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On Sense And The Sensible   

On the other hand, they reduce the proper to common sensibles, as

Democritus does with White and Black; for he asserts that the latter

is [a mode of the] rough, and the former [a mode of the] smooth, while

he reduces Savours to the atomic figures. Yet surely no one sense, or,

if any, the sense of Sight rather than any other, can discern the

common sensibles. But if we suppose that the sense of Taste is

better able to do so, then- since to discern the smallest objects in

each kind is what marks the acutest sense-Taste should have been the

sense which best perceived the common sensibles generally, and

showed the most perfect power of discerning figures in general.

Again, all the sensibles involve contrariety; e.g. in Colour White

is contrary to Black, and in Savours Bitter is contrary to Sweet;

but no one figure is reckoned as contrary to any other figure. Else,

to which of the possible polygonal figures [to which Democritus

reduces Bitter] is the spherical figure [to which he reduces Sweet]


Again, since figures are infinite in number, savours also should

be infinite; [the possible rejoinder- 'that they are so, only that

some are not perceived'- cannot be sustained] for why should one

savour be perceived, and another not?

This completes our discussion of the object of Taste, i.e. Savour;

for the other affections of Savours are examined in their proper place

in connection with the natural history of Plants.


Our conception of the nature of Odours must be analogous to that

of Savours; inasmuch as the Sapid Dry effects in air and water

alike, but in a different province of sense, precisely what the Dry

effects in the Moist of water only. We customarily predicate

Translucency of both air and water in common; but it is not qua

translucent that either is a vehicle of odour, but qua possessed of

a power of washing or rinsing [and so imbibing] the Sapid Dryness.

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