Home Philosophy The fathers of the church
The fathers of the church
ACKNOWLEDGMENTSBIBLIOGRAPHYAlbert the Great's Questions concerning "On Animals"A Note on References to Ancient and Medieval WorksQUESTIONS CONCERNING ARISTOTLE'S ON ANIMALSBOOK ONEWhether this book has animals for its subject.Whether a variety of organic parts is necessary to the animal.Whether an organic member that has been cut off can be restored.Whether any animal breathes air.Whether an aquatic animal, once its form is changed, can become terrestrial.Whether motion is present in every animal.Whether an immobile animal is always aquatic and not terrestrial.Whether some animals should live in a social group.Whether every animal has a fixed type of nourishment.Whether an animal is born to seek out nourishment more at night than by day.Whether every flyer also walks.Why all animals except the human are very noisy during intercourse.Whether brute animals are differentiated according to their habits.Whether every animal that has a vessel to receive the first superfluity, which is excrement, also has a vessel for the second superfluity, which is urine.Whether every animal that has urine has excrement.Whether touch is in the flesh or in something analogous to it.Whether sensation exists in uniform members [membris similibus] and whether operation exists in non-uniform members.Why some animals have feet and some do not.Why the rational animal has only one species.Whether physiognomy can be established on the basis of parts of the body.In respect to which part is physiognomy especially carried out? Why the suture in the bone of a human skull is more noticeable than in the bone of other animals.Why a large forehead indicates a slow person, prone to foolishness, and a small one indicates a good disposition.Whether the eye has a different nature according to its colors.Why bulging eyes indicate a disturbed power of discretion and why sunken eyes indicate acute vision.Why ears may be located on various parts of the head although the eyes, nevertheless, are located close together. Whether sneezing is a sign of good or evil.Whether long and conspicuous lines on the hands may be signs of a long life, and whether short ones are signs of a shorter life.Whether parts in an animal have a location like the parts of the universe.Whether the brain is naturally cold and moist.Whether the heart is pyramidal in shape.Whether the upper intestines should be thinner and longer and more delicate than the lower ones.Why the human lungs are more solid and are not divided into lobes.Why the kidneys and the eyes and ears are divided into pairs.Why the exterior members are divided into pairs, while the interior members are not.Whether all animal members lead back to a single member.What is that first thing to which all the animal members lead back?BOOK TWOWhether the cause of similarity or dissimilarity among the members of various animals occurs as a result of the complexion of mixables or on account of the soul.Whether the lion's neck is continuous and not hollow.Whether the right foot is more unfettered and better suited for motion than the left.Why a human's chest is broader, with respect to its size, than that of other animals.Whether the motive power proceeds from the posterior or anterior part of the brain.Whether the human foot naturally bends to the front, and the hand to the rear.Whether an animal naturally has to place its right foot forward.Whether the human body should be less hairy than the bodies of other animals.Whether every animal ought to be horned.Whether breasts ought to be located on the chest in a woman.Whether growth is necessary for living things.On the nature of teeth.Whether the human ought to lack a tail naturally.Why birds imitate the human in speech more than the other animals.Whether the motion of birds, which is flight, is natural.Whether any animal ought to lack a spleen, a gall bladder, which is its reservoir [cista], and lungs.Whether it is necessary for every animal to have members specially designated for generation.BOOK THREEWhether veins are necessary in an animal body.Whether veins exist in every part of the body.Whether the veins arise from the heart or the liver.Whether the arteries are necessary to an animal.Whether the arteries take their origin from the heart or the brain.Whether the nerves are necessary.Whether the nerves take their origin from the brain or the heart.Whether the nerves are of a melancholic or phlegmatic complexion.Whether the bones are necessary.Whether the bones have sensation.Whether cartilage is necessary.On hair.Whether skin and web [tela] are necessary to an animal.Whether blood is necessary for an animal.Whether blood is a principle of the animal's preservation or is a natural source of corruption.Whether of all the humors blood alone nourishes.Whether blood is more abundant in thin animals than in fat ones.Whether blood is more abundant in men than in women.Whether the first generation of the blood occurs in the heart or in the liver.Why the blood in the heart is liquid and is coagulated outside of it.Whether the marrow is necessary for the bones' nourishment.BOOK FOURWhether bloodless animals are naturally cold.Whether an animal having a shell must naturally be enclosed inside the shell.Whether every animal has every sense.Whether fish have hearing. Whether voice is natural or voluntary or artificial.Whether every voice is significative. Whether sleep is necessary for an animal.Whether sleep is present in every animal. Whether sleep is an affect [passio] of the heart or the brain.Whether sleep is an affect of the common or a particular sense.Additional Questions for the Fourth Book Why salt placed in water liquefies, but it does not liquefy when placed on a burning tile or in oil (or boiling honey).Why musk placed among fragrant things loses its aroma and later, when placed in a foul-smelling place, it recovers its odor.Why charcoal is kindled by a crystal when it is placed opposite the sun's rays.Why snow is preserved in barley chaff.Why pears placed in barley chaff become ripe.Why women have such large breasts, and men do not.Why the members are discovered to be cold in one who is dying but they are warm in one already dead.Why marine fish are very bland although they are nourished on salt water.Why insanity follows after being bitten by a rabid dog.Why a person who passes by a corpse suffers goosebumps.Why madmen have so much strength.Why the blood of the one slain flows while the murderer is present.Why a morsel of bread placed in a very strong wine increases the sharpness of the wine.Why vision takes pleasure more in the color green than in any other color.Why roasted meat strengthens more than does boiled meat.Why one who has been wounded in the arm's muscle loses the power of speech.Why members that are weakened by hunger are immediately strengthened by food that has been received, though not yet incorporated, in the stomach.Why does a dead person staying in the water rise to the top, and a living one sink to the bottom?Why a certain wise man after being bled forgot all that he knew.Why someone suffering a fever lost the knowledge of letters.Why some people who eat more are thin, whereas others who eat only a little are fat.Why were eyes and ears absent in a boy that was born?Why was it that someone who saw an enemy dropped dead?Why is it that must, although it is clearer, does not cause drunkenness?BOOK FIVEWhether coition is necessary for the generation of animals.Whether coition is necessary for every animal.Whether the greatest pleasure occurs in generation by means of coition.Whether pleasure is greater in men than in women during coition.Whether pleasure is greater in brute beasts than in the human at the time of intercourse.Whether desire in the operation of intercourse is greater in men or in women.Whether desire for coition is caused by the hot or the cold.Whether the operation of coition flourishes more in a cold or hot region.In which season coition flourishes more. Whether the male and the female are especially urged on at the same time to generate.Related questions about intercourse.BOOK SIXWhether flyers naturally have to generate by laying eggs.Whether the egg white is generated from some superfluity of the egg or from some substance of the one laying the egg.Whether the yolk of the egg is generated from menstrual blood or from some other moisture.Whether the white of the egg is warmer than the yolk, or contrariwise.Whether the animal is nourished from the yolk.On certain properties of eggs. On the properties indicating coition.On the generation of animals, in relation to wind.Whether urine is a simple or mixed body. On the urine of brute beasts.BOOK SEVENWhether the non-living is naturally prior to the living.Whether there is something intermediate between living and non-living.Whether a power regulating life exists in a human.Whether food will be necessary to the animal.Whether drink is necessary for an animal.Whether food or drink is more necessary.Whether fish are nourished by water.Whether fish eat their young.On rainwater.On the nutriment and the drink of flyers.Whether reptiles can live long without food.Whether local motion particularly agrees with birds.Whether animals lie dormant in winter on account of fear or weakness.Whether animals are alive at the time of concealment.Whether these animals have the first act of life without the second.Whether animals take nourishment when they lie hidden.Whether animals breathe during the time of concealment.Whether life is preserved longer in places that are warm and moist, cold and dry, or cold and moist.Why people in warm places have a smaller stature and less strength and boldness than those in cold places.Whether youth can be restored.Whether old age can be slowed down. Whether age can be renewed by taking the poison of a viper or some other poison.Whether pestilential disease [morbus pestilentialis] arises from an infection of the air.On the sicknesses of pigs, dogs, and horses.BOOK EIGHTWhether brute animals know friendship or enmity.Whether friendship and enmity are present in all brute animals.Whether the lamb will flee the wolf without perceiving that there is something harmful in it.Whether art or craft is present in beasts.On the sheep and its properties.Whether it is by nature, from customary activity, or by instruction that cunning is present in animals that walk.Whether the deer is an animal possessing judgment.Whether flyers are more cautious than walkers.Why the owl [bubo] does not see in the daytime.Whether art and craft are more suited to ringed flyers than to other animals.Whether the ant gathers seeds. Whether a spider naturally produces a web.Whether the web is produced from the spider's substance or from some superfluity it has.Whether the bee can produce honey.Whether honey is made in the bee's body or outside it.Whether wax and honey are produced from the same material.On the customs of the wolf.On animals that ruminate and have long extremities.Whether the camel and the horse distinguish their mothers from others.On the cock's song.BOOK NINEAt what time especially should human generation take place?Whether a difference in ages ought to be calculated according to seven-year periods.Whether the period for generation among men lasts longer than does the period for conception in women.Whether a male grows more slowly outside the uterus than a woman does.Whether the menses are necessary for generation after impregnation.Whether only women suffer menstruation.Whether the moon has dominion over the menstrual flow.Whether the menstrual flow is sudden. On the signs of conception.Whether the male is formed more quickly than the female.Whether a male or a female can be generated by contrivance.On the birth of a woman and her circumstances.On the fetus before and after birth.BOOK TENWhether the mother or the father is more responsible for an obstacle to generation.Whether the retention of the sperm is more harmful to men than is the retention of menses in women.Whether the emission of semen weakens the male more than the female.Whether a fetus can be generated from one part of the sperm.Whether a mole [molyn] can be generated naturally in a woman from semen emitted through pollution in sleep.BOOK ELEVENWhether there is a double mode of proceeding in science?Whether the descriptive process is more necessary than the process that assigns causes.Which cause the natural philosopher ought to consider more.Which cause is naturally prior. On the number of causes.Whether the Philosopher ought to treat the mode of dividing here.Whether the final differentia is convertible with the species.Whether there is more pleasure in the knowledge [cognitio] of superior or inferior things.Whether our intellect can achieve knowledge [cognitio] of the first cause.BOOK TWELVEWhether homogenous [consimiles] parts are generated immediately from the elements.Whether the elements exist in act in homogenous parts.Which elements predominate in homogenous parts.Whether official parts are composed from homogenous ones by means of continuity.Whether operations occur through similar or dissimilar parts.Whether a more intense heat is found in the element of fire, or in a mixture.Whether the first digestion is in the mouth.Whether the first digestion, which occurs in the stomach, changes the nutriment into a different species.Whether the four humors are generated from the same nutriment.Whether blood is the last food for the members.Whether thick blood is more nourishing than thin blood.Whether zirbus and fat have a complexion that is naturally hot or cold.Whether the marrow is the nutriment for bones.Whether all bones are nourished.Whether the marrow is hot.Whether the brain is cold owing to the heart's tempering action.Whether sensation is in the brain. Whether the vital power has something analogous to it and whether it exists in some organ.Whether one element is dominant in any given sense organ.Whether the organ of touch and taste is in the heart and whether the organs of the other senses are in the head.BOOK THIRTEENOn the complexion of the heart.Whether an animal that has a large heart is fearful.Whether a softer heart is better.Whether the heart is hotter than the spirit.Whether a heart so flows to the other parts that it receives nothing from them.Whether the heart is susceptible to illness.Whether the blood is generated first in the heart or in the liver.Whether some sweat can be bloody. Whether venous blood is thicker than arterial blood.Whether the liver is generated from semen or from menstrual blood.Whether the motion of the lungs is natural.Whether a pulse exists in every animal.Whether the heat in an artery is natural or accidental.Whether the diaphragm is necessary.Whether an affliction of the diaphragm disturbs the intellect.Whether touching the diaphragm is a cause of laughter.On laughter.Whether birds and fish ought not to chew.Whether birds ought to have a double stomach, like a liver and crop.Whether blood is the nutriment for the stomach.Whether several intestines are required beyond the stomach.BOOK FOURTEENWhether bile [fel] is only a superfluity.Whether some of the bile or choler is naturally sent to the intestines.Whether choler or bile is the cause of a short lifespan.Whether serpents should have members that serve the motive power.Whence the serpent's motion begins, as if from a principle.Whether the heart has a dedicated location in serpents, in ringed animals, and in bloodless animals.Whether parts that have been cut off live after they have been cut off.Whether a soul is one in number in some part that has been divided.Whether fleshiness on a person's head impairs the intellect.Whether hands should belong to the human alone.Whether a human should naturally have wings and fins.Whether in respect to motive parts bloodless animals should surpass those with blood.BOOK FIFTEENWhether sex is necessary for the generation of animals.Whether nature intends the generation of a female.Whether male and female diversify species.Whether male and female co-exist in one and the same thing.Whether the male is hotter than the female.Whether a man has to be larger than a female.Whether a male or female has a longer life span.Whether the male's flesh is softer than the female's flesh.Whether the male is better nourishment than the female.Whether the male is better suited for proper behavior [mores] than the female.Whether sperm comes forth from the entire body.Whether the sperm is of the nature of parts or of some superfluity.Whether sperm is derived more from one part than from another.Whether sperm is a superfluity of the last food.Whether sperm is generated immediately from blood.Whether one who has a defect in some part necessarily generates an animal that is defective in the same part.Whether sperm is necessary for the generation of animals.Whether females produce sperm.Whether sperm is a material part of the fetus [conceptus].BOOK SIXTEENWhether the soul is in the sperm.Whether the power of the soul must be in the semen.Whether this power is from the father's soul.Whether this power is corrupted once the fetus is formed.Whether the soul's power operates through a mediating heat.Whether the heat, which is an instrument of the soul, is an elemental heat.Whether spirit is necessary in animals.Whether spirit is a body. Whether spirit is generated in the heart. Whether the vegetative soul comes into being in a natural way.Whether a sensitive soul can be produced through the power of the semen.Whether the power that is in the semen exerts any power in the production of the intellectual soul.Whether the intellective soul is created and infused into the body simultaneously.Whether all members are generated simultaneously.Whether the heart is generated first. Whether the informative power for the other members is in the heart after it has been formed.Whether sterility is a natural affliction [passio].Whether sterility has its root in the soul or the body.Whether generation of a mule from a mare and an ass is natural.Whether the mule and she-mule are sterile by nature.BOOK SEVENTEENOn birds' eggs.On chicks.Whether wind eggs are generated from a superfluity of sperm.Whether in a wind egg the white has to be distinguished from the yellow.Whether a wind egg, if the male's sperm comes into contact with it, is suited for generation.Whether female birds can be impregnated by the male's kiss or odor alone.Whether there is a mixture of semen and nutriment in fish eggs.Whether all the elements concur for the generation of an animal generated by putrefaction.Whether putrefaction is a path to generation.Whether animals like this are generated by a superior power.BOOK EIGHTEENWhether the power's strength causes the generation of a male.Whether the generation of one that shares each sex is natural.Whether some power in the semen is the cause of resemblance.Why wise men and philosophers very often generate foolish children.Whether anything like a monster exists in nature.Whether the cause of a monstrosity stems from the matter or from the efficient cause.Whether an animal having parts of animals different in species can be generated from two animals that are different in species.Whether milk is necessary for the nourishment of the fetus.BOOK NINETEENWhether the embryo is nourished before its formation.Whether the embryo emits superfluities in the womb.Whether the embryo breathes in the womb.Whether sleep occurs in the embryo.On the color of the eyes.On hair.On voice.On teeth.