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Date: 1746

"Passions are opposed to passions and one can serve as a counterweight to another."

— Luc de Clapiers, Marquis de Vauvenargues (1715-1747)

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Date: 1747, 1748, 1766

"The figures, which must actuate her, remain / As yet quite uncollected in the brain; / Exterior objects have not furnish' yet / Th' ideal stores which Age is sure to get."

— Cardinal Melchior de Polignac (1661-1741)

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Date: 1747

"But the wild passions, once broke loose, to check / Surpass'd his pow'r, or the slack'd reins recall."

— Cardinal Melchior de Polignac (1661-1741)

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Date: 1747

"And where's the boasted liberty of man? / Chang'd are his lords indeed; and tyrant Lust / Usurps the just supremacy of Heav'n."

— Cardinal Melchior de Polignac (1661-1741)

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Date: 1748

"l'interêt est le plus grande monarque de la Terre" [Self-interest is the strongest monarch in the world]

— Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu (1689-1755)

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Date: 1748, 1749

Wherefore a soul of clay, capable of discerning at one glance, the relations, and consequences of an infinite number of ideas, that are difficult to apprehend, would be evidently preferable to a heavy and stupid soul, formed of the most precious elements."

— Julien Offray de La Mettrie (1709-1751)

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Date: 1748, 1749

"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)

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Date: 1748, 1749

"Man is a machine so compound, that it is impossible to form at first a clear idea thereof, and consequently to define it. This is the reason, that all the enquiries the philosophers have made a priori, that is, by endeavouring to raise themselves on the wings of the understanding have proved ine...

— Julien Offray de La Mettrie (1709-1751)

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Date: 1748, 1749

"Thus it is only a posteriori, or as it were by disentangling the soul from the organs of the body, that we can, I do not say, discover with evidence the nature of man, but obtain the greatest degree of probability the subject will admit of."

— Julien Offray de La Mettrie (1709-1751)

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Date: 1748, 1749

"In proportion as the motion of the blood grows calm, a soft soothing sense of peace and tranquility spreads itself over the whole machine; the soul finds itself sweetly weighed down with slumber, and sinks with the fibres of the brain: it becomes thus paralytic as it were, by degrees, together w...

— Julien Offray de La Mettrie (1709-1751)

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