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proper heat of an object perfects the corresponding passive qualities,

which are the proper matter of any given object. For when concoction

has taken place we say that a thing has been perfected and has come to

be itself. It is the proper heat of a thing that sets up this

perfecting, though external influences may contribute in some

degrees to its fulfilment. Baths, for instance, and other things of

the kind contribute to the digestion of food, but the primary cause is

the proper heat of the body. In some cases of concoction the end of

the process is the nature of the thing-nature, that is, in the sense

of the formal cause and essence. In other cases it leads to some

presupposed state which is attained when the moisture has acquired

certain properties or a certain magnitude in the process of being

broiled or boiled or of putrefying, or however else it is being

heated. This state is the end, for when it has been reached the

thing has some use and we say that concoction has taken place. Must is

an instance of this, and the matter in boils when it becomes purulent,

and tears when they become rheum, and so with the rest.

Concoction ensues whenever the matter, the moisture, is

mastered. For the matter is what is determined by the heat

connatural to the object, and as long as the ratio between them exists

in it a thing maintains its nature. Hence things like the liquid and

solid excreta and ejecta in general are signs of health, and

concoction is said to have taken place in them, for they show that the

proper heat has got the better of the indeterminate matter.

Things that undergo a process of concoction necessarily become

thicker and hotter, for the action of heat is to make things more

compact, thicker, and drier.

This then is the nature of concoction: but inconcoction is an

imperfect state due to lack of proper heat, that is, to cold. That

of which the imperfect state is, is the corresponding passive

qualities which are the natural matter of anything.

So much for the definition of concoction and inconcoction.

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