Julien Offroy de La Mettrie, (born Dec. 25, , Saint-Malo, Fr.—died Nov. 11, , Berlin), French physician and philosopher whose. Julien Offray de La Mettrie, the French physician and philosopher, was born in Saint-Malo, Brittany. After attending the Collège d’Harcourt, he studied medicine . La Mettrie, Julien Offray De(b. Saint-Malo, France, 19 December ; d.

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Discussing the organic basis of both vital and psychic events, he insisted on the mechanistic character of the causation involved. It was there that he published in L’homme machinehis best known and most influential book, whose atheistic and materialistic contents aroused even the liberal-minded Dutch to angry protest. Asszat,and L’Homme plante. La Mettrie is dismissive of the Cartesian concept of inanimate matter and the related notion of the ‘beast-machine’.

Home People Philosophy and Religion Philosophy: La Mettrie speculated that it is by virtue of the appropriate “material forms” and “substantial forms” that matter, actively organized by an intrinsic force motricerealizes its potential attributes metrie a “vegetative soul” and a “sensitive soul”; each of these, in turn, he makes the “directing principle” of the biological or psychological functions coming under its sway.

Best general treatment of La Mettrie’s philosophy. This mechanical ordering and manipulation by the brain al its symbolically represented contents prompted La Mettrie to consider that the fundamental faculty of the mind is “imagination. This page was last edited on 14 Novemberat Contact our editors with your feedback.

Julien Offroy de La Mettrie

All those who are not imposed upon by the pious insults of the theologians mourn in La Mettrie a good man and a wise physician.

InLa Mettrie entered the College d’Harcourt to study philosophy and natural science, probably graduating around It is also worth noting that La Mettrie, like most young men from the French provinces seeking to make their way in professional society, benefited from hometown contacts. La Mettrie’s philosophy, and in particular the man-machine doctrine central to it, has, owing to its very character, grown somewhat obsolete, together with the scientific documentation to which it was so intimately linked.

By arguing that states of the soul depended uniformly on physiological states of the body, La Mettrie left no grounds for free will or moral responsibility, and it was this that so antagonized the religious community.


Duke University Press, Soon La Mettrie was translating Boerhaave’s works and adding his own observations—including treatises on venereal disease, vertigo, smallpox, and practical medicine and a six-volume commentary on Boerhaave’s writings. Dec 21, See Article History. In Prussia he was appointed a member of the Royal Academy of Sciences, as well as “physician ordinary” and “reader” to the king. An Intellectual History of Psychology 3 ed. A violent fever with fierce delirium came on.

La Mettrie — Medicine, Philosophy, and Enlightenment. Establishing a natural continuity from the external world through the sensory apparatus to the brain itself, La Mettrie identified the soul with a physically conditioned process in a way that allowed him to explain the various faculties of the soul, such as memory, reflection, imagination, the emotions, judgment, volition, solely in terms of their related organic causes. Unfortunately, our editorial approach may not be able to accommodate all contributions.

As such, it is usually distinguished from theism, which affirms the reality of the divine and often seeks to demonstrate its existence. The French ambassador Tirconnel was very grateful to La Mettrie for curing him of an illness, and gave a feast to celebrate his recovery. Cite this article Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

Julien Offray de la Mettrie ().

It was his sharp awareness of the analogies between animal and human nature that led him, at one point, to entertain the experimental hope of instructing the anthropoid ape to speak. Julien Offray de La Mettrie The French physician and philosopher Julien Offrayde La Mettrie is best known for his “Man a Machine,” an incisive and witty exposition of his theory of the dependence of mind on body.

offfray The Robot and the Automaton. The book was burned by the public hangman. Trained as a physician, la Mattrie soon fell out with both the medical and ka authorities and was exiled first to the Netherlands and then to Frederick the Great’s circle of intellectuals at Sans Souci Berlin. The chaplain of the regiment attacked him and the priests claimed that a doctor accused of heresy could not cure the French guards. Hermann Boerhaave, whose iatromechanist doctrines were to have a decisive influence on his orientation in the philosophical, no less than in the medical, domain.


La Mettrie, Julien Offray De

Referring to data provided by comparative anatomy, he held that the great contrasts in the capabilities of the various animal species, including man himself, must be owing to the specific brain structure exhibited by each. This was the idea which brought him the enmity of virtually all thinkers of the French Enlightenmentand a damnatio memoriae [7] which was lifted only a century later by Friedrich Albert Lange in his Geschichte des Materialismus.

Next Juliette Gordon Low. Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia. The “history of the soul” thus becomes an aspect of the julie history and falls under the authority, not of the metaphysician or theologian, but of the natural scientist.

He argued that humans were just complex animals.

This theory can be considered to build off the work of Descartes and his approach to the human body working as a machine. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list. Philosophical inquiry is a central element in the intellectual history of many…. In this claim we have the fundamental attitude of La Mettrie, from which his originality as a philosopher would spring.

He used apes as an example, stating that if they were trained they would be “perfect [men]”. He completed his training after another year at Leiden under the renowned Hermann Boerhaave, whose influence on him was decisive. Berlin, Germany, 11 Novembermedicine, physiology, psychology, jettrie of science. But this theological interest was short-lived, and in La Mettrie began 2 years of natural philosophy at the College of Harcourt. Julien Offray de La Mettrie December 25, — November 11, was a French physician and philosopherthe earliest of the materialist writers of the Enlightenment.