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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Against so strong and solid an oak, what could the weak reeds of theology, of metaphysics, and of the schools, avail, — childish arms, like our parlor foils, that may well afford the pleasure of fencing, but can never wound an adversary.

Machine man and other writings Hardback version transferred to digital print. Bulimia, or canine hunger, for example, can stifle all feeling; it is a mania of the stomach that one is compelled to satisfy, but what remorse must be in store for those women, when the come to themselves and grow sober, and remember the crimes they have committed against those they held most dear! We no longer regard even our own parents and children. But, on the other hand, what would be the use of the most excellent school, without a matrix perfectly open to the entrance and conception of ideas?

At the same moment, he perceives through his eyes the shape of the bodies of which these words are the arbitrary signs.

In short, the materialist, convinced, in spite of the protests of his vanity, that is he but a machine or an animal, will not maltreat his kind, for he will know too well the nature of those actions, whose humanity is always in proportion to the degree of analogy proved above [between human beings and animals]; and following the natural law given to all animals, he will not wish to do to others what he would not wish them to do to him.

The motive principle of the whole body, and even of its parts cut in pieces, is such that it produces not irregular movements, as some have thought, but very regular ones, in warm blooded and perfect animals as well as in cold and imperfect ones. We need only glance at a violinist.

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And since the partisans of this theory, far from neglecting anything that would strengthen proof, never tire of piling up proof upon proof, they are willing to avail themselves of everything, even of the weakness of the mind in certain cases. How truly a contemporary writer says that the only vanity fails to gather from secondary causes the same lessons as from primary causes!

By this line of observations and truths, we come to connect the admirable power of thought with matter, without being able to see the links, because the subject of this attribute is essentially unknown to us.

Judge how he will treat others. Mind, beauty, wealth, nobility, although the children of chance, all have their own value, as skill, learning and virtue all have theirs. Therefore, if imagination does not, as it were, use one set of its muscles to maintain a kind of equilibrium with the fibers of the brain, to keep its attention for a while upon an object that is on the point of disappearing, and to prevent itself from contemplating prematurely another object — [unless the imagination does all this], it will never be worthy of the fine name of judgment.

Related articles Paradox of hedonism Hedonic treadmill. These then are the causes or forces of life which thus sustain for a hundred years that perpetual movement of the solids and liquids which is as necessary to the first as to the second. In vain all writers of books on morals fail to regard as praiseworthy those qualities that come by nature, esteeming only the talents gained by dint of reflection metrrie industry.

In other projects Wikimedia Commons Wikiquote Wikisource. What a punishment for an involuntary crime which they could not resist, of which they had no consciousness whatever!

La Mettrie, L’homme machine

For finally, even if man alone had received a share of natural law, would he be any less a machine for that? For it is this, this strong analogy, which forces all scholars and wise judges to confess that these proud and vain beings, more distinguished by their pride than by the name of men however much they may wish to exalt themselves, are at bottom only animals and machines which, though upright, go on all fours.


In Switzerland we had a bailiff by the name of M. But if such is the marvelous and incomprehensible result of the structure of the brain, if everything is perceived and explained by imagination, why should we divide the sensitive principle which thinks in man?

And is not this the reason why the loss of sight caused by the compression of the optic nerve and its ceasing to convey lw images of objects no more hinders hearing, than the loss of hearing caused by the obstruction of the functions of the auditory nerve implies the loss of sight?

As each drop of sperm contains an infinite number of these tiny spermatozoids, once cast mzchine the ovaries only the most adroit or the most vigorous have the force to insinuate themselves into and implant themselves in the egg furnished by the woman, and which provides it with its initial nourishment.

For a thing that is divided can no longer without absurdity be regarded as indivisible. See his Treatise on the Mechanism of Animals. That parts that are attracted to each other, that are made to unite and to occupy this or that place all unite in keeping with their nature, and that in this way are formed the eyes, the heart, the stomach and finally the entire body, as great men have written, all this is possible.

For doubtless those machinee nature endowed with finer feeling had also greater facility in expression. It is the same way with us.

Man a Machine

Without the precepts of hygiene, Epictetus, Socrates, Plato, and the rest preach in vain: History provides us with a noteworthy example of the power of temperature.

His beliefs about humans and animals were based on two types of continuity. Now, I believe and admit that these wretches do not for the most part feel at the time the enormity of their actions. Retrieved from ” https: I suppose in shot that the natural law has not been given to animals.