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Date: c. 501 B.C.

"For souls it is death to become water, and for water death to become earth. Water comes into existence out of earth, and soul out of water."

— Heraklitus (fl. 504-1 BCE)

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Date: w. 350 B.C.

"This explains why, in those who are strongly moved owing to passion, or time of life, no memory is formed; just as no impression would be formed if the movement of the seal were to impinge on running water; while there are others in whom, owing to the receiving surface being frayed, as happens t...

— Aristotle (384-322 B.C.)

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Date: 1632

"Looke as it is with a Gold smith that melteth the metall that he is to make a vessell of, if after the melting thereof, there follow a cooling, it had beene as good it had never beene melted, it is as hard, haply harder, as unfit, haply unfitter, then it was before to make vessell of; but after ...

— Hooker, Richard (1554-1600)

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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: 1651, 1668

"All fancies are motions within us, relics of those made in the sense: and those motions that immediately succeeded one another in the sense, continue also together after sense: insomuch as the former coming again to take place, and be predominant, the latter followeth, by coherence of the matter...

— Hobbes, Thomas (1588-1679)

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Date: 1664

"Indeed, one may compare the nerves of the machine I am describing with the pipes in the works of these fountains, its muscles and tendons with the various devices and springs which serve to set them in motion, its animal spirits with the water which drives them, the heart with the source of the ...

— Descartes, René (1596-1650)

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Date: 1664

"And finally, when a rational soul is present in this machine it will have its principal seat in the brain, and reside there like the fountain-keeper who must be stationed at the tanks to which the fountain's pipes return if he wants to produce, or prevent, or change their movements in some way."

— Descartes, René (1596-1650)

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Date: 1666

"O truly royal! who behold the law, / And rule of beings in your Maker's mind; / And thence, like limbecs, rich ideas draw, / To fit the levelled use of humankind."

— Dryden, John (1631-1700)

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Date: 1670

Weakness of mind may be water-like or wax-like

— Greville, Fulke, first Baron Brooke of Beauchamps Court (1554-1628)

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Date: November, 1682

"In pleasure some their glutton souls would steep; / But found their line too short, the well too deep; / And leaky vessels which no bliss could keep.

— Dryden, John (1631-1700)

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