Page:Aristotelous peri psuxes.djvu/125

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CH; X.] ARISTOTLE ON THE VITAL PRINCIPLE. 115

judged of by vision), and a very bright light (which is also invisible, although in a manner different from darkness), and so hearing is equally perceptive of sound and silence, of which that is audible and this inaudible, as well as a very loud sound, just as vision is of a very bright light; for as a very low sound is, in a certain sense, inaudible, so is a very loud and crashing sound. On the other hand, the term invisible, used absolutely, is analogous to the term impossible upon other subjects, and which may be significant of something generated without parts or with parts ill formed for their office, as an animal without feet, or a fruit without a kernel. So, too, the taste in its turn is perceptive both of what is sapid and insapid; and the insapid implies whatever has a faint or nauseous savour, or a savour altogether perversive of taste. The potable and the impotable seem alike to be the origin of taste, for they both are sapid; but then the first has a nauseous savour, and is perversive of taste, while the last is genial to the sense; the potable is common, besides, to the touch and taste. Since whatever is sapid is humid, it follows that the organ of taste may neither be humid really, nor yet be incapable of becoming humid; for the taste suffers impression by the sapid body, in so far as it is sapid. It is, therefore, necessary that the sentient organ, if not moist, should, for its function, be capable of becoming so: and, as proof of this, the tongue, when