Overview

Helvétius

(1715—1771)


Show Summary Details

Quick Reference

(1715–71)

One of the moving spirits behind the Encyclopédie, Helvétius defended a theory of human motivation founded on sensation: we are pushed to action solely by self-interested love of pleasure and desire to avoid pain. He is principally remembered for De l'esprit (1758), which was influential upon Bentham and subsequent utilitarian theory.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945).


Reference entries

See all related reference entries in Oxford Index »


Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.