"Besides what would the very best school avail without a matrix perfectly open for the entrance, or conception of ideas? It is as impossible to give a single idea or notion to a man, deprived of his senses, as it is to get a woman with child, to whom nature in a hurry has denied a womb; as I once saw in one, who had neither slit, vagina, nor matrix, and therefore was divorced after ten years of co-habitation."
— Julien Offray de La Mettrie (1709-1751)
Text from Man a Machine. Translated from the French of the Marquiss D'Argens. (London: Printed for W. Owen, 1749). <Link to ECCO>
Reading Man a Machine and Man a Plant, trans. Richard A. Watson and Maya Rybalka (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1994). Translation based on version from La Mettrie's Oeuvres philosophiques (Berlin: 1751).