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Date: 360 B.C.

"For it does not admit of exposition like other branches of knowledge; but after much converse about the matter itself and a life lived together, suddenly a light, as it were, is kindled in one soul by a flame that leaps to it from another, and thereafter sustains itself."

— Plato (427 BC - 347 BC)

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Date: March 16, 1696/7; 1708

"I fansy I pretty well guess what it is that some Men find mischievous in your 'Essay': 'Tis opening the Eyes of the Ignorant, and rectifying the Methods of Reasoning, which perhaps may undermine some received Errors, and so abridge the Empire of Darkness; wherein, though the Subject wander deplo...

— Molyneux, William (1656-1698)

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Date: April 26, 1695; 1708

"Meditating by one's self is like digging in the Mine; it often, perhaps, brings up maiden Earth, which never came near the Light before; but whether it contain any Metal in it, is never so well tried as in Conversation with a knowing judicious Friend, who carries about him the true Touch-stone, ...

— Locke, John (1632-1704)

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Date: December 20, 1692; 1708

"As for his General Theory of them, I esteem it, as all others of this kind, a sort of mere waking Dream, that Men are strangely apt to fall into, when they think long of a Subject, beginning quite at the wrong End; for by framing such Conceits in their Fancies, they vainly think to give their Un...

— Molyneux, William (1656-1698)

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Date: 1709, 1714

"They may perhaps be Monsters, and not Divinitys, or Sacred Truths, which are kept thus choicely, in some dark Corner of our Minds: The Specters may impose on us, whilst we refuse to turn 'em every way, and view their Shapes and Complexions in every light."

— Cooper, Anthony Ashley, third earl of Shaftesbury (1671-1713)

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Date: November 10, 1750

"Is it that a long commerce with the world does indeed corrupt the heart; and extinguish by degrees those sparks of light, those inclinations to good, which were implanted in our minds?"

— Mulso [later Chapone], Hester (1727-1801)

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Date: 1774

"A learned parson, rusting in his cell, at Oxford or Cambridge, will reason admirably well upon the nature of man; will profoundly analyze the head, the heart, the reason, the will, the passions, the senses, the sentiments, and all those subdivisions of we know not what; and yet, unfortunately, h...

— Stanhope, Philip Dormer, fourth earl of Chesterfield (1694-1773)

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Date: 1782

"I read it carefully a second time--pondered--weighed--and submitted--whenever a spark of vanity seems to be glowing at my heart--I will read your letter--and what then?"

— Sancho, Charles Ignatius (1729?–1780)

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Date: 1782

"David, whose heart and affections were naturally of the first kind (and who indeed had experienced blessings without number) pours fourth the grateful sentiments of his enraptured soul in the sweetest modulations of pathetic oratory;--the tender mercies of the Almighty are not less to many of hi...

— Sancho, Charles Ignatius (1729?–1780)

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Date: 1782

"Such a research would richly pay us--for the end would be conviction--so much on the side of miraculous mercy--such an unanswerable proof of the superintendency of Divine Providence, as would effectually cure us of rash despondency--and melt our hearts--with devotional aspirations--till we poure...

— Sancho, Charles Ignatius (1729?–1780)

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