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On The Soul   


think the same object.

Further, thinking has more resemblance to a coming to rest or arrest

than to a movement; the same may be said of inferring.

It might also be urged that what is difficult and enforced is

incompatible with blessedness; if the movement of the soul is not of

its essence, movement of the soul must be contrary to its nature. It

must also be painful for the soul to be inextricably bound up with the

body; nay more, if, as is frequently said and widely accepted, it is

better for mind not to be embodied, the union must be for it

undesirable.

Further, the cause of the revolution of the heavens is left obscure.

It is not the essence of soul which is the cause of this circular

movement-that movement is only incidental to soul-nor is, a

fortiori, the body its cause. Again, it is not even asserted that it

is better that soul should be so moved; and yet the reason for which

God caused the soul to move in a circle can only have been that

movement was better for it than rest, and movement of this kind better

than any other. But since this sort of consideration is more

appropriate to another field of speculation, let us dismiss it for the

present.

The view we have just been examining, in company with most

theories about the soul, involves the following absurdity: they all

join the soul to a body, or place it in a body, without adding any

specification of the reason of their union, or of the bodily

conditions required for it. Yet such explanation can scarcely be

omitted; for some community of nature is presupposed by the fact

that the one acts and the other is acted upon, the one moves and the

other is moved; interaction always implies a special nature in the two

interagents. All, however, that these thinkers do is to describe the

specific characteristics of the soul; they do not try to determine

anything about the body which is to contain it, as if it were

possible, as in the Pythagorean myths, that any soul could be

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