So first we must speak about nourishment and reproduction; for the nutritive soul holds also of the other creatures, and it is the primary and most common capability of the soul, by virtue of which life resides in all living things.
Its functions are reproduction and the use of food; for it is the most natural function in the living things, such as are complete and not incomplete, or generated automatically, to produce another one like that, an animal an animal, a plant a plant, so that they may partake of the eternal and divine in so far as they can; for that is what all creatures wish, and for the sake of that they do whatever naturally do. The term “that for the sake of which” is twofold: the one is the purpose, the other the mean whereby the purpose is attained.
Since, then, they are incapable of partaking in the eternal and divine by their constantly presence, in that no perishable thing may remain numerically one and the same, in so far as each can, they join in them, some more and some less; and what remains is not the same thing but one like that, not numerically the same one but one in species.
Bibliography: Aristotle De anima (415a.22 to 415b.8)
Translation: George Kotsalis