Whatever it is by which man is superior to beasts, whether mind or spirit or whether either of them is the correct term (we find both in Sacred Scripture), if this governs and controls all the other elements of which man is composed, then man is duly ordered. We see that we have much in common not only with beasts, but also with trees and plants, for we see that nourishment, growth, generation, health, are characteristic also of trees, which belong to the lowest grade of life. We recognise too that blasts have sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch, often more keenly than we have. Or take strength, vigour, muscular power, swift and easy movement of the body, in all of which we excel some of them, equal some, and are surpassed by some. We are certainly in a common class with the beasts; every action of animal life is concerned with seeking bodily pleasure and avoiding pain.
There are other characteristics which beasts do not seem to share, yet which are not the highest qualities of man, as for example, laughing and joking. If we judge rightly, we shall judge that this is characteristic of human nature, but of the lowest part of it. Then there is love of praise and glory, and ambition: though the beasts do not have these passions, we must not suppose that we are better than the beasts because we have them. When this craving is not subject to reason, it makes us wretched. Yet no one thinks that he ought to be preferred to someone else in wretchedness. When reason controls these motions of the soul, a man
must be said to be in due order.