said to be in the case of odor and sound.
Huiusmodi autem differentiae ratio est: quia quod recipitur in aliquo sicut proprio subiecto et naturali, potest in eo permanere et esse principium actionis; quod autem recipitur in aliquo solum sicut adventitia qualitas, non potest permanere, nec esse principium actionis. The reason for this difference is that what is received in something as in its proper and natural subject can remain in it and be a principle of action, but what is received in something only as an adventitious quality can neither remain in it nor be a principle of action.
Quia vero formae substantiales sunt principia qualitatum et omnium accidentium, illa qualitas recipitur in subiecto aliquo secundum esse proprium et naturale, quae disponit subiectum ad formam naturalem, cuius est susceptivum; sicut aqua ratione suae materiae, est susceptiva formae substantialis ignis, quae est principium caloris. Et ideo calor recipitur in aqua, disponens ipsam ad formam ignis; et ideo remoto igne adhuc aqua remanet calida calefacere potens. Now because substantial forms are the principles of qualities and of it accidents, that quality is received in a subject according to its proper and natural being which disposes the subject to the natural form of which it is receptive. For instance, water, by reason of its matter, is receptive of the substantial form of fire, which is the principle of heat; and so heat is received in water as disposing it to the form of fire, and when fire is removed, the water still remains hot and capable of heating.
Et similiter odor recipitur in aere et aqua et sonus in aere secundum suum esse proprium et naturale et secundum quod aer et aqua immutantur ab enchyma siccitate et aer a percussione alicuius corporis. Et inde est quod cessante percussione, remanet sonus in aere, et remoto corpore odorifero adhuc sentitur odor in aere, propter hoc quod pars aeris immutata ad sonum vel ad odorem potest aliam similiter immutare, ut sic fiant diversi motus sibiinvicem succedentes. Likewise odor is received in air and water, and sound in air, both according to their proper and natural being, and according as air and water are altered by enchymous dryness, or air by the striking of a body. Thus, when the striking ceases, sound remains in the air; and when the odor causing body is removed, odor is still perceived in the air. The reason is that the part of the air that has been changed so as to take on a sound or odor can likewise change another part, and thus different movements are produced that succeed one another.
Sed diaphanum non est susceptivum formae substantialis corporis illuminantis, puta solis, qui est prima radix luminis; neque per receptionem luminis disponetur ad aliquam formam substantialem. Unde recipitur lumen in diaphano sicut quaedam qualitas adventitia, quae non remanet absente corpore illuminante, nec potest esse principium actionis in aliud. Unde una pars aeris non illuminatur ab alia; sed totus aer illuminatur a primo illuminante quantum potest se extendere virtus illuminantis; et ideo est unum illuminatum et una illuminatio totius medii. But the transparent is not receptive of the substantial form of the illuminating body, for instance the sun, which is the first “root” of light, and neither is it disposed by reception of light to any substantial form. Hence light is received in the transparent as an adventitious quality that neither remains when the illuminating body is absent, nor is able to be a principle of action on something else. Hence one part of the air is not illuminated by another, but the whole of the air is illuminated by what first illuminates it, however far the power of the illuminating body is able to reach. Thus, there is one thing illuminated, and one illumination of the whole medium.
Deinde cum dicit omnino autem ostendit secundam differentiam. Et dicit, quod si universaliter loquamur de alteratione, idest loci mutatione, non similiter se habet in utroque, quia loci mutationes rationabiliter perveniunt prius ad medium magnitudinis, supra quam est motus, quam ad ultimum; quia scilicet in loci mutatione est motus de extremo magnitudinis, ad extremum eius, unde oportet quod mobile in medio temporis pertingat ad medium magnitudinis; et tunc ratio superinducta locum habet in loci mutatione. Sonus autem consequitur quemdam motum localem, inquantum scilicet ex percussione causante sonum commovetur aer usque ad auditum; et ideo rationabile est, quod sonus prius perveniat ad medium, quam ad auditum. 446b28 Then, when he says In general, alteration and transfer, he shows the second difference. He says that, to speak generally about alteration and “transfer”—that is, change of place—the two are not alike. It is reasonable that changes of place should first reach the midpoint of the magnitude over which the movement takes place before reaching the terminus, since in change of place there is movement from one extreme of a magnitude to the other extreme. Hence, the moveable thing must reach the midpoint of the magnitude at the midpoint of the time. Thus the argument introduce above has a place in the case of change of place. And sound is a consequence of local movement inasmuch as the air is disturbed by the striking that causes the sound all the way to the power of hearing. it is reasonable, then, that sound should reach a midpoint before reaching the sense of hearing.
Sed in his quae alterantur non similiter se habet. Termini enim alterationis non sunt ipsa extrema magnitudinis. Et ideo non oportet, quod tempus alterationis, per se loquendo, commensuretur alicui magnitudini, ita quod in medio temporis, motus perveniat ad medium magnitudinis super quam fit motus; quia hoc non est dare in alteratione, quae non est motus in quantitate vel in ubi, sed in qualitate, neque ad medium magnitudinis quae movetur. But in the case of what is altered, it is not like this. For the termini of alteration are not extremes of a magnitude, and so the time of the alteration is not necessarily, of itself, commensurate with a magnitude in such a way that at the midpoint of the lime, the movement would reach the midpoint of the magnitude, whether the midpoint of the magnitude over which the movement occurs (for this cannot be given in alteration, which is not a movement in a quantity or a “where,” but in a quality), or the midpoint of a magnitude that is itself moved.
Contingit enim aliquando quod totum corpus simul alteratur, non autem dimidium eius prius, sicut videmus quod tota aqua simul congelatur. 447a1 For it can sometimes happen that the whole of a body is altered all at once, not half of it first, as we see that a whole body of water may be frozen all at once.
Sicut enim in motu locali tempus commensuratur distantiae magnitudinis, super quam transit motus, et secundum divisionem eius dividitur, ut probatur in sexto physicorum; ita etiam in alteratione, tempus commensuratur distantiae terminorum. Et ideo maius tempus requiritur ceteris paribus, ad hoc quod de frigido fiat calidum, quam ad hoc quod de tepido fiat calidum. In local movement, the time is commensurable with the magnitude over which the movement passes, and is divided according to division of the magnitude, as is proved in Physics VI. Footnote Likewise, in alteration, the time is commensurable with the distance between the termini, and so, other things being equal, more time is required for something cold than for something tepid to be made hot.
Et ideo, si aliqua extrema sunt inter quae non sit accipere medium, oportet quod de uno extremo in aliud fiat transitus absque medio. Contradictio autem est oppositio, cuius non est medium secundum se, ut dicitur in primo posteriorum, et eadem ratione supposita aptitudine subiecti, cum privatio nihil aliud sit quam negatio in subiecto. Unde omnes mutationes quarum termini sunt esse et non esse, vel privatio et forma, sunt instantaneae, et non possunt esse successivae. In alterationibus enim successivis attenditur successio secundum distantiam unius contrarii ab alio determinata media: Thus if there are some extremes between which one cannot take a midpoint, transition from one extreme to the other must occur without intermediary. Now a contradiction is an opposition that of itself has no intermediary, as is said in Posterior Analytics I. Footnote And, with the supposition of the receptivity of a subject, the account of privation is the same, for privation is nothing but negation in a subject. Hence all alterations of which the termini are being and non-being, or privation and form, are instantaneous and cannot be successive, for in successive alterations the succession is noted by means of determinate intermediaries with respect to the distance of one contrary from the other.
in qua quidem distantia tota magnitudo corporis, in quam potest immediate virtus primi alterantis, consideratur sicut unum subiectum, quod statim simul incipit moveri. Sed, si sit corpus alterabile tam magnum, quod virtus primi alterantis non possit ipsum attingere secundum totum, sed secundum partem eius, sequitur quod prima pars primo alterata, alterabit consequenter aliam. 447a3 Within this distance, the whole magnitude of the body over which the power of the first cause of the alteration immediately extends is considered as one single subject that instantaneously, all at once, begins to be moved. But if there is a body that is capable of being altered, but is so large that the power of the first cause of the alteration cannot reach it as a whole, but only part of it, it will follow that after the first part has been altered, it will subsequently alter another one.
Et ideo dicit quod, si fuerit multum corpus quod calefit vel quod congelatur, necesse est quod habitum patiatur ab habito, idest quod consequens pars ab immediate praecedente alteretur. Sed prima pars alteratur ab ipso primo alterante, et simul et subito, quia scilicet non est ibi successio ex parte magnitudinis, sed solum ex parte contrariarum qualitatum, ut dictum est. Haec autem est causa quare odor prius pervenit ad medium quam ad sensum, quamvis hoc fiat per alterationem sine motu locali, quia corpus odoriferum non potest simul immutare totum medium, sed immutat partem unam, quae immutat aliam; et sic successive pervenit immutatio usque ad olfactum per plures motus, ut supra dictum est. Et esset simile in gustu sicut in odoratu, si nos viveremus in humido aqueo, quod solum susceptivum est saporis, sicut in aere, qui est susceptivus odoris, et si iterum posset sentiri sapor per alterationem medii a remotis, antequam tangeremus corpus saporosum, sicut contingit circa odoratum. And so he says that if it is a large body that is heated or frozen, what is contiguous is necessarily affected by the contiguous—that is, a subsequent part is necessarily altered by the immediately preceding one. But the first part is altered, all at once and instantaneously, by the very thing that first causes the alteration, because here there is not succession from the point of view of magnitude, but only from the point of view of contrary qualities, as was said. It is because of this that odor first reaches a midpoint before reaching the sense-power, even though this occurs by alteration without local movement. For an odorous body cannot alter the whole medium all at once; rather, it alters one part, which alters another, and so the alteration reaches the sense of smell by succession, through several movements, as was said above. And it would be the same in the case of taste as it is in the case of smell if we lived in watery moisture, which alone is receptive of flavor, as we now live in air, which is receptive of odor; and if, again, flavor could be sensed by alteration of the medium from a distance before we touched a flavored body, as is the case with smell.
Videtur autem quod hic dicitur esse contrarium ei, per quod philosophus probat in sexto physicorum, omne quod movetur esse divisibile, quia pars eius est in termino a quo, et pars in termino ad quem. Sic igitur videtur quod dum aliquid alteratur de albo in nigrum, quando una pars eius est alba, altera sit nigra, et sic non potest esse quod totum simul alteretur sed post partem. Now what is said here seems to be contrary to the argument by which the Philosopher proves in Physics VI that everything that is moved is divisible, because part of it is at the terminus a quo and part at the terminus ad quem. Footnote Thus it can be seen that while something is being changed from white to black, when one part of it is white, another is black. This it cannot be that the whole is altered all at once, but rather part after part.
Dicunt autem quidam, quod intentio philosophi ibi, est ostendere non quidem quod una pars mobilis sit in termino a quo, et alia in termino ad quem; sed quod mobile sit in una parte termini a quo, et in alia parte termini ad quem, et sic in alteratione non oportet quod una pars mobilis prius alteretur quam alia, sed quod totum mobile, quod alteratur, puta de albo in nigrum, habeat partem albedinis et partem nigredinis. But some say that the intention of the Philosopher there is to show not that one part of a moveable thing is at the terminus a quo and another at the terminus ad quem, but that the moveable thing is at one part of the terminus a quo and at another part of the terminus ad quem. And so in alteration it is necessary not that one part of the moveable thing be altered before another, but that the whole moveable thing that is altered, for instance from white to black, have a part of whiteness and a part of blackness.
Hoc autem non convenit intentioni Aristotelis; quia per hoc non probaretur directe quod mobile esset divisibile, sed quod termini motus sint aliqualiter divisibiles, nec etiam competit verbis quibus utitur, sicut patet diligenter literam eius intuenti, in qua manifeste hoc refert ad partes mobiles. But this does not agree with Aristotle’s intention, because this would not directly prove that a moveable thing is divisible, but rather that the termini of movement are somehow divisible. Nor again does it agree with the words Aristotle uses, as is clear to anyone who carefully looks at his text, where the passage clearly refers to the parts of the moveable thing.
Et ideo aliter dicendum est, quod demonstratio illa intelligitur de motu locali, qui est vere et secundum se continuus. Agit enim Aristoteles in sexto physicorum de motu sub ratione continui: motus vero augmenti et alterationis non sunt simpliciter continui, ut dictum est in octavo physicorum. Unde in alteratione non verificatur illud Aristotelis dictum omnino, sed solum quod accipit quamdam continuitatem ex mobili, cuius una pars alterat aliam. Mobile vero, quod totum simul attingitur a virtute primi alterantis, habet se sicut quiddam indivisibile, quantum ad hoc, quod simul alteratur. Thus a different explanation has to be given, namely that the demonstration is understood with reference to local movement, which is truly and of itself continuous. For in Physics VI Aristotle treats of movement under the aspect of the continuous. But movements of growth and alteration, as was said in Physics VIII, are not simply continuous. Footnote Hence Aristotle’s remark is not universally true of all alteration, but only of alteration inasmuch as it gets continuity from a moveable thing in which one part alters another. But a moveable thing that the power of the first cause of the alteration reaches all at once, as a whole, is something indivisible inasmuch as it is altered all at once.
Deinde cum dicit rationabiliter autem concludit ex praemissis principale intentum. Et dicit quod rationabiliter in sensibus in quibus est aliquod medium inter sensibile et organum sentiendi, non simul patitur et movetur totum medium, sed successive, praeter quam in lumine: et hoc propter praedicta. Primo quidem, quia illuminatio non fit per motum localem, ut sonatio, sicut Empedocles posuit, sed motum alterationis. Secundo, quia non sunt ibi multi motus, sicut dictum est de odore, sed unus tantum. Quibus addendum est tertio, quia lumen non habet contrarium, sed tenebra opponitur ei sicut simplex privatio, et ideo illuminatio fit subito. 447a8 Then, when he says But it is reasonable, he concludes from the foregoing to the principal intention. He says that it is reasonable, in the case of the senses for which there is a medium between the sensible object and the organ of sensing, that the whole medium be affected and moved not all at once, but by succession, except in the case of light, and this because of what has been said: first, because illumination does not, as Empedocles held, occur by local movement, as the spread of sound does, but by alteration; second, because in illumination there are not several movements, as there were said to be in the case of odor, but only one. To these points we must add a third: that light has no contrary, but darkness is rather opposed to it as simple privation, and so illumination occurs all at once.
Et idem oportet dicere de visione, quia lumen facit videre, unde medium immutatur a visibilibus proportionabiliter lumini. And the same must be said about vision, because light causes seeing. And hence the medium is altered by visible objects analogously to the way it is altered by light.


Ἔστι δ΄ ἀπορία καὶ ἄλλη τις τοιάδε περὶ τὰς αἰσθήσεις, πότερον ἐνδέχεται δυεῖν ἅμα αἰσθάνεσθαι ἐν τῷ αὐτῷ καὶ ἀτόμῳ χρόνῳ, ἢ οὔ. 447a12 But there is also another such objection raised concerning the senses: whether it can happen that two sense simultaneously at the same indivisible point of lime, or not?
εἰ δὴ ἀεὶ ἡ μείζων κίνησις τὴν ἐλάττω ἐκκρούειδιὸ ὑποφερομένων ὑπὸ τὰ ὄμματα οὐκ αἰσθάνονται, ἐὰν τύχωσι σφόδρα τι ἐννοῦντες ἢ φοβούμενοι ἢ ἀκούοντες πολὺν ψόφοντοῦτο δὴ ὑποκείσθω, καὶ ὅτι ἑκάστου μᾶλλον ἔστιν αἰσθάνεσθαι ἁπλοῦ ὄντος ἢ κεκραμένου, οἷον οἴνου ἀκράτου ἢ κεκραμένου, καὶ μέλιτος, καὶ χρόας, καὶ τῆς νήτης μόνης ἢ ἐν τῇ διὰ πασῶν, διὰ τὸ ἀφανίζειν ἄλληλα. τοῦτο δὲ ποιεῖ ἐξ ὧν ἕν τι γίγνεται. 447a14 If a greater movement always drives off a lesser, which is why people do not sense what is brought under their eyes if they are intensely thinking about something, or are afraid, or are hearing a loud sound.... Let this, then, be supposed, and also that one can sense anything better when it exists as simple than when mixed: for example, wine that is unmixed can be better sensed than wine that is mixed; and honey; and color; and a note alone better than one with the octave, because they obscure one another. Now it is things from which some one thing is made that do this.
εἰ δὴ ἡ μείζων τὴν ἐλάττω κίνησιν ἐκκρούει, ἀνάγκη, ἂν ἅμα ὦσι, καὶ αὐτὴν ἧττον αἰσθητὴν εἶναι ἢ εἰ μόνη ἦν· ἀφαιρεῖται γάρ τι ἡ ἐλάττων μειγνυμένη, εἴπερ ἅπαντα τὰ ἁπλᾶ μᾶλλον αἰσθητά ἐστιν. ἐὰν ἄρα ἴσαι ὦσιν ἕτεραι οὖσαι, οὐδετέρας ἔσται αἴσθησις· ἀφανιεῖ γὰρ ἡ ἑτέρα ὁμοίως τὴν ἑτέραν, ἁπλῆς δ΄ οὐκ ἔστιν αἰσθάνεσθαι. ὥστε ἢ οὐδεμία ἔσται αἴσθησις, ἢ ἄλλη ἐξ ἀμφοῖν· ὅπερ καὶ γίγνεσθαι δοκεῖ ἐπὶ τῶν κεραννυμένων ἐν ᾧ ἂν μειχθῶσιν. 447a21 If, then, a greater drives off a lesser, then, if they are simultaneous, even the former is, necessarily, less able to be sensed than if it were alone. For something is taken away by admixture of the lesser one, if indeed everything that is simple is better able to be sensed. Therefore, if they are equal, but exist as separate, neither will be sensible, for each obscures the other; and it is impossible to sense either as simple. Therefore either there will be no sensation, or there will be a different one out of the two. This seems to be brought about by things mixed together, whatever they may be mixed together into.
ἐπεὶ οὖν ἐκ μὲν ἐνίων γίγνεταί τι, ἐκ δ΄ ἐνίων οὐ γίγνεται, τοιαῦτα δὲ τὰ ὑφ΄ ἑτέραν αἴσθησιν (μείγνυνται γὰρ [447b] ὧν τὰ ἔσχατα ἐναντία· οὐκ ἔστι δ΄ ἐκ λευκοῦ καὶ ὀξέος ἓν γίγνεσθαι ἀλλ΄ ἢ κατὰ συμβεβηκός, ἀλλ΄ οὐχ ὡς ἐξ ὀξέος καὶ βαρέος συμφωνία), 447a29 From some objects, something else can be made; but from some it cannot, and these are objects that come under different senses. For objects that can be mixed together have extremes that are contraries. But one object cannot be made out of white and high-pitched, except accidentally, but not in the way that a harmony is made out of high-pitched and low-pitched.
οὐκ ἄρα οὐδ΄ αἰσθάνεσθαι ἐνδέχεται αὐτῶν ἅμα. ἴσαι μὲν γὰρ οὖσαι αἱ κινήσεις ἀφανιοῦσιν ἀλλήλας, ἐπεὶ μία οὐ γίγνεται ἐξ αὐτῶν· ἂν δ΄ ἄνισοι, ἡ κρείττων αἴσθησιν ἐμποιήσει. 447b3 Therefore it is not possible to sense them simultaneously. For when their movements exist as equal, they will drive out one another, because one movement is not made out of them. But if they are unequal, it will be the stronger that causes sensation.
ἔτι μᾶλλον ἅμα δυοῖν αἴσθοιτ΄ ἂν ἡ ψυχὴ τῇ μιᾷ αἰσθήσει ὧν μία αἴσθησις, οἷον ὀξέος καὶ βαρέος (μᾶλλον γὰρ ἅμα ἡ κίνησις τῇ μιᾶς αὐτὴ ἑαυτῇ ἢ τοῖν δυοῖν, οἷον ὄψεως καὶ ἀκοῆς), 447b6 Moreover, it is more likely that the soul will simultaneously sense two objects of one sense, such as high-pitched and low-pitched, with the one sense: for it is more likely that movements of one sense would occur simultaneously than of two, for instance sight and hearing.
τῇ μιᾷ δὲ ἅμα δυοῖν οὐκ ἔστιν αἰσθάνεσθαι ἂν μὴ μειχθῇ (τὸ γὰρ μεῖγμα ἓν βούλεται εἶναι, τοῦ δ΄ ἑνὸς μία αἴσθησις, ἡ δὲ μία ἅμα αὑτῇ), ὥστ΄ ἐξ ἀνάγκης τῶν μεμειγμένων ἅμα αἰσθάνεται, ὅτι μιᾷ αἰσθήσει κατ΄ ἐνέργειαν αἰσθάνεται· 447b9 But it is not possible to sense two objects simultaneously with one, if they have not been mixed. For a mixture tends to be one thing. But one sense-power at one moment has one object. And it is itself one at the one moment. Therefore it necessarily senses mixtures all at once, because it senses by means of one sense-power in actuality. For as numerically one in actuality, it has one object; but as specifically so, it is one in potentiality or power.
ἑνὸς μὲν γὰρ ἀριθμῷ ἡ κατ΄ ἐνέργειαν μία, εἴδει δὲ ἡ κατὰ δύναμιν μία· καὶ εἰ μία τοίνυν ἡ αἴσθησις ἡ κατ΄ ἐνέργειαν, ἓν ἐκεῖνα ἐρεῖ. μεμεῖχθαι ἄρα ἀνάγκη αὐτά. ὅταν ἄρα μὴ ᾖ μεμειγμένα, δύο ἔσονται αἰσθήσεις αἱ κατ΄ ἐνέργειαν. ἀλλὰ κατὰ μίαν δύναμιν καὶ ἄτομον χρόνον μίαν ἀνάγκη εἶναι τὴν ἐνέργειαν· μιᾶς γὰρ ἡ εἰσάπαξ μία χρῆσις καὶ κίνησις, μία δὲ ἡ δύναμις. οὐκ ἄρα ἐνδέχεται δυοῖν ἅμα αἰσθάνεσθαι τῇ μιᾷ αἰσθήσει. Therefore, if it is one sense-power in actuality, it will say that one object. Therefore, they are necessarily mixed together. Therefore, when they are not mixed, there will be two senses in actuality. But, with respect to one power, at one indivisible moment, there is necessarily only one operation, for there is only one use, and one movement, of one thing at one time, and it is one power. Therefore it is not possible to sense simultaneously two objects with one sense-power.
ἀλλὰ μὴν εἰ τὰ ὑπὸ τὴν αὐτὴν αἴσθησιν ἅμα ἀδύνατον, ἐὰν ᾗ δύο, δῆλον ὅτι ἧττον ἔτι τὰ κατὰ δύο αἰσθήσεις ἐνδέχεται ἅμα αἰσθάνεσθαι, οἷον λευκὸν καὶ γλυκύ. 447b21 But if this is impossible simultaneously in the case of objects that come under the same sense-power if there are two of them, it is obvious that it is still less possible to sense simultaneously objects of two senses, such as white and sweet.
φαίνεται γὰρ τὸ μὲν τῷ ἀριθμῷ ἓν ἡ ψυχὴ οὐδενὶ ἑτέρῳ λέγειν ἀλλ΄ ἢ τῷ ἅμα, τὸ δὲ τῷ εἴδει ἓν τῇ κρινούσῃ αἰσθήσει καὶ τῷ τρόπῳ. λέγω δὲ τοῦτο, ὅτι ἴσως τὸ λευκὸν καὶ τὸ μέλαν, ἕτερον τῷ εἴδει ὄν, ἡ αὐτὴ κρίνει, καὶ τὸ γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ πικρὸν ἡ αὐτὴ μὲν ἑαυτῇ, ἐκείνης δ΄ ἄλλη, ἀλλ΄ ἑτέρως ἑκάτερον τῶν ἐναντίων, ὡς δ΄ αὔτως ἑαυταῖς τὰ σύστοιχα, οἷον ὡς ἡ γεῦσις τὸ γλυκύ, οὕτως ἡ ὄψις τὸ [448a] λευκόν, ὡς δ΄ αὕτη τὸ μέλαν, οὕτως ἐκείνη τὸ πικρόν. 447b24 The soul seems to say that something is numerically one by nothing other than this “all at once”; but it seems to say that something is specifically one by the sense that judges and by the manner. What I mean is this. The same proper one will judge that, say, white and black are different. And one sense, different from that one, but itself the same, will judge that sweet and bitter are different. They judge each of the contraries in a different way, but they judge the corresponding elements in the same way: For instance, as taste judges sweet, sight judges white; and as the latter judges black, the former judges bitter.
Solutis duabus quaestionibus, hic philosophus prosequitur tertiam, quae est ex parte ipsius sensus. 447a12 Having solved two questions, here the Philosopher follows the the third, which is from the point of view of the sense-power itself.
Et circa hoc tria facit. Primo movet quaestionem. Secundo obiicit ad partem falsam, ibi, si autem semper. Tertio determinat veritatem, ibi, de prius autem dicta obiectione. On this point he does three things. First he raises the question. Second he argues for the false position where he says If a greater movement (447a14). Third he determines the truth where he says With respect to the objection (Ch.18, 448b17).
Dicit ergo primo, quod circa ipsos sensus est quaedam alia talis obiectio: utrum scilicet contingat quod simul et in eodem indivisibili tempore sentiant duo sensus, puta simul dum visus videt colorem, auditus audiat vocem. Accordingly he first says that concerning the senses themselves there is another such objection raised, namely whether it can happen that two senses sense simultaneously and at the same indivisible point of time, for instance that while sight sees a color hearing simultaneously hears a voice.
Deinde cum dicit si autem obiicit ad partem falsam, scilicet ad ostendendum quod duo sensus non possunt simul sentire. 447a14 Then, when he says If a greater movement, he argues for the false position, attempting to show that two senses cannot sense simultaneously.
Et primo ponit rationes ad hoc ostendendum. Secundo excludit quamdam falsam solutionem, per quam hoc sustinebatur, ibi, quod autem dicunt. First he presents arguments to show this. Second he eliminates a false solution by which this position was maintained, where he says Some of those who discuss symphoniae (Ch. 17, 448a 19).
Circa primum duo facit. Primo ponit tres rationes: quarum prima accipitur ex immutationibus sensibilium; secunda ex parte ipsius sensus, ibi adhuc si magis; tertia ex contrarietate sensibilium, ibi, amplius contrariorum. On the first point he presents three arguments. The first is based on alterations caused by sensible objects. The second is based on the sense-power itself; it starts where he says Moreover, it is more likely (447b6). The third is based on contrariety of sensible objects; it starts where he says Moreover, if movements of contraries are contrary (Ch. 17, 448a 1).
Circa primam rationem praemittit duas suppositiones. He prefaces the first argument with two presuppositions.
Quarum prima est, quod maior motus repellit minorem: et ex hoc dicit provenire multotiens quod ea quae iacent sub oculis, homines non sentiunt propter alium fortiorem motum, vel interiorem sive rationis sicut cum homines aliquando vehementer intendunt ad aliquid, sive appetitivae virtutis sicut cum homines vehementer timent, vel etiam exteriorem alicuius sensibilis sicut cum homines audiunt magnum sonum: hoc igitur propter evidentiam dicit esse supponendum. The first is that a greater movement drives back a lesser. Because of this, he says, the result is that often human beings do not sense what lies under their eyes, because of a more powerful movement. This may be an interior movement, whether of reason, as when they are intensely thinking about something, or of appetitive power, as when they are intensely afraid. Or it may be an external movement caused by some sensible object as when they are hearing a loud sound. This, then, he says, is to be supposed as evidence.
Secunda suppositio est quod unumquodque magis sentitur si sit simplex, quam si sit alteri permixtum, sicut vinum purum fortius sentitur, quam si sit temperatum aqua. Et idem est de melle quantum ad gustum, et de colore quantum ad visum, et quantum ad auditum de una voce, quae magis sentitur si sola sit, quam si audiatur in consonantia ad aliam vocem, puta in diapason, vel in quacumque alia consonantia: et hoc ideo, quia quae commiscentur, obscurant se invicem. Sed haec secunda suppositio non habet locum nisi in his ex quibus unum fieri potest: haec enim sola permiscentur. The second presupposition is that anything is sensed better if it is simple than if it is mixed with something else, as wine has a stronger taste if it is pure than if it is mixed with water. The same is true of honey with respect to taste; and of color with respect to sight. And, with respect to hearing, it is true of one single note, which is better sensed if it is alone than if it heard in harmony with another tone such as the octave, or in any other harmony. This is so because things mixed together obscure one another. But this second presupposition applies only to things from which one thing can be made, for such things alone are thoroughly mixed together.
Ex his autem duabus suppositionibus ulterius procedit cum subdit, si itaque maior, et dicit quod si maior motus repellat minorem, ut prima suppositio dicit, necesse est, si ambo motus sunt simul, quod etiam maior motus minus sentiatur, quam si esset solus: quia aliquid eius aufertur per minoris commixtionem, ut patet ex secunda suppositione, scilicet quod simplicia sunt magis sensibilia quam permixta. Signanter dicit autem si sint simul, quia maior motus quandoque est tam fortis quod non permittit alium motum fieri; et tunc in nullo diminuitur ex motu minori, quia non est. Sed si tantum praevaleat, quod non omnino impediat minorem motum fieri, duobus motibus existentibus, necesse est quod minor motus in aliquo obscuret maiorem. Si ergo motus fuerint omnino aequaliter diversi existentes, neuter erit sensibilis, quia totaliter alter obscurat alterum; nisi forte ex istis duobus motibus permixtione fiat unus motus: sed non potest aliquis eorum simplex sentiri: et sic oportet quod vel nullus sensus fiat illorum motuum aequalium, vel quod sit quidam alter sensus compositus ex utrisque, inquantum scilicet id quod sentitur est compositum ex utrisque: et hoc manifeste apparet in omnibus quae commiscentur. Nam permixtum non est aliquid eorum quae commiscentur, sed quoddam alterum compositum ex his. Sic ergo ex praemissis patet, quod, si duo motus fuerint inaequales, maior obscurat minorem; si autem aequales vel nil sentitur, vel aliquid commixtum. 447a21 From these two presuppositions he goes further when he adds If, then, a greater drives off a lesser. He says that if a greater movement drives back a lesser, as the first pre-supposition says, then, if both movements are simultaneous, even the greater one is necessarily less able to be sensed than if it were alone, because something of it is taken away by admixture of the lesser one, as appears from the second presupposition, namely that what is simple is better able to be sensed than what is mixed. It is significant that he has said “if they are simultaneous,” because the greater movement is sometimes so strong that it does not allow another movement to occur, and then it is not at all diminished by a lesser movement, because there is none. But if it does not prevail to the extent that it completely prevents the lesser movement from occurring, then, while the two movements exist, the lesser movement necessarily obscures the greater one to some extent. Therefore, if the movements are completely equal, but exist as different, neither will be sensible, because each wholly obscures the other—unless perhaps from the two movements one movement is made by mixture, but then what is simple in them cannot be sensed. And thus it must be either that no sensation of the equal movements occurs, or that there is a different sensation composed from both, that is, inasmuch as what is sensed is composed out of the two. And this is clearly the case in everything that is mixed together, because the mixture is not any of the things that are mixed together, but something else composed out of them. It is clear, then, from the foregoing that if two movements are unequal, the greater obscures the lesser, but if they are equal, either nothing or a mixture is sensed.
Ex his autem ulterius procedit, proponens quod quaedam sunt, ex quibus potest aliquod unum fieri; quaedam vero sunt, ex quibus unum fieri non potest: et huiusmodi sunt illa quae sentiuntur diversis sensibus, sicut color et odor. Illa enim solum commisceri possunt, in quibus extrema sunt contraria, quia commixtio fit per quamdam alterationem; sed ea quae sentiuntur diversis sensibus, non sunt contraria adinvicem, unde non possunt commisceri. Unde non fit aliquid unum ex colore albo et sono acuto, nisi forte per accidens, inquantum conveniunt in eodem subiecto; non autem per se, sicut symphonia constituitur ex voce gravi et acuta. 447a29 And from these points he proceeds further. He proposes that there are some objects out of which some one thing can be made, but there are some out of which one thing cannot be made, and such are objects, such as color and odor, sensed by different senses. For only those objects can be mixed together in which the extremes are contraries, because mixture occurs by alteration. But objects that are sensed by different senses are not contrary to one another, and hence cannot be mixed together. For example, some one object is not made out of a white color and a high-pitched sound, except perhaps accidentally, inasmuch as they come together in the same subject; but not per se, in the way that a harmony is constituted out of a low-pitched and a high-pitched tone.
Et ex his concludit quod nullo modo contingit sentire sensibilia diversorum sensuum simul. Quia, si eorum motus sint aequales omnino, destruent seinvicem, cum non possit unum fieri ex ipsis; si vero sint inaequales, maior motus praevalebit, et ipse solus sentietur. 447b3 From this he concludes that it is in no way possible to sense objects of different senses simultaneously, because if their movements are equal, they will entirely destroy one another, since one thing cannot be made out of them; but if they are unequal, the greater movement will prevail, and it alone will be sensed.
Deinde cum dicit adhuc si magis ponit secundam rationem, quae sumitur ex unitate et pluralitate sensuum. Et arguit per locum a maiori negative. 447b6 Then when he says Moreover, it is more likely, he presents the second argument, which is based on the unity and plurality of the senses. He argues by denial of what is more likely.
Magis enim videtur quod anima possit duo aliqua sentire simul pertinentia ad unum sensum, sicut acutum et grave in sonis, quam diversa sensibilia ad diversos sensus pertinentia per duos sensus. Et huius rationem assignat: quia quanto motus sunt magis diversi, minus videntur eidem potentiae simul attribui. Duo autem motus quibus anima diversis sensibus sentit diversa sensibilia diversorum sensuum et diversorum generum, sunt magis diversi quam duo motus, quibus per unum sensum sentit diversa sensibilia eiusdem generis. Unde magis videtur quod possit esse simul in una anima motus unius sensus respectu diversorum sensibilium eiusdem generis, quam motus duorum sensuum, puta visus et auditus. It seems more likely that the soul is able to sense simultaneously two objects pertaining to one sense—such as high-pitched and low-pitched in sounds—by means of the one sense, than that it is able to sense simultaneously different objects pertaining to different senses by means of the two senses. He gives the following reason for this. To the extent that movements are more different, they seem less able to be attributed to the same thing But two movements by which the soul, by means of different senses, senses different objects belonging to different genera are more different from one another than are two movements by which the soul perceives through one sense different objects belonging to the same genus. Hence it seems more likely that there could simultaneously be in one soul movements of one sense in relation to different sensible objects of the same genus, than movements of two senses, for instance sight and hearing.
Posita autem hac comparatione, removet, id quod magis videtur: et dicit quod non contingit simul sentire duo sensibilia per unum sensum, nisi illa duo fuerint commixta; et tunc quando mixta sunt, non sunt duo, quia mixtum naturaliter est aliquid unum. 447b9 Having presented this comparison, he eliminates what seems more likely. He says that it is not possible to sense simultaneously, by means of one sense, two objects, unless the two have been mixed together, and then when they have been mixed together, they are not two objects, because, a mixture is naturally some one thing.
Quod autem sensus unus non possit cognoscere multa nisi inquantum fuerint unum per mixturam, probat per hoc quod unus sensus in actu, non potest esse simul nisi unius, sicut nec aliqua una operatio aut unus motus terminatur nisi ad aliquid unum. Sensus autem non potest esse simul in actu nisi unius, sicut nec aliqua potentia simul recipit diversas formas. Unde necesse est, quod si aliquis sensus, puta visus vel auditus, debeat sentire plura, sentiat ea inquantum sunt facta unum permixtione. Et hoc ideo, quia potentia sensitiva sentit illa duo secundum unum sensum in actu, idest secundum unam operationem sensitivam. Ex hoc autem sensus secundum actum, idest operatio sensitiva, habet unitatem secundum numerum, quia est unius sensibilis: specie autem est unus sensus secundum actum, sive una operatio sensitiva, ex eo quod est secundum potentiam unam; sicut omnes visiones quorumcumque visibilium sunt eiusdem speciei propter unitatem potentiae; sed visio huius rei differt numero a visione alterius rei. He proves in the following way that one sense cannot simultaneously know several things except to the extent that they become one thing by means of mixture. One sense-power can be in actuality at one moment with respect to only one object, just as the terminus of any one operation or movement can be only something that is one. And a sense-power in actuality must, at one and the same moment, be one and the same sense-power in actuality; for no power simultaneously receives different forms. Thus if a sense-power, for instance sight or hearing, has to sense several things simultaneously, it necessarily senses them inasmuch as they have been made one by mixture, because the sensitive power senses the two things by means of one sense-power in actuality—that is, one sensitive operation. A sense-power in actuality—that is, a sensitive operation has numerical unity because it has one sensible object. But it is specifically one sense-power in actuality—or one sensitive operation—because it is one in potentiality or power. For instance, all seeings of any visible thing are specifically the same because of the unity of the power; but the seeing of one thing differs numerically from the seeing of another.
Necesse est ergo, si est unus sensus secundum actum, quod unum dicat, idest iudicet; ergo oportet quod, si sunt multa, quod commisceantur in unum; et si non fuerint mixta, necesse est quod sint duo sensus secundum actum, idest duae operationes sensitivae. Sed necesse est quod unius potentiae in eodem indivisibili tempore sit una operatio, quia unius rei non potest esse simul nisi unus actus et unus motus. Unde, cum operatio sensitiva nihil aliud sit quam usus quidam quo anima utitur potentia sensitiva, erit motus quidam ipsius potentiae, inquantum sensus movetur a sensibili. Cum ergo unus sensus sit una potentia, non contingit quod sic multa sentiantur uno sensu. Therefore, if it is one sense-power in actuality, it must “say”—that is, judge of—one object. Therefore, if there are many objects, they must be mixed together into one. Therefore, if they are not mixed, there must be two senses in actuality—that is, two sensitive operations. But there is necessarily only one operation of one power at one and the same indivisible moment, because here can only be one use, and one movement, of one thing at one time. Hence, since sensitive operation is nothing but a “use” in which the soul uses a sensitive power, as well as a “movement” of the power itself, inasmuch as the sense is moved by a sensible thing, therefore, since one sense is one power, it is not possible to sense simultaneously two objects with one sense.
Si ergo ea quae sunt unius sensus non possunt simul sentiri, si sunt duo, manifestum esse videtur adhuc quod minus contingit simul sentire quae sunt secundum diversos sensus, sicut album et dulce. 447b21 Therefore, if objects of one sense cannot be sensed simultaneously if there are two of them, it seems clear that it is still less possible to sense simultaneously objects of different senses, such as white and sweet.
Hanc autem illationem consequenter manifestat, dicens, quod anima nullo modo alio videtur diiudicare aliquid esse unum numero nisi inquantum simul ab ea percipitur: ipsa enim operatio sensitiva est una numero inquantum est simul, ut dictum est. Sed anima dicit aliquid esse unum specie, non ex eo quod simul sentit, sed quia est idem sensus qui iudicat utrumque, et quia est idem modus, quo uterque sentit. 447b24 Next he clarifies this inference. He says that the soul seems to judge that something is numerically one in no other way than the thing’s being perceived by it all at once, for sensitive operation itself is numerically one inasmuch as it is all at once, as was said. But the soul says that something is specifically one not because the latter is sensed all at once, but because it is the same sense that judges of each of two objects, and because it is the same manner in which it senses each.
Ad exponendum hoc quod dixerat subdit, quod idem proprium, idest idem sensus proprius iudicat de duobus diversis, scilicet de albo et de nigro, et similiter dulce et amarum diiudicat quidam sensus, qui est idem numero, quia eodem sensu, scilicet gustu utrumque cognoscitur. Sed iste sensus, qui idem existens cognoscit dulce et amarum, alius est ab illo qui cognoscit album et nigrum. Sed tamen unus et idem sensus aliter cognoscit utrumque contrariorum: unum enim cognoscit sicut habitum et aliquid perfectum, et aliud sicut privationem et aliquid imperfectum: omnia enim contraria hoc modo se habent: tamen idem est modus quo uterque sensus cognoscit cognata, idest principia proportionabiliter sibi respondentia. Eo enim modo, quo gustus sentit dulce, visus album; et sicut visus nigrum, ita et gustus amarum. To explain what he said, he adds that the same proper one—that is, the same proper sense-power—judges of two different objects, namely white and black. Likewise, a sense that itself is the same, judges sweet and bitter, for both are apprehended by the same sense, namely taste. But this sense that, while being the same, knows sweet and bitter, is different from the one that knows white and black. Nevertheless, one and the same sense knows each of the contraries in a different way: for it knows one as a possession and something perfect, and the other as a privation and something imperfect, since all contraries are related in this way. However the way in which both senses know the corresponding elements—that is, the principles that analogously correspond to one another—is the same: for sight senses white the way taste senses sweet, and taste senses bitter as sight senses black.
Patet ergo quod anima iudicat aliqua esse diversa specie, vel diversa sensu, sicut album et dulce vel eodem sensu, sed diverso modo, sicut album et nigrum; unum autem numero ex hoc quod simul sentit. Si ergo impossibile est illud quod est unum specie esse unum numero, videtur impossibile esse quod anima simul sentiat, vel ea quae cognoscuntur diversis sensibus, vel ea quae cognoscuntur uno sensu, sed alio modo, quae minus diversa esse videntur. Therefore it is clear that the soul judges that things are specifically different either by a different sense-power, as in the case of white and sweet, or by a different manner of sensing, as in the case of white and black; but it judges that a thing is numerically one by perceiving it all at once. if, then, it is impossible for what is specifically one to be numerically one, it seems to be impossible for the soul to sense simultaneously either things that are known by different senses, or even things that are known by one sense but in different ways, and which seem to be less different from one another than are things known by different senses.


ἔτι εἰ αἱ τῶν ἐναντίων κινήσεις ἐναντίαι, ἅμα δὲ τὰ ἐναντία ἐν τῷ αὐτῷ καὶ ἀτόμῳ οὐκ ἐνδέχεται ὑπάρχειν, ὑπὸ δὲ τὴν αἴ σθησιν τὴν μίαν ἐναντία ἐστίν, οἷον γλυκὺ πικρῷ, τούτων οὐκ ἂν ἐνδέχοιτο αἰσθάνεσθαι ἅμα. 448a1 Moreover, if movements of contraries are contrary; and contraries cannot simultaneously be in the same atomon; and there are contraries, for instance sweet and bitter, under one sense-power—then one cannot sense them simultaneously.
ὁμοίως δὲ δῆλον ὅτι οὐδὲ τὰ μὴ ἐναντία· τὰ μὲν γὰρ τοῦ λευκοῦ τὰ δὲ τοῦ μέλανός ἐστιν, καὶ ἐν τοῖς ἄλλοις ὁμοίως, οἷον τῶν χυμῶν οἱ μὲν τοῦ γλυκέος οἱ δὲ τοῦ πικροῦ. But likewise, clearly, neither can one simultaneously sense objects that are not contraries. For some belong to white and some to black. And likewise in other cases: for instance some flavors belong to sweet and some to bitter.
οὐδὲ τὰ μεμειγμένα ἅμα (λόγοι γάρ εἰσιν ἀντικειμένων, οἷον τὸ διὰ πασῶν καὶ τὸ διὰ πέντε), ἐὰν μὴ ὡς ἓν αἰσθάνηται. οὕτως δ΄ εἷς ὁ λόγος ὁ τῶν ἄκρων γίγνεται· ἄλλως δ΄ οὔ, Nor can one simultaneously sense mixtures simultaneously, for the proportions belong to opposites, for instance the octave and the fifth; unless they are perceived as one, but thus one proportion is made of the extremes, but otherwise not.
ἔσται γὰρ ἅμα ὁ μὲν πολλοῦ πρὸς ὀλίγον ἢ περιττοῦ πρὸς ἄρτιον, ὁ δ΄ ὀλίγου πρὸς πολὺ ἢ ἀρτίου πρὸς περιττόν. For there will be simultaneously many to few, or odd to even, or few to many, or even to odd.
εἰ οὖν πλεῖον ἔτι ἀπέχει ἀλλήλων καὶ διαφέρει τὰ συστοίχως μὲν λεγόμενα ἐν ἄλλῳ δὲ γένει τῶν ἐν τῷ αὐτῷ γένει (λέγω δ΄ οἷον τὸ γλυκὺ καὶ τὸ λευκὸν καλῶ σύστοιχα, γένει δ΄ ἕτερα, τὸ γλυκὺ δὲ τοῦ λευκοῦ πλεῖον ἔτι τῷ εἴδει διαφέρει ἢ τὸ μέλαν), ἔτι ἂν ἧττον ἅμα ἐνδέχοιτο αὐτὰ αἰσθάνεσθαι ἢ τὰ τῷ γένει ταὐτά. ὥστ΄ εἰ μὴ ταῦτα, οὐδ΄ ἐκεῖνα. If then, the so-called “corresponding elements,” which are in different genera, stand apart and differ from one another still more than do objects in the same genus (I call sweet and white, for instance, corresponding elements in different genera, and sweet differs specifically from black much more than white does); then one can sense these simultaneously still less than those in one genus. So if not the former, then neither the latter.
ὃ δὲ λέγουσί τινες τῶν περὶ τὰς συμφωνίας, ὅτι οὐχ ἅμα μὲν ἀφικνοῦνται οἱ ψόφοι, φαίνονται δέ, καὶ λανθάνει, ὅταν ὁ χρόνος ᾖ ἀναίσθητος, πότερον ὀρθῶς λέγεται ἢ οὔ; τάχα γὰρ ἂν φαίη τις καὶ νῦν παρὰ τοῦτο δοκεῖν ἅμα ὁρᾶν καὶ ἀκούειν, ὅτι οἱ μεταξὺ χρόνοι λανθάνουσιν. 448a19 Some of those who discuss symphoniae say that sounds do not arrive simultaneously, but they seem to, and it escapes notice, since the time is insensible. Is it correct to say this or not? Perhaps someone will say that it is also because of this that one thinks that he simultaneously sees and hears, namely because the intervening lengths of time escape notice.
ἢ τοῦτ΄ οὐκ ἀληθές, οὐδ΄ ἐνδέχεται χρόνον εἶναι ἀναίσθητον οὐδένα οὐδὲ λανθάνειν, ἀλλὰ παντὸς ἐνδέχεται αἰσθάνεσθαι; 448a24 Or perhaps it is not true that any length of time can be insensible or escape notice: rather, absolutely all of them can be perceived.
εἰ γάρ, ὅτε αὐτὸς αὑτοῦ τις αἰσθάνεται ἢ ἄλλου ἐν συνεχεῖ χρόνῳ, μὴ ἐνδέχεται τότε λανθάνειν ὅτι ἔστιν, ἔστι δέ τις ἐν τῷ συνεχεῖ καὶ τοσοῦτος ὅσος ὅλως ἀναίσθητός ἐστι, δῆλον ὅτι τότε λανθάνοι ἂν εἰ ἔστιν αὐτὸς αὑτόν, καὶ εἰ ὁρᾷ καὶ αἰσθάνεται [καὶ εἰ αἰσθάνεται]. 448a26 For if when one senses oneself or something else in a continuous length of time, it cannot escape his notice that it is existing; and something is existing in a continuous length of time; and it is so brief as to be completely insensible; it is clear that it will then escape his notice whether he himself is existing, and that he is seeing, and that he is sensing, and whether he is sensing.
ἔτι οὐκ ἂν εἴη [448b] οὔτε χρόνος οὔτε πρᾶγμα οὐδὲν ὃ αἰσθάνεται ἢ ἐν ᾧ, εἰ μὴ οὕτως, ὅτι ἐν τούτου τινὶ ἢ ὅτι τούτου τι ὁρᾷ, εἴπερ ἔστι τι μέγεθος καὶ χρόνου καὶ πράγματος ἀναίσθητον ὅλως διὰ μικρότητα· 448a30 Moreover, there will be no length of time (and no thing that one senses) during which it is not the case that it is being sensed in some part of it (or that one sees some part of the thing)—if indeed there is some magnitude of time, and of a thing that is insensible because of smallness.
εἰ γὰρ τὴν ὅλην ὁρᾷ, καὶ αἰσθάνεται τὸν αὐτὸν συνεχῶς χρόνον, οὕτω, τῷ ἐν τούτου τινί, ἀφῃρήσθω τὸ ΓΒ, ἐν ᾧ οὐκ ᾐσθάνετο. οὐκοῦν ἐν ταύτης τινί ἢ ταύτης τι, ὥσπερ τὴν γῆν ὁρᾷ ὅλην, ὅτι τοδὶ αὐτῆς, καὶ ἐν τῷ ἐνιαυτῷ βαδίζει, ὅτι ἐν τῳδὶ τῷ μέρει αὐτοῦ. ἀλλὰ μὴν ἐν τῷ ΓΒ οὐδὲν αἰσθάνεται. τῷ ἄρα ἐν τούτου τινὶ τοῦ ΑΒ αἰσθάνεσθαι λέγεται τοῦ ὅλου αἰσθάνεσθαι καὶ τὴν ὅλην. ὁ δ΄ αὐτὸς λόγος καὶ ἐπὶ τῆς ΑΓ· ἀεὶ γὰρ ἐν τινὶ καὶ τινός, ὅλου δ΄ οὐκ ἔστιν αἰσθάνεσθαι. For if one is seeing and sensing the whole during the same continuous length of time not because one does so in some part of it—then let GB, in which it was not being sensed, be subtracted. Accordingly, one does not sense “during a part of it,” or “a part of it,” in the way that one sees the whole earth because one sees a part of it, and one walks during a year because one does so during this part of it. Rather, one senses nothing in GB. Therefore, it is because one senses it in a part, namely AG, that one is said to sense the whole of AB, and the whole thing. But the same account also applies to AG: it is always a case of “during a part of it,” and “a part of it,” and it is impossible to sense the whole of AGB.
ἅπαντα μὲν οὖν αἰσθητά ἐστιν, ἀλλ΄ οὐ φαίνεται ὅσα ἐστίν· τοῦ γὰρ ἡλίου τὸ μέγεθος ὁρᾷ καὶ τὸ τετράπηχυ πόρρωθεν, ἀλλ΄ οὐ φαίνεται ὅσον, ἀλλ΄ ἐνίοτε ἀδιαίρετον, ὃ ὁρᾷ δ΄ οὐκ ἀδιαίρετον. 448b12 All things, then, are sensible, but do not appear to be everything that they are: the size of the sun appears from far away to be four cubits. A thing does not appear to be everything that it is: rather, sometimes it is indivisible, but one sees what is not indivisible. The cause of this has been stated in the foregoing.
ἡ δ΄ αἰτία εἴρηται ἐν τοῖς ἔμπροσθεν περὶ τούτου. ὅτι μὲν οὖν οὐθείς ἐστι χρόνος ἀναίσθητος, ἐκ τούτων φανερόν· 448b16 Therefore it is clear from these remarks that no length of time is insensible.
Positis duabus rationibus ad ostendendum quod non contingit sensus duos simul sentire, hic ad idem ponit tertiam rationem, quae sumitur ex contrarietate sensibilium. 448a1 Having presented two arguments to show that it is impossible for two senses to sense simultaneously, here be presents a third argument for the same conclusion based on the contrariety of sensible objects.
Et dicit quod immutationes, quae sunt a contrariis, sunt contrariae, sicut calefactio et infrigidatio. Contraria autem non possunt simul esse in eodem atomo, idest indivisibili; in eodem indivisibili possunt simul esse contraria secundum diversas partes. Manifestum autem est quod ea quae cadunt sub unum sensum, sunt contraria, sicut dulce et amarum: ergo non possunt simul sentiri. He says that alterations caused by contraries are contrary, for instance heating and cooling. But contraries cannot simultaneously be in the same “atomon”—that is, the same indivisible part (contraries can simultaneously be in the same divisible part with respect to different parts of it) But it is clear that objects under one sense-power are contraries, for instance sweet and bitter. Therefore they cannot be sensed simultaneously.
Et similis ratio est in his quae non sunt contraria, scilicet in mediis, quorum quaedam magis appropinquant ad unum extremum quaedam magis ad aliud, sicut supra dictum est de coloribus et saporibus; quia colorum mediorum, quidam pertinent ad album, et quidam ad nigrum; et similiter saporum mediorum, quidam pertinent ad dulce, quidam ad amarum: The argument is similar in the case of objects that are not contraries, that is, intermediate objects, some of which more closely approach one extreme, and some the other. For instance, as was said above about colors and flavors, some intermediate colors pertain to white and some to black, and likewise some intermediate flavors pertain to sweet and some to bitter.
et eadem ratio est de commixtis omnibus, quia diversae commixtiones habent quamdam contrarietatem, quia diversae commixtiones fiunt secundum diversas proportiones, quae habent quamdam oppositionem adinvicem, ut patet in consonantiis, quarum una dicitur diapason, quae consistit in dupla proportione, quae est duorum ad unum; alia autem dicitur diapente quae consistit in proportione sesquialtera, quae est trium ad duo; ista autem inquantum sunt commixta diversis proportionibus, non possunt simul sentiri propter oppositionem proportionum, nisi forte duo sentiantur ut unum, quia sic fiet una proportio ex diversis extremitatibus. And the argument is the same in the case of all mixtures, for different mixtures have a contrariety between themselves because they are made in different proportions, and different proportions have an opposition to one another. This is clear in harmonies: one is called the octave, which consists in the double proportion, that of two to one; another is called the fifth, which consists in the sesquialteral proportion, that of three to two. Such things, I say, thus mixed together in different proportions, cannot be simultaneously sensed, because of the opposition between proportions—unless, perhaps, two are perceived as one, because thus one proportion will be made out of two extremes.
Ostendit autem consequenter diversas proportiones esse oppositas secundum duplicem oppositionem, quae in numeris invenitur: quarum una est secundum multum et paucum, et secundum hoc opponuntur proportio dupli et proportio dimidii: nam proportio dupli est multi ad paucum proportio vero dimidii est pauci ad multum. Alia vero est oppositio secundum par et impar, et secundum hoc opponuntur proportio dupla et sesquialtera: nam proportio dupla est duorum ad unum, quasi paris ad impar, unum enim est forma imparis numeri. Sesquialtera autem proportio est trium ad duo, quod est imparis ad parem. Next be shows that different proportions are opposed according to the two kinds of opposition found in numbers. One is according to many and few, by which the proportion of double and the proportion of half are opposed: for the proportion of double is one of many to few, but the proportion of half is one of few to many. The other kind of opposition is according to even and odd, by which the double proportion and the sesquialteral proportion are opposed: for the double proportion is one of two to one, that is, of even to odd, but the sesquialteral proportion is of three to two, that is, of odd to even.
Sic ergo patet quod non possunt simul sentiri quae cadunt sub eodem sensu. Plus autem distant adinvicem quae coelementariter sibi correspondent in diverso genere existentia, puta dulce et album, quam ea quae sunt unius generis; quia ea quae sunt unius generis, non distinguuntur specie nisi propter modum sentiendi, sicut album et nigrum. Ea vero quae sunt diversorum generum possunt differre specie non solum ex parte sensus, sed etiam ex parte modi, sicut dulce a nigro plus differt quam album, unde minus possunt simul sentiri, quod est quasi esse unum numero, ut supra habitum est. Si igitur ea quae sunt unius generis, propter contrarietatem non possunt simul sentiri, multo minus ea quae sunt diversorum generum, possunt simul sentiri. Thus it is clear that objects falling under the same sense cannot be sensed simultaneously. But objects that correspond to one another as “elements” existing in different genera—for instance sweet and white—stand farther apart from one another than do objects belonging to one genus. For objects belonging to one genus, such as white and black, are specifically distinguished only because of the manner of sensing. But objects belonging to different genera can differ specifically not only from the point of view of the sense-power, but also from the point of view of manner of sensing: for instance, sweet differs from black more than white does. Hence they are less able to be sensed simultaneously, which is, as it were, to be numerically one, as was established above. Therefore, if objects belonging to one genus cannot, because of their contrariety, be sensed simultaneously, much less can objects belonging to different genera be sensed simultaneously.
Deinde cum dicit quod autem excludit quamdam falsam solutionem huius quaestionis. 448a19 Then when he says Some of those who discuss symphoniae, he eliminates a false solution of this question.
Et primo narrat eam. Secundo improbat, ibi, aut hoc non est verum. First he relates it. Second he disproves it, where he says Or perhaps it not true (448a24).
Dicit ergo primo, quod quidam de symphoniis, id est de consonantiis musicis tractantes, dixerunt quod soni consonantes non simul perveniunt ad auditum, sed videntur simul pervenire, eo quod tempus medium est insensibile propter parvitatem. De quo potest esse dubium utrum recte dicatur vel non: si enim hoc recte dicatur, poterit aliquis similiter in proposito dicere consentiens praemissis rationibus, quod non est possibile simul videre et audire: sed tamen sensibiliter videtur ita contingere, quia latent nos tempora media visionis et auditionis. Accordingly he first says that some who treated of “symphoniae”—that is, musical harmonies—said that the harmonizing sounds do not reach the sense of hearing simultaneously, but that they seem to reach it simultaneously because the intervening time is insensible on account of its brevity. There might be doubt about this: Is it correct to say this or not? If it is correct, someone who agrees with the arguments presented above will be able to say that, likewise, with respect to the question posed, it is not possible to simultaneously sec and hear, although this does seem to the sense-power to happen, because the intervening lengths of time between the vision and the hearing escape our notice.
Deinde cum dicit aut hoc improbat praedictam solutionem. 448a24 Then when he says Or perhaps it is not true, he disproves the above-mentioned solution.
Et circa hoc tria facit. Primo interimit id quod praedicta solutio supponit. Secundo probat quod dixerat, ibi, omnia quidem igitur. On this point he does three things. First he eliminates something that the solution stated presupposes. Second he proves what he has said, where he says For if when one senses oneself (448a26). Third he clarifies what is true in the solution, where he says All things, then, are sensible (448b 12).
Dicit ergo primo, quod non est verum quod praedicta solutio supponit, scilicet quod sit aliquod tempus insensibile vel latens sensum; nullum enim tempus est tale, sed omnia tempora contingit sentire. Accordingly he first says that something that the solution stated presupposes is not true, namely that there is a length of time that is insensible, or escapes the notice of the sense-power. For no length of time is like, this: rather, all lengths of time can be sensed.
Deinde cum dicit si enim probat quod dixerat duabus rationibus. 448a26 Then when he says For if when one senses oneself, he prove what he bas said by two arguments.
Circa quarum primam considerandum est, quod tempus non sentitur quasi aliqua res permanens proposita sensui, sicut videtur color, magnitudo; sed propter hoc sentitur tempus, quia sentitur aliquid quod est in tempore: et ideo sequitur, quod si aliquod tempus non sit sensibile, quod id quod est in tempore illo non sit sensibile. Concerning the first of these, we must consider that time is no, sensed as a permanent thing presented to a sense-power in the way that color or size is presented to sight. Rather, time is sensed because something that is in time is sensed. It follows, then, that if there is some length of time that is insensible, what is in that length of time is insensible.
Dicit ergo quod, si aliquando aliquis sentit se ipsum esse in aliquo continuo tempore, non contingit latere illud tempus esse: manifestum est autem quod homo vel aliquid aliud est in quodam continuo tempore; et quantumcumque dicas parvum tempus esse insensibile, manifestum est quod latebit hominem, si ipse sit in illo tempore, et latebit etiam si in illo tempore videt vel sentit; quod est inconveniens omnino: ergo impossibile est aliquod tempus esse insensibile. Accordingly he says that if at some point, in some continuous length of time, a human being senses that be himself is existing, it cannot escape his notice that that length of time is existing. Now it is clear that the human being, or the something else, is existing in some continuous length of time And however brief you say the insensible length of time is, it is clear that it will escape the human being’s notice that he himself is existing during that time, and it will escape his notice that he is seeing, or sensing, during that time, which is entirely unreasonable. Therefore it is impossible for a length of time to be insensible.
Secundam rationem ponit ibi, amplius nec circa quam primo considerandum est, quod, sicut dicit philosophus in quinto physicorum, tripliciter dicitur aliquid movere aut moveri. Uno modo per accidens, ut si dicamus musicum ambulare. Alio modo secundum partem, ut si dicamus hominem sanari, quia oculus sanatur. Tertio modo primo et per se, quando aliquid movetur vel movet, non quia una pars eius tantum movetur aut movet, sed quia totum movetur secundum quamlibet suam partem. 448a30 He presents the second argument where he says Moreover, there will be no length of time. Concerning this it must first be considered that, as the Philosopher says in Physics V, a thing is said to move or be moved in three ways: in one way accidentally, for instance, if we say that the one who is musical is walking; in another way with respect to a part, for instance, if we say that a man is healed because his eye is healed; and in a third way primarily and per se, that is, when a thing is moved or moves not because just one part of it is moved or moves, but because the whole is moved with respect to every one of its parts. Footnote
Et similiter potest dici tripliciter aliquid sentiri. Uno modo per accidens, sicut dulce videtur. Alio modo secundum partem, ut si dicamus hominem videri, quia solum caput eius videtur. Tertio modo primo et per se, scilicet quia aliqua pars eius videatur. Likewise, a thing can be said to be sensed in three ways: in one way accidentally, as, for instance, what is sweet is seen; in another way with respect to a part, for instance, if we say that a man is seen because just his head is seen; and in a third way primarily and per se, that is, not because just some part of it is seen.
Dicit ergo quod, si est aliqua magnitudo, vel temporis vel etiam rei corporalis insensibilis propter parvitatem, sequeretur quod nec tempus nec illa res sit quae sentit, scilicet in quo tempore scilicet non sit, idest non sentiatur quia in huius aliquo. Quasi dicat. Nullum tempus erit possibile quod non dicatur sentiri propter aliquam partem eius. Et quantum ad rem corpoream subdit: vel quia istius aliquid videt. Quasi dicat. Nulla magnitudo corporea erit quae non sentiatur quia aliqua pars eius sentitur: quod est eam non esse sensibilem primo. Accordingly he says that if there is some magnitude—whether of time, or of a bodily thing—that is insensible because of smallness, what will follow is this: there will be no length of time and no thing that one senses (i.e. no thing that is sensed, or that a sense-power senses) during which (i.e. during which length of time) it is not the case (i.e. during which the time is not being sensed) because it is being sensed in some part of it. In other words: there will be no length of time that is sensible “primarily,” i.e. that is not said to be sensed because some part of it is being sensed. And with reference to the bodily thing he adds or because one sees some part of the thing. In other words: there will be no bodily magnitude that is not sensed because some part of it is sensed, which means that no bodily magnitude is sensible “primarily.”
Ad probandum autem quod dixerat, subdit, quod si aliquis videt vel sentit quocumque sensu aliquo continuo tempore, non ratione alicuius partis temporis vel magnitudinis, et tamen ponatur aliqua magnitudo et tempus esse insensibilis propter parvitatem, sit igitur quaedam magnitudo vel temporis vel rei corporalis, scilicet a c b, et sit pars eius, quae est b c, insensibilis propter parvitatem. Non ergo de hac parte insensibili propter parvitatem poterit dici quod sentiatur in huius aliquo si sit tempus insensibile, vel quod sentiatur aliquid istius si sit insensibile corpus, eo modo quo dicitur de tota terra, quod videtur ab aliquo quia aliqua pars eius videtur: et de aliquo quod ambulat in amne, quia ambulat in quadam parte amnis. Quia ergo in c b, nil sentit, relinquitur quod dicatur sentire totum a b, sive sit tempus, sive corpus, quia in residua parte eius sentitur, scilicet a c. Et eadem ratio est de magnitudine a c quae ponebatur sentiri: quia aliqua pars eius erit insensibilis propter parvitatem. Et ita semper dicetur sentiri quodcumque sensibile quia in aliquo eius sentitur, si sit tempus, vel quia aliquid eius sentitur, si sit corpus. Nihil autem totum erit sentire: sicut nec a c b. To prove what he has said he adds that if someone sees, or senses by any sense, during some continuous length of time not by reason of a part of the time or magnitude; and nevertheless some magnitude and length of time are held to be insensible because of smallness; then let there be a magnitude—whether of time or of a bodily thing—namely AGB, and let the part of it that is the GB be insensible because of smallness. Accordingly, it cannot be said of this part that is insensible because of smallness that it is sensed “in a part of it”—if it is an insensible length of time—or that “a part of it” is sensed—if it is an insensible body—as the whole earth is said to be seen by someone because a part of the earth is seen, and as someone is said to walk during a year because he walks during a part of the year. Therefore, because one senses nothing in GB, it remains that one is said to sense the whole of AB—whether it is a time or a body—because the whole of AB is sensed in the part of it that is left, namely AG. And the account of the magnitude AG, which is held to be sensed, is the same, because a part of it will be insensible because of smallness. And so anything sensible will always be said to be sensed because it is sensed in a part of it—if it is a length of time—or because a part of it is sensed—if it is a body. But it will be possible to sense nothing whole, such as AGB.
Hoc autem videtur inconveniens: non ergo est aliquod tempus vel aliquod corpus insensibile propter parvitatem. But this seems unreasonable. Therefore there is no length of time or body that is insensible because of smallness.
Videtur autem haec ratio efficaciam non habere. Sentitur enim aliquid per hoc, quod habet virtutem immutandi sensum: probatur autem septimo physicorum, quod si aliquod totum movet aliquod mobile in aliquo tempore, non oportet quod pars eius moveat illud mobile in quocumque tempore: et tamen dicitur esse primum movens, quia totum movet, licet forte nulla pars eius moveat. Similiter ergo videtur posse dici quod aliquid sit primo sensibile, licet aliquae partes eius sint insensibiles propter parvitatem. But this argument does not seem to work. For a thing is sensed because it has power to alter a sense. Now it is proved in Physics VII that if some whole moves something moveable in some length of time, it need not be the case that a part of the whole moves the rnoveable thing in any length of time. Footnote But although no part of the whole, perhaps, could cause the movement, nevertheless, the whole that causes the movement is said to be the first mover. Likewise, it seems, one could say that a thing can be sensible “primarily” although some parts of it are insensible because of smallness.
Est autem ad hoc dicendum, quod differt loqui de parte in toto existente et de parte separata a toto. Pars enim alicuius moventis primo, si sit separata, movere non poterit: sed, si in toto existens, non concurreret ad virtutem movendi totius, sed omnino esset expers virtutis motivae, sequeretur quod totum non esset primo movens, sed ratione partis ad quam pertinet virtus motiva. In response to this it must be said that there is a difference between speaking of a part existing in a whole and a part separated from a whole. If a part of what primarily causes movement is separated, it may not be able to cause movement. But if, while existing in the whole, it did not cooperate in the power to move of the whole, but completely lack power to move, it would follow that the whole would be the mover not “primarily,” but by reason of the part to which power to move does belong.
Similiter etiam nihil prohibet aliquam partem separatim acceptam latere sensum propter parvitatem, ut supra habitum est: quae tamen, prout in toto existit, cadit sub sensu inquantum sensus fertur super toto non exclusa aliqua parte. Et ideo ad hanc dubitationem aperiendam. Likewise, too, nothing prevents a part taken separately from escaping the notice of a sense-power because of smallness, as was established above, while nevertheless, the part as existing in the whole does fall under the sense-power inasmuch as the sense-power is brought to bear on the whole, with no part left out.
Consequenter cum dicit omnia quidem ostendit quid sit verum circa praedicta. Et dicit quod omnia, sive magna, sive parva, sunt sensibilia sed non videntur quaecumque sunt idest non videntur omni modo secundum quod sunt: sicut patet de sole, cuius magnitudo est longe maior terra, tamen propter hoc quod a longe est, videtur quatuor cubitorum vel etiam minus. Similiter etiam licet omnia sint sensibilia sensui secundum naturam, non tamen videntur in actu quantumcumque sint. Sed aliquod indivisibile potest intelligi dupliciter. 448b12 To address this doubt, next, when he says All things, then, a sensible, he shows what is true in the foregoing. He says that all things, whether big or small, are sensible, but do not appear to be everything that they are, that is, they do not appear as they are in every way. This is clear in the case of the sun, the size of which is far greater than that of the earth, and nevertheless, because it is far away, it appears to be four cubits in size, or even smaller. Likewise, although all things are sensible by their nature, nevertheless an object does not appear in actuality to be everything that it is: rather, sometimes it is indivisible, but one sees what is not indivisible. This can be understood in two ways.
Uno modo secundum quod indivisibile dicitur aliquod corpus naturale minimum, quod non potest dividi ulterius quin corrumpatur, et tunc resolvitur in corpus continens. Et tunc sensus erit, quod corpus indivisibile, est quidem in seipso insensibile, sed tamen huiusmodi indivisibile sensus videre non potest. One way is according as “indivisible” refers to some minimal natural body that cannot be further divided without being destroyed, and then absorbed into the surrounding body. Thus the meaning will be that an indivisible body is sensible in itself, although the sense-power cannot see an indivisible object of this kind.
Alio modo potest intelligi indivisibile, quod non est actu divisum sicut pars continui; et huiusmodi indivisibile non videt sensus in actu. In the other way, “indivisible” can be understood as what is not divided off in actuality, for example a part of a continuum. The sense power does not see this kind of indivisible object in actuality.
Et quantum ad utramque expositionem competit quod subditur, quod causa huius dicta est prius in determinatione primae quaestionis. Videtur autem secunda expositio melior, quia per hoc solvitur obiectio praedicta, quia scilicet pars quaelibet continuae magnitudinis sentitur quidem in toto, prout est in potentia in ipso, licet non sentiatur in actu quasi separata. What he adds fits either explanation: that the cause of this has been stated above, that is, in the determination of the first question. But the second explanation seems to be better, because by means of it the abovementioned objection is resolved, because any part whatsoever of a continuous magnitude is indeed sensed within the whole inasmuch as it is in the whole in potentiality, although it is not sensed in actuality as separate.
Ultimo autem concludit manifestum esse ex praedictis, quod nullum tempus est insensibile. 448b16 Finally he concludes that it is clear from what has been said that no length of time is insensible.

448B 17–449B4

περὶ δὲ τῆς πρότερον λεχθείσης ἀπορίας σκεπτέον, πότερον ἐνδέχεται ἅμα πλειόνων αἰσθάνεσθαι ἢ οὐκ ἐνδέχεται. τὸ δ΄ ἅμα λέγω ἐν ἑνὶ καὶ ἀτόμῳ χρόνῳ πρὸς ἄλληλα. 448b17 with respect to the objection stated above, it must be considered whether it is possible or not possible to sense several things simultaneously. By “simultaneously” I mean together in one indivisible moment of time.
πρῶτον μὲν οὖν ἆρ΄ ὧδ΄ ἐνδέχεται, ἅμα μέν, ἑτέρῳ δὲ τῆς ψυχῆς αἰσθάνεσθαι, κἀν [οὐ τῷ ἀτόμῳ] οὕτως ἀτόμῳ ὡς παντὶ ὄντι συνεχεῖ; 448b20 First, then, whether it is possible to sense simultaneously by means of a different part of the soul, which is not indivisible, but is indivisible in the way that something continuous is.
ἢ [ὅτι] πρῶτον μὲν κατὰ τὴν μίαν αἴσθησιν, οἷον λέγω ὄψιν, εἰ ἔσται ἄλλῳ αἰσθανομένη ἄλλου καὶ ἄλλου χρώματος, πλείω γε μέρη ἕξει εἴδει ταὐτά; καὶ γὰρ ἃ αἰσθάνεται ἐν τῷ αὐτῷ γένει ἐστίν. 448b22 Or first, the case of objects sensed by one sense. For instance if sight senses different colors with different parts of itself, it will have several parts specifically the same, for what is sensed belongs to the same genus.
εἰ δέ, [ὅτι] ὡς ὄμματα δύο, φαίη τις οὐδὲν κωλύειν οὕτω καὶ ἐν τῇ ψυχῇ, [ὅτι] ἴσως ἐκ μὲν τούτων ἕν τι γίγνεται καὶ μία ἡ ἐνέργεια αὐτῶν· ἐκεῖ δέ, εἰ μὲν ἓν τὸ ἐξ ἀμφοῖν, ἐκεῖνο τὸ αἰσθανόμενον ἔσται, εἰ δὲ χωρίς, οὐχ ὁμοίως ἕξει. 448b26 If someone says that, since there are two eyes, nothing prevents it from being like this in the soul as well—it must be said that perhaps out of these some one thing is made, and they have one operation. But in the other case, if some one thing is made out of two, that will be what senses; but if they are separate, it will not be like the other case.
ἔτι αἰσθήσεις αἱ αὐταὶ πλείους ἔσονται, ὥσπερ εἴ τις ἐπιστήμας [449a] διαφόρους φαίη· οὔτε γὰρ ἡ ἐνέργεια ἄνευ τῆς κατ΄ αὐτὴν ἔσται δυνάμεως, οὔτ΄ ἄνευ ταύτης αἴσθησις ἔσται. 448b29 Moreover, there will also be several senses that are the same, as if someone were to speak of sciences that are not different. For there can be neither an operation without its own power, nor a sense-power without the former.
εἰ δὲ τούτων ἐν ἑνὶ καὶ ἀτόμῳ μὴ αἰσθάνεται, δῆλον ὅτι καὶ τῶν ἄλλων· μᾶλλον γὰρ ἐνεδέχετο τούτων ἅμα πλειόνων ἢ τῶν τῷ γένει ἑτέρων. εἰ δὲ δὴ ἄλλῳ μὲν γλυκέος ἄλλῳ δὲ λευκοῦ αἰ σθάνεται ἡ ψυχὴ μέρει, ἤτοι τὸ ἐκ τούτων ἕν τί ἐστιν ἢ οὐχ ἕν. ἀλλ΄ ἀνάγκη ἕν· ἓν γάρ τι τὸ αἰσθητικόν ἐστι μέρος. τίνος οὖν ἐκεῖνο ἑνός; οὐδὲν γὰρ ἐκ τούτων ἕν. ἀνάγκη ἄρα ἕν τι εἶναι τῆς ψυχῆς ᾧ ἅπαντα αἰσθάνεται, καθάπερ εἴρη ται πρότερον, ἄλλο δὲ γένος δι΄ ἄλλου. 449a2 But if it senses this by one indivisible part, it is clear that it also senses the others. For it is more possible for several of these to be sensed simultaneously than ones of different genera. If, then, the soul senses sweet by one part but white by another, out of these either some one thing is made or it is not. But it necessarily is, for the sensitive part is some one part. What one object, then, does it have? For there is no one object made out of these objects. Therefore there is necessarily some one part of the soul by which it senses everything, as was said before, but it senses different genera by means of different parts.
ἆρ΄ οὖν ᾗ μὲν ἀδιαίρετόν ἐστι κατ΄ ἐνέργειαν, ἕν τί ἐστι τὸ αἰσθητικὸν γλυκέος καὶ λευκοῦ, ὅταν δὲ διαιρετὸν γένηται κατ΄ ἐνέργειαν, ἕτερον; 449a10 Accordingly, inasmuch as it is indivisible it is one power in actuality able to sense sweet and white. But when it is made divisible, it is different in actuality.
ἢ ὥσπερ ἐπὶ τῶν πραγμάτων αὐτῶν ἐνδέχεται, οὕτως καὶ ἐπὶ τῆς ψυχῆς; τὸ γὰρ αὐτὸ καὶ ἓν ἀριθμῷ λευκὸν καὶ γλυκύ ἐστι, καὶ ἄλλα πολλά· εἰ γὰρ μὴ χωριστὰ τὰ πάθη ἀλλήλων, ἀλλὰ τὸ εἶναι ἕτερον ἑκάστῳ. ὁμοίως τοίνυν θετέον καὶ ἐπὶ τῆς ψυχῆς τὸ αὐτὸ καὶ ἓν εἶναι ἀριθμῷ τὸ αἰσθητικὸν πάντων, τὸ μέντοι εἶναι ἕτερον καὶ ἕτερον τῶν μὲν γένει τῶν δὲ εἴδει. ὥστε καὶ αἰσθάνοιτ΄ ἂν ἅμα τῷ αὐτῷ καὶ ἑνί, λόγῳ δ΄ οὐ τῷ αὐτῷ. 449al3 Or again, as it is in things themselves, so also in the soul For one and numerically the same thing is white, and sweet, and many other things, if the affections are not separable from one another But the being (esse) of each is different. Similarly, then, we should posit that also in the soul the power that is able to sense all things—although these differ in being, some in genus and some in species—is one and numerically the same. Hence it will also perceive by means of what is simultaneously one and the same, but not the same in aspect (ratio).
ὅτι δὲ τὸ αἰσθητὸν πᾶν ἐστι μέ γεθος καὶ οὐκ ἔστιν ἀδιαίρετον αἰσθητόν, δῆλον. ἔστι γὰρ ὅθεν μὲν οὐκ ἂν ὀφθείη ἄπειρον τὸ ἀπόστημα, ὅθεν δὲ ὁρᾶται, πεπερασμένον· ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ τὸ ὀσφραντὸν καὶ ἀκουστὸν καὶ ὅσων μὴ αὐτῶν ἁπτόμενοι αἰσθάνονται. ἔστι δή τι ἔσχατον τοῦ ἀποστήματος ὅθεν οὐχ ὁρᾶται, καὶ πρῶτον ὅθεν ὁρᾶται. τοῦτο δὴ ἀνάγκη ἀδιαίρετον εἶναι, οὗ ἐν μὲν τῷ ἐπέκεινα οὐκ ἐνδέχεται αἰσθάνεσθαι ὄντος, ἐν δὲ τῷ ἐπὶ τάδε ἀνάγκη αἰσθάνεσθαι. εἰ δή τι ἔστιν ἀδιαίρετον αἰσθητόν, ὅταν τεθῇ ἐπὶ τῷ ἐσχάτῳ ὅθεν ἐστὶν ὕστατον μὲν οὐκ αἰσθητὸν πρῶτον δ΄ αἰσθητόν, ἅμα συμβήσεται ὁρατὸν εἶναι καὶ ἀόρατον· τοῦτο δ΄ ἀδύνατον. [449b] 449a20 Now it is clear that everything that is sensible is a magnitude, and what is indivisible is not sensible. For there is an infinite distance from which it will not be able to be seen, but that from which it can be seen is finite. And it is similar with the audible and the odorous, and whatever senses without touching the things themselves. And so there is a limit to the distance from which it cannot be seen, and a point from which it can first be seen. And so there is necessarily something indivisible beyond which there is no sensing, but on this side of which there is necessarily sensing. If, then, something indivisible is sensible, when it is placed at the limit that is the last point from which it is not sensible and the first point from which it is sensible, it will simultaneously be visible and invisible. But this is impossible.
περὶ μὲν οὖν τῶν αἰσθητηρίων καὶ τῶν αἰσθητῶν τίνα τρόπον ἔχει καὶ κοινῇ καὶ καθ΄ ἕκαστον αἰσθητήριον εἴρη ται· τῶν δὲ λοιπῶν πρῶτον σκεπτέον περὶ μνήμης καὶ τοῦ μνημονεύειν. 449b1 Something has been said, then about the sensitive parts, and sensible objects, how they are related, both in general and with respect to each sensitive part. Of what remains, the first to be considered are memory and recollection and sleep.
Postquam philosophus exclusit secundam solutionem falsam, hic inquirit veram. 448b17 After the Philosopher bas eliminated a false solution, here he seeks the true one.
Et circa hoc tria facit. Primo inquirit veritatem praedictae quaestionis. Secundo probat quoddam, quod in praecedentibus supposuerat, ibi, quod autem sensibile omne. Tertio epilogat quae in hoc libro dicta sunt, ibi, de sensitivis quidem igitur. On this point he does three things. First he investigates the truth about the aforementioned question. Second he proves something he presupposed in the foregoing, where he says Now it is clear that everything that is sensible (449a2O). Third he adds an epilogue to what was said in in his book, where he says Something has been said, then (449b1).
Circa primum duo facit. Primo proponit quod intendit. Secundo exequitur propositum, ibi, primum quidem igitur. On the first point he does two things. First he proposes what he intends. Second he carries out the proposal, where he says First, then, whether it is possible to sense simultaneously (448b20).
Dicit ergo primo quod, ex quo conclusum est, quod quidam dixerunt plura sentiri simul, non quasi in indivisibili temporis secundum rei veritatem, sed quasi in tempore imperceptibili propter parvitatem, oportet considerare de obiectione prius mota: utrum scilicet contingat vel non contingat plura sentire simul, ita scilicet quod intelligatur simul, hoc est in indivisibili tempore. Accordingly, on the basis of the fact that what some have said has been eliminated—namely that several things are sensed simultaneously not in a moment of time that is indivisible according to the truth of the matter, but in a length of time that is imperceptible because of brevity—we must consider, with respect to the objection raised above, whether it is or is not possible to sense several things simultaneously, taking “simultaneously” to mean in an indivisible moment of time.
Deinde cum dicit primum quidem supposito quod animal simul sentiat diversa sensibilia, quia hoc manifeste experimur, inquirit quomodo possibile. 448b20 Then when he says First, then, whether it is possible to sense simultaneously, presupposing that an animal does sense different sensible objects simultaneously—for we obviously have experience of this—he investigates how this is possible.
Et circa hoc tria facit. Primo proponit quemdam modum falsum. Secundo improbat ipsum, ibi, vel quoniam primum. Tertio proponit modum verum, ibi, igitur secundum quod indivisibile. On this point he does three things. First he presents a false way. Second he disproves it, where he says Or first, the case of objects sensed by on sense (448b22). Third be presents the true way, where he says Accordingly, inasmuch as it is indivisible (449a10).
Dicit ergo primo, quod primo considerandum est, utrum contingat simul sentire diversa sensibilia per aliquam partem animae, quasi sensitivum animae sit non indivisibile, idest non quod non possit dividi; sit tamen indivisibile, idest non divisum in actu, ac si esset quoddam totum continuum. Si autem intelligamus partem animae sensitivam esse sicut quoddam continuum, solventur praemissae rationes, quia nihil prohibebit diversa et contraria esse in virtute vel potentia sensitiva animae secundum diversas partes eius, sicut invenimus unum corpus esse album in una parte, et nigrum in alia. Accordingly he first says that it must first be considered whether it is possible simultaneously to sense different sensible objects by means of a different part of the soul, the sensitive part of the soul being, as it were, not indivisible—that is, not incapable of being divided—although it is indivisible in the sense that it is not divided in actuality, being like a continuous whole. For if we understand the sensitive part of the soul to be like a continuum, the arguments presented above are dissolved, because nothing will prevent different and contrary things from being in the sensitive power of the soul with respect to its different parts, in the way we see that one body is white in one part and black in another.
Deinde cum dicit vel quoniam improbat modum praedictum. 448b22 Then when he says Or first, the case of objects sensed by one sense, he disproves the way just mentioned.
Et circa hoc tria facit. Primo ostendit quod sequeretur etiam quod unus sensus, puta visus, dividatur in plures partes. Secundo ostendit hoc esse impossibile, ibi, si autem quemadmodum. Tertio ostendit quia etiam non est possibile quantum ad diversos sensus, ibi: si autem hoc. On this point he does three things. First he shows that it will follow that even one sense, for instance sight, is divisible into several parts. Second he shows that this is impossible, where he says If someone says (448b26). Third he shows that it is also not possible with respect to different senses, where he says But if it senses this by one indivisible part (449a2).
Dicit ergo primo, quod cum contingit plura secundum eumdem sensum sentire, sicut cum visus discernit inter album et nigrum, oportebit dicere secundum eamdem rationem, quod diversos colores sentiat secundum diversas sui partes: et sequetur, quod idem sensus habebit plures partes easdem specie: non enim potest dici, quod partes sensus visus differant specie, quia omne, quod sentitur per visum, est eiusdem generis. In potentiis autem sensitivis nihil differt specie, nisi propter diversa genera sensibilium. Accordingly he first says that since one can simultaneously sense several objects by the same sense, as when sight distinguishes between whit and black, according to the foregoing argument one will have to say that it senses the different colors by different parts of itself, and so it will follow that the same sense will have several parts specifically the same. For it cannot be said that parts of the sense of sight differ specifically, because everything sensed by sight belongs to the same genus, and there is specific difference among sensitive powers only because of different genera sensible objects.
Deinde cum dicit si autem improbat quod dictum est duabus rationibus. 448b26 Then when he says If someone says, he disproves what was said by two arguments.
Quarum prima est, quod, si aliquis dicat, quod, sicut sunt duo organa visus, scilicet duo oculi, sic nihil prohibet in anima sensitiva etiam esse duos visus, dicendum est hoc esse falsum; quia ex duobus oculis fit aliquid unum, et una est operatio amborum oculorum, inquantum scilicet visio utriusque oculi concurrit per quosdam nervos ad aliquid intrinsecum in suum organum, quod est circa cerebrum, ut supra dictum est. Si autem similiter in anima fiat unum ex duobus visibus, per hoc quod uterque visus concurrat ad aliquod unum principium, illi uni attribuetur operatio sentiendi; si vero omnino separatim se habent duo visus in anima, quod non concurrant in aliquod unum principium, tunc non similiter se habebit de visione in anima, sicut de oculis in corpore; et ita similitudo non fuit conveniens ad manifestandum propositum. Non ergo videtur rationabiliter dici, quod sunt duo visus in anima. The first is that if someone says that, just as there are two organs of sight—that is, two eyes—nothing prevents there being two senses of sight in the sensitive soul as well, in response to this it must be said that out of the two eyes some one thing is made, and that there is one operation of both eyes—that is, inasmuch as the seeings of the two eyes concur, by way of certain nerves, at an inner organ of sight that is near the brain, as was said above. But if, likewise, in the soul some one thing is made out of two powers of sight by the two powers concurring in some one principle, it is to that one principle that the operation of sensing will be attributed. But if the two powers of sight are altogether separate in the soul because they do not concur in some one principle, the relation of powers of sight in the soul will not be like that of eyes in the body, and so the comparison was not suitable for showing what was proposed. Therefore, it does not seem reasonable to say that there are two powers of sight in the soul.
Secundam rationem ponit ibi, amplius et. Et dicit quod secundum praedictam positionem hoc modo erunt plures sensus, qui sunt idem specie, puta plures visus aut plures auditus, sicut si aliquis dicat, scientias non differentes specie esse plures in eodem homine, ut plures grammaticas vel plures geometrias, esse quidem plures grammaticas numero, vel plures hominibus possibile est, sed non in uno et eodem homine: sicut nec plures numero albedines sunt in uno et eodem subiecto. Subiungit autem ad ostendendum quod non possunt esse plures sensus eiusdem speciei in eodem: quia virtus sensitiva et operatio seinvicem consequuntur, ita quod neque virtus est sine propria et per se operatione, neque operatio sine propria virtute. Operatio autem sensitiva distinguitur secundum sensibilia, et ideo ubi sunt omnino eadem sensibilia non sunt diversae virtutes sensitivae causantes diversas operationes. Et simile est de habitibus scientiarum, quarum actus distinguuntur secundum obiecta. 448b29 He presents the second argument where he says Moreover, there will also be several senses. He says that according to the position stated above there will be several senses that are specifically the same, for instance several senses of sight or several senses of hearing. it would be as if someone said that there are, in the same human being, several sciences that are not specifically different, for instance several grammars or several geometries. It is certainly possible for there to be numerically several grammars or several powers of sight in different human beings, but not in one and the same human beings, just as it is impossible for there to be numerically several whitenesses in one and the same subject. To show that there cannot be several senses specifically the same in the same human being, he adds that sensitive power and operation follow from one another in such a way that neither can there be a power without its proper and per se operation, nor an operation without its proper power. But sensitive operation is distinguished according to sensible objects, and so where sensible objects are completely the same, there are not different sensitive powers causing different operations. The habits of the sciences are similar: their acts are distinguished according to their objects.
Deinde cum dicit si autem hic ostendit esse impossibile in sensibilibus diversorum sensuum, ut scilicet per eamdem partem animae sentiantur. Et dicit quod, si sensibilia diversorum generum sentiuntur per aliquid animae unum et idem indivisibile, manifestum est quod multo magis alia, quae sunt unius generis. Probatum est enim supra, quod magis contingit ea quae sunt unius generis simul sentire, quam ea quae sunt diversorum generum; et hoc maxime verum est quantum ad identitatem sentientis: 449a2 Then when he says But if it senses this by one indivisible part, he shows that this is impossible for objects of different senses, that is, that it is impossible for them to be sensed by different parts of the soul. He says that if sensible objects belonging to different genera are perceived by some one and the same indivisible part of the soul, it is clear that much more so are the others, that is, those belonging to one genus. For it was proved above that it is more possible for objects belonging to one genus to be sensed simultaneously than objects belonging to different genera, and this is especially true with respect to the identity of the one perceiving.
quod autem eadem indivisibilis anima sentiat sensibilia diversorum generum, probat, quia, si anima sentit per aliam sui partem dulce et per aliam album, aut ex istis duabus partibus erit aliquid unum vel non erit. Sed necesse est dicere quod sit aliquid unum, ad quod referantur omnes istae partes, scilicet diversi sensus, quia sensitiva est quaedam una pars animae; non autem potest dici quod pars sensitiva animae sit alicuius unius generis sensibilium; nisi forte diceretur, quod ex omnibus sensibilibus particularium sensuum, puta, colore, sono et aliis huiusmodi, fieret unum sensibile correspondens isti uni parti sensitivae, quae est communis omnibus propriis sensibus; hoc autem est impossibile. Necesse est ergo quod sit aliquid unum animae, quo animal omnia sentit; sed aliud genus per aliud, puta colorem per visum, et sonum per auditum, et sic de aliis. He proves as follows that the soul does perceive sensible objects of different genera by the same indivisible part. If the soul senses sweet by one part of itself and white by another, out of these two parts either some one thing will be made or it will not. But one must necessarily say that there is some one thing to which all these parts—that is, the different senses—are referred, because the sensitive part is some one part of the soul. But it cannot be said that the sensitive part of the soul has some one genus of sensible objects—unless, perhaps, it were said that out of all objects of particular senses—for instance color, sound, and other such objects—is made one sensible object that would correspond to the one part of the sensitive part that is common to all proper senses. But this is impossible. Therefore there is necessarily some one part of the soul by which an animal senses everything, but it senses different genera by means of different parts, for instance color by sight, and sound by hearing, and so on.
Considerandum autem est hic, quod ubicumque sint diversae potentiae ordinatae, inferior potentia comparatur ad superiorem per modum instrumenti, eo quod superior movet inferiorem. Actio autem attribuitur principali agenti per instrumentum, sicut dicimus, quod artifex secat per serram. Et per hunc modum philosophus dicit quod sensus communis sentit per visum et per auditum, et alios sensus proprios, qui sunt diversae partes potentiales animae; non autem diversae partes sunt alicuius continui, ut superius dicebatur. Now here it must be considered that wherever there are different ordered powers, a lower power is related to a higher one as an instrument, because the higher moves the lower, and action is attributed to the principal agent acting by means of an instrument, as we say that a builder cuts by means of a saw. It is in this way that the Philosopher says here that the common sense perceives by means of sight, and by means hearing, and by means of other proper senses, which are different potential parts of the soul, and not, as was claimed above, like different parts of a continuum.
Deinde cum dicit igitur secundum ostendit quomodo eadem pars animae indivisibilis possit simul sentire diversa. Et assignat duos modos. 449a10 Then, when he says Accordingly, inasmuch as it is indivisible, he shows how the same indivisible part of the soul can simultaneously perceive different things. He presents two ways.
Quorum primum breviter et obscure ponit, quia in libro de anima apertius positus est. Ad huius ergo evidentiam considerandum, quod, cum operationes sensuum propriorum referantur ad sensum communem, sicut ad primum et commune principium, hoc modo se habet sensus communis ad sensus proprios et operationes eorum, sicut unum punctum ad diversas lineas, quae in ipsum concurrunt. Punctum autem, quod est terminus diversarum linearum, secundum quod in se consideratur, est unum et indivisibile. Et isto modo sensus communis secundum quod in se est unum, est indivisibilis, et est unum sensitivum actu dulcis et albi: dulcis per gustum, et albi per visum; si vero consideretur punctum seorsum ut est terminus huius lineae, sic est quodammodo divisibile, quia utimur uno puncto ut duobus. Et similiter sensus communis, quando accipitur ut divisibile quoddam, puta cum seorsum iudicat de albo, et iudicat seorsum de dulci, est alterum secundum actum: secundum vero quod est unum, iudicat differentias sensibilium. Et per hoc solvuntur rationes supradictae, quia quodammodo est unum, et quodammodo non est unum illud quod sentit diversa sensibilia. He presents the first briefly and obscurely, because it has been presented more fully in On the Soul. Footnote For evidence on this point, then, it must be considered that, since the operations of the proper senses are referred to the common sense as their first and common principle, the common sense is related to the proper senses and their operations in the way that one point is related to different lines that meet in it. Now a point that is the terminus of different lines is, considered in itself, one and indivisible, and in this way the common sense, inasmuch as it is in itself indivisible, is one power in actuality, able to sense sweet and white, sweet by means of taste, and white by means of sight. But if the point is considered separately insofar as it is the terminus of this line, and separately again insofar as it is the terminus of another line, it is thus in a way divisible, because we take the one point as two. Likewise the common sense, when it is taken as something divisible—for instance when it separately judges of white, and separately again of sweet—is different in actuality. But inasmuch as it is one, it judges differences among sensible objects. By this the arguments introduced above are dissolved, inasmuch as what senses different sensible objects is in a way one, and in a way not one.
Secundum modum ponit ibi, vel quemadmodum. Et dicit, quod sicut est in rebus exterioribus, ita potest dici in anima. Videmus enim quod corpus unum et idem numero est album et dulce, et multa alia huiusmodi, quae accidentaliter de eo praedicantur; sed tamen huius passiones separantur abinvicem, sicut contingit quod aliquod corpus retinet albedinem et amittit dulcedinem; sed quamdiu non sic separantur istae passiones, album et dulce remanent, vel sunt idem subiecto, sed differunt secundum esse. Et similiter potest poni de anima, quod unum et idem subiecto est sensitivum omnium sensibilium, tam eorum quae differunt genere sicut album et dulce, quam eorum quae differunt specie sicut album et nigrum. Et secundum hoc dicendum erit quod anima sentit diversa sensibilia quodammodo secundum unum et idem, scilicet subiecto, quodammodo diversa, inquantum ratione differunt. 449a13 He presents the second way where he says Or again, as it is in things themselves. He says that as it is in external things, so, it can be said, it is in the soul. For we see that one and numerically the same body is white, and sweet, and many other such things that are predicated of it as accidents—that is, if such affections are not separated from one another, as happens when a body keeps its whiteness and loses its sweetness. But as long as the affections are not thus separated, the white thing and the sweet thing remain the same in subject, but differ in being. Likewise, it can be posited of the soul that the power able to sense all sensible objects—both those that differ in genus, such as white and sweet, and those that differ in species, such as white and black—is one and the same in subject. And according to this, it will have to be said that the soul senses different sensible objects by means of what in a way is one and the same, that is, one and the same in subject, but in a way is not the same, inasmuch as it differs in aspect.
Potest autem contra hoc obiici, quia in rebus quae sunt extra animam, licet idem posset esse dulce et album, non tamen potest idem esse album et nigrum, et ita videbitur quod anima non possit simul sentire sensibilia unius generis, cum sint contraria. Now an objection to this might be raised. For in what is outside the soul, although the same thing could be sweet and white, nevertheless the same thing cannot be white and black. Thus it would seem that the soul cannot simultaneously sense sensible objects of one genus when they are contraries. Aristotle raises this objection in On the Soul when he says, “And it is impossible for white and black to be simultaneous: therefore, neither can their species be experienced simultaneously.” Footnote
Hanc autem obiectionem Aristoteles removet in libro de anima, cum dicit: et impossibile est album et nigrum esse simul, quare neque species pati ipsorum. Et innuit solutionem per hoc quod subdit, si huius est sensus, et intelligentia vel intellectus. Per quod datur intelligi, quod non omnino se habet in sensu et intellectu, sicut in corporibus naturalibus. Corpus enim naturale recipit formas secundum esse naturale et materiale, secundum quod habent in se contrarietatem: et ideo non potest idem corpus simul recipere albedinem et nigredinem: sed sensus et intellectus recipiunt formas rerum spiritualiter et immaterialiter secundum esse quoddam intentionale prout non habent contrarietatem. Unde sensus et intellectus simul potest recipere species sensibilium contrariorum. Cuius simile potest videri in diaphano, quod in una et eadem sui parte immutatur ab albo et nigro: quia immutatio non est materialis secundum esse naturale, ut supra dictum est. He suggests the solution by what he adds: “if sense and intellect are similar.” By this he gives us to understand that the situation in sense and intellect is not completely similar to that in natural bodies. For a natural body receives forms according to their natural and material being, according to which they have contrariety, which is why the same body cannot simultaneously receive whiteness and blackness. But sense and intellect receive the forms of things spiritually and immaterially according to an intentional being, in such a way that they have no contrariety. Hence sense and intellect can simultaneously receive species of contrary sensible objects. Something like this can be seen in the transparent, which in one and the same part of itself can be altered by white and by black, because the alteration is not material or according to natural being, as was said above.
Est etiam aliud considerandum, quod sensus et intellectus non solum recipiunt formas rerum, sed etiam habent iudicare: iudicium autem quod faciunt de contrariis non est contrarium, sed unum et idem, quia per unum contrariorum sumitur iudicium de altero. Et quantum ad hoc, verum est quod supra dictum est, quod magis simul possunt sentiri sensibilia unus generis, de quorum uno iudicatur per alterum, quam sensibilia diversorum sensuum. There is also something else to be considered: that sense and intellect not only receive the forms of things, but also make a judgment about them. Now judgment about contraries is not itself contrary, but something one and the same, because by one of the contraries a judgment is taken about the other. To this extent, what was said above is true, that sensible objects belonging to one genus, where judgment about one of the objects is made by means of the other, can more readily be sensed simultaneously than objects of different senses.
Est autem et aliud circa hoc dubium: quia per praemissa verba philosophi, videtur confirmari opinio Stoicorum, qui posuerunt, quod non diversis potentiis sentitur color et odor et alia sensibilia; sed nec sunt diversae potentiae sensuum, sed ipsa anima secundum seipsam cognoscit omnia sensibilia, non differens nisi ratione. But there is also another difficulty on this point, because the Philosopher’s words presented above (449a13-20) seem to confirm an opinion of the Stoics, who held that color and odor and other sensible objects are not sensed by different powers; and that there are not different sense-powers; but that the soul itself, of itself, knows all sensible objects, and in doing so differs only in aspect.
Sed dicendum est quod secunda solutio supponit primam. Unde intelligendum est, quod anima, idest sensus communis, unus numero existens, sola autem ratione differens, cognoscit diversa genera sensibilium, quae tamen referuntur ad ipsum secundum diversas potentias sensuum propriorum. To this it must be said that the solution of this second difficulty presupposes the first solution. Thus it must be understood that the soul—that is, the common sense, existing as numerically one, and differing only in aspect—knows different genera of sensible objects, which, however, are referred to it by the different powers of the proper senses.
Deinde cum dicit quod autem probat quod supposuerat, scilicet quod nihil sentitur nisi quantum. Et dicit manifestum esse quod omne sensibile est magnitudo, et nullum indivisibile est sensibile. Et ad hoc probandum inducit, quod est quaedam distantia ex qua non potest aliquid videri, et hanc distantiam dicit esse infinitam: quia, si in infinitum illa distantia protendatur, nihil inde videtur. Est autem aliqua distantia unde aliquid videtur, et haec est finita, quia a finita distantia incipit aliquid videri. Et simile est de aliis sensibilibus quae sentiunt ab aliqua distantia per medium extrinsecum non tangentes ipsa sensibilia, sicut auditus et odoratus. 449a20 Then, when he says Now it is clear that everything that is sensible, he proves something he presupposed above, namely that nothing is perceived unless it is of some size. He says that it is clear that everything that is sensible is a magnitude, and nothing indivisible is sensible. To prove this, he introduces the consideration that there is a distance from which a thing cannot be seen; he says that this distance is “infinite, “ because if the distance is extended to infinity, nothing is seen front there. And there is a distance from which a thing can be seen, and this is “finite,” because a thing begins to be seen from a finite distance. It is similar with the other senses, namely hearing and smell, that sense from some distance through an external medium without touching the sensible things themselves.
Cum igitur distantia, unde non videtur aliquid, sit infinita per remotionem a visu, finita autem versus visum, sequitur quod sit dare ultimum aliquod unde nihil videatur. Distantia autem ex qua videtur aliquod, est ex utraque parte finita. Est ergo dare aliquem terminum, unde primo possit aliquid videri: omne autem quod est medium duarum quantitatum invicem continuarum, est indivisibile; ergo necesse est esse aliquid indivisibile ultra quod nihil possit sentiri, et citra quod necesse sit aliquod sentiri. Si ergo aliquod indivisibile sit sensibile et ponatur in illo indivisibili termino, sequetur quod illud sit visibile simul et invisibile: invisibile quidem, inquantum est in termino invisibilis distantiae; visibile autem, inquantum est in termino visibilis; hoc autem est impossibile; ergo et primum, scilicet quod aliquod indivisibile sit sensibile. Si enim aliquod indivisibile in praedicto termino ponatur, partim videbitur et partim non videbitur, quod de invisibili dici non potest. Therefore, since the distance from which a thing cannot be seen is infinite in the direction away from sight, but finite in the direction towards sight, it follows that it is possible to identify a limit from which nothing is seen. But the distance from which a thing can be seen is finite in both directions. Therefore it is possible to identify a terminus from which a thing can first be seen. But anything intermediate between two quantities continuous with one another is indivisible. Therefore there is necessarily some indivisible point beyond which nothing can be sensed, and on this side of which a thing necessarily can be sensed. Therefore, if something indivisible is sensible, and it is placed at that indivisible boundary, it will follow that it is simultaneously visible and invisible: invisible inasmuch as it is at the boundary of the distance of the invisible, but visible inasmuch as it is at the boundary of the visible. But this is impossible. Therefore the first premise, that something indivisible is sensible, is also impossible. For if something indivisible is placed at the above-mentioned terminus, it will be partly seen and partly not seen, which cannot be said of the indivisible.
Videtur autem quod haec probatio non valeat: quia non est dare aliquem terminum unde omnia visibilia incipiant videri; quia maiora a maiori distantia videntur, minora vero a minori. Now this proof might seem to fail, because it is not possible to identify a boundary from which all visible things begin to be seen: rather, bigger things are seen from a bigger distance, and smaller ones from a smaller distance.
Dicendum est autem quod unumquodque sensibile ab aliqua determinata distantia videtur. Si ergo illud indivisibile, quod ponitur posse sentiri, videatur ab aliqua determinata distantia, sicut et aliquod divisibile, concludet ratio Aristotelis. Si vero non sit determinare aliquam distantiam, ex qua simul incipit videri cum aliquo divisibili, sequetur iterum quod nullo modo possit videri. Oportet enim accipere proportionem distantiae ex qua videtur aliquod divisibile, secundum proportionem magnitudinum quae videtur. Sed non est aliqua proportio indivisibilis ad magnitudinem divisibilem, sicut nec puncti ad lineam. Et ita sequetur quod ex nulla distantia possit videri indivisibile: quia cuiuslibet distantiae est aliqua proportio ad aliam distantiam. Sequetur ergo, si videtur, quod videatur coniunctum visui, quod est contra rationem visus et aliorum sensuum, qui non tangentes sentiunt. Si ergo indivisibile non potest sentiri, nisi forte secundum quod est terminus continui, sicut et alia accidentia continuorum sentiuntur. To this it must be said that every sensible object is visible from some determinate distance. Therefore if the indivisible thing that is held to be sensible is seen from some determinate distance, like a divisible thing, then Aristotle’s argument will be conclusive. But if it is not possible to determine a distance from which it begins to be seen at the same time as a divisible thing is, it will again follow that in no way can it be seen. For one must take the proportion of the distance from which divisible things can he seen according to the proportion of the magnitudes that are seen. But there is no proportion of indivisible to divisible magnitude, for instance of a point to a line. Thus it will follow that what is indivisible cannot be seen from any distance, because any distance has a proportion to any other distance. Therefore it will follow that, if the indivisible thing is seen, it is seen by union with sight, which is contrary to the nature of sight and of the other senses that sense without touching. Therefore, an indivisible thing cannot be sensed—except, perhaps, inasmuch as it is the limit of a continuum, for other accidents of continua are also perceived in this way.
Deinde cum dicit de sensitivis epilogat quae dicta sunt in hoc libro continuans se ad sequentia, et dicit quod dictum est de sensitivis, idest de organo sentiendi et de sensibilibus quomodo se habeant ad sensus, et communiter et secundum unumquodque organum sensus, partim in hoc libro, partim in libro de anima. Inter reliqua vero, quod primo considerandum occurrit est memoria et reminiscentia et de somno; quia, sicut per sensum cognoscuntur praesentia, ita et per memoriam cognoscuntur praeterita, et in somno fit aliqua praecognitio futurorum. 449b1 Then, when he says Something has been said, then, he makes an epilogue to what was said in this book and establishes continuity with what follows. He says that something has been said about the sensitive parts—that is, the organs of sensing—and about sensible objects, and how they are related to the senses, both in general and with respect to each organ of sense, partly in this book, partly in the book On the Soul. Of what remains, the first to be considered are memory and recollection and sleep, because as present things are known by the sense-power, so past things are known by memory, and there is a certain fore-knowledge of future things in sleep.