“Flowers Strewn on the Way to <i>Volupté</i>”: La Mettrie and the Tropic Body of the Epicurean Philosopher

Natania Meeker

in Voluptuous Philosophy

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print January 2007 | ISBN: 9780823226962
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823240944 | DOI:
“Flowers Strewn on the Way to Volupté”: La Mettrie and the Tropic Body of the Epicurean Philosopher

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“Man is a machine constructed in such a way that is impossible first of all to have a clear of it and consequently to define it.” If we would like to know exactly how the human mechanism operates, La Mettrie intimates, we must look outside of treatises, and in so doing “ignore the history of all the futile opinions of philosophers.” From La Mettrie's point of view, man-a-machine could just as well be man-a-mushroom. This eighteenth-century protocyborg turns out to be “an image and not an explanatory principle.” In other words, he is nothing but a trope.

Keywords: philosopher; La Mettrie; protocyborg; trope

Chapter.  16562 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literature

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