La Mettrie: Machine Man and Other Writings
Author(s): Julien Offray de La Mettrie, Edited by Ann Thomson
Publication Date: 18/04/1996
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Julien Offray de La Mettrie (1709–51), author of Machine Man (1747), was the most uncompromising of the materialists of the eighteenth century, and the provocative title of his work ensured it a succès de scandale in his own time. It was however a serious, if polemical, attempt to provide an explanation of the workings of the human body and mind in purely material terms and to show that thought was the product of the workings of the brain alone. This fully annotated edition presents an English translation of the text together with the most important of La Mettrie's other philosophical works translated into English, and Ann Thomson's introduction examines his aims and the scandalous moral consequences which he drew from his materialism.