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Julien Offray de La Mettrie 1709-1751) is the first modern materialist. His Man a Machine is a passionate, popular presentation of materialism and atheism, more provocative than any earlier work. One of the leading physicians of his time, La Mettrie draws heavily on his medical knowledge to argue that the human organism is subject to cause-and-effect processes, and that soul and body are not separate. He uses the effects of drugs, disease, food, and climate to show that consciousness is governed by physical causes, but he does not dispute the existence of consciousness, nor does he claim that mental processes are identical with physiological ones. Emphasizing the similarity between apes and humans, La Mettrie speculates that one day an ape might be made to learn a language. This edition contains the full text of L'Homme Machine (in English and the original French), Frederick the Great's 'Eulogy' on La Mettrie, extracts from La Mettrie's Natural History of the Soul, and full background notes....


 
 
Julien Offray de La Mettrie 1709-1751) is the first modern materialist. His Man a Machine is a passionate, popular presentation of materialism and atheism, more provocative than any earlier work. One of the leading physicians of his time, La Mettrie draws heavily on his medical knowledge to argue that the human organism is subject to cause-and-effect processes, and that soul and body are not separate. He uses the effects of drugs, disease, food, and climate to show that consciousness is governed by physical causes, but he does not dispute the existence of consciousness, nor does he claim that mental processes are identical with physiological ones. Emphasizing the similarity between apes and humans, La Mettrie speculates that one day an ape might be made to learn a language. This edition contains the full text of L'Homme Machine (in English and the original French), Frederick the Great's 'Eulogy' on La Mettrie, extracts from La Mettrie's Natural History of the Soul, and full background notes....

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Julien Offroy de La Mettrie, French physician, atheist, mechanist and materialist; an infamous specimen of the Enlightenment. La Mettrie's Man a Machine (L'Homme Machine, 1748) is his main and most infamous work. He wrote his Man a Machine or rather...
 
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