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On The Soul   


indispensable. This is clear from what follows. An animal is a body

with soul in it: every body is tangible, i.e. perceptible by touch;

hence necessarily, if an animal is to survive, its body must have

tactual sensation. All the other senses, e.g. smell, sight, hearing,

apprehend through media; but where there is immediate contact the

animal, if it has no sensation, will be unable to avoid some things

and take others, and so will find it impossible to survive. That is

why taste also is a sort of touch; it is relative to nutriment,

which is just tangible body; whereas sound, colour, and odour are

innutritious, and further neither grow nor decay. Hence it is that

taste also must be a sort of touch, because it is the sense for what

is tangible and nutritious.

Both these senses, then, are indispensable to the animal, and it

is clear that without touch it is impossible for an animal to be.

All the other senses subserve well-being and for that very reason

belong not to any and every kind of animal, but only to some, e.g.

those capable of forward movement must have them; for, if they are

to survive, they must perceive not only by immediate contact but

also at a distance from the object. This will be possible if they

can perceive through a medium, the medium being affected and moved

by the perceptible object, and the animal by the medium. just as

that which produces local movement causes a change extending to a

certain point, and that which gave an impulse causes another to

produce a new impulse so that the movement traverses a medium the

first mover impelling without being impelled, the last moved being

impelled without impelling, while the medium (or media, for there

are many) is both-so is it also in the case of alteration, except that

the agent produces produces it without the patient's changing its

place. Thus if an object is dipped into wax, the movement goes on

until submersion has taken place, and in stone it goes no distance

at all, while in water the disturbance goes far beyond the object

dipped: in air the disturbance is propagated farthest of all, the

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