Julien Offray de La Mettrie; L’homme machine; Leyden: Elie Luzac, The first English translation was in ; a second edition published in London in. It also includes translations of other works by La Mettrie that have never before been translated into English. The original title is L’Homme Machine, an odd bit of . La Mettrie, Julien Offray de () Homme machine. Man a machine: wherein the several systems of philosophers, in respect to the soul of man, are.
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Julien Offray de La Mettrie French: He is best known for his work L’homme machine Machine Man. La Mettrie was born at Lla in Brittany on November 23,and was the son of a prosperous textile merchant. His initial schooling took place in the colleges of Coutances and Caen.
InLa Mettrie entered mettrle College d’Harcourt to study philosophy and natural science, probably graduating around At this time, D’Harcourt was pioneering the teaching of Cartesianism in France. It was under Boerhaave that La Mettrie was influenced to try to methrie changes to medical education in France. After his studies at D’Harcourt, La Mettrie decided to take up the profession of medicine.
For five years, La Mettrie studied metfrie faculty of medicine in Paris, and enjoyed the mentorship of Hunauld. Inhowever, he departed for Leiden to study under the famous Herman Boerhaave. His stay in Holland proved to be short ,achine influential. In the following years, La Mettrie settled down to professional medical practice in his home region of Saint-Malo, disseminating the works and theories of Boerhaave through the publication and translation of several machibe.
He married in but the machinee, which produced two children, proved an unhappy one. This experience would instill in him a deep aversion to violence which is evident in his philosophical writings. 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.
So great was the outcry caused by its publication that La Mettrie was forced to quit his position with the French Guards, taking refuge in Leiden.
There he developed his doctrines still more boldly and machiine in L’Homme machinea hastily written treatise based upon consistently materialistic and quasi-atheistic principles. The ethical implications of these principles would later be worked out in his Discours sur le bonheur ; La Mettrie considered it his magnum opus. This was the idea which brought him the enmity of virtually all thinkers of the French Enlightenmentand a damnatio memoriae  which was lifted only a century later by Friedrich Albert Lange in his Geschichte des Materialismus.
Julien mettire La Mettrie is considered one of the most influential determinists of the eighteenth century. Along with aiding the furthering of determinism he considered himself a mechanistic materialist. He believed that mental processes were caused by the body. He expressed these thoughts in his most important work Man a Machine.
There he also expressed his belief that humans mahcine like a machine. This theory can be considered to build off the work of Descartes and his approach to the human body working as a machine. Although he helped further Descartes’ view of mechanization in explaining human bodily behavior, he argued against Descartes’ dualistic view on the mind.
His opinions were so strong that he stated that Descartes was actually a materialist in regards to the mind. He argued that humans were just complex animals. He believed that humans and animals were only different in regards to the complexity that matter was organized. He compared the differences between man and animal to those of high quality pendulum clocks and watches stating: He used apes as an example, stating that if metrtie were trained they would be “perfect [men]”.
His beliefs about humans and animals were based on two types of continuity. The first being weak continuity, suggesting that humans and animals are made of the same things but are organized differently. His main emphasis however was on strong continuity, the idea that the psychology and behavior between humans and animals was not all that different.
La Mettrie believed that man worked like a machine due to mental thoughts depending on bodily actions. He then argued that the organization of matter at a high and complex level resulted in human thought.
He did not believe in the existence of God. He rather chose to argue that the organization of humans was done to provide the best use of complex matter as possible.
La Mettrie arrived at this belief after finding that his bodily and mental illnesses were associated with each other. After gathering enough evidence, in medical and psychological fields, he published the book. Some of the evidence La Mettrie presented was disregarded due to the nature of it.
He argued that events such as a beheaded chicken running around or a recently removed heart of an animal still working proved the connection between the brain and the body. While theories did build off La Mettrie’s, his works were not necessarily scientific. Rather, his writings were controversial and defiant. He further expressed his radical beliefs by asserting himself as a determinist, dismissing the use of judges.
He noted that animals rarely tortured each other and argued that some animals were capable of some level of morality. He believed that as machines, humans would follow the law of nature and ignore their own interests for those of others. He worked off La Mettrie’s materialistic views but modified them to not be as extreme.
La Mettrie’s extreme beliefs, were rejected strongly, but his work did help influence psychologyspecifically behaviorism. His influence is seen in the reductionist approach of behavioral psychologists.
La Mettrie’s hedonistic and materialistic principles caused outrage even in the relatively tolerant Netherlands. 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 allowed him to practice as a physician, but appointed him court reader.
There La Mettrie wrote the Discours sur le bonheurwhich appalled leading Enlightenment thinkers such as VoltaireDiderot and D’Holbach due to its explicitly hedonistic sensualist principles which prioritised the unbridled pursuit of pleasure above all other things. La Mettrie’s celebration of sensual pleasure was said to have resulted in his early death.
The French ambassador to Prussia, Tirconnel, grateful to La Mettrie for curing him of an illness, held a feast in his honour. As a result, he developed a gastric illness of some sort. Soon after he began suffering from a severe fever and eventually died. Frederick the Great gave the funeral oration, which remains the major biographical source on La Mettrie’s life.
It seems that the disease, knowing with whom it had to deal, was cunning enough to attack him first by the brain, in order to ka him the more surely. A violent fever with fierce delirium came on. The invalid was obliged to have recourse to the science of his colleagues, but he failed to find the succor that his own skill had so often afforded as well to himself as to the public”. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Julien Offray de La Mettrie. Paradox of hedonism Hedonic treadmill. Machine Man and Other Writings. Discours sur le bonheur. Critical edition by John Falvey. The Voltaire Foundation Introduction by John Falvey, p. La Mettrie — Medicine, Philosophy, and Enlightenment. Duke University Presschap. A History of Psychology: Ideas and Context 4 ed. A Conceptual History of Psychology.
History and Systems of Psychology 6 ed. An Intellectual History of Psychology 3 ed.
La Mettrie, L’homme machine
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