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On The Soul   

elements combined in a determinate mode or ratio, as Empedocles

himself says of bone,

The kindly Earth in its broad-bosomed moulds

Won of clear Water two parts out of eight,

And four of Fire; and so white bones were formed.

Nothing, therefore, will be gained by the presence of the elements

in the soul, unless there be also present there the various formulae

of proportion and the various compositions in accordance with them.

Each element will indeed know its fellow outside, but there will be no

knowledge of bone or man, unless they too are present in the

constitution of the soul. The impossibility of this needs no

pointing out; for who would suggest that stone or man could enter into

the constitution of the soul? The same applies to 'the good' and

'the not-good', and so on.

Further, the word 'is' has many meanings: it may be used of a 'this'

or substance, or of a quantum, or of a quale, or of any other of the

kinds of predicates we have distinguished. Does the soul consist of

all of these or not? It does not appear that all have common elements.

Is the soul formed out of those elements alone which enter into

substances? so how will it be able to know each of the other kinds

of thing? Will it be said that each kind of thing has elements or

principles of its own, and that the soul is formed out of the whole of

these? In that case, the soul must be a quantum and a quale and a

substance. But all that can be made out of the elements of a quantum

is a quantum, not a substance. These (and others like them) are the

consequences of the view that the soul is composed of all the


It is absurd, also, to say both (a) that like is not capable of

being affected by like, and (b) that like is perceived or known by

like, for perceiving, and also both thinking and knowing, are, on

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