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Date: 1851

"And so it happens that the person who reads a great deal—that is to say, almost the whole day, and recreates himself by spending the intervals in thoughtless diversion, gradually loses the ability to think for himself; just as a man who is always riding at last forgets how to walk."

— Schopenhauer, Arthur (1788-1860)

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Date: 1851

"For to read in every spare moment, and to read constantly, is more paralysing to the mind than constant manual work, which, at any rate, allows one to follow one’s own thoughts."

— Schopenhauer, Arthur (1788-1860)

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Date: 1851

"Just as a spring, through the continual pressure of a foreign body, at last loses its elasticity, so does the mind if it has another person’s thoughts continually forced upon it."

— Schopenhauer, Arthur (1788-1860)

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Date: 1851

"And just as one spoils the stomach by overfeeding and thereby impairs the whole body, so can one overload and choke the mind by giving it too much nourishment."

— Schopenhauer, Arthur (1788-1860)

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Date: 1851

"For the more one reads the fewer are the traces left of what one has read; the mind is like a tablet that has been written over and over."

— Schopenhauer, Arthur (1788-1860)

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Date: 1851

"Indeed, it is the same with mental as with bodily food: scarcely the fifth part of what a man takes is assimilated; the remainder passes off in evaporation, respiration, and the like."

— Schopenhauer, Arthur (1788-1860)

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Date: 1851

"The largest library in disorder is not so useful as a smaller but orderly one; in the same way the greatest amount of knowledge, if it has not been worked out in one’s own mind, is of less value than a much smaller amount that has been fully considered."

— Schopenhauer, Arthur (1788-1860)

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Date: September 20, 1858

"The news of the new treaty wrung from China by the allied Plenipotentiaries has, it would appear, conjured up the same wild vistas of an immense extension of trade which danced before the eyes of the commercial mind in 1845, after the conclusion of the first Chinese war."

— Marx, Karl (1818-1883)

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Date: August 6 and 20, 1859

"The jaded cart-horse of the commonplace bourgeois mind falters of course in confusion in front of the ditch separating substance from appearance, and cause from effect; but one should not ride carthorses if one intends to go coursing over the very rough ground of abstract reasoning."

— Engels, Friedrich (1820-1895)

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Date: February 14, 1860

"But, in England, it is some subaltern spokesman, some worn-out place-hunter, some anonymous nonentity of a so-called Cabinet, that, relying on the donkey power of the Parliamentary mind and the bewildering evaporations of an anonymous press, without making any noise, without incurring any danger...

— Marx, Karl (1818-1883)

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