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Psycology » Persons » Thinkers » Ofra Julien De La Mettrie (1709-1751)

French thinker and educator, doctor. First in France to set out a system of mechanical materialism and sensationalism. In the essay "Man-Machine" (1747) considered the human body as a self-winding machine, like clockwork.

Childhood Ofra Julien de La Mettrie held in Brittany, in the small port town of Saint-Malo. His father, according to one source - the merchant who sold fabrics, on the other - the shipowner may have combined both classes. Mother before her marriage was the owner of the shop herbs. In this fairly wealthy family December 25, 1709 was born the future philosopher.

In Saint-Malo was not secondary schools, so he went to college Coutances, Kan., and then in college du Plessis (Paris), and finally, at school, enjoyed a reputation as the best institutions in the country - at the Paris College d'Harcourt. Having completed the age of eighteen secondary education, he decided to become a doctor in Paris. Lamettrie received medical education, is considered the best in France, but he had a low opinion of them received knowledge. A full-fledged doctor, he thought, one can become acquainted only with the latest foreign medical achievements.

Centre for European medicine was then the University of Leiden where he worked eminent scientist and scholar Herman Boerhaave medic, who claimed that the life processes can be reduced to formulas and express chemical terms. Boerhaave was Spinozists atheist. To the illustrious scientist in Leiden hurried young Lamettrie immediately after the Medical Faculty (1733).

Returning to Saint-Malo after two years in Leiden, Lamettrie translates into French and published one after the other important works Boerhaave. Simultaneously, he proceeds to the practical work of the physician and engaged in research. During the eight years of work in Saint-Malo, he published several of his papers. Especially interesting scientifically his extensive work "Considerations of practical medicine" (1743). It contains a detailed description of 111 case histories of mainly his own patients.

After moving to Paris in 1742, the provincial doctor Lamettrie immediately received honorable and lucrative post of the regimental doctor of the royal guard. He participated in the Battle of Dettingene (1743), in the siege of Freiburg (1744) and the Battle of Fontenoy (1745). Now he had every reason to be pleased with the high position, what he has achieved. However, La Mettrie wrote a series of pamphlets bichuyuschih routine, ignorance and quackery among his colleagues. These witty, cleverly written works that philosopher created and published one after the other for ten years, a great success.

The largest of these satires - "Works of Penelope." The most important event of this period in the life of the philosopher is the creation and the publication in 1745 of his first philosophical work - "Natural History of the soul", the book clearly proclaims materialism. Lamettrie publishes it as a French translation essay written a fictional person - Englishman D. drawing. But this precaution was not helpful, the author's name becomes known. At a meeting of the Paris Parliament prosecutor Gilbert de Voisin said that the book contains the intent to provoke readers heretical idea of ​​the soul, "reducing the nature and properties of the human spirit to matter and undermining the foundations of every religion and every virtue," and requires the public burning ungodly works hand of the executioner .

July 9, 1746 Parliament passed a sentence which was carried out on 13 July, the Place de Greve Lamettrie expelled from the Guard. Moreover, La Mettrie was forced to leave the post of inspector of military hospitals in Lille, Brussels, Antwerp and Worms, he risked prison, and he ran first in Ghent, then in Leiden. Meanwhile, the entire edition was soon beleaguered book sold out and took a new edition. But in the press, one after another began to publish performance against the book and its author. Once the executioner publicly committed to the flames the book, its author with the same energy continued to denounce the doctors dealers.

In 1746-1747 years go satire "Politics Machiavelli doctor or the Path to Success, open before doctors" and the comedy "unavenged faculty." La Mettrie published his book "The Man-Machine", which, although marked the year 1748, actually went on sale in August 1747. It is difficult to call the book, which in the middle of the XVIII century would have caused such an uproar among the defenders of the traditional worldview, which caused "man-machine", and it is difficult to name another product of this period that immediately after leaving a light, would have received such a pan-European fame.

Reprints followed one another. In France, where the treatise was immediately banned, there were a lot of hands in manuscript copies. In Germany, where many people knew French, read the book in the original, in England published its translation. All attacked Lamettrie or claiming it villain for which no punishment is not harsh enough, or declaring him insane and heaping insults. Wanting to hurt him, it was called "Mr. Machine" - a nickname that he took his characteristic humor.

Holland was not the same that at the time of Spinoza, and by order of the magistrate Leiden book was burned executioner.

In the famous work Lamettrie people really treated like a machine, although quite complicated. "Man is so complicated machine - La Mettrie wrote - that is absolutely impossible to gain a clear idea about it, and therefore give a precise definition." Nevertheless, he believes that in man arranged mechanically.

"Dwell, - he writes - these springs of the human machine. All vital characteristic of natural animal and automatic movements are due to their action. Indeed, the body instinctively shudders aghast at the sight of a sudden abyss forever, as I said, fall under the threat of attack, the pupil narrows the light in order to maintain mesh shell and expands to better see objects in the dark, the skin pores are closed mechanically winter to cold did not penetrate into the interior of the vessels normal function of the stomach are broken under the influence of poison known dose of opium or the vomiting, heart, arteries and muscles are reduced during sleep, as well as during wakefulness, lungs act as a permanent fur ".

Spiritual, ideal, etc., according to La Mettrie, a fiction theologians.

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