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