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On The Generation Of Animals   


about. (2) They resemble their parents more than remoter ancestors,
and resemble those ancestors more than any chance individual. (3)
Some, though resembling none of their relations, yet do at any rate
resemble a human being, but others are not even like a human being but
a monstrosity. For even he who does not resemble his parents is
already in a certain sense a monstrosity; for in these cases Nature
has in a way departed from the type. The first departure indeed is
that the offspring should become female instead of male; this,
however, is a natural necessity. (For the class of animals divided
into sexes must be preserved, and as it is possible for the male
sometimes not to prevail over the female in the mixture of the two
elements, either through youth or age or some other such cause, it
is necessary that animals should produce female young). And the
monstrosity, though not necessary in regard of a final cause and an
end, yet is necessary accidentally. As for the origin of it, we must
look at it in this way. If the generative secretion in the catamenia
is properly concocted, the movement imparted by the male will make the
form of the embryo in the likeness of itself. (Whether we say that it
is the semen or this movement that makes each of the parts grow, makes
no difference; nor again whether we say that it 'makes them grow' or
'forms them from the beginning', for the formula of the movement is
the same in either case.) Thus if this movement prevail, it will make
the embryo male and not female, like the father and not like the
mother; if it prevail not, the embryo is deficient in that faculty
in which it has not prevailed. By 'each faculty' I mean this. That
which generates is not only male but also a particular male, e.g.
Coriscus or Socrates, and it is not only Coriscus but also a man. In
this way some of the characteristics of the father are more near to
him, others more remote from him considered simply as a parent and not
in reference to his accidental qualities (as for instance if the
parent is a scholar or the neighbour of some particular person).
Now the peculiar and individual has always more force in generation
than the more general and wider characteristics. Coriscus is both a
man and an animal, but his manhood is nearer to his individual
existence than is his animalhood. In generation both the individual
and the class are operative, but the individual is the more so of
the two, for this is the only true existence. And the offspring is
produced indeed of a certain quality, but also as an individual, and
this latter is the true existence. Therefore it is from the forces
of all such existences that the efficient movements come which exist
in the semen; potentially from remoter ancestors but in a higher
degree and more nearly from the individual (and by the individual I
mean e.g. Coriscus or Socrates). Now since everything changes not
into anything haphazard but into its opposite, therefore also that
which is not prevailed over in generation must change and become the
opposite, in respect of that particular force in which the paternal
and efficient or moving element has not prevailed. If then it has
not prevailed in so far as it is male, the offspring becomes female;
if in so far as it is Coriscus or Socrates, the offspring does not
resemble the father but the mother. For as 'father' and 'mother' are
opposed as general terms, so also the individual father is opposed
to the individual mother. The like applies also to the forces that
come next in order, for the offspring always changes rather into the
likeness of the nearer ancestor than the more remote, both in the
paternal and in the maternal line.

Some of the movements exist in the semen actually, others
potentially; actually, those of the father and the general type, as
man and animal; potentially those of the female and the remoter
ancestors. Thus the male and efficient principle, if it lose its own
nature, changes to its opposites, but the movements which form the
embryo change into those nearly connected with them; for instance,
if the movement of the male parent be resolved, it changes by a very
slight difference into that of his father, and in the next instance

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