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On The Soul   


of making a web and stretching it tight over the flesh, as soon as

this web is touched the sensation is reported in the same manner as

before, yet it is clear that the or is gan is not in this membrane. If

the membrane could be grown on to the flesh, the report would travel

still quicker. The flesh plays in touch very much the same part as

would be played in the other senses by an air-envelope growing round

our body; had we such an envelope attached to us we should have

supposed that it was by a single organ that we perceived sounds,

colours, and smells, and we should have taken sight, hearing, and

smell to be a single sense. But as it is, because that through which

the different movements are transmitted is not naturally attached to

our bodies, the difference of the various sense-organs is too plain to

miss. But in the case of touch the obscurity remains.

There must be such a naturally attached 'medium' as flesh, for no

living body could be constructed of air or water; it must be something

solid. Consequently it must be composed of earth along with these,

which is just what flesh and its analogue in animals which have no

true flesh tend to be. Hence of necessity the medium through which are

transmitted the manifoldly contrasted tactual qualities must be a body

naturally attached to the organism. That they are manifold is clear

when we consider touching with the tongue; we apprehend at the

tongue all tangible qualities as well as flavour. Suppose all the rest

of our flesh was, like the tongue, sensitive to flavour, we should

have identified the sense of taste and the sense of touch; what

saves us from this identification is the fact that touch and taste are

not always found together in the same part of the body. The

following problem might be raised. Let us assume that every body has

depth, i.e. has three dimensions, and that if two bodies have a

third body between them they cannot be in contact with one another;

let us remember that what is liquid is a body and must be or contain

water, and that if two bodies touch one another under water, their

touching surfaces cannot be dry, but must have water between, viz. the

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