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Date: 1754

"Our simple ideas, and even our complex ideas, and notions return sometimes of themselves, we know not why, nor how, mechanically, as it were, uncalled by the mind, and often to the disturbance of it in the pursuit of other ideas, to which these intruders are foreign."

— St John, Henry, styled first Viscount Bolingbroke (1678–1751)

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Date: 1754

"On the other hand, we are able, at our will and with design, to put a sort of force on memory, to seize, as it were, the end of some particular line, and to draw back into the mind, a whole set of ideas that seem to be strung to it, or linked one with the other."

— St John, Henry, styled first Viscount Bolingbroke (1678–1751)

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Date: 1754

"Our simple ideas fade in the mind, or fleet out of it, unless they are frequently renewed: and the most tenacious memory cannot maintain such as are very complex, without the greatest attention, and a constant care, nor always with both."

— St John, Henry, styled first Viscount Bolingbroke (1678–1751)

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Date: 1754

"But memory will never present ideas to the human mind, as it does perhaps to superior intelligences, like objects in a mirror, where they may be viewed at every instant, all at once, without effort or toil, in their original freshness, and with their original precision, such as they were when th...

— St John, Henry, styled first Viscount Bolingbroke (1678–1751)

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Date: 1754

"They have been called arts of the mind, but improperly, in some respects; for though the mind is forced to employ several arts, and to call in sense to the aid of intellect, even after it has full possession of its ideas, to help out its imperfect manner of knowing, and to lengthen a little its ...

— St John, Henry, styled first Viscount Bolingbroke (1678–1751)

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Date: 1754

"As the mind does not act till it is rouzed into action by external objects; so when it does act, it acts conformably to the suggestions it receives from these impressions, and takes with its first ideas the hints how to multiply, and improve them."

— St John, Henry, styled first Viscount Bolingbroke (1678–1751)

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Date: 1754

"These ideas added to those of substances, and the whole stock compleated by such as the mind acquires of the relations of its ideas, in comparing them as far as it is able to compare them, make up the entire system of human knowledge."

— St John, Henry, styled first Viscount Bolingbroke (1678–1751)

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Date: 1754

"This is the great intellectual province, wherein our minds range with much freedom, and often with exorbitant licence, in the pursuit of real or imaginary science."

— St John, Henry, styled first Viscount Bolingbroke (1678–1751)

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Date: 1754

But when we enter into a serious and impartial detail concerning this knowledge, and analyse carefully what the great pretenders to it have given and give us daily for knowledge, we shall be obliged to confess, that the human intellect is rather a rank than a fertile soil, barren without due cult...

— St John, Henry, styled first Viscount Bolingbroke (1678–1751)

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Date: 1754

"This now, whereof we have taken some view in several of its branches, is that noble fund of ideas from whence all our intellectual riches are derived."

— St John, Henry, styled first Viscount Bolingbroke (1678–1751)

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