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Date: c. 370-365 B.C.

"I mean an intelligent word graven in the soul of the learner, which can defend itself, and knows with whom to speak and with whom to be silent."

— Plato (427 BC - 347 BC)

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Date: c. 370-365 B.C.

"You mean the living word of knowledge which has a soul, and of which the written word is properly no more than an image?"

— Plato (427 BC - 347 BC)

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Date: c. 370-365 B.C.

"True, Phaedrus. But nobler far is the serious pursuit of the dialectician, who, finding a congenial soul, by the help of science sows and plants therein words which are able to defend themselves and him who planted them, and are not unfruitful, but have in them a seed which others brought up in ...

— Plato (427 BC - 347 BC)

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Date: c. 370-365 B.C.

He "who thinks that even the best of writings are but a memorandum for those who know, and that only in principles of justice and goodness and nobility taught and communicated orally for the sake of instruction and graven in the soul, which is the true way of writing, is there clearness and perfe...

— Plato (427 BC - 347 BC)

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Date: 360-355 B.C.

"Imagine, then, for the sake of argument, that our minds contain a block of wax, which in this or that individual may be larger or smaller, and composed of wax that is comparatively pure or muddy, and harder in some, softer in others, and sometimes of just the right consistency."

— Plato (427 BC - 347 BC)

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Date: 360-355 B.C.

"Let us call it the gift of the Muses' mother, Memory, and say that whenever we wish to remember something we see or hear or conceive in our own minds, we hold this wax under the perceptions or ideas and imprint them on it as we might stamp the impression of a seal ring."

— Plato (427 BC - 347 BC)

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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: 360-355 B.C.

"When a person has what the poet's wisdom commends as a 'shaggy heart,' or when the block is muddy or made of impure wax, or oversoft or hard, the people with soft wax are quick to learn, but forgetful, those with hard wax the reverse."

— Plato (427 BC - 347 BC)

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Date: 360-355 B.C.

"'Having' [knowledge] seems to me different from 'possessing.' If a man has bought a coat and owns it, but is not wearing it, we should say he possesses it without having it about him."

— Plato (427 BC - 347 BC)

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Date: 360-355 B.C.

"Now consider whether knowledge is a thing you can possess in that way without having it about you, like a man who has caught some wild birds--pigeons or what not--and keeps them in an aviary he has made for them at home."

— Plato (427 BC - 347 BC)

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