On the Vital Principle/Book 3/Prelude to Chapter 11

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-- Prelude to Chapter 11 --

IT is by no means obvious what may have been meant by "imperfect creatures," or in what sense desire, unless it be as instinct, can be assigned to them; for there is no trace throughout the zoology of Aristotle, extensive as it is, of any such species of being. One commentator has suggested polypi and mollusca; but the former, in their present acceptation, (improperly termed zoophytes), had not then been observed, and the latter[1] could not, from the description, have been regarded as "imperfect animals." The "polypus" was the generic term for the highest forms of the Cephalopoda, or " cuttle fish."

  1. De Part. Animalm, IV. 7. 4.