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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: 1257

"Consequently, while original sin is a disease infecting both elements, the personal and the physical - the personal through the will and the physical through the flesh - the stain of original sin is blotted out in the soul, while on the other hand the infection and its consequences remain in the...

— St. Bonaventure [born Giovanni di Fidanza] (1217-1274)

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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: 1615

"Afterwards, as a Merchant that had lost all his inheritance in one bottom, he was to begin the world anew, and to gather an estate or stock of knowledge, by the travel and industry of his soul and body; yet was not his soul Abrasa Tabula, a playned Table, there remained some Lineaments which the...

— Crooke, Helkiah (1576-1648)

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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: 1653

"Or Thoughts like Pencils draw still to the Life, / And Fancies mixt, as colours give delight."

— Cavendish, Margaret (1623-1673)

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Date: 1664

"Thus they also trace figures in these gaps, which correspond to those of the objects. At first they do this less easily and perfectly than they do on gland H, but gradually they do it better and better, as their action becomes stronger and lasts longer, or is repeated more often. That is why the...

— Descartes, René (1596-1650)

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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

"For Children, Ideots, Savages, and illiterate People, being of all others the least corrupted by Custom, or borrowed Opinions; Learning, and Education, having not cast their Native thoughts into new Moulds; nor by super-inducing foreign and studied Doctrines, confounded those fair Characters Nat...

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