Background and Suggestions for Taking Notes as you Read


In the excerpts from Locke's Essay, he attempts to describe how ideas first enter the mind and then how they are "revived" by memory. Notice that he relies on the metaphors he had originally used in the excerpt "Of Ideas In General" (Module 2): "mind = (printed) paper"; "mind = storehouse or warehouse"; "mind = canvas for painting pictures." But notice also that he uses the word "impression" and "imprinting" interchangeably. That interchangeability suggests that in his mind and the minds of his contemporaries, objects and events in the world make their "imprint" on our bodies -- literally press on our skin, just the way that printed type presses on paper -- and then continue that pressure on some material in our minds. Locke thus models human understanding on a particular technology -- and one of your assignments asks you to think about which one.

As you read the excerpts from Bush, Taylor, and Balkin, take notes by looking for metaphors.

For Bush, Memory = __________________________

For Balkin (and all the writers he describes), brain = ___________________________

For Taylor, the human mind = _______________________________