"We never throw away our reason, by using it unnecessarily."

— Caulfield (fl. 1778)

Place of Publication
Printed for J. Dodsley
"We never throw away our reason, by using it unnecessarily."
Metaphor in Context
My mind forms no process, surely, to determine, that this table, on which I now lean, is made of wood--or that this pen, with which I now write, was [end page 127] once a feather. I transfer no idea of truth, by any association, in making these discoveries----my mind has no employment in making them--it remains passive--and decides at once, the very instant it views them. It is not, because I have found by experience, that when I made such conclusions, "I have not been deceived"--which leads me to affirm that this pen was a feather, and that this table, is wood--I know both, by a knowledge, which no reasoning was EVER emplyed to attain. I associate no circumstance with them. We never throw away our reason, by using it unnecessarily. If a child, of two years old, sees me enter the room, he instantly believes in my being present--he emplys no reasoning to inform himself that he sees me. He does not believe that he sees me, because he has found, on prior occasions, that when his eyes gave him that information, they did not deceive him.--far from it--he believed his eyes, the first instant he was ever sensible of the presence of any object. He forms no induction whatever. [...]
(pp. 127-8)
Gale's Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO).
Only 1 entry in ESTC (1778).

See An Essay on the Immateriality and Immortality of the Soul, and Its Instinctive Sense of Good and Evil; in Opposition to the Opinions Advanced in the Essays Introductory to Dr. Priestley's Abridgment of Dr. Hartley's Observations on Man. to Which Are Added, Strictures on Dr. Hartley's Theory; ... With an Appendix, in Answer to Dr. Priestley's Disquisitions on Matter and Spirit. by the Author of the Letters in Proof of a Particular, As Well As a General Providence, Which Were Addressed to Dr. Hawkesworth ... Under the Signature of a Christian (London: Printed for J. Dodsley, 1778). <Link to ESTC>
Writing to the Moment
Date of Entry

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