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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More generally, it prompted him to give a preponderant place to the instincts and other biologically conditioned needs in his evaluations of thought, felling, and conduct. He attended the duke at the Battle of Dettingen, at the siege of Freiburg, and at the battle of Fotenoy, where the duke was killed by a cannon shot. It was typical of his empirical procedure that he found proof of the autonomous energy and internal finality of the organism in the physiological data of irritability.

In the Discours sur le bonheurintended as a refutation of Senecan Stoicism, La Mettrie viewed the summum bonum of happiness in a manner no less individualistic than hedonistic.

Among the subsidiary themes of L’homme machinethe declaration of atheism was a new and significant development. In La Mettrie went to Leiden to study with the reknowned philosopher and physician Hermann Boerhaave. A violent fever with fierce delirium came on. It seems that the disease, knowing with whom it had to deal, was cunning enough to attack him first by the brain, in order to destroy him the more surely.

Previous Juliana of the Netherlands. Wikiquote has quotations related to: 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.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. A Study in the Origins of an Idea, developing more boldly and completely, and with great originality, his Materialistic and atheistic views.

Julien Offray De La Mettrie |

From on, La Mettrie practiced medicine in the Saint-Malo district. Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over msttrie and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia. Die Satiren des Herrn Maschine. La Mettrie maintained that the Cartesian theory that animal behavior emerged from soulless machines could also be applied to human behavior. Its concern with ontogenesis and the origin of species represented a broadening of La Mettrie’s materialism into an area of biological speculation which, at the time, was just beginning to excite interest.


Excellent critical edition, with monograph-length introduction. Internet URLs mmettrie the xe. On the one hand, it served a polemical and propagandist aim against the religious enemies of La Mettrie’s philosophical position.

offeay One was the continuity it asserted between the mentality of man and that of those animals most resembling him. However, several additional features of his biography warrant mention.

After he had studied theology in the Jansenist schools for several years, a doctor in his home town of Malo persuaded him to become a physician and convinced his father that medicine would be a more lucrative profession than the priesthood. The Voltaire Foundation Long neglected after his ka, La Mettrie has been recognized since the latter part of the nineteenth century as one of the major forerunners of modern materialism.

With an irony La Mettrie would have enjoyed, his death was early and unexpected. His strategy mettrie not succeed very well, however, for the Aristotelianism on which he grafted his opinions served only to render them obscure and confused, yet apparently not quite obscure enough to prevent the authorities from recognizing and suppressing his “heretical” defense of materialism.

There he also expressed his belief that humans worked like a machine. Frederick II composed the eulogy that was read before the Berlin Academy.

La Mettrie | Lapham’s Quarterly

History and Systems of Psychology 6 ed. Where Boerhaave suggested that Lockean accounts of mental states might parallel brain activity, La Mettrie was willing to assert a causal connection. He then argued that the organization of matter at a high and complex level resulted in human thought.

Machine Man and Other Writings. La Mettrie’s hedonistic and materialistic principles caused outrage even in the relatively tolerant Netherlands. His stay in Holland proved to be short but influential.

Thank You for Your Contribution! He then mentioned that La Mettrie had suffered from indigestion caused by overindulging in the pheasant paste. During the hallucinations brought on by an attack of fever at Frieburg, La Mettrie made observations on himself with reference to the action of quickened circulation upon thought, which led him to the conclusion that psychical phenomena were the result of the effects of organic changes in the brain and nervous system.


Retrieved December 31, from Encyclopedia. By generalizing the phenomenon of irritability, and combining it with related instances of reflex action, La Mettrie was able to picture the organism as a genuinely self-moving, inherently purposive mechanism. Introduction by John Falvey, p. Much of the information about his life comes from the eulogy offered at his funeral by Frederick the Great.

The text is in French and the monograph-length introduction in English. In advancing this notion, La Mettrie was perhaps the earliest exponent of a school of psychology whose method of analysis would be consistently and rigorously physiological.

He did not believe in the existence of God. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted, and if it meets our criteria, we’ll add it to the article.

Written in to introduce a collection of his philosophical works, La Mettrie explicitly identified his work in medicine and philosophy with the reformist agenda of the nascent intellectual movement we now call the Enlightenment.

Learn More in these related Britannica articles: Credits New World Mettgie writers and editors rewrote and offrray the Wikipedia article in accordance with New World Encyclopedia standards.

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.

Julien Offray de la Mettrie (1709-1751).

You may find it helpful to search within the site to see how similar or related subjects are covered. Paradox of hedonism Hedonic treadmill. Julien Offray de La Mettrie French: Appraisals of his philosophy have been amplified through critical studies of a number of his works, which have not only deepened appreciation of the content and impact of his philosophical writings but also placed these works in a richer scientific and philosophical context.