"[T]here may be a farther difference in the constitution of the nerves belonging to the different senses, or there may be so many circumstances that affect or modify their vibrations, that they may be as distinguishable from one another, as different human voices sounding the same note; and probably no two individuals of the human race can sound the same note so much alike, as that they could not be distinguished from one another."

— Priestley, Joseph (1733-1804)


Place of Publication
London
Publisher
J. Johnson
Date
1775
Metaphor
"[T]here may be a farther difference in the constitution of the nerves belonging to the different senses, or there may be so many circumstances that affect or modify their vibrations, that they may be as distinguishable from one another, as different human voices sounding the same note; and probably no two individuals of the human race can sound the same note so much alike, as that they could not be distinguished from one another."
Metaphor in Context
Besides the four differences of vibrations above-mentioned, which alone are insisted upon by Dr. Hartley, there may be a farther difference in the constitution of the nerves belonging to the different senses, or there may be so many circumstances that affect or modify their vibrations, that they may be as distinguishable from one another, as different human voices sounding the same note; and probably no two individuals of the human race can sound the same note so much alike, as that they could not be distinguished from one another.
(p. xiv)
Provenance
Reading
Citation
David Hartley, Hartley's Theory of the Human Mind: on the Principle of the Association of Ideas; with Essays Relating to the Subject of It, ed. Joseph Priestley (London: Joseph Johnson, 1775). <Link to Google Books>
Date of Entry
07/22/2011

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