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Voluptuous PhilosophyLiterary Materialism in the French Enlightenment$
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Natania Meeker

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780823226962

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823226962.001.0001

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

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

Chapter:
(p.88) 3.“Flowers Strewn on the Way to Volupté”: La Mettrie and the Tropic Body of the Epicurean Philosopher
Source:
Voluptuous Philosophy
Author(s):

Natania Meeker

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823226962.003.0004

“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

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