The Dynamics of the Soul’s Domain (also known as The Economy of the Animal Kingdom) was the first published results of Swedenborg’s quest to find the place of the soul within the body. Swedenborg cites extensively from anatomical sources such as Leeuwenhoek, Boerhaave, Harvey, Malpighi and many others, following the citations with the conclusions and propositions he has drawn from them. The first part of Dynamics of the Soul’s Domain focuses on blood (the ‘epitome of the riches of the whole world and all its kingdoms…all things were created for the purpose of administering to…the blood’) and its circulation. Swedenborg sees the soul as present everywhere in the body descending in degrees through the ‘spiritous fluid’ and the ‘purer blood’, both contained within the red blood, which is charged with carrying out the soul’s functions in the body. The second part is on the brain. R W Emerson was particularly impressed by the work, describing it as ‘one of those books which by the sustained dignity of thinking is an honour to the human race’.
This edition, a 2009 reprint by the Swedenborg Scientific Association of Augustus Clissold’s translation, contains at the end of the second volume an Index of Authors; Biographical Notices of Authors cited; and an Index of Subjects.Translation of Oeconomia Regni Animalis (1740-1).