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PART 15

XV. I am at a loss to understand how those who maintain the other view, and abandon the old method to rest the art on a postulate, treat their patients on the lines of their postulate. For they have not discovered, I think, an absolute hot or cold, dry or moist, that participates in no other form. But I think that they have at their disposal the same foods and the same drinks as we all use, and to one they add the attribute of being hot, to another, cold, to another, dry, to another, moist, since it would be futile to order a patient to take something hot, as he would at once ask, " What hot thing ? " So that they must either talk nonsense or have recourse to one of these known substances. And if one hot thing happens to be astringent, and another hot thing insipid, and a third hot thing causes flatulence (for there are many various kinds of hot things, possessing many opposite powers), surely it will make a difference whether he administers the hot astringent thing, or the hot insipid thing, or that which is cold and astringent at the same time (for there is such a thing), or the cold insipid thing. For I am sure that each of these pairs produces exactly the opposite of that produced by the other, not only in a man, but in a leathern or wooden vessel, and in many other things less sensitive than man. For it is not the heat which possesses the great power, but the astringent and the insipid, and the other qualities I have mentioned, both in man and out of man, whether eaten or drunk, whether applied externally as ointment or as plaster.

[p. 43]

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