Complete Works of Plutarch— Volume 3: Essays and Miscellanies

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Author: Plutarch

Chapter XXI.

BY WHAT MEANS THE SOUL IS SENSIBLE, AND WHAT IS THE PRINCIPAL AND COMMANDING PART OF IT.

The Stoics say that the highest part of the soul is the commanding part of it: this is the cause of sense, fancy, consents, and desires; and this we call the rational part. From this principal and commander there are produced seven parts of the soul, which are spread through the body, as the seven arms in a polypus. Of these seven parts, five are assigned to the senses, seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching. Sight is a spirit which is extended from the commanding part of the eyes; hearing is that spirit which from the principle reacheth to the ears; smelling a spirit drawn from the principal to the nostrils; tasting a spirit extended from the principle to the tongue; touching is a spirit which from the principal is drawn to the extremity of those bodies which are obnoxious to a sensible touch. Of the rest, the one called the spermatical is a spirit which reacheth from the principal to the generating vessels; the other, which is the vocal and termed the voice, is a spirit extended from the principal to the throat, tongue, and other proper organs of speaking. And this principal part itself hath that place in our spherical head which God hath in the world.

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Chicago: Plutarch, "Chapter XXI.," Complete Works of Plutarch— Volume 3: Essays and Miscellanies, ed. Firth, John B. and trans. Jowett, Benjamin, 1817-1893 in Complete Works of Plutarch—Volume 3: Essays and Miscellanies Original Sources, accessed August 8, 2022, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=51P1QNUDUS9F51C.

MLA: Plutarch. "Chapter XXI." Complete Works of Plutarch— Volume 3: Essays and Miscellanies, edited by Firth, John B., and translated by Jowett, Benjamin, 1817-1893, in Complete Works of Plutarch—Volume 3: Essays and Miscellanies, Original Sources. 8 Aug. 2022. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=51P1QNUDUS9F51C.

Harvard: Plutarch, 'Chapter XXI.' in Complete Works of Plutarch— Volume 3: Essays and Miscellanies, ed. and trans. . cited in , Complete Works of Plutarch—Volume 3: Essays and Miscellanies. Original Sources, retrieved 8 August 2022, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=51P1QNUDUS9F51C.