ORGAN

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ORGAN. This word, as applied to natural bodies, signifies a part, or, if we may so say, a group of parts of an organized body, that is, such a body as is endowed with an inherent life, and power of activity, and reproduction. The precise idea of organ depends upon the idea of life, the limits of which cannot be accurately defined. The point at which life ceases is not agreed upon. All allow that plants live. Some philosophers even attribute life to crystals, since they follow inherent laws; but,generally speaking, the expression " organic world" comprises only the vegetable and animal world. Man stands on the highest step of organic life among, all the beings with which we are acquainted ; he moves with liberty and consciousness ; his organization is the most complicate, delicate and perfect. The various gradations of organized being, from man, through animals, plants, and down to crystals, furnish a most curious and interesting subject of study. The word organ, as applied to a group of parts, denotes that they have a particular office, and, in some considerable degree, an independent action, as when we speak of organs of taste, hearing, digestion, &c.