Single Idea 5724

[catalogued under 17. Mind and Body / E. Mind as Physical / 1. Physical Mind]

Full Idea

Why are lions ferocious, foxes crafty, and deer timid? It can only be because the mind always shares in the specific growth of the body according to its seed and breed. If it were immortal and reincarnated, living things would have jumbled characters.

Gist of Idea

Lions, foxes and deer have distinct characters because their minds share in their bodies


Lucretius (On the Nature of the Universe [c.60 BCE], III.743)

Book Reference

Lucretius: 'On the Nature of the Universe', ed/tr. Latham,Ronald [Penguin 1951], p.118

A Reaction

A nice argument which I have not encountered in modern times. Of course, even Descartes admits that the mind is intermingled with the body, but it seems that the essential character of a mind is dictated by the body.

Related Idea

Idea 11142 Body-type seems to affect a mind's cognition and conceptual scheme [Margolis/Laurence]