"We must examine every thing, as if we were a tabula rasa."

— Bayle, Pierre (1647-1706); Anonymous

Place of Publication
1736, 1737, 1734-1741
"We must examine every thing, as if we were a tabula rasa."
Metaphor in Context
[...] Thus, for a certain time, that is, while each party is alledging his reasons, both those who deny, and those who affirm, ought to lay aside their thesis, and neither affirm nor deny it. it will be then a question; it will be a matter of enquiry; to proceed impartially in which we must not suffer our pre-conceived opinions to add any weight to the arguments that favour them, nor to weaken the contrary reasons. We must examine every thing, as if we were a tabula rasa. It is not necessary actually to doubt, and much less to affirm, that all we have believed is false: it is sufficient to keep it in a kind of suspence; that is, not to suffer our persuasion to byas us, in the judgment we are to pass upon the proofs of the existence of GOD, and the difficulties and arguments of the Atheists. This is doubtless what Des Cartes intended, when he would have his Philosopher doubt of every thing, before he examines the reasons of the certainty of it. [...]
(IV, p. 81)
Searching "tabula rasa" in ECCO
4 entries in ESTC (1734, 1738).

Vol 1 printed in 1734, vols. 2-3 in 1735, vol. 4 in 1736, vol.5 in 1737, vols. 6-7 in 1738, vols. 8-9 in 1739, vol.10 in 1741.

See Volume 1: A General Dictionary, Historical and Critical: In Which a New and Accurate Translation of That of the Celebrated Mr. Bayle, With the Corrections and Observations Printed in the Late Edition at Paris, Is Included; and Interspersed With Several Thousand Lives Never Before Published. The Whole Containing the History of the Most Illustrious Persons of All Ages and Nations, Particularly Those of Great Britain and Ireland, Distinguished by Their Rank, Actions, Learning and Other Accomplishments. With Reflections on Such Passages of Mr. Bayle, As Seem to Favour Scepticism and the Manichee System. By the Reverend Mr. John Peter Bernard; the Reverend Mr. Thomas Birch; Mr. John Lockman; and Other Hands. And the Articles Relating to Oriental History by George Sale, Gent. (London: Printed by James Bettenham, for G. Strahan, J. Clarke, T. Hatchet in Cornhill; J. Gray in the Poultry; J. Batley in Pater-Noster-Row; T. Worrall, J. Shuckburgh in Fleetstreet; J. Wilcox, A. Millar, C. Corbet in the Strand; T. Osborne in Grays-Inn; J. Brindley in New Bond-Street; and C. Ward and R. Chandler at the Ship between the Temple Gates in Fleetstreet, and sold at their shop in Scarborough, 1734). <Link to ESTC>

Text from The Dictionary Historical and Critical of Mr Peter Bayle., 2nd ed. vol. 4 of 5 (London: Printed for D. Midwinter, J. Brotherton; A. Bettesworth and C. Hitch, J. Hazard, 1734-38 [1736]). <Link to ECCO>
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The Mind is a Metaphor is authored by Brad Pasanek, Assistant Professor of English, University of Virginia.