"Epicurus, that it [sperm] is a Fragment torn from the Body and Soul."

— Plutarch (c. 46-120)

Place of Publication
William Taylor
"Epicurus, that it [sperm] is a Fragment torn from the Body and Soul."
Metaphor in Context
Chapter. III. Of the Nature of Generative Seed.
Aristotle, that Sperm is that thing which contains in it self a power of moving, whereby 'tis enabled to produce a Being like unto that from whence it was emitted. Pythagoras, that Seed is the Sediment of that which nourisheth us, the Froth of the purest Blood, of the same Nature is the Blood and Marrow of our Bodies. Alcmaeon, it is a part of the Brain. Plato, it is the Deflux of the spinal Marrow. Epicurus, that it is a Fragment torn from the Body and Soul. Democritus, that Sperm proceeds from all the parts of Body, and chiefly from the principal parts of the Bodies (viz.) the Carneous Fibres and Bones.
(V.iii, p. 206)
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Text from "Plutarch's Giving an Account of those Sentiments Concerning Nature with which Philosophers were Delighted; Contained in Five Books," trans. John Dowel from Plutarch's Morals: Translated from the Greek by Several Hands, 5th ed., vol. 3 of 5 (London: Printed for William Taylor, 1718). <Link to Google Books>

See also Liberty Fund edition, digitized from Plutarch’s Morals. Translated from the Greek by Several Hands. Corrected and Revised by William W. Goodwin, with an Introduction by Ralph Waldo Emerson, 5 vols. (Boston: Little, Brown, and Co., 1878). This 1878 American edition is based on the 5th edition of 1718. <Link to OLL>
Date of Entry

The Mind is a Metaphor is authored by Brad Pasanek, Assistant Professor of English, University of Virginia.