origin of things, can conceive no Creation. His gods are parts of the world, not makers of it; such soul as he ascribes to himself is merely his own double, which perishes with him or soon after, or he has several souls; and the earth, as he sees it, was not made but hooked up from the bottom of the original sea. To the undiscriminating mind of the savage the Cosmos is accordingly all but homogeneous, with just the beginnings of "differentiation," and God, Man, and Nature, have yet to acquire an independent existence. There is still, therefore, no room for Psychology.
Plato gets several stages further than this. With him the Cosmos is a divine immortal being or animal, composed of a spherical rotatory body and a rational soul. The gods dwell in the peripheral or celestial regions, and men and the animals inhabit the lower or more central regions. The cranium of man is a little Cosmos, with an immortal rational soul, composed of the same materials as the cosmical soul, and moving with the like rotations. Within the body on which this cranium is placed are two inferior and mortal souls; one, the seat of courage, etc., in the chest; the other, the seat of appetite in the abdomen; both of them being rooted in the spinal marrow, which is continuous with the brain, and is the medium of the unity or communication of the three souls. In this semi-barbaric Cosmology we may note that the gods are still mixed up with the Cosmos, though the beginnings of separation are shown by their lodgment in a specific place; that they still want unity; and that there is yet no conception of nature. But we are here more concerned to observe that though the human soul is never actually separated from the body, i. e., is not yet detached from the Cosmos, and though it has the corporeal properties of extension and motion, body and soul, microcosmical and macrocosmical, are set sharply over against one another, and the first decided step toward their absolute separation is taken.
The metaphysical advance of Aristotle is immense. The three Platonic souls are merged in one, though the remains of the old idea are visible in the different attributes and distinct origin of the Nutritive, the Nutritive-sentient, and the Noëtic principles. But the Nutrient principle is the indispensable basis, without which neither of the others can exist, and the next higher principle, the Sentient, implies and contains the lower. In the investigations of the properties of these we have the beginnings of Psychology. It is not yet indeed an independent science, for the soul is still imperfectly extricated from the Cosmos—the Noëtic principle having its proper abode in the concave of heaven, and being only temporarily localized in the human body. The soul is still, as regards man, mortal, though as regards the Cosmos it is imperishable.
- Lubbock, "Origin of Civilization," pp. 245-250.
- Grote, "Psychology of Aristotle," in Bain's "Senses and Intellect," pp. 612-614.