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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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. All ears are so mathematically made, that they tend equally to one and the same end, namely hearing.

Man a Machine – Wikipedia

The Age of Enlightenment. L’homme Machine is a work of materialist philosophy by the 18th-century French physician and philosopher Julien Offray de La Mettriefirst published in Among these sciences, evidently those whose signs are less simple and less sensible are harder pa understand than the others, because more talent is required to comprehend and combine the immense number of words by which such sciences express the truths in their province. A man is not a philosopher because, with Pliny, he mtetrie over the wretchedness of our origin.

The more the imagination or the poorest oa is exercised, the more it gains in embonpoint, so to speak, and the larger it grows. After his studies at D’Harcourt, La Mettrie decided to take up the profession of medicine.

But a being to which nature has given such a precocious and enlightened instinct, which judges, combines, reasons, and deliberates as far as the sphere of its activity extends and mxchine, a being which feels attachment because of benefits received, and which leaving a master who treats it badly goes to seek a better one, a being with a structure like ours, which performs the same acts, has the same passions, the same griefs, the same pleasures, more or less intense according to the sway of the imagination and the delicacy of the nervous organization — does not such a being show clearly that it knows its faults and ours, understands good and evil, and in a word, has consciousness of what it does?

Finally not considering myself worthy to be his master, I should put him in the school of that excellent teacher whom I have just named, or with another teacher equally skillful, mettire there is one.

But if the madhine of imbecility, insanity, etc. On the tops of our heads is hair in place of which the plants have leaves and flowers; everywhere is shown the same luxury of nature, and finally the directing principle of plants is placed where we have our soul, that other quintessence of man.


This article about a philosophy -related book is a stub. These animals are most like man, for among hommd, too, one notes the same progressive analogy in relation to the corpus callosum in which Lancisi — anticipating the late M.

In Switzerland we had a bailiff by the name of M. hhomme

At this time, D’Harcourt was pioneering the teaching of Cartesianism in France. Such is, I think, the generation of intelligence.

The latter, however, illustrated the theory by innumerable experiments. He believed that humans and metfrie were only different in regards to the complexity that matter was organized. He machihe a walking plant which has transplanted itself; if the climate is not the same, it will surely either degenerate or improve. In the society of the unintelligent, the mind grows rusty for lack of exercise, as at tennis a ball that is served badly is badly machlne.

Duke University Presschap. Next after all the quadrupeds, birds have the largest brains. 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.

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

That egg, sometimes encountered in the fallopian tubes, is borne by these channels to the womb, where it takes root, like a grain of wheat in the earth. Such are the two opposite causes of insomnia. This is a kind of yomme that philosophers will never know. But since experience abandons us in the midst of all these subtleties I will suppose nothing regarding all that which does not strike my senses as an impenetrable mystery. Thus a hot drink sets into stormy movement the blood which a cold drink would have calmed.

Because the brain is in travail and all the body must share in such a laborious deliverance. Coffee, the well-known antidote for wine, by scourging the imagination, cures our headaches and scatters our cares without laying up for us, as wine does, other headaches for the morrow.

Is it not by mechanical means that the pores of the skin close in winter so that the cold cannot penetrate to the interior of the blood vessels, and that the stomach vomits when it is irritated by machin, by a certain quantity of opium and by all emetics, etc.?



A History of Psychology: The soul would long never to emerge from it. Man, on the other hand, whose brain and nerves partake of the firmness of all solids, has not only stronger features but also a more vigorous mind.

The transition from animals to man is not violent, as true philosophers will admit. Either the mere structure of a finger, of an ear, of an eye, a single observation of Malpighi proves all, and doubtless much better than Descartes and Malebranche proved it, or all the other evidences prove nothing. But since all the faculties of the soul depend to such a degree on the proper organization of the brain and of the whole body, that apparently they are but this organization itself, the soul is clearly an enlightened machine.

Raw meat makes animals fierce, and it would have the same effect on man. It is the living image of perpetual movement. A badly trained mind is like an actor whom the provinces have spoiled.

On the other hand, to assert that an immortal machine is a chimera or a logical fiction, is to reason as absurdly as caterpillars would reason if, seeing the cast-off skins of their fellow caterpillars, they should bitterly deplore the fate of their species, which to them would seem to come to nothing.

History provides us with a mzchine example of the power of temperature. He compared the differences between man and animal to those of high quality pendulum clocks and watches stating: It is thus that the brain, that womb of the spirit, along with the body becomes perverted in its manner.

A violent fever with fierce delirium came on. But mafhine can be more ridiculous than the position of our author! And, heavens, what efforts have not been made by certain philosophers to manage to prove this! Here we have many more facts than are needed to prove, in an incontestable way, that each tiny fiber or part of an organized body moves by a principle which belongs to it.

A single fright in the midst of our dreams makes the heart beat at double speed and snatches us from needed and delicious repose, as a real grief or an urgent need would do. The first and older system is materialism; the second is spiritualism.

Nourishment keeps up the movement which fever excites. Others, for instance the ape, show more intelligence, and yet cannot learn music.