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He says, that the infant in the womb is nourished by Nature, like a plant; but when it is brought forth, being cooled and hardened by the air, it changes its spirit and becomes an animal; whence the soul is not unfitly named Psyche because of this refrigeration (ψύχειν). But again he esteems the soul the more subtile and fine spirit of Nature, therein contradicting himself; for how can a subtile thing be made of a gross one, and be rarefied by refrigeration and condensation? And what is more, how does he, declaring an animal to be made by refrigeration, think the sun to be animated, which is of fire and made of an exhalation changed into fire? For he says in his Third Book of Nature: ‘Now the change of fire is such, that it is turned by the air into water; and the earth subsiding from this, the air exhales; the air being subtilized, the ether is produced round about it; and the stars are, with the sun, kindled from the sea.’ Now what is more contrary to kindling than refrigeration, or to rarefaction than condensation? For the one makes water and earth of fire and air, and the other changes that which is moist and earthy into fire and air. But yet in one place he makes kindling, in another cooling, to be the beginning of animation. And he moreover says, that when the inflammation is throughout, it lives and is an animal, but being again extinct and thickened, it is turned into water and earth and corporeity. Now in his First Book of Providence he says: ‘For the world, indeed, being wholly set on fire, is presently also the soul and guide of itself; but when it is changed into moisture, and has changed the soul remaining within it in some sort into a body and soul, so as to consist of these two, it is then after another manner.’ Here, forsooth, he plainly says, that the inanimate parts of the world are by [p. 469] inflammation turned into an animated thing, and that again by extinction the soul is relaxed and moistened, being changed into corporeity. He seems therefore very absurd, one while by refrigeration making animals of senseless things, and again, by the same changing the greatest part of the world's soul into senseless and inanimate things.

But besides this, his discourse concerning the generation of the soul has a demonstration contrary to his own opinion; for he says, that the soul is generated when the infant is already brought forth, the spirit being changed by refrigeration, as by hardening. Now for the soul's being engendered, and that after the birth, he chiefly uses this demonstration, that the children are for the most part in manners and inclinations like to their parents. Now the repugnancy of these things is evident. For it is not possible that the soul, which is not generated till after the birth, should have its inclination before the birth; or it will fall out that the soul is like before it is generated; that is, it will be in likeness, and yet not be, because it is not yet generated. But if any one says that, the likeness being bred in the tempers of the bodies, the souls are changed when they are generated, he destroys the argument of the soul's being generated. For thus it may come to pass, that the soul, though not generated, may at its entrance into the body be changed by the mixture of likeness.

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load focus Greek (Gregorius N. Bernardakis, 1895)
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