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On Sense And The Sensible   



respect of savour [whether developed or undeveloped], but some

agent, such for example as one might conceive Heat or the Sun to be,

is the efficient cause of savour.

(a) Of these three hypotheses, the falsity of that held by

Empedocles is only too evident. For we see that when pericarpal fruits

are plucked [from the tree] and exposed in the sun, or subjected to

the action of fire, their sapid juices are changed by the heat,

which shows that their qualities are not due to their drawing anything

from the water in the ground, but to a change which they undergo

within the pericarp itself; and we see, moreover, that these juices,

when extracted and allowed to lie, instead of sweet become by lapse of

time harsh or bitter, or acquire savours of any and every sort; and

that, again, by the process of boiling or fermentation they are made

to assume almost all kinds of new savours.

(b) It is likewise impossible that water should be a material

qualified to generate all kinds of Savour germs [so that different

savours should arise out of different parts of the water]; for we

see different kinds of taste generated from the same water, having

it as their nutriment.

(C) It remains, therefore, to suppose that the water is changed by

passively receiving some affection from an external agent. Now, it

is manifest that water does not contract the quality of sapidity

from the agency of Heat alone. For water is of all liquids the

thinnest, thinner even than oil itself, though oil, owing to its

viscosity, is more ductile than water, the latter being uncohesive

in its particles; whence water is more difficult than oil to hold in

the hand without spilling. But since perfectly pure water does not,

when subjected to the action of Heat, show any tendency to acquire

consistency, we must infer that some other agency than heat is the

cause of sapidity. For all savours [i.e. sapid liquors] exhibit a

comparative consistency. Heat is, however, a coagent in the matter.

Now the sapid juices found in pericarpal fruits evidently exist also

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