Thursday, August 20, 2009

Q115 A3: Whether the heavenly bodies are the cause of what is produced in bodies here below?

Yes. The movements of bodies here below, which are various and multiform, must be referred to the movement of the heavenly bodies, as to their cause, because the more immovable certain things are, the more are they the cause of those things which are more movable.

Motus horum inferiorum corporum qui sunt varii et multiformes, reducuntur in motum corporis caelestis, sicut in causam, quia quanto aliqua sunt immobiliora, tanto sunt magis causa eorum quae sunt magis mobilia.

Therefore it is necessary, as the Philosopher says (De Gener. ii, 10), to suppose a certain movable active principle, which by reason of its presence or absence causes variety in the generation and corruption of inferior bodies. Such are the heavenly bodies. Consequently whatever generates here below, moves to the production of the species, as the instrument of a heavenly body: thus the Philosopher says (Phys. ii, 2) that "man and the sun generate man."

Unde secundum philosophum, in II de Gen., necesse est ponere aliquod principium activum mobile, quod per sui praesentiam et absentiam causet varietatem circa generationem et corruptionem inferiorum corporum. Et huiusmodi sunt corpora caelestia. Et ideo quidquid in istis inferioribus generat, movet ad speciem sicut instrumentum caelestis corporis; secundum quod dicitur in II Physic., quod "homo generat hominem, et sol".

The actions of heavenly bodies are variously received in inferior bodies, according to the various dispositions of matter. Now it happens at times that the matter in the human conception is not wholly disposed to the male sex; wherefore it is formed sometimes into a male, sometimes into a female. Augustine quotes this as an argument against divination by stars, because the effects of the stars are varied even in corporeal things, according to the various dispositions of matter.

Actiones corporum caelestium diversimode recipiuntur in inferioribus corporibus secundum diversam materiae dispositionem. Contingit autem quandoque quod materia conceptus humani non est disposita totaliter ad masculinum sexum; unde partim formatur in masculum, partim in feminam. Unde ad hoc introducitur ab Augustino, ad repellendum scilicet divinationem quae fit per astra, quia effectus astrorum variantur etiam in rebus corporeis, secundum diversam materiae dispositionem.

Augustine says (De Trin. iii, 4): "Bodies of a grosser and inferior nature are ruled in a certain order by those of a more subtle and powerful nature."

Augustinus dicit, III de Trin., quod "corpora crassiora et inferiora per subtiliora et potentiora quodam ordine reguntur".

And Dionysius (Div. Nom. iv) says that "the light of the sun conduces to the generation of sensible bodies, moves them to life, gives them nourishment, growth, and perfection."

Et Dionysius dicit, IV cap. de Div. Nom., quod "lumen solis ad generationem sensibilium corporum confert, et ad vitam ipsa movet, et nutrit et auget et perficit".