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ON THE NATURAL FACULTIES Book I
[p. 33] yet touched upon any of the parts of the animal (I mean the stomach, intestines, liver, and the like), and that it has not dealt with the faculties resident in these, it will seem as though merely a kind of introduction had been given to the practical parts of our teaching. For the whole matter is as follows: Genesis, growth, and nutrition are the first, and, so to say, the principal effects of Nature; similarly also the faculties which produce these effects- the first faculties- are three in number, and are the most dominating of all. But as has already been shown, these need the service both of each other, and of yet different faculties. Now, these which the faculties of generation and growth require have been stated. I shall now say what ones the nutritive faculty requires.
For I believe that I shall prove that the organs which have to do with the disposal of the nutriment, as also their faculties, exist for the sake of this nutritive faculty. For since the action of this faculty
The activation or functioning of this faculty, the faculty in actual operation. cf. p. 3, note 2.
is assimilation, and it is impossible for anything to be assimilated by, and to change into anything else unless they already possess a certain community and affinity in their qualities,
"Un rapport commun et une affinitè" (Daremberg). "Societatem aliquam cognationemque in qualitatibus" (Linacre). cf. p. 36, note 2.
therefore, in the first place, any animal cannot naturally derive nourishment from any kind of food, and secondly, even in the case of those from which it can do so, it cannot do this at once. Therefore, by reason of