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Date: 1748, 1749

"But as the structure of this organ is such, that when once the eye formed for vision has received the pictures of objects, the brain cannot help seeing their images and differences: in the same manner when the signs of these differences are marked or ingraved in the brain, the soul must necessar...

— Julien Offray de La Mettrie (1709-1751)

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Date: 1748, 1749

"All this knowledge therefore, the vanity of which puffs up the giddy brain of our supercilious pedants, is nothing but a vast heap of words and figures, which form in the head the traces by which we distinguish and remember objects."

— Julien Offray de La Mettrie (1709-1751)

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Date: 1748, 1749

"I always use the word imagine, because I am of the opinion that everything is imagined, and that all the parts of the soul may be justly reduced to the imagination only, which forms them all; and thus the judgment, reason, and memory are not absolute faculties of the soul, but real modifications...

— Julien Offray de La Mettrie (1709-1751)

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Date: 1748, 1749

"By its flattering pencil the cold skeleton of abstract reason assumes living and vermillion flesh; but it the sciences flourish, arts are embellished, woods speak, echoes sigh, rocks weep, marble breathes, and all the inanimate bodies are suddenly inspired with life."

— Julien Offray de La Mettrie (1709-1751)

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Date: 1748, 1749

"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...

— Julien Offray de La Mettrie (1709-1751)

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Date: 1748, 1749

"But if the brain be at the same time well framed and instructed, it is a fruitful and well sown soil, that produces a hundred fold to what it received."

— Julien Offray de La Mettrie (1709-1751)

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Date: 1748, 1749

"If a person is said to have but little judgment with a strong imagination, this is as much to say, that the imagination being too much abandoned to itself, and almost constantly employed in looking at itself in the mirror of its sensations, has not sufficiently contracted the habit of examining ...

— 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: 1748, 1749

"Hurried with incessant rapidity by the vortex of blood and animal spirits, one undulation makes an impression, which is immediately effaced by another; the soul pursues it, but often in vain: she must wait to bewail the loss of what she did not quickly lay hold of; and thus it is that the imagin...

— Julien Offray de La Mettrie (1709-1751)

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Date: 1748, 1749

"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 s...

— Julien Offray de La Mettrie (1709-1751)

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