According to its doctrines the normal as well as diseased actions of the body were to be referred to the operation of the pneuma or universal soul.
His general physiology was essentially founded upon the Hippocratic theory of the four elements, with which he combined the notion of spirit (pneuma) penetrating all parts, and mingled with the humours in different proportions.
It was on this field that he most vehemently attacked the prevailing atomistic and materialistic views of the methodic school, and his conception of the pneuma became in some respects half metaphysical.
It accumulates in the brain, and there generates the" nervous fluid "or pneuma - a theory closely resembling that of Mead on the" nervous liquor,"unless indeed Mead borrowed it from Hoffmann.
More familiar to the Anglo-Saxon race is the connexion between the soul and the breath; this identification is found both in Aryan and Semitic languages; in Latin we have spiritus, in Greek pneuma, in Hebrew ruach; and the idea is found extending downwards to the lowest planes of culture in Australia, America and Asia.
Before there was heaven or earth, there was primitive substance or Pneuma, the everlasting presupposition of particular things.
In this original state of Pneuma God and the world are absolutely identical.
In this primitive Pneuma there must reside the utmost tension and heat; for it is a fact of observation that most bodies expand when heated, whence we infer that there is a pressure in heat, an expansive and dispersive tendency.
The Pneuma cannot long withstand this intense pressure.
The germinal worldmaking powers f (rrr p,uartKoi XOyoc), which, in virtue of its tension, slumbered in Pneuma, now proceed upon their creative task.
Only a part of air is transmuted into water or earth), so the Pneuma itself does not wholly pass over into the elements.
From the elements the one substance is transformed into the multitude of individual things in the orderly universe, which again is itself a living thing or being, and the Pneuma pervading it, and conditioning life and growth everywhere, is its soul.
The doctrine of Pneuma, vital breath or " spirit," arose in the medical schools.
Now in the corpse the former are empty; hence, in the light of these preconceptions they were declared to be vessels for conveying Pneuma to the different parts of the body.
They substituted primitive Pneuma for his primitive fire, but so far as they are hylozoists at all they stand upon the same ground with him.
Once assume that every character and property of a particular thing is determined solely by the tension in it of a current of Pneuma, and (since that which causes currents in the thing cannot be absolutely the same with the thing itself) Pneuma, though present in all things, must be asserted to vary indefinitely in quantity and intensity.
So condensed and coarsened is the indwelling air-current of inorganic bodies that no trace of elasticity or life remains; it cannot even afford them the power of motion; all it can do is to hold them together Su va us), and, in technical language, Pneuma is present in stone or metal as a retaining principle (g t;ts=hold), explaining the attributes of continuity and numerical identity (rvvE X i) «al 1)vw J .zEva) which even these natural substances possess.
To this higher manifestation of Pneuma can be traced back the " esprits animaux " of Descartes and Leibnitz, which continue to play so great a part even in Locke.
The universal presence of Pneuma was confirmed by observation.
A certain warmth, akin to the vital heat of organic being, seems to be found in inorganic nature: vapours from the earth, hot springs, sparks from the flint, were claimed as the last remnant of Pneuma not yet utterly slackened and cold.
In the rational creatures - man and the gods - Pneuma is manifested in a high degree of purity and intensity as an emanation from the world-soul, itself an emanation from the primary substance of purest ether - a spark of the celestial fire, or, more accurately, fiery breath, which is a mean between fire and air, characterized by vital warmth more than by dryness.
What really is - the Pneuma - neither increases nor diminishes; but its modes of working, its different currents, can be conveniently distinguished and enumerated as evidence of so many distinct attributes.
Good and evil, virtues and vices, remarks Plutarch, are all capable of being perceived "; sense, this common basis of all mental activity, is a sort of touch by which the ethereal Pneuma which is the soul's substance!
Incidentally we meet there with the doctrines of Pneuma and of tension, of the corporeal nature of the virtues and the affections, and much more to the same effect.