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Whether drink is necessary for an animal.

One inquires next whether drink is necessary for an animal.

1. And it seems not. What is opposed to the first foundation of life is unnecessary for the animal. But life is grounded in the hot and the moist. Drink, however, is properly cold, for it is said in the second book of On the Soul23 that "thirst is an appetite for the cold and moist"; therefore, drink is not necessary.

2. Moreover, nature does not do with two whatever can be done by one. But with food, an animal can restore and preserve what has been lost. Therefore, an animal does not require drink.

On the contrary. There are two appetites in an animal: that for the hot and the dry, and this is hunger, and that for the cold and the moist, and this is thirst. Therefore, if the object of the one appetite is necessary, so too is the other. But food is the object of hunger, and drink is the object of thirst. Therefore, drink is as necessary as food.

To this, one must reply that drink is understood in two ways: one is as both food and drink, and another is as drink alone. Wine, milk, beer and all those that are compounds are both food and drink; simple water, however, is drink alone. That which is both food and drink nourishes, just as food does, and in addition to this it tempers the natural heat by means of its active coldness, and it irrigates the members with its moisture. And it similarly causes the food, which is thick, to penetrate the members more easily and this is why drink is necessary, both on account of irrigation and on account of the thickness of food particles which, without the moisture, cannot easily travel to the individual members.

Moreover, animal life is grounded in certain humors and in heat. That which conserves the natural moisture and by which the heat is tempered is necessary, then. But this is drink. And this is why drink is necessary.

1. On to the arguments. To the first, one must reply that an excessive and dominating cold corrupts the heat, whereas a temperate cold supports the heat, because, if it dominates the heat, it will convert it into its own nature. Thus, although drink may be cold, if nevertheless it is consumed in a temperate fashion, it does not corrupt the natural heat but rather will support it and will preserve the radical moisture from being quickly consumed. Thus the natural heat can be consumed in many ways: by being dominated by its contrary, by a defect in its subject, and by its own excess, because if it is excessive it will act on its own proper subject, feeding on it. And drink will be necessary for these two reasons, because it conserves the heat with its subject and blocks its excess.

2. To the second argument one must reply that food alone can not accomplish what food and drink can accomplish together. Although the restoration of what has been lost can be accomplished by food alone, nevertheless the dryness and aridity of the members and the sharpness of the heat cannot be tempered by food, but they can be better tempered by drink.

Whether food or drink is more necessary.

One inquires third whether food or drink is more necessary.[1]

It seems that drink is more necessary. What is nearer to some necessary thing is itself more necessary. But air is more necessary to an animal for the sake of respiration, and drink is nearer to it than is food. Therefore, it is more necessary.

Moreover, that is more necessary whose lack is more oppressive. But this is drink because the longer thirst lasts the more intense it becomes and, as a result, if it is oppressive earlier, at the end it will be more oppressive. But this is not the case for food, as is evident in one suffering from fever.

On the contrary. The conservation of heat and moisture is more necessary for an animal's preservation. But these are conserved by food and not drink, because whatever is simply drink neither nourishes nor restores what has been lost. Therefore, etc.

To this, one must reply that something can be said to be necessary to an animal in two ways: either per se or per accidens. Food is more necessary per se because food is converted into the substance of the one being nourished and restores what has been lost. Drink, however, is more necessary per accidens, because the more the animal is fed, the more its heat is sharpened, and if it lacks drink the heat will consume its own subject. And this is why drink is more necessary per accidens, to temper the heat. This is evident from this analogy. A house is composed of wood and not of water, and nevertheless if the house were burning the presence of water nearby would be more necessary than that of wood because wood situated nearby would only spread the fire, whereas water would extinguish it. So the conclusion is correct. Thus one must understand that whenever the heat in a body intensifies without the emptying out of the members, as occurs in those suffering from fever, then one especially desires what is drink alone, like water. Nevertheless, when the members have been emptied, then one desires both food and drink. This is evident in the example of a healthy person who is hungry in warm weather, for as a result he desires drink more than food.

The arguments proceed along these paths.

  • [1] "Third": appears in the text without explanation.
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