"Man is a reasonable being; and as such, receives from science his proper food and nourishment."

— Hume, David (1711-1776)

Place of Publication
A. Millar
1748, 1777
"Man is a reasonable being; and as such, receives from science his proper food and nourishment."
Metaphor in Context
Man is a reasonable being; and as such, receives from science his proper food and nourishment: But so narrow are the bounds of human understanding, that little satisfaction can be hoped for in this particular, either from the extent or security of his acquisitions. Man is a sociable, no less than a reasonable being: But neither can he always enjoy company agreeable and amusing, or preserve the proper relish for them. Man is also an active being; and from that disposition, as well as from the various necessities of human life, must submit to business and occupation: But the mind requires some relaxation, and cannot always support its bent to care and industry. It seems, then, that nature has pointed out a mixed kind of life as most suitable to human race, and secretly admonished them to allow none of these biasses to draw too much, so as to incapacitate them for other occupations and entertainments. Indulge your passion for science, says she, but let your science be human, and such as may have a direct reference to action and society. Abstruse thought and profound researches I prohibit, and will severely punish, by the pensive melancholy which they introduce, by the endless uncertainty in which they involve you, and by the cold reception which your pretended discoveries shall meet with, when communicated. Be a philosopher; but, amidst all your philosophy, be still a man.
(p. 8-9)
Working from Nidditch's census, and also confirming entries in the ESTC (1748, 1750, 1751, 1756, 1758, 1760, 1764, 1767, 1768, 1770, 1772, 1777).

First published as Philosophical Essays Concerning Human Understanding (London: Printed for A Millar, 1748). <Link to ECCO><Link to ECCO-TCP><Link to 1748 edition in Google Books> "Second edition" in 1750, "third edition" in 1756. First titled An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding in 1758.

In ECCO-TCP, see also Essays and Treatises: on Several Subjects. By David Hume, Esq, 4 vols. (London: Printed for A. Millar; and A. Kincaid and A. Donaldson, at Edinburgh, 1760). <Link to vol. III>

Text from David Hume, Enquiries Concerning Human Understanding and Concerning the Principles of Morals. 3rd edition. Ed. L. A. Selby-Bigge; P. H. Nidditch (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1975). Note, Nidditch reproduces the the second volume of the posthumous edition of 1777, which he has collated with the preceding 1772 edition.
Date of Entry

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