L’homme plus que machine.

‘A Londres’ [Leiden?], 1748.

12mo, pp. [8], 140; browned with occasional foxing, corners curled; a good copy in contemporary blue paper wrappers, some losses to spine and covers; ownership stamp of Marcel Bekus to title verso.


US $412€354

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First edition of this attack against materialism and La Mettrie’s L’homme machine, published in the same year. The work was included in the 1774 edition of the Oeuvres of La Mettrie, volume III.

‘The possibility of matter being endowed with the faculty of thought, is denied by Elie Luzac, the publisher of L’Homme Machine, in his work L’Homme plus que machine. In this work he tries to disprove the conclusions of L’Homme machine. He says: ‘We have therefore proved by the idea of the inert state of matter, by that of motion, by that relations, by that of activity, by that of extension, that matter can not be possessed of the faculty of thinking … To be brief, I say, that if, by a material substance, we understand that matter which falls under the cognizance of our senses, and which is endowed with the qualities we have mentioned, the soul can not be material: so that it must be immaterial, and, for the same reason, God could not have given the faculty of thinking to matter, since He can not perform contradictions’ (Gertrude Carman Bussey in her notes on La Mettrie, Man a machine, p.177).

ESTC N8346; Quépat, Essai sur La Mettrie, p. 22; Quérard V, p.399.

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