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On The Soul   

an absolutely general definition which will fail to express the

peculiar nature of anything that is, or again, omitting this, to

look for separate definitions corresponding to each infima species.

The cases of figure and soul are exactly parallel; for the particulars

subsumed under the common name in both cases-figures and living

beings-constitute a series, each successive term of which

potentially contains its predecessor, e.g. the square the triangle,

the sensory power the self-nutritive. Hence we must ask in the case of

each order of living things, What is its soul, i.e. What is the soul

of plant, animal, man? Why the terms are related in this serial way

must form the subject of later examination. But the facts are that the

power of perception is never found apart from the power of

self-nutrition, while-in plants-the latter is found isolated from

the former. Again, no sense is found apart from that of touch, while

touch is found by itself; many animals have neither sight, hearing,

nor smell. Again, among living things that possess sense some have the

power of locomotion, some not. Lastly, certain living beings-a small

minority-possess calculation and thought, for (among mortal beings)

those which possess calculation have all the other powers above

mentioned, while the converse does not hold-indeed some live by

imagination alone, while others have not even imagination. The mind

that knows with immediate intuition presents a different problem.

It is evident that the way to give the most adequate definition of

soul is to seek in the case of each of its forms for the most

appropriate definition.


It is necessary for the student of these forms of soul first to find

a definition of each, expressive of what it is, and then to

investigate its derivative properties, &c. But if we are to express

what each is, viz. what the thinking power is, or the perceptive, or

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