"Such is the chaos, such the rapid and continual succession of our ideas; they drive one another successively, as one wave impels another; so that it the imagination does not employ a part of its muscles, poised as it were in an equilibrium upon the strings of the brain, so as to sustain itself some time on a fleeting object, and to avoid falling upon another, which it is not yet proper time to contemplate, it will never be worthy of the beautiful name judgment."
— 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).