Aristotle - On The Generation Of Animals

Aristotle - On The Generation Of Animals - 350 BC ON THE...

Info icon This preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

Sheet1 Page 1 350 BC ON THE GENERATION OF ANIMALS by Aristotle translated by Arthur Platt Book I 1 WE have now discussed the other parts of animals, both generally and with reference to the peculiarities of each kind, explaining how each part exists on account of such a cause, and I mean by this the final cause. There are four causes underlying everything: first, the final cause, that for the sake of which a thing exists the definition of its essence (and these two we may regard pretty much as one and the same) moving principle or efficient cause. We have then already discussed the other three causes, for the definition and the final cause are the same, and the material of animals is their parts of the whole animal the non-homogeneous parts, of these again the homogeneous, and of these last the so-called elements of all matter. It remains to speak of those parts which contribute to the generation of animals and of which nothing definite has yet been said, and to explain what is the moving or efficient cause. To inquire into this last and to inquire into the generation of each animal is in a way the same thing therefore, my plan has united them together, arranging the discussion of these parts last, and the beginning of the question of generation next to them. Now some animals come into being from the union of male and female, i.e. all those kinds of animal which possess the two sexes. This is not the case with all of them few exceptions the creature, when its growth is complete, is either male or female, and though some bloodless animals have sexes so that they generate offspring of the same kind, yet other bloodless animals generate indeed, but not offspring of the same kind are all that come into being not from a union of the sexes, but from decaying earth and excrements. To speak generally, if we take all animals which change their locality, some by swimming, others by flying, others by walking, we find in these the two sexes, not only in the sanguinea but also in some of the bloodless animals applies in the case of the latter sometimes to the whole class, as the cephalopoda and crustacea, but in the class of insects only to the majority. Of these, all which are produced by union of animals of the same kind generate also after their kind, but all which are not
Image of page 1

Info icon This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

Sheet1 Page 2 produced by animals, but from decaying matter, generate indeed, but produce another kind, and the offspring is neither male nor female such are some of the insects. This is what might have been expected, for if those animals which are not produced by parents had themselves united and produced others, then their offspring must have been either like or unlike to themselves. If like, then their parents ought to have come into being in the same way a reasonable postulate to make, for it is plainly the case with other animals. If unlike, and yet able to copulate, then there would have come into being again from them another kind of creature and again another from these, and this would have gone on to infinity. But
Image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.
  • Summer '10
  • no prof
  • Causality, vivipara

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern