Chapter

La Mettrie

Anthony Quinton

in Of Men and Manners

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199694556
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731938 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199694556.003.0004
La Mettrie

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This chapter focuses on Julien Offray de la Mettrie, the most intensely medical and the most materialistic of all doctor-philosophers. The materialistic and unedifyingly hedonistic philosophy for which La Mettrie is best known was a direct continuation and fulfilment of his medical interests. These were expressed in the first instance at an institutional level, in the form of a series of vigorous satires directed at the leaders of the medical profession in France. La Mettrie's case against physicians was not just that they exploited the sick by restricting entry into the profession. His main point was that the theoretical training they received in the ancient classics of medicine and which they saw as the basis of their pre-eminence was, in fact, useless and very often harmful.

Keywords: Julien Offray de la Mettrie; doctor-philosophers; hedonistic philosophy; physicians; medical profession

Chapter.  2956 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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