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Man a Machine and Man a Plant

3.51 of 5 stars 3.51  ·  rating details  ·  94 ratings  ·  9 reviews
The first modern translation of the complete texts of La Mettrie's pioneering L'Homme machine and L'Homme plante, first published in 1747 and 1748, respectively, this volume also includes translations of the advertisement and dedication to L'Homme machine. Justin Leiber's introduction illuminates the radical thinking and advocacy of the passionate La Mettrie and provides c ...more
Published October 1st 1994 by Hackett Publishing Company, Inc. (first published 1748)
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As a book of genuine philosophy, I would not rank this highly. La Mettrie's argument for materialism, is the same as Bakunin's: yes it's true, because clearly it's true. The sheer confidence in the position, followed by the sheer lack of any argument whatsoever, is entirely disheartening for someone trying to ground their materialism.

The reason this book ranks four stars, even though the philosophy is mostly absurd, is that La Mettrie is truly hysterical. Long before Darwin, La Mettrie pointed
Tja, de mens een machine. euhm..

De reden voor dat ik zo geïnteresseerd ben in de 18de eeuw is dat ik hier het pril ontspruiten bemerk van mijn eigen denken. Het is hier dat bepaalde wereldbeelden een permanent andere invulling geven aan de toen heersende ideeën. Wat ik zo opmerkelijk vind is dat dit me heel erg helpt in het begrijpen van de eigen leefwereld - in de 21ste eeuw. het lijkt zelfs zo dat dezelfde tegenstellingen nog steeds bestaan: de manier waarop de mens met connotaties en dissonan
La Mettrie is a sceptic, a materialist, and a physician-philosopher. He is influenced by Descartes and here, in both Man a Machine and Man a Plant, he is criticizing Descartes' dualism. In the introduction the original publisher warns that he does not know the author or agree with the content of this book, but he thought he might publish it so that it could be shown to be false and to prove, essentially, even though the word did not exist at the time, that they were not living in a totalitarian ...more
La Mettrie's "Man a Machine" is largely an opposition to Descartes' dualism. I enjoyed this book on that premise alone. He clearly subscribes to evolutionary theory, as he argues that humans differ from animals only by degree. Save for descriptions of ripping out the heart of a live frog or cutting off kitten's heads to see if organs can operate separately from one another, he is clearly an advocate of animal rights. He claims that some animals show remorse for their actions, as in the dog who a ...more
This classic text of Materialism from the mid-1700's was written by medical doctor and philosophe Julien Offray De La Mettrie, who after publishing Machine Man had to flee France. Even the other radical French philosophers denounced him.

"From animals to man there is no abrupt transition".

"If I were now asked where the seat of this innate force in our bodies is, I would the whole organization of the body".

"Art's fumblings to imitate nature give us an idea of what nature's were like".

Jun 15, 2008 Collin rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: philosophers,
[referring to "Man a Machine"]

A great, classic writing on viewing and explaining humans from a naturalistic (non-supernatural) perspective. Ahead of its time.
Nick Fox
La Mettrie is witty, smart and progressive. Entertaining read, at least tolerable if you're forced to read it...
Not as good as the accompanying album by Kraftwerk.
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Julien Offray de La Mettrie (December 25, 1709 - November 11, 1751) was a French physician and philosopher, the earliest of the French materialist school from the Enlightenment. He has been claimed as a founder of cognitive science.

He was born at Saint-Malo. After studying theology in the Jansenist schools for some years, he suddenly decided to adopt the profession of medicine. In 1733 he went to
More about Julien Offray de La Mettrie...
Man A Machine La Mettrie, Discours Sur Le Bonheur The Wisdom of Pleasures: "The School of Voluptuousness" and "The Art of Enjoyment" The Hedonist Alternative: "Anti-Seneca" and Other Texts L'Homme Machine

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“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. For this reason, all the investigations have been vain, which the greatest philosophers have made à priori, that is to to say, in so far as they use, as it were, the wings of the spirit. Thus it is only à posteriori or by trying to disentangle the soul from the organs of the body, so to speak, that one can reach the highest probability concerning man's own nature, even though one can not discover with certainty what his nature is.” 3 likes
“Ihmisruumis on kone, joka vetää itse itsensä; se on alituisen liikkeen elävä kuva.” 0 likes
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