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Date: 1641

"But I see what it is: my mind enjoys wandering off and will not yet submit to being restrained within the bounds of truth. Very well then; just this once let us give it a completely free rein, so that after a while, when it is time to tighten the reins, it may more readily submit to being curbed."

— Descartes, René (1596-1650)

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Date: 1748, 1749

"The human body is a machine that winds up its own springs: it is a living image of the perpetual motion."

— Julien Offray de La Mettrie (1709-1751)

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Date: 1748, 1749

"As the string of a violin or harpsichord trembles and vibrates, so the fibres or strings of the brain struck by the undulating rays of sound, are excited to return or repeat the words that touched them."

— Julien Offray de La Mettrie (1709-1751)

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Date: 1748, 1749

"Like that bird on yonder spray, the imagination seems to be perpetually ready to take wing."

— Julien Offray de La Mettrie (1709-1751)

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Date: 1762

"Du reste, renversant, détruisant, foulant aux pieds tout ce que les hommes respectent, ils ôtent aux affligés la dernière consolation de leur misère, aux puissants & aux riches le seul frein de leurs passions; ils arrachent du fond des coeurs le remords du crime, l’espoir de la vertu, & se vante...

— Rousseau, Jean-Jacques (1712-1778)

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