Donor challenge: Your generous donation will be matched 2-to-1 right now. Your $5 becomes $15! Dear Internet Archive Supporter,. I ask only. Author: Julien Offray de La Mettrie. Title: “L’homme machine”. Year: Page 2 . Page 3. Page 4. Page 5. Page 6. Page 7. Page 8. Page 9. Page Page 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 .

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Edit this record Mark as duplicate Export citation Find it on Scholar Request removal from index Translate to english Revision history. Why then should the education of monkeys be impossible?

In fact, the commentators before our time have only obscured the truth. A Journal of the History of Science One wave leaves a mark, effaced by the one that follows; the soul pursues it, often in vain: Those are the ways, so far as I can understand them, in which men have filled the brain with the ideas, for the reception of which nature made it.

La Mettrie et la science. It is at his own cost that he will learn of the danger, but he will not be caught again. But shall we grant this same distinction to the deaf and to the blind, to imbeciles, madmen, or savages, or to those who have been brought up in the woods with animals; to those who have lost their imagination through melancholia, or in short to all those animals in human form who give evidence of only the rudest instinct?

La Mettrie’s L’Homme Machine: Here is the result in a few words of all their reflections. Julien Offray de La Mettrie – – [S. Need I say that I refer to the empty and trivial notions, to the pitiable and trite arguments that will be urged as long as the shadow of prejudice or of superstition remains on earth for the suppose incompatibility of two substances which meet and move each other unceasingly? But, to follow almost exactly the thought of the author of the Lettres sur la Physiognomie, the sex which unites the charms of the mind and of the body with almost all the tenderest and most delicate feelings of the heart, should not envy us the two capacities which seem to have been given to man, the one merely to enable him better to fathom the allurements of beauty, and the other merely to enable him to minister better to its pleasure.

It has sometimes caused the soul to execute the most horrific plots, the effects of a sudden mania that stifles even natural law. I mean to say, by having expressed themselves badly in obscure and meaningless terms.


Is it not for a similar reason that the stoppage of a few blood vessels is not enough to destroy or suspend the strength of the movement which is in the heart as in the mainspring of the machine; since, on the contrary, the fluids whose volume is diminished, having a shorter road to travel, cover the ground more quickly, borne on as by a fresh current which the energy of the heart increases in proportion to the resistance it encounters at the ends of the blood-vessels?

After gathering enough evidence, in medical and psychological fields, he published the book. Here is a paralytic who asks is his leg is in bed with him; there is a soldier who thinks that he still has the arm which has been cut off.

I will grant that animals, even the best of them, do not know the difference between moral good and evil, that they have no recollection of the trouble taken for them, of the kindness done them, no realization of their own virtues. Metrtie power there is in a meal! 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.

Inhowever, he departed for Leiden to study under the famous Herman Boerhaave. These words and the objects designated by them are so connected in the brain that it is comparatively rare to imagine a thing without the name or sign mschine is attached to it. Why then should I not esteem men with good natural qualities as much as men who shine macchine acquired and as it were borrowed macgine

He has given us the one to explain the other, and reason to make them agree. What I said of paralysis, etc, returns here. Monthly downloads Sorry, mavhine are not enough data points to plot this chart.

Julien Offray de La Mettrie (ed.), L’homme Machine – PhilPapers

In like fashion, it was necessary that nature should use more elaborate art in making and sustaining a machine which for a whole century could mark all motions of the heart and of the mind; for though one does not tell time by the pulse, it is at least the barometer of the warmth and the vivacity by which one may estimate the nature of the soul. He further expressed his radical beliefs by asserting himself as a determinist, dismissing the use of judges.


By this line of observations and truths, we come to connect the admirable power of thought with matter, without being able to see the links, because the subject of this attribute is essentially unknown to us. This article about a philosophy -related book is a stub.

We do not seek here the votes of the crowd.

This will appear from certain observations, made on ,ettrie embryos, which I shall now enumerate. One need only read the Institutions of Medicine by Boerhaave to see what laborious and enticing systems this great man was obliged to invent, by the labor of his mighty genius, through failure to admit that there is so wonderful a force in all bodies.

Julien Offray de La Mettrie

But who was the first to speak? Duke University Presschap.

The Age o Enlightenment. Whoever raises in his heart altars to superstition, is bound macjine worship idols and not to thrill to virtue. It was under Boerhaave that La Mettrie was influenced to try to bring changes to medical education in France. Opium alters even the will, forcing the soul which wished to wake and to enjoy life, to sleep in spite of itself. All this knowledge, with which vanity fills the balloon-like brains of our proud pedants, is therefore but a huge mass of words and figures, which form in the brain all the marks by which we distinguish and recall objects.

Its activity, unlike voluntary motions, does not depend in any way on the nerves, since the movements in question occur in parts of the body which have no connection with the circulation. A badly trained mind is like an actor whom the provinces have spoiled. Man has been trained in the same way as animals. This article has no associated abstract. Dispute it now who will. He who has in himself so great a doctor, should be immortal. Let us then submit to an invincible ignorance on which our happiness depends.

Man a Machine by Julien Offray de La Mettrie

This fever produces a greater filtration of spirits, which mechanically animate the muscles and the heart, as if they had been sent there by order of the will.

Let us not limit the resources of nature; they are infinite, especially when reinforced by great art. Views Read Edit View history. It is not enough for a wise man to study nature and truth; he should dare state truth for the benefit of the few who are willing and able to think.