"The former have explored and unravelled the labyrinth of Man. They alone have discovered to us those hidden springs concealed under a cover, which hides from us so many wonders."

— Julien Offray de La Mettrie (1709-1751)


Date
1748, 1749
Metaphor
"The former have explored and unravelled the labyrinth of Man. They alone have discovered to us those hidden springs concealed under a cover, which hides from us so many wonders."
Metaphor in Context
Experiments and observations alone ought to guide us here. These we find in abundance, in the writings of such physicians as were philosophers, and not in those philosophers, who were unacquainted with physic. The former have explored and unravelled the labyrinth of Man. They alone have discovered to us those hidden springs concealed under a cover, which hides from us so many wonders. They alone in a philosophical consideration of the soul, have a thousand times surprized it in it's misery and grandeur; without despising it in one of these conditions, or idolizing it in the other. [...]
(p. 5)
Provenance
Reading
Citation
4 entries in the ESTC. Published anonymously, translated into English in 1749 with printings in 1750 and 1752.

Text from Man a Machine. Translated from the French of the Marquiss D’Argens. (London: Printed for W. Owen, 1749). <Link to ECCO>

Reading Man a Machine and Man a Plant, trans. Richard A. Watson and Maya Rybalka (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1994). Translation based on version from La Mettrie's Oeuvres philosophiques (Berlin: 1751).
Date of Entry
07/16/2013

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