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Date: 1664

"Now I maintain that when God unites a rational soul to this machine (in a way that I intend to explain later) he will place its principal seat in the brain, and will make its nature such that the soul will have different sensations corresponding to the different ways in which the entrances to th...

— Descartes, René (1596-1650)

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Date: 1664

"You can think of our machine's heart and arteries, which push the animal spirits into the cavities of its brain, as being like the bellows of an organ, which push air into the wind-chests; and you can think of external objects, which stimulate certain nerves and cause spirits contained in the ca...

— Descartes, René (1596-1650)

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Date: 1664

"But the source which produces these spirits is usually so abundant that they enter these cavities in sufficient quantity to have the force to push out against the surrounding matter and make it expand, thus tightening all the tiny nerve-fibres which come from it (in the way that a moderate wind ...

— Descartes, René (1596-1650)

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Date: 1664

"Now among these figures, it is not those imprinted on the external sense organs, or on the internal surface of the brain, which should be taken to be ideas--but only those which are traced in the spirits on the surface of the gland (where the seat of the imagination and the 'common' sense is loc...

— Descartes, René (1596-1650)

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Date: 1664

"That is to say, it is only the latter figures which should be taken to be the forms or images which the rational soul united to this machine will consider directly when it imagines some object or perceives it by the senses."

— Descartes, René (1596-1650)

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Date: 1664

"But I shall content myself with telling you more about how the traces are imprinted on the internal part of the brain which is the seat of the memory."

— Descartes, René (1596-1650)

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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: 1664

"I should like you to consider, after this, all the functions I have ascribed to this machine -- such as the digestion of food, the beating of the heart and arteries, the nourishment and growth of the limbs, respiration, waking and sleeping, the reception by the external sense organs of light, so...

— Descartes, René (1596-1650)

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Date: 1665

Minds are "like smooth paper never writ upon, / When folded up, by some impression / Marks will remain it never had before, / And ne're return to former smoothness more."

— Howard, Sir Robert (1626-1698)

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Date: 1665

"The passions are the only orators who always convince"

— La Rochefoucauld, François, duc de (1613-1680)

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