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Whether spirit is generated in the heart.

Further one asks whether spirit is generated in the heart.

1. It seems not. For spirit is generated from the subtle parts of blood. But the greatest thinning [subtiliatio] of the blood does not occur in the second digestion, which is in the heart, but rather in the third, which is in other parts. Therefore, spirit is generated in individual parts.

2. In addition, in both the first and the second digestion there occurs a weakening of the powers and the spirits. A sign of this is that after taking in food an animal is rendered less fit for motion and sensation. Therefore, the generation of spirits does not occur in either the first or second digestion, but rather their corruption does.

3. In addition, everything that is in a body is nourished. Therefore, spirit can be nourished. But nourishment only occurs after the third digestion, which does not occur in the heart. Therefore, the spirit is nourished in other parts. But the nourishment of a part occurs where its generation occurs. Therefore, etc.

On the contrary. Every power of the body flows out from the heart. Therefore, a medium that conveys a power proceeds from the heart. But spirit is that medium. Therefore, spirit proceeds from the heart.

To this, one must respond that the generation of spirit is of two types. One is its totally new transformation, and such a transformation as this is found principally in the heart because just as the heat by which the vegetative power operates flows from the heart, so too does the spirit by which the sensitive power operates flow from the heart. Another type can be its generation through a certain restoration after the fashion of a certain nourishment [ fomenti], strengthening, and reinvigoration, and in this way spirit can be generated in individual members. Now, spirit strengthens every aromatic [quality] even though, because of [their] heat, aromatics frequently impair the brain by filling it with fumes, etc. Thus in the first way the spirit is generated only from the subtle parts of the blood in the heart, but in the second way it can be generated not only in those individual members that serve the last digestion, but also those serving the first and second digestion.

1. On to the arguments. At the first, one must reply that a heat is found in the heart that is sufficient for digesting blood, to the extent that it is also sufficient for generating spirit. Actually heat is especially abundant in the heart, and this is why the generation of the spirits especially occurs there.

2. In the same way one can reply to the second argument. For he proves that spirit can be generated in another way in the individual parts of the third digestion, but this is not properly generation, only a strengthening or restoration of the spirits.

3. To the third argument one must reply that spirit is not nourished owing to its subtlety, but spirit can rather be strengthened or simply corrupted, and then it disappears or simply remains. Thus the generation of spirits is continuous in the heart, which would not be the case if spirit were nourished; instead, spirits disappear successively and continuously, as it were, from the other parts and this is why they are generated anew almost continuously.

Whether the vegetative soul comes into being in a natural way.

Next one inquires about the soul's departure. And first, whether the vegetative soul comes into being in a natural way.

1. And it seems not. For nature operates by means of mediating active and passive qualities in which there is opposition. But opposition is repugnant to life. Therefore, since the vegetative [soul] is the first principle of life, it cannot be produced from active and passive qualities, nor, as a result, in a natural way.

2. In addition, a cause is nobler than its effect. But life is nobler than every natural or material form. Therefore, life cannot be produced through any [natural] production or material power, and it is therefore produced by a supernatural agent.

The Philosopher says the opposite.

To this, one must respond that the vegetative soul is produced in a natural way. For the one that generates makes the one generated like itself. But vegetative souls have three powers [ potentiae]: the nutritive, the augmentative, and the generative. Since, therefore, the generative is a power of a vegetative soul, and the vegetative is a material formbecause it is united to matter and uses a material organ and operates through motiontherefore, whatever is produced by a power of the vegetative soul is produced in a natural way. But the vegetative soul is produced through a power of the vegetative soul, and therefore, etc.

And, in addition, the vegetative soul uses a material body for every operation and for nutrition and growth, because for nutrition and growth it uses an aliment, and for generation it uses a superfluity of the aliment. But this would not be the case if it were not a material form. But a material form is introduced in a natural way, because it is a first principle of nature. For this reason, etc.

1. On to the arguments. To the first, one must reply that a universal agent acts with a particular agent because "a human generates a human, and the sun does as well," as is maintained in the second book of the Physics. Thus something that surpasses the nature of the elements proceeds from the commixture of the elements. For the fact that a magnet attracts iron does not occur through the nature of some element that is dominant in it, but rather through the influence of superior or celestial bodies. Thus a soul cannot be produced from the elements by means of a power that belongs to the elements, but this only can be accomplished well by a power that surpasses the nature of the elements.

One must respond to the form of the argument that although elements that are mutually contrary at their extremes are not receptive of life when set against each other, nevertheless these can be reduced to a middle condition that is not repugnant to life.

2. To the second argument one must reply that life is multiple, because to have intelligence is a certain kind of life. Thus there is a certain life that surpasses every material form, like the life of the separate substances, whereas another life nevertheless follows after the material form, like a vegetative and sensitive soul, and life such as this can be introduced in a natural way, etc.

 
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