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Date: 1746

"Passions are opposed to passions and one can serve as a counterweight to another."

— Luc de Clapiers, Marquis de Vauvenargues (1715-1747)

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Date: 1748, 1750

"l'interêt est le plus grande monarque de la Terre" [Self-interest is the strongest monarch in the world]

— Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu (1689-1755)

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Date: 1748, 1749

Wherefore a soul of clay, capable of discerning at one glance, the relations, and consequences of an infinite number of ideas, that are difficult to apprehend, would be evidently preferable to a heavy and stupid soul, formed of the most precious elements."

— Julien Offray de La Mettrie (1709-1751)

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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

"Man is a machine so compound, that it is impossible to form at first a clear idea thereof, and consequently to define it. This is the reason, that all the enquiries the philosophers have made a priori, that is, by endeavouring to raise themselves on the wings of the understanding have proved ine...

— Julien Offray de La Mettrie (1709-1751)

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Date: 1748, 1749

"Thus it is only a posteriori, or as it were by disentangling the soul from the organs of the body, that we can, I do not say, discover with evidence the nature of man, but obtain the greatest degree of probability the subject will admit of."

— Julien Offray de La Mettrie (1709-1751)

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Date: 1748, 1749

"In proportion as the motion of the blood grows calm, a soft soothing sense of peace and tranquility spreads itself over the whole machine; the soul finds itself sweetly weighed down with slumber, and sinks with the fibres of the brain: it becomes thus paralytic as it were, by degrees, together w...

— Julien Offray de La Mettrie (1709-1751)

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Date: 1748, 1749

"For if it does not entirely sleep, how little does it want of it? Since it is impossible for her to recollect one object, to which she gave attention, amidst that innumerable crowd of confused ideas, which as so many vanishing clouds had filled up, if I may so say, the atmosphere of the brain."

— Julien Offray de La Mettrie (1709-1751)

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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

"Without proper food the soul languishes, raves, and dies with faintness. It is like a taper, which revives in the moment it is going to be extinguished."

— 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.