The Art of Physick
Section A. Of the 7 Naturals
6. Of the Faculties
D. Thus far we have discoursed of the Parts both Solid and Fluid, of Human Bodies; let us say something concerning the Faculties and Functions of the Soul. Give me then the Definition of a Soul.
C. A Soul is the form of a Living Body. By Aristotle it is designed the Entelechy of a Natural, Organic Body, potentially having Life.
D. What is meant by Entelechia?
C. Some interpret the Word to be the gaining of Perfection; others the Act of Perfection; but the latter interpretation does not please me; for the Soul is not an Act, but the Efficient Cause of the Act. And thus Life is the Act of the Soul, not the Soul it self.
D. Seeing then we are come to the consideration of Man, I would have thee explain what the Soul of Man is.
C. It is that which gives him Vegetal, Sensitive and Intellectual Life. By Aristotle it is designed, to be the Beginning of Living, Perceiving and Understanding. By others, the first Cause of all Functions of our Body, for the performance of which, it is endued with a manifold Ability or Faculty.
D. What is Faculty?
C. It is the inbred power of the Soul, of which she makes use for the production of Actions. By Galen it is defined, The Efficient Cause of Actions; and is therefore a Faculty, because whatever it does, it is able to do: so that under the Word Faculty is comprehended that which has a Powder to Act.
D. Why does Galen refer the Cause of Action to Temperament?
C. Because Temperament is the Cause why the Soul performs her Actions, without which she could not. Therefore, says Galen, in his Book of Conjecturing by the Pulses, The Soul is seated in the commodious Temperament of several parts; for that then every part performs with Vigor its proper Office, when in best Temper. On the other side, it acts amiss and feebly, when it is out of Temper.
D. Then the Soul it seems, flows from Temperament, unless you take the Soul to be Temperament it self.
C. I do not believe the Soul to be Temperament, because the Soul is a Substance; but Temperament is only an Accident: But I believe that Faculty flows from both; from the Soul, as from the Essential Form, which is the first and chief Cause of all those Actions which we daily perform: from Temperament, as from the accidental form, which is the assisting Cause, without whose aid Souls cannot produce Actions.
D. How many sorts of Faculties are there?
C. The Essence of the Soul is purely uncompounded, because there is but one form of one Body; but Faculty, by the Physicians is said to be threefold; Animal, Vital and Natural.
D. Nature, the Architectress of the Body, when she first begins to raise the Frame, bequeaths several Faculties to the single Parts, for the preservation of the whole; therefore there are as many Faculties of the Soul, as Parts of the Body
C. The Parts of the Body are endued every one with their proper Faculties, on purpose to serve the whole with so many Actions which it cannot want; so that the Number of Faculties and Organic Parts must be equal. But as the Parts, so the Faculties are contained under three Principal Kinds; Animal, Vital and Natural.
D. What is the Animal Faculty?
C. It is that which is only enjoyed by Animals; from whence it derives its Name.
D. Of how many sorts is the Animal Faculty?
C. The Animal Faculty is threefold; Principal, Perceiving and Moving.
D. Which is the Principal Faculty?
C. That which resides only in the Brain, and in no other of the Organs.
D. Of how many sorts is it?
C. By Galen it is said to be threefold; Imagination, Ratiocination and Memory: But the first and last are referred only to the Inferior Sense, by those whom the Understanding, only proper to Man, seems worthy the name of Principal.
D. What is Imagination?
C. It is that which receives and apprehends the Images and Ideas of things objected to it, and accepted by the senses; out of which being for the most part mixed and confused, it produces and forms many things which before feel not under the powder of the Senses.
D. What is Ratiocination?
C. The Mind is that with which Man endued, excels all other Creatures, by whose assistance it understands and knows things incorporated, and forms abstracted from all Matter; drawing universal Notions of things sometimes out of one, sometimes out of another.
D. What is Memory?
C. It is that which stores and lays up within it self the forms and Images of Things represented by the Fancy, and recalled to the Judgement of Reason.
D. Where are the Principal Faculties of the Soul lodged?
C. The Arabians lodged the Imagination in the foremost Ventricles of the Brain, Reason in the Middle, and Memory in the hindermost; but the Greeks deny them to be confined to places, affirming them to be diffused through all the corners, and over all the substance of the Brain.
D. What think you of this Contraversie?
C. I do not like the Opinion of the Arabians, through grounded upon probable Arguments. Avicen and Averroes endeavor to demonstrate that the Faculties have their distinct Seats from hence, because that one of them sometimes is depraved, without any hurt to the other; concluding thence the improbability that differing Faculties should exist in the same Part of the Subject. In confess indeed that many times one of the Faculties is depraved, without any harm to the other; for there is in Galen and excellent Story of Theophilus, who believed that the Musicians were playing by his Bed-side, and ordered them to be put out of the Room, though otherwise he talked rationally enough; so that there the Imagination was only depraved. There is another Story of a Lunatic, who having made fast his doors, brought several Dishes to the Window, which he called by several Names, asking every one that passed by, whether they did command him to throw them away? Here the Reason was out of order. Another Story we find in Thueydides, of many, that while the Pestilence raged in Greece, were so forgetful of every thing that they neither knew their own Parents no acquaintance. Here the Memory was only depraved. But that proceeded from the various Constitution of the Body; for the Soul being pure and without mixture, according to the variety of the Temperament, and structure if the Instruments, cannot every where operate alike, nor has an equal power in all things. Some we observe by Nature excellent Wit and Imagination, tho of shallow Memories and Reason; others that have great Memories without Reason or Judgement; others to have a solid and natural Judgement, whose Imagination is defective, and Memory but small: so that it is no wonder to see some whose Imagination is disordered with a Delirium, their Memory and Reason untouched; for the stronger Faculty more powerfully resists external Injuries, the weaker more easily yields. As therefore in one and the same Particle there are various natural Faculties, the attractive, retentive, concretive, and expulsive, of which one is frequently disturbed, the other remaining sound and unhurt, and yet no Physician will affirm them to be several seats, the same with Galen, I conclude, as to the Principle faculties. Nevertheless the Arabians urge that Imagination is in the foremost, Reason in the Middle, and Memory in the hinder Ventricles of the Brain, upon an Inference drawn from thence, that the foremost part of the Brain is softest, and more fit to receive Ideas; the hinder part Harder, and more proper to retain the Notions received. But I deny the Consequence, for what has been already said; yet grant withal that the Principal Functions are more sudden in their Actions in the foremost Part of the Brain, in the hinder Part more perfect; because the one is harder, the other softer: as we see, that if the whole substance of the Brain be somewhat dry, the Memory prevails; if moist, the Imagination; if Temperate, the Judgement.
The followers of the Arabians, also further object, by the Testimony even of Galen himself, that there are several Cells, the one more noble then another, as being the Seats of the more noble Faculties. But Galen prefers the hindmost Ventricle before the rest, not that the Memory is there seated, the Reason in the Middle, the Imagination in the foremost; but because the Imagination and Reason are more imperfect in the foremost, the Memory more perfect in the middle, most perfect behind, because there the Animal Spirit is brought to Perfection.
They add, that Galen, the Imagination being depraved, applied Topic Remedies to the forepart of the Head, as being the Seat of the Fancy: But they do not observe that Galen took the same course in all Affections of the Brain; as in Drowsiness, the Apoplexy, Frenzy and Melancholy; nor that the Seats of the Faculties were various, but to the end the force of the Medicine might penetrate more swiftly to the innermost Parts of the Brain, by reason of the thinness of the Skull, and the Coronal Suture.
D. Most learnedly have you refuted the false Opinion of the Arabians, concerning the Seat of the Principal Faculties. Let us proceed to the Assistant Faculties. What is the Sensible Faculty?
C. It is that which from the Brain conveighs through the Nerves Sense into the whole body by degrees.
D. What is Sense?
C. Here is taken Metonymically for the Act of Feeling; but properly is a Faculty diffused by the Animal Spirit, the Sensitive Organ interceding, by which things sensible are perceived.
Entelechy is defined as 'the realisation of potential', and thus, the Soul in this context can be interpreted that part which is capable of attaining perfection, as well perhaps as the most perfect part of the individual.
Faculties are functions of the Soul, and Essential for Life. They are guided by the Soul.
Ractiocination=Reason or Rationality
D. Of how many sorts is Sense?
C. It is that which distinguishes the Objects of the several Exterior Senses.
It is common;y called Common Sense; for that all the External Senses are seated round about it, into whose Organs the Branches of the Nerves are dispersed, by which the Soul powers forth her Efficacy. The Primary Sense, as King and Judge, has his Seat in the Body of the Brain, from whence, as from a Turret it contemplates all Ideas of things brought from without by the Administering senses, an observes all the Actions of the Senses. Galen comprehends the Imagination under Common Sense.
D. How many are the Exterior Senses?
C. Five: Seeing, Hearing, Smelling, Tasting, Feeling.
D. What is Sight?
C. A Sense seated in the Eyes, which receives Colors through a Medium truly conspicuous.
D. What the Hearing?
C. A Sense seated in the Ears, perceiving Sounds.
D. What is Smelling?
C. A Sense perceiving Scents conveyed through the Nostrils.
D. What is Tasting?
C. A Sense residing in the Tongue, which Judges of the Several Tastes and Savors of things.
D. What is Feeling?
C. A Sense which being confined to no proper Organ, but equally diffused over all the Body by the help of the Nerves, observes all tangible Qualities, and their Differences, as Heat, Cold, Moisture, Dryness, Hardness, Softness, Roughness, Smoothness, &c.
D. What is the moving Faculty?
C. It is that which gives motion to the Body, by the assistance of the Muscles, at the command of the Will.
D. Thus far of the Animal Faculty. What is the Vital Faculty?
C. It is that which begets the Vital Faculty in the Heart, and diffuses it every way through the Arteries for the Preservation of Life; from whence it derives its Appellation.
D. What is Life?
C. Life is the continuance of the Natural Heat glowing in the Primogeneal Moisture, as Death is the extinction of that Vital Heat. By Aristotle Life is sometimes defined, The Continuance of the Vegetable Soul in the Body; sometimes the Energy of an enlivened Body. By others sometimes it is said to be the Union of the Soul with the Body; sometimes the continuance of a Body enlivened to the Term, that it ceases to be: as Death is defined to be sometimes the separation of the Soul from the Organic Body; sometimes the substantial Corruption of the enlivened Body.
D. How many Faculties are subservient to the Vital Faculty?
C. Two: Respiration, and Beating of the Pulses; because the Vital Spirit is bred and distributed by the Assistance of Respiration and the Pulses: But as Respiration consists of Inspiration and Expiration, so the Pulse by Dilation and Contraction.
D. Does not the Irascible Faculty, by the Philosophers placed in the Heart, belong to the Vital?
C. Because the Irascible Faculty is that by which the Heart is moved to prosecute that which is good, as to avoid that which is evil, for the preservation of Life, not only that, but the Concupiscible Faculty, by which the Heart is moved to embrace that which is good, is also to be referred to the Vital Faculty.
D. But Galen and Hippocrates, as they assign the Irascible Faculty to the Heart, so they appropriate the Concupiscible to the Liver.
C. Galen there by the Concupiscible Faculty does not mean that Desire by which a man i carried with apprehension toward the Object, but the natural Appetite after Nourishment, which, tho is be fixed in every part, yet has ascribes it to the Liver, as being the particular place where the Blood is made.
D. What is the Natural Faculty?
C. That which being conveyed from the Liver through the Veins, affords Nourishment to all Parts of the Body.
D. Of how many sorts is it?
C. Three: That which nourishes, that which causes Growth, and the Generative Faculty.
D. What is the Nourishing Faculty?
C. That which converts and assimilates the received Nourishment to the substance of the Body. It also restores the continual decays of the body, and remains to the last day of Life.
D. How many Faculties are subservient to the Nourishing Faculty?
C. Four: The Attractive, Retentive, Concording [also called Concoctive], and Expulsive.
D. What is the Attractive?
C. That which covets and draws to every Part convenient Moisture.
D. What is the Retentive?
C. That which retains the attracted Nourishment till the Altering Faculty have changed it into the Nature of that Part which it is designed to Nourish.
D. What is the Concoctive Faculty?
C. That which alters the attracted and retained Nourishment, changes, concocts it, applies and assimilates it to the Part which is to be nourished.
D. What is the Expulsive?
C. That which separates and expels that which is not proper for Nourishment, or Superfluous.
D. What is the Increasing Faculty?
C. That which extends and enlarges the body till the time appointed by Nature.
D. What is the Generative Faculty?
C. That which begets its own like: But that is not simple, but compounded of two Faculties.
D. Which are those?
C. The Changing and Forming Faculty.
D. What is the Changing Faculty?
C. That which changes the first substance out of which Generation is made, and converts it into that proper and convenient Matter which is to be generated.
D. What is the Forming Faculty?
C. That which makes the Form agreeable to the whole and every Part of the Body.
D. Thus far of the Animal, Vital and Natural Faculties. But is the mutual consent of all required.
C. They are so far conjoined by mutual Consent, saith Fernelius, that every one singly subsists by the help of the rest. The Vital perfects the rest, and sets them at work, and is by them assisted by mutual Kindness. The Natural affords it food; the Animal by the motion of the Breast and Lungs, is the Cause of Nourishment and Refrigeration.
To the Animal the other two afford Matter, and the Vital running through the Arteries, preserves and increases it, which always her self stands in needs of the Animal.
D. By which mutual Consent of Authors is the agreed Order of the Faculties?
C. By the order of Procreation, the Natural is first, then the Vital, and the Animal last: But in order of excellence, the Animal precedes, then the Vital, and lastly the Natural: But as to the Necessary of Life and Action, the Vital is first of all, then the Natural, and last of all the Animal.
Concording, otherwise known as Concoctive (see below)
Concoctive=Digestive; the Concoctive Faculty is responsible for Digestion
of food retained.
The Art Of Physick
OF THE 7 NATURALS
Introduction to the 7 Naturals
OF THE 6 NOT-NATURALS
(Preservation of Health)
Introduction to the 6 Not-Naturals
1. Ambient Air
2. Food and Drink
3. Sleep and Waking
4a. Exercise &
6. Emotions (Passions of the Mind)
OF THE 3 PRETER-NATURALS
3a. Symptoms &