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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Accordingly, he diagnosed the greatest threat to felicity to be “remorse,” a morbid and “unnatural” symptom, which he proposed, ever faithful to the Hippocratic oath, to alleviate in all and sundry, including even conscience-ridden criminals; he remarked that the practical control of social behavior was a political matter and no business of his.

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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.

La Mettrie is dismissive of the Cartesian concept of inanimate matter and the related notion of the mettgie. Historians of science have increasingly explored the social context of the development of science and the careers of scientists. Its author, now regarded by the public as the most daring and dangerous of the Philosophes, was forced to flee again, this time to the court of Frederick II of Prussia, where he was appointed a member of the Royal Academy of Sceiences, as well as reader and physician to the king.

On La Mettrie’s activities as a satirist. Following the pioneering researches of Albrecht von HallerLa Mettrie was among the first to understand the radical value of the capacity for irritability, and he succeeded in interpreting it with particular relevance for his thesis of psychophysical automatism.

Your contribution may be further edited by our staff, and its publication is subject to our final approval. However, La Mettrie regarded matter as essentially active and sensitive, and the living machine as a purposive, autonomous, and dynamic system. Berlin, Germany, 11 November medicine, physiology, psychology, philosophy of science. L’Homme plante appeared in La Mettrie was born at Saint-Malo in Brittany on November 23,and was the son of a prosperous textile merchant.


You can make it easier for us to review and, hopefully, publish your contribution ce keeping a few points in mind. He was astute enough to grasp, in relation to the man-machine idea, the theoretical value of the discoveries that Heller had just made concerning the irritable properties of muscle tissue. It was in these years, during an attack of feverthat he made dee on himself with reference to the action of quickened blood circulation upon thought, which led him to the conclusion that mental processes were to be accounted for as mertrie effects of organic changes in the brain and nervous system.

By not reading his books, one can be very content. Concurrently La Mettrie proposed an experimental-inductive method, as opposed to the then prevalent apriorist ones, in the search for the principles of psychology.

La Mettrie’s hedonistic and materialistic principles caused outrage even in the relatively tolerant Netherlands. His initial education took place at the provincial colleges of Coutances and Caen, where he was influenced by Jansenism and is reputed to have written a Jansenist text, julieb it has never been found. Cite this article Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

Pierre Jean Georges Cabanisthe most msttrie materialist of the French Enlightenmenttook La Mettrie’s naturalism to its logical extreme in his Rapports du physique et du moral de l’homme His personal contribution to medicine remained on the theoretical rather than the practical plane. He believed that as machines, humans would follow the law of nature and ignore their own interests for those of others.

Between and he served julein an army doctor in the War of the Austrian Succession. The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Nature had made him an orator and philosopher; but a yet more hulien gift which he received from her, was a pure soul and an obliging heart. 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.

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. Lffray, La Mettrie offered ofcray ideas as a general hypothesis for the study of human behavior, and did not feel the need to associate all mental processes with specific physiological causes.


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.

Critical edition with introductory monograph and notes. On the offraay level, the man-machine offered a strictly mechanistic interpretation of how living things are constituted and function; as such it served, in the eighteenth-century milieu, to express the counterpart of animistic or vitalistic theorizing lffray biology. The only modern English trans. Julien Offray de La Mettrie December 25, — November 11, was a French physician and philosopherthe earliest of the materialist writers of the Enlightenment.

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. Berlin, Germany, 11 Novembermedicine, physiology, psychology, philosophy of science. La Mettrie was fortunate enough, at xe crucial moment, to find a protector in Frederick the Greatwho invited him to Berlin.

Julien Offray de La Mettrie – Wikisource, the free online library

He worked off La Mettrie’s materialistic views but modified them to not be as extreme. By his works were burned even in Holland, and he was forced to flee. Discours sur le bonheur. In the following years, La Mettrie settled down to professional medical practice in his home region of Saint-Malo, disseminating the works and theories of Boerhaave through the publication and translation of several works.

The text is in French and the monograph-length introduction in English. 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.

Please try again later. Thank you for your feedback. Discussing the organic basis of both vital and psychic events, he insisted on the ds character of the causation involved.