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On The Soul   


multipartite? If it is one, why not at once admit that 'the soul' is

one? If it has parts, once more the question must be put: What holds

its parts together, and so ad infinitum?

The question might also be raised about the parts of the soul:

What is the separate role of each in relation to the body? For, if the

whole soul holds together the whole body, we should expect each part

of the soul to hold together a part of the body. But this seems an

impossibility; it is difficult even to imagine what sort of bodily

part mind will hold together, or how it will do this.

It is a fact of observation that plants and certain insects go on

living when divided into segments; this means that each of the

segments has a soul in it identical in species, though not numerically

identical in the different segments, for both of the segments for a

time possess the power of sensation and local movement. That this does

not last is not surprising, for they no longer possess the organs

necessary for self-maintenance. But, all the same, in each of the

bodily parts there are present all the parts of soul, and the souls so

present are homogeneous with one another and with the whole; this

means that the several parts of the soul are indisseverable from one

another, although the whole soul is divisible. It seems also that

the principle found in plants is also a kind of soul; for this is

the only principle which is common to both animals and plants; and

this exists in isolation from the principle of sensation, though there

nothing which has the latter without the former.



Book II

1



LET the foregoing suffice as our account of the views concerning the

soul which have been handed on by our predecessors; let us now dismiss

them and make as it were a completely fresh start, endeavouring to

give a precise answer to the question, What is soul? i.e. to formulate

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