Desktop version

Home arrow Philosophy arrow The fathers of the church

Whether blood is more abundant in thin animals than in fat ones.

One asks whether blood is more abundant in thin animals than in fat ones.

1. It seems, in fat ones. For fat is caused by what remains from blood; thus, where the blood is abundant, so too will be the fat, and conversely.

2. In addition, fat is warm and moist, and this is why it is placed around cold parts. But such is the nature of blood, and therefore, etc.

The Philosopher says the opposite. For he says that "the more the fat abounds, the more the blood is diminished." Therefore, etc.

One must reply that fat is of two types. There is one that is caused by the strength of the heat digesting a large quantity of aliment, and this one tends to be yellowish in color, and the fat that is in a goose or a hen is of this type, and this type of fat is attended by an abundance of blood. The other type is the fat generated from moisture that is not completely digested owing to the weakness of the heat, and this one tends to be white in color and argues for a paucity of blood, as in the pig. The Philosopher is thinking of this one, whereas the arguments are based on the first type. It is true of this one that such fat argues for blood, but where the other fat is present, the blood is, as a result, more abundant in thin than in fat animals.

Whether blood is more abundant in men than in women.

One asks further about another property, whether blood is more abundant in men than in women.

1. And it seems to be more abundant in women. Because the more form something possesses, the less matter it has. But the male has more form and less matter, and therefore as a consequence he has less blood.

2. Moreover, a woman is a flawed man [vir occasionatus], as will be stated below. Therefore, a woman will have more blood. Proof for the conclusion: a woman is only produced owing to a defect of the heat acting on the semen and to an abundance of matter. Since, then, blood has the nature of matter, there will be more blood in a woman.

3. Moreover, where something overflows then it is more abundant there. But in a woman the blood overflows, an indication of which is the frequent flow of her menses. Therefore, etc.

The Philosopher says the opposite in the text. For he says that there is more blood in men than in women.

One must say that just as semen is of two types, so blood is of two types. For one semen is well-digested, and this is the sort found in men. The other is poorly digested, and this is the sort found in women, for example, the menses itself. And the same is true of the blood. For one type is well-digested and dense, and this sort is in men. The other is crude and very fluid and phlegmatic, and this is the one in women, since in men the heat is more powerful and, as a result, is sufficient as a principle for digestion. But in women the heat is weak and impeded, and this is why their blood is crude and fluid and, as a result, phlegmatic. On account of this they often suffer the flux of menses, since nature rejects this phlegmatic blood and purges it through menstruation.

1. On to the arguments. To the first, one must reply that if one should compare different species, then certainly the more form one has the less matter it has. If, however, one should compare the same species, then it is not necessary that the one that has more form will have less matter. But the male and the female are in the same species, and therefore, etc.

2. To the second argument one must reply that <because> a woman is a flawed man, for this reason she has less blood. As proof one must say that because a woman is produced from a defect in the heat in the semen, it follows from this that there will be more fluid and undigested blood in women.

3. One must reply in the same way to the third argument. Because there is more fluid and crude blood in women, this is why their menstrual flow is very frequent. But this does not apply to digested blood, which is in men.

 
Found a mistake? Please highlight the word and press Shift + Enter  
< Prev   CONTENTS   Next >

Related topics