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Date: January 1739

"The attention is on the stretch; the posture of the mind is uneasy; and the spirits being diverted from their natural course, are not governed in their movements by the same laws, at least not to the same degree, as when they flow in their usual channel."

— Hume, David (1711-1776)

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Date: January 1739

"I have already observed, in examining the foundation of mathematics, that the imagination, when set into any train of thinking, is apt to continue even when its object fails it, and, like a galley put in motion by the oars, carries on its course without any new impulse."

— Hume, David (1711-1776)

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Date: January 1739

"The thought slides along the succession with equal facility, as if it consider'd only one object; and therefore confounds the succession with the identity."

— Hume, David (1711-1776)

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Date: 1741

"He whose Thoughts are very fluttering and wandering, and cannot be fixed attentively to a few Ideas successively, will never be able to survey many and various objects distinctly at once, but will certainly be overwhelm'd and confounded with the Multiplicity of them."

— Watts, Isaac (1674-1748)

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Date: 1741

"An active Fancy readily wanders over a multitude of objects, and is continually entertaining itself with new flying Images; it runs thro' a Number of new Scenes or new Pages with pleasure, but without due Attention, and seldom suffers itself to dwell long enough upon any one of them to make a de...

— Watts, Isaac (1674-1748)

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Date: 1741

"There are are some Persons who complain they cannot remember divine or human Discourses which they hear, when in Truth their Thoughts are wandering half the Time, or they hear with such coldness and Indifferency and a trifling Temper of Spirit, that it is no wonder the Things which are read or s...

— Watts, Isaac (1674-1748)

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Date: 1742, 1777

"The heart, mean while, is empty of all enjoyment: And the mind, unsupported by its proper objects, sinks into the deepest sorrow and dejection."

— Hume, David (1711-1776)

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Date: 1748, 1754

"But when [the mind] soars above mortal Cares and mortal Pursuits, into the Regions of Divinity, and converses with the greatest and best of Beings, it spreads itself into a wider Compass, takes higher Flights in Reason and Goodness, and becomes God-like in its Air and Manners."

— Fordyce, David (bap. 1711, d. 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

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