Aristotle, Problems

LCL 316: 230-231

Go To Section
Go To Section



1. Διὰ τί τοῖς χασμωμένοις ἀντιχασμῶνται ὡς ἐπὶ 886a,τὸ | πολύ; ἢ διότι, ἐὰν ἀναμνησθῶσιν ὀργῶντες, ἐνεργοῦσιν, 25μάλιστα δὲ τὰ εὐκίνητα, οἷον οὐροῦσιν; ἡ δὲ χάσμη πνεῦμα καὶ ὑγροῦ κίνησίς ἐστιν. πρόχειρον οὖν, ἐὰν μόνον νοήσῃ· ἔστι γὰρ πλησίον.

2. Διὰ τί, ἐὰν μέν τινα ἴδωμεν τὴν χεῖρα ἐκτείνοντα 30ἢ | τὸν πόδα ἢ ἄλλο τι τῶν τοιούτων, οὐκ ἀντιποιοῦμεν τὸ αὐτό, ἐὰν δὲ χασμώμενον, ἀντιχασμώμεθα; ἢ οὐδὲ τοῦτο ἀεί, ἀλλ᾿ ἐὰν ὀργῶν τύχῃ τὸ σῶμα καὶ οὕτω διακείμενον ὥστε τὸ ὑγρὸν ἀναθερμαίνεσθαι; τότε γὰρ ἡ μνήμη τὴν κίνησιν ποιεῖ, ὥσπερ καὶ πρὸς 35ἀφροδίσια καὶ ἐδωδήν· τὸ γὰρ ποιῆσαν | μνήμην εἶναι τὸ ἔχον ὁρμὴν πρὸς τὸ φαντασθὲν πάθος.

3. Διὰ τί, ἐπειδὰν πρὸς τὸ πῦρ στῶμεν, οὐρητιῶμεν, καὶ ἐὰν πρὸς ὕδωρ, οἷον ἐὰν πρὸς ποταμόν, οὐροῦσιν; 886bἢ ὅτι τὸ πᾶν ǁ ὕδωρ ὑπόμνησιν δίδωσιν τῆς ἐν τῷ σώματι ὑγρότητος, καὶ ἐκκαλεῖται τὸ προσιόν; αὐτὸ δὲ τὸ πῦρ διαχαλᾷ τὸ πεπηγὸς ἐν τῷ σώματι, ὥσπερ ὁ ἥλιος τὴν χιόνα.


Problems VII.

Problems Arising from Sympathy

1.1 Why, in response to others yawning, do people usually yawn in return? Is it because, if they are reminded of something when they feel an urge, they act on it, especially with what is easily moved, for instance urinating? Now yawning is a breath and a movement of moisture. So it is always at hand, if only one thinks of it; for it is nearby.

2. Why, if we see someone stretching out a hand or a foot or any other such thing, we do not do the same thing in return, but if we see someone yawning, we yawn in return? Or do we not always do this, but only if the body happens to feel an urge and is in such a condition that its moisture is heated? For then memory produces movement, just as it does with respect to sexual intercourse and eating; for that which causes a memory to exist is that which provides an impulse toward the imagined condition.

3.2 Why, when we stand near the fire, do we desire to urinate, and if we stand near water, for instance a river, we do urinate? Is it because all water reminds us of the moisture in the body, and the nearby (water) calls out for it? Further, the fire itself dissolves what is solidified in the body, just as the sun does the snow.

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.aristotle-problems.2011