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Date: 360-355 B.C.

"When a man has in his mind a good thick slab of wax, smooth and kneaded to the right consistency, and the impressions that come through the senses are stamped on these tables of the 'heart'--Homer's word hints at the mind's likeness to wax--then the imprints are clear and deep enough to last a l...

— Plato (427 BC - 347 BC)

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Date: 1606

An "evill and hinderance to wisdome ... is the confusion and captivitie of his passions, and turbulent affections, whereof he must disfurnish and free himselfe, to the end he may be emptie and neate, like a white paper, and be made a subject more fit to receive tincture and impressions of wisdome...

— Charron, Pierre (1541-1603); Lennard, Sampson (d. 1633)

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Date: 1652

"As he could perceive no connate colours, no pictures or portraictures in his external eye: so neither could he finde any signatures in his minde till some outward objects had made some impression upon his [GREEK] his soft and plyable understanding impartially prepared for every seal."

— Culverwell, Nathanael (bap. 1619, d. 1651)

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Date: 1670, rev. 1678

"Youth and white paper take any impression."

— Ray [formerly Wray], John (1627-1705)

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Date: 1687, 1691

"And above all things, let us carefully observe this Precept, writ in the Book of their Law, but is not always imprinted in their Hearts, Never do to Others, no not thy Enemies, that which thou wouldst not have done to thy self."

— Marana, Giovanni Paolo (1642-1693); Anonymous [William Bradshaw (fl. 1700) or Robert Midgley (1655?-1723)?]

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Date: 1690, 1694, 1695, 1700, 1706

"But there is this farther Argument in it against their being innate: That these Characters, if they were native and original Impressions, should appear fairest and clearest in those Persons, in whom yet we find no Footsteps of them."

— Locke, John (1632-1704)

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Date: 1690, 1694, 1695, 1700, 1706

"Hence naturally flows the great variety of Opinions, concerning Moral Rules, which are to be found amongst Men, according to the different sorts of Happiness, they have a Prospect of, or propose to themselves: Which could not be, if practical Principles were innate, and imprinted in our Minds im...

— Locke, John (1632-1704)

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Date: 1690, 1694, 1695, 1700, 1706

"Characters drawn on Dust, that the first breath of wind effaces; or Impressions made on a heap of Atoms, or animal Spirits, are altogether as useful, and render the Subject as noble, as the Thoughts of a Soul that perish in thinking; that once out of sight, are gone for ever, and leave no memory...

— Locke, John (1632-1704)

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Date: 1690, 1694, 1695, 1700, 1706

"These simple Ideas, when offered to the mind, the Understanding can no more refuse to have, nor alter, when they are imprinted, nor blot them out, and make new ones in it self, than a mirror can refuse, alter, or obliterate the Images or Ideas, which, the Objects set before it, do therein produce."

— Locke, John (1632-1704)

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Date: 1690, 1694, 1695, 1700, 1706

"Though God has given us no innate Ideas of himself; though he has stamped no original Characters in our Minds, wherein we may read his Being: yet having furnished us with those Faculties, our Minds are endowed with, he hath not left himself without witness: since we have Sense, Percepti...

— Locke, John (1632-1704)

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