He supposes that all organisms have developed from the simple cell, and that this has its origin by spontaneous generation, to explain which he propounds the " carbon-theory," that protoplasm comes from inorganic carbonates.
Thus in presence of the problem which is the crux of materialism, the origin of consciousness, he first propounds a gratuitous hypothesis that everything has mind, and then gives up the origin of conscious mind after all.
The theory he propounds is closely allied to that of Cudworth, but is interesting mainly in comparison with the subsequent theories of Kant.
He propounds as the comprehensive formula of the new Christianity this precept - "The whole of society ought to strive towards the amelioration of the moral and physical existence of the poorest class; society ought to organize itself in the way best adapted for attaining this end."
Socrates, therefore, first in the history of thought, propounds a positive scientific law of conduct.
Accordingly, in the seventh book of the Republic, where Plato propounds his scheme of Academic education, he directs the attention of studious youth primarily, if not exclusively, to the concurrence of inconsistent attributes; and in the Phaedo, 102 B-103 A, taking as an instance the tallness and the shortness simultaneously discoverable in Simmias, he offers his own theory of the immanent idea as the solution of the paradox.