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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If there is a God, he is the Author of nature was well as of revelation. But is this defect so essential to the structure that it could never be remedied? I shall not launch out into any more detail about the varieties of machiine, nor into conjectures concerning them, for there lx an infinite number of both, as any one can see by reading no further than the treatises of Willis De Cerebro and De Anima Brutorum.
The body is but a watch, whose watchmaker is the new chyle. See to what one is brought by the abuse of language and by those fine words spirituality, immateriality, etc. But if crime carries with it its own more or less cruel punishment, if the most continued and most barbarous habit cannot entirely blot out repentance in the cruelest hearts, if criminals are lacerated by the very memory of their deeds, why should we frighten the imagination of weak minds, by a hell, by specters, and by precipices of fire even less real than those of Mavhine On the contrary, if the imagination be trained from childhood to bridle itself and to keep from being carried away by its own impetuosity — an impetuosity which creates only brilliant enthusiasts — and to check, to restrain, its ideas, to examine them in all their aspects in order to see all sides of an object, then the imagination, ready in judgment, will comprehend the greatest possible sphere of objects, through reasoning; and its vivacity always so good a sign in children, and only mertrie to be regulated by study hkmme training will be only a far-seeing insight without which little progress can be made in the sciences.
Grant only that organized matter is endowed with a principle of motion, which alone differentiates it from the inorganic and can one deny this in the face of the most incontestable observation?
Is it not ridiculous to kachine them shamelessly coming to conclusions about a subject concerning which they have had no means of ,a anything, and from which on the contrary they have been completely turned aside by obscure studies that have led them to a laa prejudiced opinions, — in a word, to fanaticism, which adds yet more to their ignorance of the mechanism of the body?
Not only do these reflections fail to elucidate faith, but they also constitute such frivolous objections to the method of those who undertake to interpret the Scripture, that I am almost ashamed to waste time in refuting them. Put this question to men of imagination, to great poets, to men who are enraptured by the felicitous expression of sentiment, and transported by an exquisite fancy or by the charms of nature, of truth, or of virtue! It reasons, judges, analyzes, compares, and investigates.
Finally not considering myself worthy to be his master, I should put him in the school of that excellent teacher jomme I have just named, or with another teacher equally skillful, if there is one.
But even though we have chosen the best guides, we shall still find many thorns and stumbling blocks in the way. Locke, who was certainly never suspected al credulity, found no difficulty in believing the story told by Sir William Temple in his memoirs, about a parrot which could answer rationally, and which had learned to carry on a kind of connected conversation, as we do.
Rather, his writings were controversial and defiant.
The most peaceful spot, the freshest and most calming drinks are alike useless to one who has not freed his heart from mettre torment of hoomme. In the society of the unintelligent, the mind grows hlmme for lack of exercise, as at tennis a ball that is served badly is badly returned. Let us now go into some detail concerning these springs of the human machine. He will await death without either fear or desire, and will cherish life hardly understanding how disgust can corrupt a heart in this place of many delights ; he will be filled with reverence, gratitude, affection, and tenderness for nature, in proportion to his feeling of the benefits he has received from nature; he will be happy, in short, in feeling nature, machkne in being present at the enchanting spectacle of the universe, and we will surely never destroy nature mettire in himself or in others.
Its activity, unlike voluntary motions, does not depend in any way on the nerves, since the movements in question occur in parts of the body which have no connection with the circulation. Coffee, the well-known antidote for wine, by scourging the imagination, cures our headaches and scatters our cares without laying up for us, as wine does, other headaches for the morrow.
As the motion of the blood is calmed, a sweet feeling of peace and quiet spreads through the whole mechanism. A History of Psychology: This will appear from certain observations, made on different embryos, which I shall now enumerate. To what excesses cruel hunger can bring us! This is about all we know about generation. In their eyes he discovered ears, as he himself explained, and in how short a time! But nourish the body, pour into its veins life-giving juices and strong liquors, and then the soul grows strong like them, as l arming itself with a proud ho,me, and the soldier whom water would have made to flee, grows bold and runs joyously to death to the sound of drums.
An honest pride, on the contrary, is the mark of a strong and beautiful soul, revealed by manly features moulded by feeling.
Man a Machine by Julien Offray de La Mettrie
The mere mention of the member which he has lost is enough to recall it to his mind, and to make him feel all its motions; and this causes him an indefinable and inexpressible kind of imaginary suffering.
He has given us the one to explain the other, and reason to make them agree. History offers us a famous example of a lion which would not devour a man abandoned to its fury, because it recognized him as its benefactor.
Therefore, since we may say, after such long experience, that religion does not imply exact honesty, we are authorized by the same reasons to think that atheism does not exclude it. The head alone; a little round egg with two black points which mark the eyes.
I do not pretend to say whether more intellect is necessary to excel in the art of Aristotle or of Descartes than to excel in that of Euripides or of Sophocles, and whether nature has taken more trouble to make Newton than to make Corneille, though I doubt this. Happy mortal, he must have received a soul different from the rest of mankind, — a sovereign soul, which, mwttrie content with having some control over the voluntary muscles, easily held the reins of all the movements of the body, and could suspend them, calm them, or excite them at its pleasure!