The common division of the soul is into three principal faculties–vegetal, sensitive, and rational, which make three distinct kinds of living creatures–vegetal plants, sensible beasts, rational men. How these three principal faculties are distinguished and connected, Humano ingenio inaccessum videtur, is beyond human capacity, as Taurellus, Philip, Flavins, and others suppose. The inferior may be alone, but the superior cannot subsist without the other; so sensible includes vegetal, rational both; which are contained in it (saith Aristotle) ut trigonus in tetragono as a triangle in a quadrangle.
So think about THAT the next time you eat broccoli.
This post is part of a long, tedious, and very illustrated read-along of Robert Burton’s The Anatomy of Melancholy – more info here and follow along on Facebook here. Illustrations posted via devon_isadevon on Instagram.