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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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The Cartesians would here in vain make an onset upon me with their innate emttrie. I certainly would not give myself a quarter of the trouble that M.

ETH-Bibliothek / L’ homme machine

If there is a revelation, it cannot then contradict nature. The best of organisms has need of this exercise. A few more wheels, a few more springs than in the most perfect animals, the brain proportionally nearer the heart and for this very reason receiving more blood — any one of a number of unknown causes might always produce this delicate conscience so easily wounded, this remorse which is no more foreign to matter than to thought, and in a word all the differences that are supposed to exist here.

Not at all; rather from the commerce and the kind of sympathy of these muscles with the imagination. Next after all the quadrupeds, birds have the largest brains. Does this bring gain or loss? One of these enlargements of the body forms the arms, the hands, the fingers, the nails, and the hair; the other forms the thighs, the legs, the feet, etc.

One wave leaves a mark, effaced by the one that follows; the soul pursues it, often in vain: If reason is the slave of a depraved or mad desire, how can it control the desire? In Switzerland we had a bailiff by the name of M. Have we ever had a single experience which convinces us that man alone has been enlightened by a ray denied all other animals? They alone, tranquilly contemplating our soul, have surprised it, a thousand times, both in its wretchedness and in its glory, and they have no more despised it in the first estate, than they have admired it in the second.


In ears we find everywhere a striking variety, and yet the difference of structure in men, animals, birds, and fishes, does not produce different uses. Julien Offray de La Mettrie. His main emphasis however was on strong continuity, the idea that the psychology and behavior between humans and animals was not all that different.

But if the causes of imbecility, insanity, etc.

You will in vain say that you assert nothing about the nature of nachine animal soul and that you deny its immortality. Thus, imagination, the true image of time, is being ceaselessly destroyed and renewed. A violent fever with fierce delirium came on. Is the soul too much excited?

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.

L’homme machine;

Frederick the Great gave the funeral oration, which remains the major biographical source on La Mettrie’s life. Again, the deist will bring forward as a difficulty those parts of the animal that are clearly contained in it for future use, the butterfly in the caterpillar, man in the sperm, a whole polyp in each maxhine its parts, the valvule in the oval orifice, the lungs in the foetus, the teeth in their sockets, the bones in the fluid from which they detach themselves and in an incomprehensible manner harden.


As for the rest, who are voluntarily slaves of prejudice, they can no more attain truth, than frogs can fly. Yet it is always imagination which apperceives, and imagination which represents to itself all objects along with their names and symbols; and thus, once again, imagination is the soul, since it plays all the roles of the soul.

This has been shown in the host of experiments with which I have undertaken to crush the systems. But according to this hypothesis which was the hypothesis of Virgil and of all Epicureans, an hypothesis which the history of the polyp might seem at first sight to favor the movements which go on after the death of the subject in which they macyine are due to a remnant of soul still maintained by the parts that pa, though, from the moment of death, these are not excited by the blood and spirits.

Man a Machine

How different is my view! In spite of all these advantages of man over animals, it is doing him honor to place him in the same class.

An Intellectual History of Psychology 3 ed. Man is so complicated a machine that it is impossible to get a clear idea of the machine beforehand, and hence impossible to define it.

Dispute it now who will. Such is the chaos and the continuous quick succession of our ideas: For, truly, up to a certain age, he is more of an animal than they, since at birth he has less instinct. But at any machnie he understood animal nature, he was the first to prove completely that animals are pure machines.