Home | Texts by category | | Quick Search:   
Works by Aristotle
Pages of On The Soul

Previous | Next

On The Soul   

universal; or rather it is both, but the one does so while it

remains in a state more like rest, while the other partakes in



The nutritive soul then must be possessed by everything that is

alive, and every such thing is endowed with soul from its birth to its

death. For what has been born must grow, reach maturity, and decay-all

of which are impossible without nutrition. Therefore the nutritive

faculty must be found in everything that grows and decays.

But sensation need not be found in all things that live. For it is

impossible for touch to belong either (1) to those whose body is

uncompounded or (2) to those which are incapable of taking in the

forms without their matter.

But animals must be endowed with sensation, since Nature does

nothing in vain. For all things that exist by Nature are means to an

end, or will be concomitants of means to an end. Every body capable of

forward movement would, if unendowed with sensation, perish and fail

to reach its end, which is the aim of Nature; for how could it

obtain nutriment? Stationary living things, it is true, have as

their nutriment that from which they have arisen; but it is not

possible that a body which is not stationary but produced by

generation should have a soul and a discerning mind without also

having sensation. (Nor yet even if it were not produced by generation.

Why should it not have sensation? Because it were better so either for

the body or for the soul? But clearly it would not be better for

either: the absence of sensation will not enable the one to think

better or the other to exist better.) Therefore no body which is not

stationary has soul without sensation.

But if a body has sensation, it must be either simple or compound.

And simple it cannot be; for then it could not have touch, which is

Previous | Next
Site Search