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On The Soul   


Homer's phrase 'For suchlike is man's mind' means the same. They all

look upon thinking as a bodily process like perceiving, and hold

that like is known as well as perceived by like, as I explained at the

beginning of our discussion. Yet they ought at the same time to have

accounted for error also; for it is more intimately connected with

animal existence and the soul continues longer in the state of error

than in that of truth. They cannot escape the dilemma: either (1)

whatever seems is true (and there are some who accept this) or (2)

error is contact with the unlike; for that is the opposite of the

knowing of like by like.

But it is a received principle that error as well as knowledge in

respect to contraries is one and the same.

That perceiving and practical thinking are not identical is

therefore obvious; for the former is universal in the animal world,

the latter is found in only a small division of it. Further,

speculative thinking is also distinct from perceiving-I mean that in

which we find rightness and wrongness-rightness in prudence,

knowledge, true opinion, wrongness in their opposites; for

perception of the special objects of sense is always free from

error, and is found in all animals, while it is possible to think

falsely as well as truly, and thought is found only where there is

discourse of reason as well as sensibility. For imagination is

different from either perceiving or discursive thinking, though it

is not found without sensation, or judgement without it. That this

activity is not the same kind of thinking as judgement is obvious. For

imagining lies within our own power whenever we wish (e.g. we can call

up a picture, as in the practice of mnemonics by the use of mental

images), but in forming opinions we are not free: we cannot escape the

alternative of falsehood or truth. Further, when we think something to

be fearful or threatening, emotion is immediately produced, and so too

with what is encouraging; but when we merely imagine we remain as

unaffected as persons who are looking at a painting of some dreadful

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