Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

ÄfeTto whàt caufe are we to aferibe the condfiuance of life and 
triotion in a viper for three days after its l}ead is cut off, and in a 
tOrtoife for three weeks after decollation, and fix months after the 
lèïs of its brain * ? The motions perforated by thefe animals can¬ 
not furely be attributed to their material part alone; unlèfs we fliall 
deny them a foul altogether, and, with Des Cartes, refer all their 
actions to their corporeal machinery. The late Reverend and learn¬ 
ed Dr Hales informed me, that having many years fince tied a li¬ 
gature about the neck of â frog to prevent any effufion of blood, he 
cut off its head, and, thirty hours after, obferved the blood circu¬ 
lating freely in the web of the foot : the frog alfo at this time mo¬ 
ved its body when ilimulated : but that, on thrufling a needle down 
the fpinal marrow, the animal was ftrongly convulfed, and imme¬ 
diately after became motioniefs. 
If then the foul in pigeons, frogs, vipers, and tortoifes, is not 
confined to the brain, but can continue for a long time to aduate 
their bodies independent of that organ ; and if, in many infe&s 
which have no brain, every part of the body is both fenfible and ir¬ 
ritable f ; why fhould we deny, that, in man and fuch animals as 
referable him moft, the parts may continue to be actuated by the 
foul or fendent principle for fome few minutes after their commua 
nication with the brain has been cut off '|? 
If any man of ordinary fenfe, who is no philofopher, be afked, 
Why the heart of a frog beats after being feparated from the body, 
and renews its motions when pricked? he will readily fay, becaufe 
there is life in it. This is a proper anfwer ; for a better, perhaps, 
cannot be given by the ableil philofopher. If then life in animals 
be owing to the energy of a principle diftmci from matter, and of 
powers fuperior to it, we have reafon to conclude, that, as long as 
# Redî. Obfervaf. circa animal, vivent, p. 209. &e. 
f iiét. Golting- vol. 2 p. 138. 
J The difference between men and thofe animals which live tong after decollation or the ex- 
eifion of their heart, feems to be, that the latter are fo framed that frefh iupplies of blood and 
fpirits from the heart and brain are not immediately neceffary to keep the feveral parts in due 
order to be afted upon by the foul : as feems to be,, in a great mea£ure> the cale in man and 
many other animals»


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