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Date: 1606

To properly prepare a soul for God, one must "qualify it, cleanse it, strip it, and denude it of all opinion, belief, inclination, make it like a white sheet of paper, dead to itself and the world, so that God may live and operate in it."

— Charron, Pierre (1541-1603)

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Date: 1637

"I kept uprooting from my mind any errors that might previously have slipped into it."

— Descartes, René (1596-1650)

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Date: 1637

"Now a painter cannot represent all the different sides of a solid body equally well on his flat canvas, and so he chooses one of the principal ones, sets it facing the light, and shades the others so as to make them stand out only when viewed from the perspective of the chosen side. In just the ...

— Descartes, René (1596-1650)

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Date: 1637

"Their [philosopher's] sole reason for positing such images was that they saw how easily a picture can stimulate our mind to conceive the objects depicted in it, and so it seemed to them that, in the same way, the mind must be stimulated, by little pictures formed in our head, to conceive the obj...

— Descartes, René (1596-1650)

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Date: 1637

"I supposed, too, that in the beginning God did not place in this body any rational soul or any other thing to serve as a vegetative or sensitive soul, but rather that he kindled in its heart one of those fires without light which I had already explained, and whose nature I understood to be no di...

— Descartes, René (1596-1650)

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Date: 1641

"You may say that you occupy the citadel in your brain and there receive whatever messages are transmitted by the animal spirits which move through the nerves, and sense-perception thus occurs there, where you dwell, despite the fact that it is said to occur throughout the body"

— Gassendi, Pierre (1592-1655)

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Date: 1641

"I am not that structure of limbs which is called a human body. I am not even some thin vapour which permeates the limbs - a wind, fire, air, breath, or whatever I depict in my imagination; for these are things which I have supposed to be nothing."

— Descartes, René (1596-1650)

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Date: 1641

"But I see what it is: my mind enjoys wandering off and will not yet submit to being restrained within the bounds of truth. Very well then; just this once let us give it a completely free rein, so that after a while, when it is time to tighten the reins, it may more readily submit to being curbed."

— Descartes, René (1596-1650)

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Date: 1641

"And whenever my preconceived belief in the supreme power of God comes to mind, I cannot but admit that it would be easy for him, if he so desired, to bring it about that I go wrong even in those matters which I think I see utterly clearly with my mind's eye."

— Descartes, René (1596-1650)

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Date: 1641

"Now admittedly, it is not necessary that I ever light upon any thought of God; but whenever I do choose to think of the first and supreme being, and bring forth the idea of God from the treasure house of my mind as it were, it is necessary that I attribute all perfections to him, even if I do no...

— Descartes, René (1596-1650)

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