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Date: 1620

"Lastly, knowing how much the sight of man's mind is distracted by experience and history, and how hard it is at the first (especially for minds either tender or preoccupied) to become familiar with nature, I not unfrequently subjoin observations of my own, being as the first offers, inclinations...

— Bacon, Sir Francis, Lord Verulam (1561-1626)

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Date: 1686, 1689, 1697

"The grand Instruments by which the Understanding works, are Memory and Invention: Now, since these Faculties have their foundation in the sensitive Capacity, as this Prop is withdrawn, the Understanding must of Consequence be more clouded and obscure."

— Nourse, Timothy (c.1636–1699)

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Date: 1690, 1694, 1695, 1700, 1706

"At least they interpose themselves so much between our understandings and the truth which it would contemplate and apprehend, that like the medium through which visible objects pass, their obscurity and disorder do not seldom cast a mist before our eyes, and impose upon our understandings."

— Locke, John (1632-1704)

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Date: Tuesday, October 22, 1706

"Sometimes it is acted by the evil Spirit of general Vogue, and like a meer Possession 'tis hurry'd out of all manner of common Measures; to day it obeys the Course of things and submits to Causes and Consequences; to morrow it suffers Violence from the Storms and Vapours of Human Fancy, operated...

— Defoe, Daniel (1660?-1731)

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Date: Monday, December 3, 1711

"A good Name is fitly compared to a precious Ointment2, and when we are praised with Skill and Decency, 'tis indeed the most agreeable Perfume, but if too strongly admitted into a Brain of a less vigorous and happy Texture, 'twill, like too strong an Odour, overcome the Senses, and prove pernicio...

— Steele, Sir Richard (1672-1729)

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Date: Tuesday, January 22, 1712

"Upon examining this Liquor [in the pericaridum of the coquet], we found that it had in it all the Qualities of that Spirit which is made use of in the Thermometer, to shew the Change of Weather."

— Addison, Joseph (1672-1719)

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Date: November 6, 1746

"She [Desdemona] saw, as the truly valuable Part of the Sex do, Othello's Visage in his Mind; she was too innocent and resigned to be guarded against the Wiles of envious and designing Men; and thus, while basking in the Sunshine of Love, and sporting in the Splendor of its divine Emanations, she...

— Horsley, William (attrib.)

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Date: 1779, 1781

"The variable weather of the mind, the flying vapours of incipient madness, which from time to time cloud reason, without eclipsing it, it requires so much nicety to exhibit, that Addison seems to have been deterred from prosecuting his own design."

— Johnson, Samuel (1709-1784)

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Date: 1791

"I compared him at this time to a warm West-Indian climate, where you have a bright sun, quick vegetation, luxuriant foliage, luscious fruits; but where the same heat sometimes produces thunder, lightening, and earthquakes in a terrible degree.

— Boswell, James (1740-1795)

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Date: 1792

"For it is the right use of reason alone which makes us independent of everything--excepting the unclouded reason--'Whose service is perfect freedom.'"

— Wollstonecraft, Mary (1759-1797)

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