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Date: 1664

"Now among these figures, it is not those imprinted on the external sense organs, or on the internal surface of the brain, which should be taken to be ideas--but only those which are traced in the spirits on the surface of the gland (where the seat of the imagination and the 'common' sense is loc...

— Descartes, René (1596-1650)

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Date: 1664

"But I shall content myself with telling you more about how the traces are imprinted on the internal part of the brain which is the seat of the memory."

— Descartes, René (1596-1650)

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Date: 1664

"I should like you to consider, after this, all the functions I have ascribed to this machine -- such as the digestion of food, the beating of the heart and arteries, the nourishment and growth of the limbs, respiration, waking and sleeping, the reception by the external sense organs of light, so...

— Descartes, René (1596-1650)

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Date: 1682

"The Body is but the Clog and Prisoner of the Mind; tossed up and down, and persecuted with Punishments, Violences, and Diseases; but the Mind it self is Sacred, and Eternal, and exempt from the Danger of all Actual Impression."

— L'Estrange, Sir Roger (1616-1704)

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Date: 1683, 1823

"God our parent hath stamped on our nature some lineaments of himself, whereby we resemble him; he hath implanted in our souls some roots of piety towards him; into our frame he hath inserted some propensions to acknowledge him, and to affect him; the which are excited and improved by observing t...

— Barrow, Isaac (1630-1677)

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Date: w. 1628, published in 1684, 1701

"First, in so far as our external senses are all parts of the body, sense-perception, strictly speaking, is merely passive, even though our application of the senses to objects involves action, viz. local motion; sense-perception occurs in the same way in which wax takes on an impression from a s...

— Descartes, René (1596-1650)

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Date: w. 1628, published in 1684, 1701

"In all these functions the cognitive power is sometimes passive, sometimes active; sometimes resembling the seal, sometimes the wax."

— Descartes, René (1596-1650)

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Date: w. 1628, published in 1684, 1701

"It should not be thought that I have a mere analogy in mind here: we must think of the external shape of the sentient body as being really changed by the object in exactly the same way as the shape of the surface of the wax is altered by the seal."

— Descartes, René (1596-1650)

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Date: 1686, 1689, 1697

"'Tis so many times in the capacities of Youth: they who can receive any impression like the Virgin-wax, will as easily suffer a defacement unless it be hardned and matur'd by Time: whereas others who are hard to be wrought upon like Steel, retain the Images which are Engraven on them with much m...

— Nourse, Timothy (c.1636–1699)

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Date: 1690, 1694, 1695, 1700, 1706

"But there is this farther Argument in it against their being innate: That these Characters, if they were native and original Impressions, should appear fairest and clearest in those Persons, in whom yet we find no Footsteps of them."

— Locke, John (1632-1704)

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