Julien Offroy de La Mettrie, (born Dec. 25, , Saint-Malo, Fr.—died Nov. 11, , Berlin), French physician and philosopher whose. Julien Offray de La Mettrie, the French physician and philosopher, was born in Saint-Malo, Brittany. After attending the Collège d’Harcourt, he studied medicine . La Mettrie, Julien Offray De(b. Saint-Malo, France, 19 December ; d.

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How can we be held responsible for what we do if all is material?

He expressed these thoughts in his most important work Man a Machine. In this protected situation he continued to write tracts dw scientific and philosophical subjects that shocked the conventional-minded.

United Nations UNinternational organization established on October 24, It was typical of his empirical procedure that he found proof of the autonomous energy and internal finality of the organism in the physiological data of irritability.

Reflecting his strong taste for analogical reasoning, it is an extreme confirmation of the “chain-of-being” idea, which it interprets in the sense of a uniform destiny for man df for all other living forms, excluding the possibility of a spiritual transcendence of nature.

Berlin, Germany, 11 Novembermedicine, meftrie, psychology, philosophy of science. Introduction by John Falvey, p. For him, medicine demonstrated the dependence of mind on body, the variety of human constitutions, and the different responses of individual constitutions to external stimuli. Epicureanism and egoism in modern philosophy philosophical views In Western philosophy: Die Satiren des Herrn Maschine. At the bottom of the article, feel free to list any sources that support your changes, so that we can fully understand dd context.

Julien Offray de La Mettrie – Wikiquote

His strategy did not succeed very well, however, for the Aristotelianism on which he grafted his opinions served only to render them obscure and confused, yet apparently not quite obscure enough to prevent the authorities from recognizing and suppressing his “heretical” defense of materialism.

These texts were nonetheless important for their reliance on case studies as the most legitimate to approach the study of diseases and for their intent to raise public awareness of heath issues by conveying information to the public.

There was a problem with your submission. While carrying on a successful medical practice in Leiden, he published in Paris a treatise on smallpox, his Practical Medicineand six volumes of commentary on the physiology of Boerhaave. His initial education took place at the provincial colleges of Coutances and Caen, where he was influenced by Jansenism and is reputed to have written a Jansenist text, although it has never been found.


Internet URLs are the best. He used apes as an example, stating that if they were trained they would be “perfect [men]”. Accordingly, he diagnosed the greatest threat to felicity to be “remorse,” a morbid and “unnatural” symptom, which he proposed, ever faithful to the Hippocratic oath, to alleviate in all and sundry, including even conscience-ridden criminals; he remarked that the practical control of social behavior was a political matter and no business of his.

Much of the information about his life comes from the eulogy offered at his funeral by Frederick the Great. Berlin, Germany, 11 November medicine, physiology, psychology, philosophy of science. La Mettrie — Medicine, Philosophy, and Enlightenment. It was in these years, during an attack of feverthat he made observations on himself with reference to the action of quickened blood circulation upon thought, which led him to the conclusion that mental processes were to be accounted for as the effects of organic changes in the brain and nervous system.

However, he must be credited with conceiving of the “living machine” in a manner that goes beyond the inadequacies of Descartes’s passive and inert notion of mechanism. Mainly on the medical background of La Mettrie’s thought.

Edited by Ann Thomson. La Mettrie was born with a fund of natural and inexhaustible gaiety; he had a quick mind, and such a fertile imagination that it made flowers grow in the field of medicine.

Julien Offray de La Mettrie

His main emphasis however offrsy on strong continuity, the idea that the psychology and behavior between humans and animals was not all that different. He returned from Leiden a staunch proponent of a cautious, empiricist, and utilitarian approach to knowledge and an opponent of rationalist metaphysics.

Carl Hanser Verlag, Julien Offroy de La Mettrie. Critical edition by John Falvey. No longer able to practice medicine, La Mettrie developed his doctrines of materialism still more boldly and completely, and with great originality, in L’Homme machine Eng.

The technical documentation with which La Mettrie tried to prove his case was, to be sure, seriously limited by the knowledge then available concerning the life sciences. La Mettrie was fortunate enough, at this crucial moment, to find a protector in Frederick the Greatwho invited him to Berlin.

As a result, he developed a gastric illness of some sort. The chaplain of the regiment attacked him and the priests claimed that a doctor accused of heresy could not cure the French guards. La Mettrie’s celebration of sensual pleasure was said to have metrie in his early death. In other projects Wikimedia Commons Wikiquote Wikisource.


Julien Offray de La Mettrie – Wikipedia

After his studies at D’Harcourt, La Mettrie decided to take up the profession of medicine. There he composed Penelopea polemical work against the physicians in which he made fun of the vanity of his profession. Trained as a physician, la Mattrie soon fell out with both the medical and ecclesiastical authorities and was exiled first to the Netherlands and then to Frederick the Great’s circle of intellectuals at Sans Souci Berlin. So strong was the feeling against him that in he was compelled to leave for Berlinwhere, thanks in part to the offices of Maupertuisthe Prussian king Frederick the Great not only ujlien him to practice as juliej physician, but appointed him court reader.

By arguing that states of the soul depended uniformly on physiological states of the body, La Mettrie left no grounds for free will or moral responsibility, and it was this that so antagonized the religious community. The specific features of his mechanistic theory of mind might, in relation to what is now known or still unknown about neural processes, seem naive, crude, superficial, and pretentious.

The United Nations UN …. New World Encyclopedia writers and editors rewrote and completed offrayy Wikipedia article in accordance with New World Encyclopedia standards.

Julien Offray de la Mettrie (1709-1751).

An anthology of selected materials can be found in Marcelle Tisserand, ed. Its concern with ontogenesis and the origin of species represented a broadening of La Mettrie’s materialism into an area of biological speculation which, at the time, was just beginning to excite interest.

He compared the differences between man and animal to those of high quality pendulum clocks and watches stating: History of “Julien La Mettrie” Note: The protest against his atheistic materialism was so strong that La Mettrie had to leave the country. Although he helped further Descartes’ view of mechanization in explaining human bodily behavior, he argued against Descartes’ dualistic view on the mind.

But his description of the “evolutionary” process, in which monstrous and unviable productions are supposed to have been eliminated in favor of the well-constituted types now extant, did little more than revive Lucretian memories. The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica.

He wrote with polemical zest, his points corroborated by physiological evidence and medical case studies, and addressed to issues of public health.