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On The Soul   

serves as a medium for what has smell-I say 'in water' because animals

that live in water as well as those that live on land seem to

possess the sense of smell, and 'in air' because man and all other

land animals that breathe, perceive smells only when they breathe

air in. The explanation of this too will be given later.


Now let us, to begin with, make certain distinctions about sound and


Sound may mean either of two things (a) actual, and (b) potential,

sound. There are certain things which, as we say, 'have no sound',

e.g. sponges or wool, others which have, e.g. bronze and in general

all things which are smooth and solid-the latter are said to have a

sound because they can make a sound, i.e. can generate actual sound

between themselves and the organ of hearing.

Actual sound requires for its occurrence (i, ii) two such bodies and

(iii) a space between them; for it is generated by an impact. Hence it

is impossible for one body only to generate a sound-there must be a

body impinging and a body impinged upon; what sounds does so by

striking against something else, and this is impossible without a

movement from place to place.

As we have said, not all bodies can by impact on one another produce

sound; impact on wool makes no sound, while the impact on bronze or

any body which is smooth and hollow does. Bronze gives out a sound

when struck because it is smooth; bodies which are hollow owing to

reflection repeat the original impact over and over again, the body

originally set in movement being unable to escape from the concavity.

Further, we must remark that sound is heard both in air and in

water, though less distinctly in the latter. Yet neither air nor water

is the principal cause of sound. What is required for the production

of sound is an impact of two solids against one another and against

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