General Elements of the Universe – Properties of Matter / Question 32

#32 According to this view of the subject, savors, odors, colors, sounds, the poisonous or salutary qualities of bodies, are only results of modifications of one and the same primitive substance ?

#32 - According to this view of the subject, savors, odors, colors, sounds, the poisonous or salutary qualities of bodies, are only results of modifications of one and the same primitive substance

“Yes, undoubtedly; and that only exist in virtue of the disposition of the organs destined to perceive them.”

It indeed makes lots of sense; matter is different based on how the primitive substance orders itself. So from these unions you have different results of matter, and so, logically, different colors, odors, be bad or good for the body etc…

As the Spirits here precise, the perception of the matter also depends on the organs! A cat won’t see the same colors as us, and an animal can eat that plant, if a human do, he would die. Organs are different and perceive the matter differently; but the matter remains the same composition of that primitive substance.

Here is the comment of the author:
This principle is proved by the fact that the qualities of bodies are not perceived by all persons in the same manner. The same thing appears agreeable to the taste of one person, and disagreeable to that of another. What appears blue to one person appears red to another. That which is a poison for some, is wholesome for others.

We then have two actors regarding the matter: the composition of the primitive matter and the organs that perceive that matter.

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