Psychism (a new formation, from ψυχή, soul) is the opinion that everything is soul. The followers of this doctrine are called Psychists. Although poets put a soul ii every inanimate object, they do not belong to this sect of philosophers; for they do not think in the least of suppressing all distinction between the somatic and the psychical nature. Michel Petoez, a Hungarian, published in 1833 (Pesth, 8vo) a book in which he attempts to prove that the so-called bodily world is composed of nothing but souls. He divides the souls into two classes, the living and the dead; the latter, in a state of aggregation, constitute the bodies. This opinion is not so new as it would appear at first sight. It bears a striking resemblance to Leibnitz's monadology, and may be a branch of that tree. Leibnitz considers the whole universe as composed of monads, which he livides into conscious and unconscious, or slumbering; he also holds bodies to be aggregations of the second kind of monads. If they are consistent, the strict idealists will likewise be compelled to consider all that exists as soul or spirit, as they hold the bodies to be mere representations or ideas, to which the thinking mind lends objective existence. M. Quesne (Lettres sur le Psychisme [Paris, 1852, 8vo]) teaches that there is a fluid diffused throughout all nature, animating equally all living and organized beings, and that the difference which appears in their actions comes of their particular organization. The fluid is general, the organization is individual. This opinion differs from that of Pythagoras (q.v.), who held that the soul of a man passed individually into the body of a brute. While M. Quesne holds that, though the body dies, the soul does not; the organization perishes, but not the psychal, or psychical, fluid. See Krug, Philos. Worterbuch, s.v.

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