Home | Texts by category | | Quick Search:   
Works by Aristotle
Pages of On The Soul

Previous | Next

On The Soul   

but of that which has mind, so far as it has it. That is why, when

this vehicle decays, memory and love cease; they were activities not

of mind, but of the composite which has perished; mind is, no doubt,

something more divine and impassible. That the soul cannot be moved is

therefore clear from what we have said, and if it cannot be moved at

all, manifestly it cannot be moved by itself.

Of all the opinions we have enumerated, by far the most unreasonable

is that which declares the soul to be a self-moving number; it

involves in the first place all the impossibilities which follow

from regarding the soul as moved, and in the second special

absurdities which follow from calling it a number. How we to imagine a

unit being moved? By what agency? What sort of movement can be

attributed to what is without parts or internal differences? If the

unit is both originative of movement and itself capable of being

moved, it must contain difference.

Further, since they say a moving line generates a surface and a

moving point a line, the movements of the psychic units must be

lines (for a point is a unit having position, and the number of the

soul is, of course, somewhere and has position).

Again, if from a number a number or a unit is subtracted, the

remainder is another number; but plants and many animals when

divided continue to live, and each segment is thought to retain the

same kind of soul.

It must be all the same whether we speak of units or corpuscles; for

if the spherical atoms of Democritus became points, nothing being

retained but their being a quantum, there must remain in each a moving

and a moved part, just as there is in what is continuous; what happens

has nothing to do with the size of the atoms, it depends solely upon

their being a quantum. That is why there must be something to

originate movement in the units. If in the animal what originates

movement is the soul, so also must it be in the case of the number, so

that not the mover and the moved together, but the mover only, will be

Previous | Next
Site Search