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Whether animals lie dormant in winter on account of fear or weakness.

One inquires further into the concealment of animals, and whether they lie dormant in winter.[1]

It seems not, because they would lie dormant either on account of fear or on account of the weakness of the complexion. But it is not on account of fear, because serpents lie dormant and yet they are quite bold; nor on account of weakness, because the bear lies dormant for a large part of winter and nevertheless it is strong and rapacious.

Moreover, animals like this do not take nourishment during the time of concealment. But this would not be the case if they were weak; therefore, etc.

One must reply that animals lie dormant both on account of the character of their surroundings and the weakness of their complexion.[2] Those that lie dormant have a cold complexion and porous composition. And because a cold and weak heat is mortified quickly by excessive cold, animals like this seek out caverns in the ground when cold weather is imminent and rest in them during winter. And because both serpents and animals with a ringed body have a cold complexion, this is why this suits them both. In the same way, the bear has a porous composition[3] and weak motion and a cold complexion. Thus when winter is imminent, its spirits and motive nerves are mortified, and this is why it does not make an appearance either in winter or at the time of parturition.

One must reply then to the argument that serpents do not lie dormant on account of fear but on account of an external cold that dulls their weak heat. Neither does the bear lie dormant on account of weakness per se, but rather on account of the mortification of its spirits by the external cold.

Whether animals are alive at the time of concealment.

One inquires further whether such animals are alive at the time of concealment.

1. It seems not. To live is to move oneself. But animals such as these do not move themselves; therefore, etc.

2. Moreover, life is based on a radicalthat is, naturalheat. But heat is extinguished in them at the time of concealment. Therefore, etc.

On the contrary. "To live, for living things, is to be." But the existence of one and the same thing does not occur at intervals. Since, then, such animals are alive before their concealment and after it, then, they are alive during it as well.

To this, one must reply that animals like this live because the soul is the principle of life and life does not depart unless the soul departs. But these animals do not lose the soul at the time of concealment, because if they did they would immediately experience corruption just like other dead animals. Therefore, they have life and exist as if they were dead, but are not dead.

1. On to the arguments. To the first, one must reply that motion is of two types. One is external, by which an animal is moved from place to place, and another is an internal motion, by which the natural heat, spirit, and life flow from the heart to the other members. Thus, the first motion is not present in them at the time of concealment, but the second is and it is sufficient for them to remain alive.

2. To the second argument one must reply that heat can be in something in three ways: either per se, as in fire, or per accidens, as in water that has been heated, or, as in cold water, potentiallyotherwise, fire would not be generated from it[4] or as in wine. Thus, heat is in these animals per se, although the operations of the heat do not appear in their exterior parts because the heat flees to the interior parts on account of the external cold. Thus, although the exterior members appear dead, nevertheless the character [habitus] of heat exists in them according to the first act, and not according to the second act.

  • [1] Cf. Ar., HA 8.13-17 (599a4f.); A., DA 7.1.8.82-89 (SZ 1: 621-26). A note on terminology is in order. A. uses verbs like latito and nouns such as latitatio to indicate what we call hibernation. His vocabulary thus stresses the fact that the animal drops out of view. Thus, while it is tempting (and less awkward) to use the modern "hibernate," we will instead translate more literally to preserve the flavor of the original.
  • [2] "Surroundings:" See QDA 12.2 where continens represents the water in which a fish lives.
  • [3] One suspects that this should this be "a loose composition," that is, one that is not dense, or should be omitted as it is, in fact, in the T manuscript. For other views on the bear's complexional makeup see DA 7.1.8.89 (SZ 1: 626), 7.2.3.154-59 (SZ 1: 658-59), and 22.2.1.144(107) (SZ 2: 1540).
  • [4] It is difficult to comprehend how fire could be generated from water, although one can easily see how heat is generated from water that has been warmed. Cf. QDA 5.1 and note.
 
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