On The Soul
their own assumption, ways of being affected or moved.
There are many puzzles and difficulties raised by saying, as
Empedocles does, that each set of things is known by means of its
corporeal elements and by reference to something in soul which is like
them, and additional testimony is furnished by this new consideration;
for all the parts of the animal body which consist wholly of earth
such as bones, sinews, and hair seem to be wholly insensitive and
consequently not perceptive even of objects earthy like themselves, as
they ought to have been.
Further, each of the principles will have far more ignorance than
knowledge, for though each of them will know one thing, there will
be many of which it will be ignorant. Empedocles at any rate must
conclude that his God is the least intelligent of all beings, for of
him alone is it true that there is one thing, Strife, which he does
not know, while there is nothing which mortal beings do not know,
for ere is nothing which does not enter into their composition.
In general, we may ask, Why has not everything a soul, since
everything either is an element, or is formed out of one or several or
all of the elements? Each must certainly know one or several or all.
The problem might also be raised, What is that which unifies the
elements into a soul? The elements correspond, it would appear, to the
matter; what unites them, whatever it is, is the supremely important
factor. But it is impossible that there should be something superior
to, and dominant over, the soul (and a fortiori over the mind); it
is reasonable to hold that mind is by nature most primordial and
dominant, while their statement that it is the elements which are
first of all that is.
All, both those who assert that the soul, because of its knowledge
or perception of what is compounded out of the elements, and is
those who assert that it is of all things the most originative of
movement, fail to take into consideration all kinds of soul. In fact
(1) not all beings that perceive can originate movement; there