PERIPATETIC philosophy, that system taught and established by Aristotle, and maintained by his followers, the Peripate tics, called also Aristotelians.
The philosophy of Aristotle may be di vided into three distinct branches ; instru mental, theoretical, and practical. Under the first head are included his doctrines concerning logic ; under the second, his principles of physics, pneumatology, onto logy, and mathematics ; and under the third, his system of ethics and policy. Upon all these we cannot enlarge ; but shall refer to his doctrine concerning the human mind and animal life Aristotle, having undertaken to teach a new system of philosophy, was desirous of receding as far as possible from former philosophers, and particularly from Plato ; and in treating upon any subject on which he had no doctrine to offer, he gave old opinions the air of novelty, by them in new language. This latter method he adopted on the subject of mind. He asserted with Plato, that there are in men different faculties, which have respectively a different organ ; but he designedly expressed his doctrine upon this head in obscure terms, which cannot be explained with entire perspi cuity without supposing, as many writers have done, what Aristotle ought to have taught, instead of endeavouring to disco ver what he actually did teach. His leading tenets on this subject are these : The soul is the first principle of action in an organised body, possessing life poten tially. The soul does not move itself; fbr whatever moves is moved by some other moving power. It is not a rare body, composed of elements ; for then it would not have perception more than the elements which compose it. The soul has three faculties, the nutritive, the sensitive, and the rational ; the superior comprehending the inferior potentially. The nutritive faculty is that by which life is produced and preserved. The sensi tive faculty is that by which we perceive and feel ; it does not perceive itself nor its organs, but some external objects, through the intervention of its organs, which are adapted to produce the sensa tions of sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. The senses receive sensible species, or forms, without matter, as wax receives the impression of a seal, without receiving any part of its substance. The
external senses perceive objects ; but it is the common, or internal sense, which observes their difference. The internal sense perceives various objects at the same instant. Perception differs from intellect ; the former being common to all animals, the latter to a few. Fancy is the perception produced in any animal, by the immediate action of the senses. It is accompanied with different feelings, ac cording to the nature of the object by which it is produced. Memory is deriv ed from fancy, and has its seat in the same power of the soul. It is the effect of some image impressed upon the soul by means of the senses. Where this image cannot be retained, through an excess of moisture or dryness in the tem perature of the brain, memory ceases. Reminiscence is that faculty of the mind by which we search for any thing which we wish to recollect through a series of things nearly related to it, till at last we call to mind what we had forgotten. The intellect is that part of the soul by which it understands. It is of two kinds, pas sive and active. Passive intellect is that faculty by which the understanding re ceives the forms of things : it is the seat of species. Active intellect is the ctn. cient cause of all knowledge ; and is either simple, when it is employed in the near apprehension of its object ; or complex, when it compounds simple conceptions, in order to produce belief and assent. The latter is either true or false, the former neither. The action of the intellect is either theoretical or practical : theoreti cal, when it simply considers what is true or false ; and practical, when it judges whether any thing is good or evil, and hereby excites the will to pursue or avoid it- The principle of local motion is the desire, or aversion, which arises from the practical exercise of the understanding. This desire, or aversion, produces either rational volition or sensitive appetite. The production of animal life arises from the union of the nutritive soul with ani mal heat. Life is the continuance of this union; death, its dissolution.