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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Catalog Record: L’homme machine | Hathi Trust Digital Library

How can human nature be known, if we may not derive any light from an exact comparison of the structure of man and of animals? Would its soul, which feels the same joys, the same mortification and the same discomfiture which we feel, remain utterly unmoved by disgust when it saw a fellow-creature torn to bits, or when it had itself pitilessly dismembered this fellow-creature? I say of truth in general what M. These can no longer sustain the weight of the head, and the soul can no longer bear the burden of thought; it is in sleep as if it were not.

What a punishment for an involuntary crime which they could not resist, of which they had no consciousness whatever! Is the soul too much excited?

The mettrue to help this man to regain his faculties and his own flesh-and-blood nose is to advise him to sleep on hay, lest he beak the fragile organ, and then to set fire to the hay that he may be afraid of being burned — a far which has sometimes cured paralysis. Education, which women lack, strengthens his mind still more. This real or apparent likeness of figures is the fundamental basis of all truths and of all we know. The following considerations will reinforce these observations.

Julien Offray de La Mettrie

He denies existence of the soul as a substance separate from matter:. Even Galen knew this truth which Descartes carried so far as to claim that medicine alone can change minds and morals, along with bodies. Do not think, however, that I wish to infer by that, that the size alone of the brain, is enough to indicate the degree of tameness in animals: It is thus that the brain, that womb of the spirit, along with the body becomes perverted in its manner.

The soul follows the progress of the body, as it does the progress of education. But who was the first to speak? But doubtless it is much to be wished that excellent physicians might be the only judges.


Home different is my view! Nothing is easier than to prove a system based, as this one is, on the intimate feeling and personal experience of each individual. L’homme Machine is a work of materialist philosophy by the 18th-century French physician l philosopher Julien Offray de La Mettriefirst published in If it is clear that these activities cannot be performed without intelligence, why refuse intelligence to these animals?

Again, is it not thus, by removing cataract, or by injecting the Eustachian canal, that sight is restored to the blind, or hearing to the deaf? That unfortunate girl will die of an ill for which there are so many doctors.

The mere mention of the member which he has lost is enough to recall it to home mind, and to make him feel all its motions; and this causes him an indefinable and inexpressible kind of imaginary hommw. Sometimes, again, the greatest genius becomes imbecile and looses the sense of self. A History of Psychology: Then little by little, one sees the head lengthen from the neck, which, in dilating, forms first the thorax inside which the heart has already sunk, there to become stationary; below that is the abdomen which is divided by a partition the diaphragm.

He then argued that the organization of matter at a high and complex level resulted in human thought. I certainly would not give myself a quarter of the trouble that M.

La Mettrie — Medicine, Philosophy, and Enlightenment. Machine Man and Other Writings. And, heavens, what efforts have not been made by certain philosophers to manage to prove this! Why should I stop to speak of the man who imagines that his nose or some other member is of glass?

Only though nature do we have any good qualities; to her we owe all that we are. Is more needed, for why lose myself in discussion of the passions which are all explained by the term, enormon, of Hippocrates to prove that man is but an animal, or a collection of springs which wind each other up, without or being able to tell at what point in this human circle, nature has begun? Deaf to all other voices, tranquil mortals would follow on the spontaneous dictates of their own being, the only commands which can never be despised with impunity and which alone can lead us to happiness through the pleasant paths of virtue.

Paradox of hedonism Hedonic treadmill.

Catalog Record: L’homme machine | Hathi Trust Digital Library

His influence is seen in the reductionist approach of behavioral psychologists. And, in spite of the victory of the new quantum theory, and the conversion of so many physicists to indeterminism de La Mettrie’s doctrine that man is a machine has perhaps more defenders than before among physicists, biologists and philosophers; especially in the form of the thesis that man is a computer.


What is the reason for this, except some defect in the organs of speech? The best of organisms has need of this exercise. Views Read Edit View history. To what excesses cruel hunger can bring us! As each drop of sperm contains an infinite number of these tiny spermatozoids, once cast into the ovaries only the most adroit or the most vigorous have the force to insinuate themselves into and implant themselves in the egg furnished by the woman, and which provides it with mqchine initial nourishment.

In the same way, finally, does not one man hear except immediately after his attack without being able to say what he hears, while another who hears nothing, but whose lingual nerves are uninjured in the brain, mechanically tells of all the dreams which pass through his mind?

Retrieved from ” https: I should choose a large ape in preference to any other, until by some good fortune another kind should be discovered, more like us, for nothing prevents there being such a one in regions unknown to us. The movements are so quick, that it seems almost as if there were no succession. Such are the two opposite causes of insomnia.

Experience has thus spoken to me mettriie behalf of reason; and in this way I have combined the two. But I must touch lightly on facts which everybody knows.

Discours sur le bonheur. By this mettrke is explained all that can be explained, even to the surprising effect of maladies of the imagination. Introduction by Home Falvey, p. They have taken for granted two distinct substances in man, as if they had seen them, and positively counted them.

What animal would die of hunger in the midst of a river of milk? And how could this be if not through the disorder and tumult of the blood and the spirits, which gallop with an extraordinary promptness and go to inflate the covarnous bodies?