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Date: 1641

"Now admittedly, it is not necessary that I ever light upon any thought of God; but whenever I do choose to think of the first and supreme being, and bring forth the idea of God from the treasure house of my mind as it were, it is necessary that I attribute all perfections to him, even if I do no...

— Descartes, René (1596-1650)

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Date: 1641

"You may say that you occupy the citadel in your brain and there receive whatever messages are transmitted by the animal spirits which move through the nerves, and sense-perception thus occurs there, where you dwell, despite the fact that it is said to occur throughout the body."

— Gassendi, Pierre (1592-1655)

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Date: 1748, 1749

"The former have explored and unravelled the labyrinth of Man. They alone have discovered to us those hidden springs concealed under a cover, which hides from us so many wonders."

— Julien Offray de La Mettrie (1709-1751)

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Date: 1748, 1749

"A person would be tempted to think, at certain times, that the soul is lodged in the stomach, and that Van Helmont in placing it in the pylorus, is not deceived but by taking a part for the whole."

— Julien Offray de La Mettrie (1709-1751)

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Date: 1748, 1749

"The eye is, in reality, a sort of peep-hole, thro' which the soul can view the images of objects, according as they are represented from different bodies."

— Julien Offray de La Mettrie (1709-1751)

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Date: 1762

"Grâce au ciel, nous voilà délivrés de tout cet effrayant appareil de philosophie: nous pouvons être. Hommes sans être savants; dispensés de consumer notre vie à l’étude de la morale, nous avons à moindres frais un guide plus assuré dans ce dédale immense des opinions humaines."

— Rousseau, Jean-Jacques (1712-1778)

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Date: 1764

"But behold, this soul of thought frequently has the ascendancy over the animal soul. The thinking soul orders its hands to grasp, and they grasp. It does not tell its heart to beat, its blood to run, its chyle to form; all these things happen without it: so here we have two perplexed souls which...

— Arouet, François-Marie [known as Voltaire] (1694-1778)

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Date: 1772

"It will remind me of what I used to be, and Pride will have to come to a standstill at the threshold of my heart."

— Diderot, Denis (1713-1784)

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Date: 1900, 1901

"We move amidst generalities and symbols, as within a tilt-yard in which our force is effectively pitted against other forces; and fascinated by action, tempted by it, for our own good, on to the field it has selected, we live in a zone midway between things and ourselves, externally to things, e...

— Bergson, Henri-Louis (1859-1941)

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Date: 1961

"A highly symbolic position, which will doubtless remain his until our own day, if we are wililng to admit that what was formerly a visible fortress of order has now become a castle of conscience."

— Foucault, Michel (1926-1984)

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