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MONTESQUIEU--Persian Letters Major arguments in LP: Against despotism Despotism is bad because we have natural liberty. In regard to Rica.

Against religious intolerance Argument for the cyclical nature of constitutions LIFE: --Born at the chateau of La Brde, south of Bordeaux in the Guyenne region of France --He received formal education from the Oratoriens at the Collge de Juilly in Meaux and at the faculty of law of the University of Bordeaux --On graduation, he made his way to Paris, where he acquired more practical knowledge of the judicial system through legal observation and met various intellectuals, including Pierre Desmolets and Nicolas Frret, --In 1713, Montesquieu returned to La Brde to manage the family estates, including extensive vineyards, and to begin a career in law at the parlement of Bordeaux --For twelve years, he worked almost exclusively as a magistrate for the criminal court (la Tournelle) --He married Jeanne Lartigue, a practicing Calvinist --He died in Paris in February 1755, having received Catholic rites, and was buried in the Ste. Genevive chapel of Saint-Sulpice. Proto-sociology: For some commentators, including the sociologist mile Durkheim, Montesquieu's concern for empirical grounding, along with his general theory of moral and physical causes, makes his work a precursor to the discipline of sociology. Montesquieu does share a concern for comprehensive social explanation, but others recognize that one cannot ascribe to him any intent to treat social facts as things in a neutral way, because his judgments on the undesirability of certain forms of community and social practice are evident throughout his work. Instead, some recognize his work as his own unique, multifaceted adaptation of the comparative method, explored also in his earlier work, Lettres persanes, and evident in political theory since the work of Aristotle. Methodology: In broader terms, the main signicance of Montesquieu's methodological approach is that it served to shift political thinking away from the seventeenth-century legalist tradition of social contract theory (identied with Hugo Grotius, Thomas Hobbes, and Samuel Pufendorf) and the moralist tradition of individualism (identied with La Rochefoucauld), both of which were identied at the time as bolstering established structures of absolutist rule. His methodological approach was thus intricately tied to a second major theme of his writing: his concern to demonstrate the evils of an excessive concentration of political power.

Historical Context: It is possible that Montesquieu's depiction served as a portrait of the latent possibilities within the absolutist tendencies of the French monarchy. Voltaire had praised the rule of Louis XIV the Sun King, and was, in general, an advocate of absolutist rule; in contrast, Montesquieu was critical of the means by which Louis XIV had stied legitimate political opposition and centered the political life of France on his own person. In Lettres persanes, Montesquieu had harshly criticized and satirized Louis XIV's policies including the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685. He also recognized the weakened status of the French parlements in the face of growing central state power. This is bolstered by Montesquieu's remark in L'esprit des lois that monarchies have a tendency to degenerate into despotism, just as rivers ow into the sea (VIII, 17). It is clear that, fundamentally, Montesquieu harbored a strong humanist concern for the universally debilitative effects of tyrannical rule. The main signicance of Montesquieu as a political theorist may be his success in recognizing the embededness of state institutions in a wide web of human practices, such as religion, commerce, customs, and morals. Political effectiveness depends on the state's ability to recognize and work with the complexity of human associational life, and this in turn requires political moderation. The Persian Letters is an epistolary novel in which Persian travelers see France and the West through Persian eyes. This device allows Montesquieu great freedom to comment on his world and to deepen his readers sense of the relativity of belief to time and place. 1. The pope, the king, nobles, and bishops are viewed through Persian eyes. 2. Montesquieu makes light of ethnocentrism: a Frenchman asks, How could anyone be a Persian? 3. Montesquieu asks: What is relative to time and place? What is natural and absolute? He seeks to distinguish between what is malleable and what is common to all human experience. 4. The implications for politics: we see varieties of despotism everywhere, but we also see indications of a natural law of liberty. 5. The implications for religion: there are varieties of dogma, but we also see a natural law of Gods justice and truth. 6. The implications for ethics: we see various moral codes but also the reality of natural consequences. 7. The implications for psychology: we see a great variety of male-female relations and of human self- images, but we also see evidence of the permanence of human nature. 8. The implications for philosophy: we see various approaches to knowledge but also the singularity of natural truth. 4) In your reading of Montesquieu, what does he see as relative to human time, place, and culture, on the one hand, and what does he see as universal and given by God or nature, on the other?

While Montesquieu uses his ctional Persian travelers to satirize and criticize much of Western and, in particular, French life, he also poses the central two questions of his concern:

What is relative to time and place? What is natural and universal? He links these two domainsthe relative and the naturalby exploring the reality of difference and the reality of natural consequences. Human beings may live and believe in a startling variety of ways, but there is a reality principle of objective natural consequences that set limits to our malleability and to our systems. Awareness of relativism, for Montesquieu and for Voltaire, should lessen national and religious arrogance, but it should not blind us that nature, not human wish, determines our common and objective ground. In matters so essential to human life as the relationship between men and woman (the subplot of the harem) or the organization of society (the parable of the Troglodytes), Montesquieu concludes, variety prevails, but there are objective conditions of justice and survival that we ignore at our peril. Despotism is all too real, but it is objectively against nature and inherently unstable.
Eighteenth-century relativism had several general sources. Despite its obvious encouragement of seeing knowledge as social and communicable, Lockean epistemology carries within it the seeds of relativism. If ones knowledge and moral ideas are bounded and determined by one's experience, then one's sense of the world, one's values, and one's beliefs are relative to time, place, and personal experience. Lockes doctrine of nominal and real essences establishes that we know only the appearances of things. Lockes doctrine makes ones beliefs relative to the nature of the human senses. Europes encounter with foreign and exotic peoples (the effect of which was multiplied by the growth of printing and the reading public) produced curiosity about and astonishment over differences among cultures, and an awareness that Europeans seemed as strange to others as others did to them. Europeans were struck by the differences between their own and other cultures with regard to the treatment of women and the elderly, and the diversity of religions, moral codes, and beliefs. They were struck by difculties of translation and by the very fact of ourishing nonChristian cultures. Voltaire began his history of the world with an account of China. Best sellers of the era included The Turkish Spy; 1001 Nights; and accounts of American Indians.

Montesquieus relativism has additional sources. --His background makes him sensitive to difference and particular perspectives. --The milieu of the parlement of Bordeaux inculcates an awareness of absolutism and of arbitrary power. --His Huguenot (Protestant) wife inculcates an awareness of toleration and of the accident of birth.

--His intellectual encounters after he comes to Paris dramatically heighten his sense of the relativity of beliefs. --He meets with the savants at the Academy of Inscriptions. --Montesquieus educated Chinese friend had converted to Christianity in China. After coming to Europe, he was astonished at the hypocrisy of the supposedly Christian Europeans. What, in your view, is the function of the chapters on the Persian harem (in addition to adding to the vast number of 18th-century readers attracted to this work)? The two most striking tales of the Persian Lettersthe parable of the Troglodytes and the human reality of the haremlead to and dramatically illustrate the conclusion that forms of association and government arise in response to specic circumstances, making them relative, but they have real consequences, which are universal. The harem shows both the extraordinary variation in forms of male-female associationwhich people take to be given wholly by natureand the enduring problem of despotism in human life. The tale illustrates the contrast between the "freedom" of French women and the enslavement of women to a master's will in the Persian harem. All cultures assume that their particular forms of association are natural. When the despot is unable to exercise terror, the harem revolts and the laws of nature reassert themselves against the despots arbitrary will. Only terror makes despotism seems stable and permanent. The irony of despotism: the Persian Uzbek sees all despotism around him except his own. Montesquieu's indictment of despotism was based on his understanding of the effects of the concentration of power. By fostering a climate of fear, a despotic regime undermines associational life and a basic sense of sociality and solidarity that grounds human community. It is as if the portrayal of misery and ensuing chaos in the harem of Lettres persanes was offered as a general model of a despotic political regime in L'esprit des lois.

7) Montesquieu satirizes and criticizes many groups and institutions in 18th-century Europe. As you understand him, which groups seem to be the objects of his sharpest satire and criticism? What appears to be his most fundamental criterion of moral judgment in choosing his targets? On the surface, it can be read as a spirited satire of French society from 1711 to 1720 from the point of view of two Persian travellers, Usbek and Rica. However, through the account of the difculties arising in Usbek's harem during his absence, as well as allusions to the Persian court itself, the work also provides a structure for the comparison and contrast of competing forms of domination and rule and the practices of dissimulation, self-deception, and cruelty they can engender. The concluding letter, in the form of a suicide note addressed to Usbek from Roxane, serves as an eloquent and spirited call for freedom from domestic tyranny as well as an indictment against despotism in all its forms

*** VOLTAIRE: Philosophical Letters Major arguments in LP: Pro-religious tolerance via diversity Pro-scientic method, which he identied with Lockean empiricism, and anti-superstition Voltaires argument for religious diversity is motivated by his recognition of the plurality of religious persuasion. Further, he has an actual example in the case of England and also Pennsylvania where there are thirty [religions] and they all live at peace with one another. Economic prosperity and political stability is arrived at through--and not in spite of--the existence of diversity and the tolerance of that diversity. These different religions are, in the rst place, man-made. They needed miracles and wrought them as he says of the Quakers in the third letter.Later, in his typical satirical tone, Voltaire describes the real religion as the one that allows one to make ones fortune. As the incident with the Quakers illustrates, everyone has a different path by which they strive to reach god and there is no reason for us to privilege any one of these man-made paths over another. As the Quaker in Letter I says, the name of the Almighty should not be prostituted in a miserable human controversy. For that is what religious dispute amounts to. The arguments for the scientic method and for a Lockean empiricism stem from a recognition of the good consequences. This is brought out most vividly in the letter on inoculation. Good consequences of religious tolerance: The Romans never knew the dreadful folly of religious wars; this abomination was reserved for those who devoutly preach humility and patience. 8th letter [William Penn] made wise laws, none of which has been changed since that time. The rst was to prohibit maltreatment of anyone because of his religion, and to consider as brothers all those who believe in God. Fourth letter He established freedom of conscience and stood by his principles. All his laws had been religiously obeyed in his absence, something that no legislator before him had ever seen. Were there only one religion in England, despotism would be a threat; were there two, they would be at each other's throats; but there are thirty, and they live happily and at peace with one another. The eighth letter on Parliament.

Commerce, which has enriched the citizens of England, has contributed to their freedom, and this freedom has in turn stimulated commerce; thus has the greatness of the State been magnied. Distaste for rituals of any kind: Letter 1 on Quakers: We are indeed Christians, and we try to be good Christians, but we do not believe that Christianity depends on throwing cold water and a bit of salt on the head." "Well, then," said he, "my friend, thou art a Christian without being circumcised, and I without being baptized." ibid. Our enemies acknowledge that it is very dangerous; this proves how reasonable it is." ibid. A nod to the furore that accompanied publication of his work? Christianity teaches only simplicity, forbearance, charity: reduce it to metaphysics and it becomes a source of error. letter on pascal Recognition of the man-made nature of SECTS [W]e believe that the name of the Almighty should not be prostituted in a miserable human controversy. ibid. [T]hey thought themselves possessed by the Holy Ghost. They needed some miracles, and wrought them. Third letter On the Quakers the real religion, the one by which one makes one's fortune It will obtain permission, no doubt, if it becomes larger, but everyone is so lukewarm about these matters that a new or revived religion can scarcely succeed. Is it not amusing that Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, all those unreadable writers, should have founded sects that together cover all of Europe? That ignorant Mahomet should have given a religion to Asia and Africa, and that Newton, Clarke, Locke, Le Clerc, etc., the greatest philosophers and the best writers of their time, have scarcely managed to assemble a tiny ock, one that is indeed shrinking dally?-5 This is what it means to arrive in the world at the right moment. [R]evolutions occur in opinions as they do in empires. BUT The Christian religion is so true that it does not need dubious proofs; now, if something could shake the foundations of this holy and reasonable religion, it is this statement by M. Pascal. Dislike of clergy

"Then you have no priests?" said I. -"No, my friend," said the Quaker, "and we are quite happy so. God forbid that we dare choose one person to receive the Holy Spirit on Sunday, and not others. Thank Heaven that we are the only ones on earth who have no priests. Wouldst thou take from us so happy a distinction? Why would we abandon our child to a hired wet nurse, when we ourselves have milk to give it? Second letter on the Quakers The Anglican clergy has retained many of the Catholic ceremonies, especially that of receiving tithes in a meticulous fashion. They also piously intend to dominate. Sixth V makes one laugh at the clergy and reveals them as ridiculous and venal. Having presented them to the reader in such a light--and having written about them in a way that would elicit laughter in all but the most pious--is the best way he could ensure that his readers would never think of the clergy in the same way again. Religious toleration [William Penn] made wise laws, none of which has been changed since that time. The rst was to prohibit maltreatment of anyone because of his religion, and to consider as brothers all those who believe in God. Fourth letter He established freedom of conscience and stood by his principles. In every country the dominant religion, if it does not persecute others, eventually swallows them up. ibid This is the country of sects. An Englishman, being a free man, goes to Heaven by whatever path he chooses. Fifth letter on the Anglican Religion All his laws had been religiously obeyed in his absence, something that no legislator before him had ever seen. Were there only one religion in England, despotism would be a threat; were there two, they would be at each other's throats; but there are thirty, and they live happily and at peace with one another. Empiricism and the scientic method From time immemorial, Circassian women have had the practice of giving smallpox to their children, even to those who are but six months old, by making a small incision in the arm and inserting into this incision a blister that they have carefully removed from another child. There is an almost universal circulation in Circassia; and when, unfortunately, there is no smallpox in the land, the inhabitants are at as much of a loss as if there were a famine. What prompted the Circassians to introduce this custom, which seems so strange to others, is a motive common to all: maternal love and self-interest.

The Circassians noticed that scarcely one in a thousand has twice been aficted with smallpox; that in fact one might have a light case of smallpox three or even four times, but never a second case that could be called serious or dangerous; in short, that never would one truly have this illness twice in one's life. if a child as young as six months or a year old had a mild case of smallpox, it would not die, would not be scarred, and would be free of this malady for the rest of its life. The experiment could not fail to succeed. As soon as she learned about the process of inoculation for smallpox, she tested the process on four criminals who had been condemned to death, thus doubly saving their lives by this articial means, for she not only released them from the penalty but also saved them from natural smallpox, of which they would doubtless have died at a more advanced age. Of all those who are inoculated in Turkey or England, none dies unless he is unwell or already dying, none is scarred, and, if the inoculation is successful, none has the disease a second time. I have learned that the Chinese have had this custom for a hundred years; it must be prejudice that rejects the example of a nation that is believed to be the wisest and the best governed in the world. We know many things that are true; we have sought out many useful inventions. Let us comfort ourselves even if we do not know the connections between a spider and the rings of Saturn, and continue to examine what is in our grasp. Argument pro-Bacon if true greatness consists in having received from Heaven a powerful intelligence and in using that intelligence to enlighten oneself and others, then a man like Mr. Newton, whom one might scarcely hope to encounter in the course of ten centuries, truly should be deemed great12 great philosopher, good historian, and an elegant writer most remarkable work--Novum Organon--least read and least useful. Early on he had dismissed what the universities called "philosophy," and he did all that he could to prevent these institutions, established to perfect human reason, from continuing to harm reason irrelevant words made respectable by ignorance and sacred by a ridiculous association with religion. He is the father of experimental philosophy.

The most astonishing and the most useful inventions are not those that do most honor to the human mind. We owe all the arts to mechanical instinct, which most men share, and not to orthodox philosophy. What prodigious use did the Greeks and Romans not make of these mechanical inventions? Yet in their days they believed that the heavens were crystalline, that the stars were little lamps that fell into the sea from time to time, and one of their great philosophers, after much research, declared that the heavenly bodies were pebbles that had been detached from the earth. In a word, no one before Chancellor Bacon had known of experimental philosophy Argument pro-Locke Perhaps there never was a wiser, more methodical, more logical mind than that of Mr. Locke... Before his time, great philosophers had announced unequivocally what constitutes the soul of man; but, since they knew nothing about it, it is understandable that all had different opinions. Our Descartes, born to uncover Antiquity's errors, if only to substitute for them his own After so many thinkers had written the romance of the soul, there came a wise man who modestly described its history. Locke explained human reason to man as an excellent anatomist explains the mechanics of the human body. [E]xamined slowly what we wish to know dared to question I even have the misfortune to be unable to understand that it is more necessary to the soul to be thinking constantly than it is for the body to be constantly in motion." ...I boast that I am as stupid as Locke! Locke demolished innate ideas and the folly that we are always thinking at last, he thinks of the breadth or rather the limit of human knowledge Superstitious men affect society as a coward affects an army; they are lled with panic in terror and provoke it in others purely philosophical matter, completely independent of faith and revelation

theologians...too much like bad poets [Cf. Paine--prophecy is poetry] To the Scholastics--you know neither matter nor spirit. How dare you to assert something? Argument that matter can think If God were not able to animate matter and give it feelings, one thing or the other must be true: either that animals are simply machines, or that they have a true soul. It seems to me almost proven that animals are not simply machines. Here is my proof: God gave them precisely the same organs of sense as ours; thus, if they feel no sensations, God has made something useless. Now God, you claim, does nothing in vain; thus He cannot have made so many organs of sense if they were not capable of sensation; therefore animals cannot be purely machines. Why isnt that whcih we call instinct in animals not to be understood as more rened in our organs and why cant it be that which we call human reason? ignorance and immense power of the Creator must be acknowledged Philosophers will never become a religious sect. Why? Because they do not write for the masses and are dispassionate. The number of those who think is excessively small, and those who do, do not aim to disturb the world. All the books of modern philosophers together will not cause as much trouble in the world as did the Franciscan monks in their disputes about the proper shapes of their sleeves and hoods. On human nature: [Pascal] attacks human nature much as he attacked the Jesuits: he imputes to human nature that which is true only for some men; he eloquently insults the human race. I dare to take humanity's part against this sublime misanthrope. I dare to afrm that we are neither so wicked nor so miserable as he claims. this self-esteem was given to us by God that we might preserve ourselves, and that He has given us religion to control this self-esteem; that our ideas are correct or meaningless, murky or clear to the degree that our organs are more or less strong, more or less acute, and to the extent that we have stronger or weaker emotions; that we depend completely on the air that surrounds us, the food that we eat, and that in all of this there is nothing contradictory. Man is not a puzzle, as you imagine in order to have the pleasure of unriddling it. Man seems to be in his proper place in nature, superior to the animals that he resembles in body; inferior to other beings that he no doubt resembles by his ability to think. He is like all that we see, a mixture

of bad and good, of pleasure and pain. He has received emotions to make him act, and reason by which to govern his actions. He is made up of an innumerable number of organs. If one of these organs is the least bit changed, it must change all the impressions of his brain, and the animal must then have new thoughts and new desires. above and this--letter on pascal I admit that man is incomprehensible, but so is all of nature, and there are no more apparent contradictions in man than there in all the rest of the world. Your reasoning would but create atheists, if the voice of nature did not cry out that there is a god with as much strength as these subtleties have weakness. Why make us terried of our own nature? Our life is not as miserable as some would have us think. To look at the universe as a prison cell, and all men as criminals who will be executed, is the belief of a fanatic. Rather than complaining, we must thank the creator of nature for having given us the instinct that unceasingly points us toward the future. Man's most precious treasure is this hope that softens our woes and paints our future pleasures in the colors of our present pleasures. Our condition is precisely to think about external things, with which we have a necessary relationship. It is false to think that one can distract a person from thinking about the human condition Nothing is so unusual as a mind that walks a new path; but in this crowd of men who march together, each has a slightly different way of proceeding, which a sharp eye will recognize. VOLTAIRE AND THE ENLIGHTENMENT Denis Diderot was known as le philosophe, and Rousseau, as Jean-Jacques, but Voltaire was universally the patriarch, the revered father of the Enlightenment. He was sensitive to criticism and to his reputation, and believed that others claimed credit for his thought and work. He quarreled with many, if not most, other Enlightenment thinkers, but ultimately, he was the patron of the movement and its source of inspiration. He set the agenda of the essential debates of the Enlightenment and the sharp anticlerical tone of the period. He stamped the Enlightenment as committed to deism, a belief in God known through nature, with a rejection of all claims of supernatural revelation and, in particular, a rejection of the Judeo-Christian testaments.

Believing that the clergy had duped a superstitious people into giving it control over culture, education, censorship, and ethics, Voltaire also stamped the Enlightenment with the cause that was always dear to his heartthe pursuit of religious toleration. In his political thought, Voltaire was a critical, rather than a systematic, thinker. In his political writing, he exposed abuses of power, rather than speculating on an appropriate, or just, system of government to correct them. He left the agenda for reform to posterity. Above all, he set the tone for the Enlightenment, demonstrating the notion that once you have laughed at something, you never hold it in the same reverence again. Religious claims, intolerance, political leadership, abuses of power, professions held in high regardall were fair game for Voltaires mordant wit. By the last generation of his life, his estate at Ferney had become the mecca of enlightened European minds and as much a center of inuence as most political capitals and courts.

Given his heterodoxy and daring as a thinker, and the risks these posed, Voltaire had to mask much of his meaning. He did so with his ironic style. In some instances, he will have a character make a compelling and convincing argument on a particular issue, only to say that he himself believes that people who say such things are heretics who should be burned. He deliberately used double meanings so that in a court of law, for example, his text could be read innocently, but his knowing audience would understand the irony. He attempted to affect multiple audiences simultaneously. He might give Christian readers, for example, sound Christian grounds to believe in religious toleration and the need to bring an end to the cruelty of persecutions. At the same time, he also addressed the audience that might see Christianity as he didas inseparable from persecution as the author of persecution. Voltaire once said: The secret to being boring is to reveal everything. Voltaire would not reveal everything, because what was clear changed over the course of life or, perhaps, over the course of the debate itself. Further, the man himself embodied profound ambiguities. Even in the same period of his life, Voltaire frequently changed his mind on fundamental issues of politics, God and providence, formal philosophy, ethics, and so forth. For Voltaire, life overowed the categories by which we try to contain it in human thought. One critic wrote that Voltaire was a chaos of clear ideas.

Voltaire offered no systematic philosophy, because he wanted to contribute to different debates at different times under different circumstances, depending on his political standing at the time, his audience, and whether he was writing for the present or posterity. He had no will to consistency. Voltaire wrote of a friend that he was sometimes Socrates, that is, always philosophically engaged and serious, and sometimes Epicurus, that is, always philosophically detached. He could have been writing about himself. Voltaire always has the last laugh on us all, which may be by design. Laughter was a weapon for Voltaire, and irony was essential to that laughter. He wrote: I have, and can only have, no other goal but truth, but there is more than one truth, that time alone can disclose. Is Voltaire's discussion of religion wholly social and political, or is there a theological, religiously substantive dimension to it, either explicitly or explicitly? How would you compare the way he addresses religion with Montesquieu's approach? Voltaire introduced his readers to an idealized England of religious pluralism and tolerance, balanced government, fair taxation, commercial energy, and the triumph of the secular over the sectarian. He drew portraits of all of the major religions in England, celebrating whatever seemed more tolerant, fair, decent, and lawful than the contrasting behaviors of the Catholic Church in France. Similarly, he praised the commercial activity and prosperity of England, linking it to the greater religious tolerance and less aristocratic values of Britain as opposed to France. While granting that the struggle for liberty in England usually emerged from rivalries among elites who were eager to despoil the common people, he argued that, nonetheless, the English had succeeded in building a liberty unknown in France and that it, too, was a cornerstone of British well-being. For Voltaire, the English valued what served the nation well, including men of letters, philosophers, and merchants. He contrasts throughout, and ever more explicitly as his work progresses, an aristocratic, ofcially intolerant, and excessively traditionalist France to a commercial, politically free, and religiously tolerant England. In some chapters, he accomplishes nothing less than a reevaluation of what is important to a progressive and free human life. The Philosophical Letters are Voltaires assault on what he sees as a religiously intolerant, politically absolutist, and socially aristocratic France. --Voltaire sought to popularize Englands relative differences from France and to offer his readers an alternative set of perspectives from which to judge their own political, social, religious, and intellectual culture. --Voltaire begins by discussing religion, which is striking given the context of religion in France in the early eighteenth century. King Louis XIV had revoked the Edict of Toleration

that had been accorded the Protestants. They were no longer protected by law, and the penalty for preaching Protestantism was death. The Protestants of France went into refuge in Holland, Prussia, and England, ironically enriching those nations that were traditionally enemies of France. --Voltaires argument that a nation could ourish, not despite religious diversity but because of it, was a stinging rebuke to the French belief that having only one religion was a necessity for social order and peace. --Voltaires narrative voice in the Letters begins as that of a nave orthodox Frenchman who is shocked to discover religious differences in his conversations. French readers would have shared that perspective. The voice changes over the course of the work to that of a heterodox, cosmopolitan man of the world. Voltaire discusses English religion to attack French intolerance and Catholic orthodoxy and to engage in free- thinking discussions of spiritual matters. A. Quakers --He begins with the Quakers, who for the French reader, would have been members of a bizarre cult. Voltaires discussion of the Quakers is gently ironic, and he uses them to criticize not only Catholics but also all established Christian churches. --Voltaire notes that the Quaker appeal to Scripture is a model of how the Bible can be used to defend mutually exclusive positions. He describes a discussion with a Quaker on the subjects of baptism and circumcision to insinuate in the readers mind that one may nd support in the Bible for totally different positions. --Furthermore, Voltaire puts religion on a human plane when he says, ...theres no arguing with an enthusiast. Better not take it into ones head to tell a lover the faults of his mistress or a litigant the weakness of his legal case or to talk sense to a fanatic. In other words, disputes about religion are human arguments that reect human nature. --The Quakers also practice a Christianity without ceremonialism or priests. --Despite their different doctrine, the Quakers live simple Christian lives of human equality, high ethics, and above all, religious tolerance. --Voltaire criticizes those aspects of the Quaker faith shared by revealed and supernatural religion in general, especially their enthusiasm and religious inspiration. --Voltaire stresses the dominance of the social over the religious, offering a purely secular and sociological analysis of the evolution of the Quakers. --Because they were not members of the Church of England and because their religion prohibited them from taking certain oaths, the Quakers were banned from almost all aspects of English life except trade and commerce. As a result, they acquired wealth, which in turn reduced the religious fervor and commitment of their children. --That manner of argument sounds reasonable in the twentieth century, precisely because we are the heirs of Voltaire and the Enlightenment. The French in the early eighteenth century did not talk about religion in terms of secular sociological phenomena. Voltaires secularizing of the history of a religion is an entirely different way of thinking. Church of England

Voltaire next turns to the Church of England, which he satirizes and criticizes insofar as it resembles the French Catholic Church. He also gently, if ironically, praises it insofar as it deviates from the French Catholic Church. --He criticizes the hierarchical episcopacythe institution of archbishops and bishopsand its role in fomenting the wars and civil strife of Englands past. --He praises the clear, legal preeminence of the State over the Church and the highly imperfect but superior morals of the English Churchmen. --In France, many sons of aristocrats were named to positions in the Church, but they did not minister to the needs of the ock. Instead, they used the wealth they accumulated to lead corrupt lives in Paris and other cities. In England, only long-devoted service to the Church led one to be named a bishop. --As a result, Voltaire humorously notes, by the time British men are given power in the Church, in contrast to Frenchmen, they are no longer much interested in women or drinking. Thus, Voltaire invites his readers to laugh at the worldly behavior of their clerics, which means that they will never hold those clerics in the same reverence again. Presbyterians: --In discussing the Presbyterians, Voltaire emphasizes their Puritanism, bitter zeal, and intolerance and he poses the question of how Britain remains peaceful. --His answer is that in England, the people have become wiser and more humane than their clerics. --Again, this idea would have been provocative of thought and, among the orthodox, anger. In addition, in France, trade and commerce are scorned as common. In England, the positive view of trade, along with the diversity of religion, has created a voluntary, peaceful, tolerant interaction that enriches and betters mankind. Voltaires nal passage in the Letter on Presbyterians uses the example of the Stock and Commodities Exchange in London to show that religious pluralism is a great benet to society. Finally, Voltaire praises the intellectual merit and temperament of the Socinians (Unitarians), who are the closest English Christians to the deists, but given their lack of fanaticism, he concludes, they cannot succeed as a religion. Religions depend on fanaticism and chaos to sink their roots. 2) How would you characterize Voltaire's views of the clergy? What seems similar or dissimilar to Montesquieu's views of the clergy? Both M and V were highly skeptical of the clergy. What are the implications and arguments packed into the brief letter on "Inoculation"? In his discussion of the English practice of inoculation against smallpox, Voltaire offered a model of how knowledge gained from experience can be applied to reduce the suffering of the human condition, a model that would dominate Enlightenment thinking.

Although he meant philosophical in its broadest sense, that is, unbiased, open-minded critical inquiry, Voltaire, in his Letters from England, as the Philosophical Letters were also known, addressed the issue of the nature of formal philosophy. He also assigned philosophy a bold and provocative place in the history of England. --He asserted that philosophers are more important than political or military heroes. Some men changed the world by force of violence, but others changed the world by force of truth, and they are the true heroes of humanity. --According to Voltaire, the greatest hero in history, greater than Caesar, Alexander the Great, Oliver Cromwell, or anyone else, is Newton. Others conquered the world, but he enlightened it. --Philosophy as a human enterprise knows no national boundaries. Many in France celebrated the seventeenth-century revolutions in science and philosophy, but they did so on the basis of chauvinism. French readers favored French authors, especially Descartes, but Voltaire urged that this is not the way of philosophy. --Philosophers have always been under suspicion of posing a danger to the state, but unlike religious enthusiasts, they do not. For Voltaire, history shows us that theologians lead rebellions; philosophers work peaceably to enrich mankind. Voltaire asserted the superiority of English over French natural philosophy, above all, the English achievements of the seventeenth century. --The theoretician of the new, inductive, experimental science, Francis Bacon, recognized the need to experiment, to begin with patient observation of nature, and to construct and test hypotheses, and in doing so, he provided the scaffolding of the new philosophy, which later generations used to achieve the revolution in science. --In Voltaires view, Bacon did not achieve major ends as a scientist, per se. He did not penetrate nature and discover its laws and operations. What he did was to provide a method of seeking knowledge, a method of philosophy. --That method had been given its formal exposition in epistemology (the philosophy of knowledge) by the towering gure of John Locke. Locke was the rst to understand the nature of knowledgethat it is derived from experience, combined by the active human mind, and tested against the realities of nature. Voltaire praises and explains English empiricism. --Empiricism is learning about nature inductively, moving from the particulars of our experience to generalizations that are derived from those particulars and can be tested against them. --Voltaire begins his discussion of English thought with a letter on inoculation against smallpox. The story of inoculation contains the philosophy of the Enlightenment in outline. Reason and experience determine us to employ a method with nature that saves lives and reduces suffering. Mothers in the Turkish highlands discovered that they could sell their daughters into slavery for a higher price if they were unmarked by the scars of smallpox. They noted that mild cases of smallpox provided lifelong immunity to the disease and limited the scarring, so they

exposed their young daughters to benign cases of smallpox. The English ambassadors wife observed this practice and brought the lesson back to England, where the rst inoculations began. The practice was studied and the mortality rate showed that it worked. This model showed that knowledge could move us from helplessness to natural understanding to increased happiness. This is Voltaires paradigm of what empirical knowledge can and should be. Subsequently, Voltaire and the Enlightenment would wage a forty-year struggle for inoculation in France, where the idea was resisted by both religious and medical authorities. Voltaire explains the philosophy of John Locke. The dramatic part of Lockean epistemology that Voltaire wished to see popularized in France was the view that if our knowledge is all derived from our experience, then our knowledge is limited to our experience. --Ren Descartes, who dominated the new philosophy in France, had argued that we must begin with rationally certain, clear, and distinct ideas that we nd innate in our minds. From these, we may deduce by logic our knowledge of the world. --For Voltaire, Lockes sensationalismmeaning that we gather knowledge by the experience of the senses was superior to Descartess rationalism and doctrine of innate ideas. This model links us to the things of the world and makes authentic scientic knowledge possible. --The doctrine of innate ideas is a dead end. If people assume that the principles they hold were placed in their minds by God, inquiry ends. Locke saw that we must learn from Gods creation. The only way to do so is to study it patiently, drawing from sense experience our knowledge of how nature actually behaves. --Locke avoided theorizing about the substance or nature of the mind. Every philosopher has had a theory about what the essence of the mind is, but for Locke, this question is beyond human experience. It should not surprise us that these novelists of the mind have never been able to convince one another. --One of Descartess most central arguments was that the mind is immaterial substance, and thus categorically distinct from matter, which cannot think. Only the soul can think. --Lockes response to this was scandalous in its day: to say that the mind could not be material is the same as saying that an omnipotent God is incapable of creating matter that can think, if He so wished. How could any human being, limited to the knowledge of our senses, prescribe to God how the world must be made? For Locke, this skepticism about substance was nothing more or less than appropriate human humility. --Voltaire defended Lockes argument that philosophical skepticism is the only honest conclusion in metaphysical matters, even on the issue of whether or not matter might be capable of thought. There are limits to what human beings can know. The only honest conclusion in metaphysical matters is to admit ignorance. --Voltaire expressed his belief in the necessity to admit the limits of human knowledge in his celebrated phrase: I am proud to be as ignorant as John Locke on this matter. --For Voltaire, Locke taught us to avoid irresolvable metaphysical issues and problems and, instead, to study ourselves and the world through the limited natural faculties with which God chose to endow us. The proof of the superiority of this method for Voltaire is the Newtonian achievement.

SCIENCE AND PHILOSOPHY Deeply impressed by English thought, and, above all, by the English scientic and philosophical revolutions of the seventeenth century, Voltaire sought to explain and to popularize British thinking to his French readers in one of his most inuential works, the Philosophical Letters. He celebrated sound philosophers as more important to humanity than its political and military heroes, and he argued against any notion that the thinkers of ones own native land are to be favored over another nations thinkers. Although he was respectful of Ren Descartes, who was beloved among the new philosophers in France, he praised the superior English empirical tradition, above all the work of Francis Bacon, John Locke, and Isaac Newton. In his treatment of Locke and Newton, Voltaire supported and propagated a view of natural philosophy as limited in its claims to what is known from experience alone, urging the abatement of metaphysical claims. In Voltaires view, by limiting their philosophical scope, Locke and Newton achieved wonders in the realm of knowledge, and he sought to explain Newtons achievement to his countrymen. In his discussion of the English practice of inoculation against smallpox, Voltaire offered a model of how knowledge gained from experience can be applied to reduce the suffering of the human condition, a model that would dominate Enlightenment thinking. Voltaires Philosophical Letters(1734) set out to celebrate and popularize English thought. He was convinced that what had occurred in the scientic and philosophic revolutions in England in the seventeenth century was important to all mankind. *** ROUSSEAU--Confessions of faith of a Savoyard Vicar Rousseau shared much of Enlightenment thoughtabove all, its deism and commitment to religious tolerancebut his critique of progress in the arts and sciences and his celebration of the primitive in original nature constituted a major dissent from prevailing Enlightenment beliefs and a major legacy to future Western thought. To reader: do not expect either learned speeches or profound reasonings from me. I am not a great philosopher, and I care little to be one...I sometimes have good sense and I love the truth. not teaching my sentiment; revealing it On clergy Didnt seek what was good, true of useful--rather sought that which was needed in order to be ordained. Did what he was supposed to do. In spite of my classes and studies, I have always led a uniform and simple life

I was born in a church which decides everything and permits no doubt Nature contra artice (and arts and sciences) [C]onscience persists in following the order of nature against all the laws of men [Cf. Butler] In spite of my classes and studies, I have always led a uniform and simple life Rousseau, like Butler, makes much of his conscience or his inner light as he calls it. His own illusions generated by conscience are more palatable to him than the lies of so-called rational minds. He seems to put much less faith in empiricism and science and much more faith on sincerity, nature and the voice of conscience. General and abstract ideas are the source of mens greatest errors. The jargon of metaphysics has never led us to discover a single truth, and it has lled philosophy with absurdities of which one is ashamed as soon as one has stripped them of their big words. In continuing to follow my method, I do not draw these rules from the principles of a high philosophy, but nd them written by nature with inefaceable characters in the depth of my heart. I have only to consult myself about what I want to do. Everything I sense to be good is good; everything I sense to be bad is bad. Conscience is the voice of the soul; the passions are the voice of the body.

1. For Rousseau, what ought to persuade any sincere atheist of the existence of God? How can one sincerely and in good faith be a skeptic? Do not exist or are the unhappiest of men. Rousseau has a passionate and positive deism. He defends the existence and goodness of God against the atheists. He advances a proof of God from motion within a system of inert matter, from the spontaneous motion of living things, and from the ordered and lawful motions of the world. Unmoved Mover argument and argument from design. Details: --Everything perceived with the senses is matter and the essential properties of this matter are deduced with the aid of the sensible properties that are perceived and that are inseparable from them. --Neither rest nor motion seem to be essential to matter since it is sometimes at rest but other times not. --Matter doesnt move when its not acted on.

--There are two sorts of motion to be observed: communicated motion and spontaneous or voluntary motion. e.g. a watch is moved by something external so communicated motion. Analogy supports the claim that the movements of animals are spontaneous --The only cause for the movement of my arm is my will --If it werent for spontaneity, wed be at loss to imagine the rst cause of all motion. --The regular, lawful motion of the universe contains nothing of the spontaneity found in animal motion, so the universe cant be a large self-moving animal --Therefore there is some cause of motion external to the universe --Descartes and Newton didnt succeed in explaining everything --The rst causes of motion are not in matter. It receives and communicates motion but does not produce it. Every motion not produced by another must come from spontaneous voluntary action. <rst dogma> --If moved matter shows me a will, matter moved according to certain laws shows me an intelligence. <second dogma> --There is an order in the world although its end is not known. He admires the workman in the details of his work and the wheels are moving in harmony for a common end which is impossible to perceive. Watchmaker analogy. --To which unprejudiced eyes foes the sensible order not proclaim sensible intelligence; and how many sophisms must be piled up before it is impossible to recognize the harmony of beings and the admirable concurrence of each piece in the preservation of the others? God does not play with dice!! Not monkeys with typewriters. Mere fortuity couldnt have produced so perfect a natural order. Print thrown around at random could not have produced the Aeneid. Combination and chance will never --Combination of prime mover, rst cause, and teleological arguments of Aquinas with a healthy dose of IBE --One needs absurd suppositions to deduce all this harmony from the blind mechanism of matter moved fortuitously I believe therefore that the world is governed by a powerful and wise will. I see it or, rather, I sense it; and that is something important for me to know For Rousseau, if God is good, why is there so much suffering? [arguments re problem of evil] For Rousseau, cultural progress invariably has led to moral decadence, creating articial needs and articial inequalities. Society has made us selsh, vicious, weak, arrogant, and unnatural. We blame God for the ills by which we are surrounded and of which we are the authors, misusing the freedom of the will with which God honored us. Humans formed society by some tragic miscalculation of necessity, and it is a permanent state. The problem, then, is to recognize the depredations of articial social life and redeem them to the greatest extent possible. This can be done by returning to the religion of nature (deism), by educating the young by the most natural means available (so that they learn directly from nature itself), and by locating legitimate political sovereignty only in the general will that seeks the good of all over the particular good. The legacy of all of these Rousseauist themes is inuential and profound, extending to the counter-culture, movements of return to nature, Kants categorical imperative in moral theory, and various benign and not so benign efforts to ground political sovereignty in virtue rather than in numerical majorities.

According to Rousseau, history shows us that moral decadence always accompanies cultural progress. The simple societies of ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome were overtaken by profound depravity as they became more cultivated and cultured. The simple Swiss and the American Indians compare favorably to the most cultured Europeans in both virtue and happiness, just as the simple Spartans do to the cultured Athenians. Reason also shows the linkage between cultural progress and moral decadence. The arts and sciences create and then satisfy articial vices and human pride, serving luxury and vanity, not our natural needs. They lead to laziness and boredom. Rousseaus themes included the celebration of the primitive, the decadence of culture, and the natural versus the articial. The picture of nature had presented me with only harmony and proportion; that of mankind presents me only with confusion and disorder. [C]onscience persists in following the order of nature against all the laws of men [Cf. Butler] In spite of my classes and studies, I have always led a uniform and simple life Rousseau, like Butler, makes much of his conscience or his inner light as he calls it. His own illusions generated by conscience are more palatable to him than the lies of so-called rational minds. He seems to put much less faith in empiricism and science and much more faith on sincerity, nature and the voice of conscience. General and abstract ideas are the source of mens greatest errors. The jargon of metaphysics has never led us to discover a single truth, and it has lled philosophy with absurdities of which one is ashamed as soon as one has stripped them of their big words. I always have the power to will, I do not always have the force to execute I am not free to want what is bad for me. But it is in this precisely taht my freedom consists-me being able to will only what is suitable ot me, or what I deem ot be such, without anything external to me determining me. Man is free in his actions and as such is animated by an immaterial substance <third dogma> Providence or God does not will the evil that man does in abusing the freedom it gives him. It has made him fre in order that by choice he do not evil but good. But it has limited his strength to such an extent that the freedom it reserves for him cannot disturb the general order. To complain about Gods not preventing man from doing evil is to complain abut His having given him an excellent nature, about his having put in mans actions the morality which ennobles them, about His having given him the right to virtue.What more could divine power do for us?...To prevent man from being wicked, was it necessary to limit him to instinct and make him a beast?

It is the abuse of our faculties which makes us unhappy and wicked. Moral evil is incontestably our own work. Man seek the author of evil no longer. It is yourself. No evil exists other than which you do or suffer, and both come to you from yourself. General evil can exist only is disorder, and I see in the system of the world an unfailing order. Particular evil exists only in the sentiment of the suffering being, and man did not receive this sentiment from nature: he gave it to himself. 4. How does Rousseau's view of human nature compare to that of Voltaire and Montesquieu? In what ways does Rousseau seem optimistic and in what ways pessimistic about human nature? Amour propre--we all possess it and it is the root of all evil. But we all also possess inner light and it can guide us to truth if we let it. Rousseau has a certain anthropocentrism. Of course, he recognizes that there are limits to what we can know, but he says what more could I choose than to be a man? What is so ridiculous in thinking that everything is made for me? In meditating on the nature of man, I believed I discovered in it two principles; one of which raised him to the study of eternal truths, to the love of justice and moral beauty, and to the regions of the intellectual world whose contemplation is the wise mans delight; while the other took him basely into himself, subjected him to the empire of his senses and the passions which are their ministers and by means of these hindered all the sentiment of the former inspired in him Recognizes our akrasia. We see the good, recognize it, and do bad. I am active when I listen to reason and passive when my passions carry me away. To prefer oneself to everything is an inclination natural to man, but the rst sentiment of justice is also innate in the human heart--complexity of man. In continuing to follow my method, I do not draw these rules from the principles of a high philosophy, but nd them written by nature with inefaceable characters in the depth of my heart. I have only to consult myself about what I want to do. Everything I sense to be good is good; everything I sense to be bad is bad. Conscience is the voice of the soul; the passions are the voice of the body. Innate sense of morality in all of us. Butler agrees. Voltaire not so much. If moral goodness is in conformity with our nature, man could be healthy of spirit only to the extent that he is good. There is something moral in the heart of man. Friendship is one proof of this. Admiration for heroic actions and for megalopsuchoi/mahatmas. Cato, who disembowels himself, is preferable to triumphant Caesar because of the formers morality and the latters lack thereof. We love

the beautiful and it gives our life that charm our lives possess. As long as we feel, we have morality within us. There are a few cadaverous souls to be sure. They are sensitive only to their own interest. Disagrees with Butler here. Doesnt think that self-interest necessarily leads to happiness. But, apart from these, we all feel anger and indignation when the innocent are treated unjustly. At the same time, a more powerful duty restrains us from instantly aiding them and the laws take the right of protection from us. We hate the wicked--like Catiline--not just because of the consequences of their wickedness; I am far removed from the consequences of Cs wickedness but because of the fact that they are so wicked. We want to be happy and we wish for the happiness of others. In spite of all relativism, the same basic moral ideas ourish everywhere. In the depths of souls, then, there is an innate principle of justice and virtue according to which in spite of our own maxims, we judge our actions and those of others as good or bad. It is to this principle that I give the name conscience. The striking uniformtiy in mens judgment is proof of this. Yes, there are instances of depravity but they hardly prove anything in the face of all the concord. The acts of conscience are not judgments but sentiments. Distinguish acquired iedeas from natural sentiments. Conscience speaks to us in natures voice and it likes refuge and peace. There isnt a single depraved man who hasnt at some point yielded to his inner desire to do good. One has countless reasons to reject this inner voice. False prudence connes it. Courage is needed. Virtue is like Proteus. Natural sentiments speak for common interest and reason relates things to me. The good man orders himself in relation to the whole and the wicked man in relation to himself [Cf. Butler proportionality]

5. For Rousseau, what are the primary intellectual, moral, and theological errors of revealed religion, in general, and of Christianity, in particular? What do you take to be Rousseau's view of the actual nature of claims of divine "revelation"? Is Rousseau more moderate or more radical in his criticisms of Christianity than Voltaire? than Montesquieu? More radical than either in that he attacks gospel and not just religious institutions. He has a more direct attack than either of them. They made arguments from relativity and so on, but Rousseau, in his positive deism, presents a more formidable challenge. Rousseau defends natural religion against the claims and beliefs of revealed religion, especially against the claims of Christianity.

What we know of God, we know from nature and reason, both of which are universal and from God. Revelation is defended by claims that God required such a means to teach us how to serve Him, but the diversity of cults and revelations belies the efcaciousness of such means. We can contemplate God in His works and study Him by those of His attributes that it matters for us to know. We are only free because He wants us to be. Christianity confuses the ceremony of religion with the interior adoration of God. Revealed religion gives God human passions. Individuals are Christian, Muslim, Jew, or Buddhist merely by the accident of birth and education. Is that how God would reveal Himself to us? All religions claim extraordinary means to prove themselves (miracles, prophecies, grace). It would take a lifetime of scholarship and knowledge of all dead and living languages to evaluate such claims. Is that how God would reveal Himself? Rousseau concludes that we should strive to know God through nature and work for that truth. Toleration was the only matter on which he would not compromise. What can I be guilty of in serving God according to the understanding He gives to my mind and the sentiments He inspires in my heart?--Natural Religion What purity of morality, what dogma useful to man and honorable to his Author can I derive from a positive doctrine which I cannot derive without from the good use of my faculties? The greatest ideas of divinity come to us from reason alone Has not God told everything to our eyes, to our conscience, to our judgment? What more will men tell us? Their revelations have only the effect of degrading God by giving him human passions. I see that particular dogmas, far from clarifying the notions of the great Being, confuse them; that far from ennobling them, they debase them; that to the inconceivable mysteries surrounding the great Being they add absurd contradictions I see in it only the crimes of men and the miseries of mankind They present [revelation] as proof of the diversity of bizarre forms of worship which have been instituted and do not see that this very diversity comes from the fancifulness of revelations...made Him say what they wanted. If one listened to what God says to the heart of man there would be but one religion. Let us not confuse the ceremony of religion with religion itself. The worship God asks for is that of the heart. As to the external worship if it must be uniform for the sake of good order, that is purely a question of public policy; no revelation is needed for that. not as concerned about tolerance as the others.

Either all religions are agreeable or there is one to which he has given signs. No such signs. God not cruel and arbitrary. So all agreeable. God is not a tyrant! By miracles. And where are these miracles? In books. And who wrote these books? Men. And who saw these miracles? Men who attest to them. What! Always human testimony?...So many men between God and me! If there were some truth to this I could spend several lifetimes studyig comparative religions and still not know it! God is just and equitable. Would never have consigned us to a fate where he only know his will by hearsay. Vicious circle because miracle cant be Devils! Miracle proved by doctrine and doctrine by miracle! He who begins by choosing a single people for Himself is not the common Father of all men. The best of all religions is infallibly the clearest. He who burdens the worship he teaches me with mysteries and contradictions teaches me thereby to distrust it. *** As opposed to the clergy and the supernatural aspects of religion as any of the others. Sharpest critique thus far of the scriptures. Like Paine, attacks mysteries, miracles and revelation. Doesnt think that there ought to be intermediaries between men and gods. Doesnt make as much fun of the clergy as Voltaire but this is implicit in his dislike of intermediaries and his rejection of revealed religion. Like Voltaire, thinks that the name of God ought not be prostituted in petty mortal disputes. Points of difference While he says that tolerance is all important he also thinks that it is presumptuous to practice a religion other than the one we are born to. Indeed, that is the advice he gives to his interlocutor. His political views are surprisingly conservative in that he acknowledges the practical need for some uniformity in religion at the state level. He thinks that is is important to protect public order. Of course, he deplored the persecution of the Protestants in France. But at the same time he is a supporter of the governments right to regulate public religious practices. He is as opposed to atheists as to fanatics. One would imagine the same is true of V and M but they are silent on the issue. However, both V and M think that rationality and empiricism can take us quite far and that religion comes from reason. As does Tom Paine. Rousseau disagrees. Neither reason nor revelation are adequate for him. Religion comes from within--our inner light or conscience is the source of it. Theology, for JJR, is the handmaiden of morality. Unlike the others, he accords an exceedingly important place to the moral law that we nd within us. The religion that this morality prescribes is the right one. This individuality weakens the role both of clerics and of philosophers, both being sets of people who seek to instruct us about what we ought to do. Good for the soul and good for society. It is something

that each of us possesses. This religion of the conscience makes a religion out of what we ALL believe. Reason and sentiment are united too. Revealed religion seeks to impose external dogmas. Philosophers urge us to obey reason and this too is external in a sense since this rationality ignores the complex facts about human psychology. Skeptics are hypocrites. He is not as heterodox a thinker as Voltaire in that sense. He does offer us a creed, namely that of a moral religion. Rejects all doctrines that seem to violate morality and afrms freedom of will, responsibility, divine rewards and punishments, and primacy of moral action over faith. Repudiates the demandingness of Christian morality. Depends greatly on reason, of course, but thinks that there are some things which we just know. It seems ridiculous to deny that we dont have souls, for instance. *** BUTLER--Five Sermons 1. What, precisely, does Butler mean by the "nature" part of "human nature"? What are the full implications of his analogy of human nature to a designed timepiece? The distinctions among the various meanings of the nature created providentially by God allow us to understand the pious meaning of following nature. A. The rst meaning of nature refers to anything empirically observed; it has no moral content. In such a model, all things and phenomena that are not supernatural are natural. B. The second meaning of nature refers to nature as the statistical norm. Understood this way, nature might or might not have moral content. From such a model, it is natural for parents to care for their children; it is unnatural (even if empirically observed) for parents not to care. C. Finally, we can understand nature as essence (that which distinguishes the creature from all other things). From this model, it is natural for a human being to use reasonhis or her distinguishing traitin interacting with the world. Bishop Joseph Butler used the essentialist model of human nature, in his Fifteen Sermons on Human Nature, to argue that before and independent of Christian revelation, our natural knowledge and the ordinary tendencies of our human nature lead us to virtue.We must examine and analyze our purposeful design in order to know our nature. Our essence is to pursuit happiness, governed naturally by reason and conscience. Given the reality of divine design, we know that the pursuit of secular happiness, to which our nature impels us, leads us when we are governed by reason and conscienceto the good. Against Calvin and Hobbes, he argues that self-love is good and that benevolence and self-love are not in conict. We must love ourselves if we are to love our neighbors as ourselves. To say that we should not seek our happiness in this secular, natural world was to criticize the very design of God. There is no inconsistency whatsoever between moral duty and self-love or self-interest. If it is a law of nature that we were creatures of self-love in pursuit of happiness, then happiness is our literal, God- given birthright and coincident with virtue. For Butler, there remained a minimal Christian dimension to this purely natural moral theology.

For the Christian, the achievement of happiness through enlightened and virtuous self-interest was reinforced by eternal reward and by the particular command of Christ. Further, the world was not perfect, and the afterlife could make amends for the failure of virtue to secure earthly happiness. Butler concludes that duty and interest coincide, almost always in this world, but absolutely if we take into account the whole. He seems to buy into a kind of functionalism. A timepiece is designed with a certain end, telos, in mind, and so is a human being. We are designed for happiness and virtue. However, the attainment of this end requires us to ensure proportionality between our various parts.

2. By what means, for Butler, does God incline human beings toward the good? 3. What is Butler's attitude, explicit or implicit, toward fellow Christians who would believe that human nature is hopelessly wicked and drawn to evil absent divine grace? Why, for Butler, is self-interest not a sin? Because benevolence is impossible without self-interest. It is natural to be self-interested. We must love ourselves if we are to love our neighbors as ourselves. To say that we should not seek our happiness in this secular, natural world was to criticize the very design of God. There is no inconsistency whatsoever between moral duty and self-love or self-interest. If it is a law of nature that we were creatures of self-love in pursuit of happiness, then happiness is our literal, God- given birthright and coincident with virtue. 5. What is the relationship, for Butler, between virtue and happiness? 6. What is the role of Christ in Butler's moral philosophy and moral theology? 7. Butler is a Christian bishop; Voltaire and Montesquieu are critics of Christianity and are deists (they believe in God, but reject the claims of special revelation); are Butler's views of ethics ultimately compatible or incompatible with those of his deistic contemporaries? 8. Butler will argue that there is no such real thing as "ill will." How then, for Butler, should we explain harmful acts? *** HUME: Dialogues on a natural religion Hume probably named Philo after Philo of Larissa, Ciceros teacher. He probably named Cleanthes after the second head of the Stoic school, Cleanthes of Assos, a religious enthusiast. Demea comes from the Greek demos and is an appropriate name for one who defends popular religion. Pamphilos from pan and philos is appropriate for a Shaftesburian narrator who states that opposite sentiments...afford an agreeable amusement.

Do any of them represent hume? It seems that they represent TYPES of people. But theres too much inconsistency for them to be one person. None are clear-headed or un-muddled throughout. Maybe Pamphilus is Hume? Or maybe the whole of the dialogue represents Humes ambivalence? Or maybe this is just a treatise written to drive home that religion and all forms of faith need not be mutually exclusive. In short, this may be the standard 18th c discussion of religious faith in relation to human reason. Philos and Cleanthes apparent disagreements about natural theology nonetheless mark the more fundamental harmony in their views concerning the proper ofce of religion. Philo triumphs tactically but Cleanthes is a wider victor. Rousseau would have sided with Cleanthes--he disliked philosophical sophistication and thought that faith and inner light led one to religious belief. Questions for reading Hume, Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, for the week after spring break: 1. What are the basic positions of each of the three interlocutors---Cleanthes, Demea, and Philo---about the knowledge of religion that we have from nature alone? Philo is a skeptic, Cleanthes an empirical theist, and Demea an orthodox theist. Philo and Demea claim that the nature of God is incomprehensible whereas Cleanthes dismisses their skepticism as excessive. The argument he offers is the argument from design--an argument based on the systematic order in nature, and an argument familiar to any reader of Rousseau. Cleanthes later even adds that the benecial aspects of natures order provide compelling evidence of Gods moral perfection, which, if left doubtful or uncertain, would spell an end at one of all religion. 2. When does Philo join with Demea against Cleanthes and with Cleanthes against Demea? To what ends? Both P and D agree that the nature of God is incomprehensible while C demurs. Demea thinks that Cleanthes argument allows for atheism since it doesnt establish the a priori certainty of Gods existence whereas Philo thinks that Cleanthes argument falls short of empirical certainty. Philos objections are drawn from the account of causal reasoning in the Treatise and the Enquiry. 1. In inferences from analogy, any deviation from an exact resemblance between objects weakens the probability of inferences based on their resemblance. Since scale, mass, duration and situation of the universe are vastly different from those of any artifacts of human making, any argument from analogy falls very short of practical certainty. 2. While not all forms of matter are capable of creating ordered effects, nature affords numerous instances of forms of matter that ARE. Plants and animals and their seeds and eggs regularly produce other ordered plants, animals, seeds, and eggs--reproduction! Ordered effects are also produced by non-intelligent causes and so it is arbitrary to insist that every ordered effect, including nature as a whole, must ultimately be produced by an intelligent cause.

3. The most conclusive causal inferences are based on observations of constant conjunctions between exactly similar types of objects. To be empirically certain that differences between nature and machines make no difference to the similarity of their causes and to be empirically certain that causes of ordered effects other than intelligence cannot be the main cause of nature, we would need to observe a constant conjunction between intelligent causes and the generation of universes. However, we do not have this kind of info since the universe is a unique single entity. Philo: inference to an intelligent designer is at beast weakly probable. Philos agreement with Demea seems ironic because he supports wtih an argument that the Being of God is unquestionable and self evident! And not with just any argument--he uses the rst cause argument which Demea is later attacked for in 9. Its important to think about the importance and the clarity of the agreements and disagreements in DNR. Demea gradually learns that Philos initial verbal agreement in theology with him and against Cleanthes is supercial. Cleanthes sides with Philo in the last dialogue. Both are empiricists. Both believe in the power of reason and also its nature. Agree on the appropriate and reasonable content of natural piety: a common life infused with the spirit of temperance, order, and obedience and regulated by the natural motives of justice and humanity The only remaining disagreement is Philos distaste for religious superstition. Cleanthes thinks that corrupted religion is better than no religion at all. But for both, TRUE religion consists in natural moral piety. Unlike Demea, their piety does not stand on revealed grounds but on human reason. 3. Having won his dangerous arguments throughout the rst eleven dialogues, Philo nonetheless "concedes" the argument in the nal dialogue to Cleanthes. Precisely how far does his "concession" extend? What are the implications of the limits of his concession? In the nal dialogue, out of nowhere reallly(!), Philo endorses a qualied inference to an intelligent cause of nature that stops short of attributing moral qualities to it. Hume, in this section, makes Cleanthes the putative apparent hero of the piece and has Pamphilus order it as [in increasing order of probability]--Demea, Philo, Cleanthes. But is Philo consistent? Is Hume consistent? DOES Philo represent Hume? Sceptical Fideism? 4. For Philo, leaving the nal dialogue aside, why are we not compelled logically to infer God from the physical phenomena of nature? Philo points out in the Dialogues that any effort to base religion upon inference from experience has four fatal general aws. --It leaves religion merely probable at best, since knowledge from experience is not logically necessary but determined by ongoing experience.

--It proceeds on the basis of an extremely weak analogy, since the dissimilarities between the universe and the works of men are far more striking than any similarities --The analogy is vitiated by the fact that the universe is the only one of its kind that we know, and we know it very partially indeed. How scientically can one draw inferences about its necessary or even probable cause? --To cite the order of the universe is insufcient, since there is also evidence of disorder, and both require explanation by the cause one assigns. What convinces us that this universe could not have arranged itself by chance? Philo argues that we think of something like a house as evidence of an intelligent human designer because we have actually seen a human being design a house. Therefore, when we see another house, we recall our past observation, and conclude that the present house must have also been designed. No such evidence exists in the case of the universe. We have never witnessed the creation of a natural object by a divine designer. However, as we have just seen, we base our inferences in past observations. Since there are no past observations of natural creation, we are not justied in using the existence of an ordered universe to infer that an intelligent designer exists.

5. For Philo, leaving the nal dialogue aside, why are we not compelled logically to infer God from the moral phenomena of nature? 1. 2. 3. 4. God must have no innity, since the universe has only nite effects. God must have no perfection, since the world has so many aws. God must have no unity, because of the diversity of effects in the world. God must have no incorporeality, since we only know work to be performed by material agencies, by hands, by bodies. God must have no intelligence, since the world is not a machine requiring an intelligent designer. In fact, the world resembles a vegetable, with growth and decay, more than it does a watch or knitting loom. God must have no supreme wisdom, since human beings improve on the design of nature, and since change is constant even in nature.

5.

6.

If nature proves the innite goodness of its cause, then how can we explain the miseries, pains and uncertainties of life? If a parent could save his children from disease, earthquake, plague but chose not to, would we call that parent good and wise?

1. 2.

Finite, imperfect human beings could improve upon nature if consulted. There are only four logical possibilities to be weighed in light of the evidence. The world as we observe it is explicable only if its cause is (as the natural religionists claim) innitely good, or if it is innitely evil, or if it is composed of warring opposites of good and evil, or if it is neither good nor evil. The only tenable explanation is that the cause of the universe is indifferent to good or evil.

6. What would be the main issues of debate between the Rousseau of the "Profession of Faith" and the Hume of the Dialogues? atheism Cleanthes arguments [a post. in 2-8] Argument from design Teleological argument/Argument from design [section II]: Humes Cleanthes makes the following argument in Section II of DNR: 1. We know from experience that order exists in minds, and not in material objects (Premise) 2. We infer similar causes from similar effects (Premise) 3. A house appears to be regular and ordered 4. Similarly, we observe regularity and order in the universe 5. The cause of the universe must be similar to the cause of a house (2-4) 6. The cause of the house is the human mind. 7. Therefore, the cause of the universe must be an intelligence similar to the human mind. (5,6) Argument from instinctive feeling/universal consent [section III] Cleanthes characterizes the inference to an intelligent designer Demeas a priori argument [part 9] From rst cause and then from experience [10].

Moral arguments [parts 10, 11] KORS ON HUME: Eighteenth-century optimistic natural philosophy and natural theology were founded on two condent conclusions inherited from the intellectual revolution of the seventeenth century. The rst was the belief that the natural faculties, through the medium of nature, linked human beings to natural truth and to knowledge of God. The second was the belief that nature and man interact to the benet of man, through the providential designs of God. Natural optimism faced several other challenges. -->The proponents of evangelical religious revival denounced as folly the counsel that human beings should follow the inclinations of their nature. In the evangelical view, this naturalism ignored the reality of depravity, the sin and danger of this-worldliness, and mans absolute dependence upon God. -->Inherent in Lockes empiricism was the skeptical view that knowledge is limited, relative to experience, and, at its best, merely probable. -->Further, Bishop George Berkeley asked how we know that any external world causes, corresponds to, or is represented by our ideas and images, when all we know are our ideas and images? One of the most dramatic challenges to optimistic natural philosophy and natural theology came from David Hume, in his Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion. This work challenges the fundamental premise of natural religion: that by inference from the phenomena of nature, we are obliged to infer a cause analogous to a human mind from the order and benevolence of nature, and that this cause is an intelligent, wise, omnipotent, and good God. Philo points out in the Dialogues that any effort to base religion upon inference from experience has four fatal general aws. It leaves religion merely probable at best, since knowledge from experience is not logically necessary but determined by ongoing experience. It proceeds on the basis of an extremely weak analogy, since the dissimilarities between the universe and the works of men are far more striking than any similarities The analogy is vitiated by the fact that the universe is the only one of its kind that we know, and we know it very partially indeed. How scientically can one draw inferences about its necessary or even probable cause? To cite the order of the universe is insufcient, since there is also evidence of disorder, and both require explanation by the cause one assigns. What convinces us that this universe could not have arranged itself by chance?

Even if one granted the terms of the analogy, we would not logically infer from the universe the God of natural religion. By analogizing from the world, we would infer a cause that does not have the qualities of God. God must have no innity, since the universe has only nite effects. God must have no perfection, since the world has so many aws. God must have no unity, because of the diversity of effects in the world. God must have no incorporeality, since we only know work to be performed by material agencies, by hands, by bodies. God must have no intelligence, since the world is not a machine requiring an intelligent designer. In fact, the world resembles a vegetable, with growth and decay, more than it does a watch or knitting loom. God must have no supreme wisdom, since human beings improve on the design of nature, and since change is constant even in nature. If nature proves the innite goodness of its cause, then how can we explain the miseries, pains and uncertainties of life? If a parent could save his children from disease, earthquake, plague but chose not to, would we call that parent good and wise? Finite, imperfect human beings could improve upon nature if consulted. There are only four logical possibilities to be weighed in light of the evidence. The world as we observe it is explicable only if its cause is (as the natural religionists claim) innitely good, or if it is innitely evil, or if it is composed of warring opposites of good and evil, or if it is neither good nor evil. The only tenable explanation is that the cause of the universe is indifferent to good or evil. In short, although one might choose to believe in God, that belief would not arise from the optimistic perspective that our natural faculties, through the medium of nature, know God and God's goodness and should use nature as their moral guide. *** VOLTAIRE, Candide Despite Humes challenge to the widespread condence that the data and evidence of nature required one logically to infer a benevolent God as its author, there were also two powerful currents of purely rationalistic analysis of God that reinforced or enhanced optimistic natural philosophy. Tindal noted that because God is perfect, He lacks nothing and created the world for our happiness. Leibnizs rationalist theodicy had vast and growing appeal until the mid-eighteenth century. God, being omnipotent, omniscient, and innitely good, necessarily created the best of all possible worlds. Bishop Butler also reconsidered the optimistic conclusions of natural theology. In The Analogy of Religion, Natural and Revealed, to the Constitution and Course of Nature (published ten years after his optimistic sermons on the providential design of nature), Butler accounted for the afnity between God's revelation in nature and His supernatural revelation in Scripture by noting that both involved explicability and required a faith that surpassed

reason. Both nature and scripture give us enough light and explanation to see the hand of God, but both are mysterious enough that we need faith in order to know God affectively. As the problem of evil shows, the providence of God is not clear in nature. Faith alone reconciles us to providence. Voltaires Candidehis most enduring workconstituted his answer to Rousseau and to himself. In it, he attempted to refute Leibnizian philosophical optimism by juxtaposing it, in ction, against the human condition. Candide is the student of Pangloss, whose Leibnizian philosophy appears futile, irrelevant, and absurd in the midst of human pain and suffering. Philosophical optimism equals fatalism; if whatever is, is right, then ones attempts to mitigate suffering do not matter. Candide voyages through a world of disease, war, cruelty, natural catastrophe, and endless unredeemed human suffering. Candides conclusion is: Let us cultivate our garden. The only antidote to pain and despair is to work in the earthly garden, to stave off what suffering and vice we can. Gods existence is proven by the design of the world, but we do not know that He cares for us. This conclusion marks a momentous shift from theological or metaphysical concerns to the human condition. The crisis of condence through which optimistic natural philosophy and theology passed in the mid- eighteenth century transformed the culture and intellectual life of Western Europe in lasting ways. --Philosophy was displaced. --It became legitimate to refute formal thought by appeal to human experience. --Theology was displaced from the center of intellectual activism.

1. Leibniz's "philosophical optimism," that is, his theodicy or analysis of the "problem of evil," which I'll explain in lecture, was considered by so many to be a fortress of an argument. Once Voltaire writes Candide, from the 18th century to today, people tend to laugh or smile at Leibniz's words, "the best of all possible worlds." How can one take on a serious philosophical argument in a mordant tale? How would you describe Voltaire's polemical technique? 2. Most 18th-century philosophers believe it evident that human beings seek happiness and ee pain. What are the various implications of Voltaire's Candide for that commonplace view? 3. What is constant from the Philosophical Letters to Candide in terms of Voltaire's values, perspectives, and criticisms? 4. What most changes in Voltaire's voice and views in the two decades between the Letters and Candide? 5. What is Voltaire's view of human nature in Candide? 6. Given the presence of El Dorado, is Candide, in the nal analysis, a utopian tale?

7. What, for Voltaire in Candide, are the most hateful human behaviors, the most admirable human behaviors, and the most absurd human behaviors? 8. What is the treatment of religion in Candide? *** BECCARIA--On Crimes and Punishment The degree of the punishment, and the consequences of a crime, ought to be so contrived, as to have the greatest possible effect on others, with the least possible pain to the delinquent. From seventeenth- and eighteenth-century models of ego-psychology, the need arose to reconcile the particular and general interests. -->The legislator is charged by law with reconciling these interests. He must nd means to prevent certain individuals from interfering with the search for happiness by others. -->The role of criminal law is to preserve the individuals ability to pursue happiness in his own way. European thinkers in the eighteenth century examined their institutions and codes and found them incompatible with the new philosophy's analysis of the relationship of humanity and nature. -->On Crimes and Punishments emerged from a north Italian context. Beccaria was part of the Academy of the Fist, whose members met to discuss the works of the French Enlightenment. -->The intellectual origins of On Crimes and Punishments included the acknowledged inuence of the French Enlightenment (especially Montesquieu and Helvetius), as well as notions of enlightened despotism. On Crimes and Punishments dened the criteria by which to judge institutions and their reform, and it set out a bold plan of necessary reform. -->All issues of government must be based on natural judgment and evidence, not tradition. -->The only just criterion in matters of society is utility, the greatest happiness of the greatest number. -->Society must be understood as a social contract in which individuals give up the least necessary portion of their freedom in return for the greater happiness of safety and civil order. This conclusion teaches us the legitimate ends and limits of government: because individuals entered society to secure greater happiness, all authority is justied by that result alone. All law and power must justify itself by demonstrating that it secures the greatest happiness of the greatest number. Beccarias proposed reforms of belief and behavior show the radical potential of rewriting social theory and practice according to his premises.

--> He seeks to eliminate theology from law, both in dening crimes (categories and severity) and in determining punishment -->All punishment must be minimal and purposeful -->To allow us to use our natural faculties to pursue happiness, we need a government of laws, not of men. Beccaria argues insistently against judicial discretion. -->The main function of the judicial system is to protect the accused -->Equality before law must be respected Beccarias model reects the eighteenth centurys dramatically increased sense of human possibilities with respect to the achievement of happiness, the unprejudicial study of nature, and the use of knowledge to ameliorate human suffering. This worldview changes how we argue for or against things in the medical as well as in the political world, and it raises profound issues regarding the mastery and order that human beings do or do not have over life. The Enlightenments legacy involves the drive to learn from experience and to reach decisions based above all else on that learning. Questions for Beccaria, On Crimes and Punishments: 1. What are Beccaria's moral criteria for judging the rightness or wrongness of society's use of force? Agrees with Montesquieu that every punishment that doesnt arise from necessity is tyrannical. The end of punishment, therefore, is no other, than to prevent the criminal from doing further injury to society, and to prevent others from committing the like offence. The only reason for punishment is the necessity of defending the public liberty--and the liberty preserved by the sovereign is sacred and valuable. Furthermore, moral policy is founded on the indelible sentiments in the heart of man. Whenever law deviated from this principle, it will meet with resistance. Thus it was necessity that forced men to give up a part of their liberty; it is certain then, that every individual would choose to put into the public stock the smallest portion possible; as much only as was sufcient to engage others to defend it. The aggregate of these, the smallest portions possible, forms the right of punishing: all that extends beyond this is abuse, not justice. The severity of punishment ought not be immediately contrary to the public good or to the end for which they were intended, viz. to prevent crimes. Because they would then be contrary to the consequence of enlightened virtue.

Proportion is the most important thing to keep in mind when judging a societys use of force against the accused. The intent of the punishment should not be to torment a sensible being and nor can one undo a crime committed. Can the groans of a tortured wretch recall the time past, or reverse the crime he has committed? In punishing, positive social effects are to be maximized and torment to the body of the criminal is to be minimized. [C]rimes are only to be measured by the injury done to society. degree of sin depends on the malignity of the heart, which is impenetrable to nite beings. How then can the degree of sin serve as a standard to determine the degree of crimes? If that were admitted, men may punish when God pardons, and pardon when God condemns; and thus act in opposition to the Supreme Being. Suffering should be minimized. For e.g. immediate trial minimizes the suffering caused by uncertainty. Liberty is at an end when the laws allow that person ceases to be a person and becomes no more than a thing. 2. For Beccaria, why do individuals sacrice some degree of individual liberty to join society? No one gives up liberty simply for the good of the public. Necessity forced men to give up part of their liberty.
Justice is the bond that is necessary to keep the interests of the individuals united. Without this, men would return to their original

3. Why does Beccaria nd judicial discretion to be in such fundamental conict with the rule of law? The laws receive their force and authority from an oath of delity, either tacit, or expressed, which living subjects have sworn to their sovereign, in order to restrain the intestine fermentation of the private interests of individuals. From hence springs their true and natural authority. Judges, then, have no role in the interpretation of these laws since they werent handed down to the judges by a divine power or some such thing. In every criminal cause the judge should reason syllogistically. The major should be the general law; the minor, the conformity of the action, or its opposition to the laws; the conclusion, liberty, or punishment.

The trouble arises when the judge tries to speak of the spirit of the law. Because this allows for a torrent of subjective opinions. The spirit of laws will be nothing more than the result of the good or bad logic of the judge. And his good or bad logic will depend on something as contingent as his digestion or his passions or health or connections with the accused, and other such contingent circumstances. Allowing for the spirit of the laws to hold sway allows for the same crime punished in a different manner at different times in the same tribunals. This is because the stable laws have been overthrown in favor of arbitrary interpretation. These principles will displease those, who have made it a rule with themselves, to transmit to their inferiors the tyranny they suffer from their superiors. I should have every thing to fear, if tyrants were to read my book; but tyrants never read.

4. For Beccaria, what is the proper place of religion and the supernatural in political matters? Why should a man be reduced to the terrible alternative, either of offending God, or of contributing to his own immediate destruction? The laws which require an oath in such a case, leave him only the choice of becoming a bad Christian, or a martyr. By this, oaths become a mere formality and all sentiments of religion--and honesty--are destroyed. Religion then presents itself to the mind of this lawless villain, and promising him almost a certainty of eternal happiness upon the easy terms of repentance, contributes much to lessen the horror of the last scene of the tragedy. 5. How would you characterize Beccaria's arguments against torture and against the death penalty in terms of the kinds of arguments he employs? What are factual arguments? moral arguments? political arguments? arguments of other categories? Factual arguments--hurts the innocent more. Doesnt help us get at the truth. When in pain, a man will give you whatever answer you want him to. Truth does not reside within the muscles and bers of a wretch in agony! The impression of pain, then, may increase to such a degree, that occupying the mind entirely, it will compel the sufferer to use the shortest method of freeing himself from torment. His answer, therefore, will be in effect, as necessary as that of re or boiling water; and he will accuse himself of crimes of which he is innocent. There are countless innocent persons who, under the agony of torture, have confessed themselves guilty.

Political arguments--the only purpose of torture is to set fear in the hearts of would-be criminals. Moral/religious arguments: Torture is meant to make the accused reconcile contradictions; but humans, even at their most tranquil contradict themselves. How can someone who is under duress not do so?! Torture is not in the least bit conducive to getting a non-contradictory statement from the person being tortured. There is only an apparent, and not a real, distinction between torture and trials by re or boiling water. AGAINST DEATH PENALTY: Moral argument: The laws, as I have said before, are only the sum of the smallest portions of the private liberty of each individual, and represent the general will, which is the aggregate of that of each individual. Did any one ever give to others the right of taking away his life? Is it possible, that in the smallest portions of the liberty of each, sacriced to the good of the public, can be contained the greatest of all good, life? If it were so, how shall it be reconciled to the maxim which tells us, that a man has no right to kill himself? Which he certainly must have, if he could give it away to another. On pragmatic grounds, the punishment of death has never prevented men from injuring society. The example of Romans. The intenseness of pain is not what effects the mind the most but its continuance. We are much more effected by weak but repeated impressions than we are by a violent but momentary impulse. The death of a criminal is but a momentary spectacle. But the thought of slavery strikes far greater dread. If I commit such a crime, says the spectator to himself, I shall be reduced to that miserable condition for the rest of my life. A much more powerful preventive than the fear of death, which men always behold in distant obscurity. The severity of a punishment should be just sufcient to excite compassion in the spectators, as it is intended more for them than for the criminal. Furthermore, the punishment of slavery is a more terrible sight to the spectator than it is to the sufferer. All evils are increased by imagination. The sufferer, by the misery of his present, is prevented from thinking of his future. Political arguments: Death penalty is harmful to society because of the spectacle of barbarity that it affords. Is it not absurd, that the laws, which detest and punish homicide, should, in order to prevent murder, publicly commit murder themselves?

6. How would you compare the values and world view of the authors of the French Enlightenment whom Beccaria, we know, admired---Montesquieu, Rousseau, and Voltaire---to the values and world view of Beccaria's work? --Beccarias argument for proportionate punishment If an equal punishment be ordained for two crimes that injure society in different degrees, there is nothing to deter men from committing the greater, as often as it is attended with greater advantage. Arguments against torture: The torture of a criminal during the course of his trial is a cruelty consecrated by custom in most nations. It is used with an intent either to make him confess his crime, or explain some contradictions, into which he had been led during his examination; or discover his accomplices; or for some kind of metaphysical and incomprehensible purgation of infamy; or, nally, in order to discover other crimes, of which he is not accused, but of which he may be guilty Either he is guilty, or not guilty. If guilty, he should only suffer the punishment ordained by the laws, and torture becomes useless, as his confession is unnecessary. If he be not guilty, you torture the innocent; for in the eye of the law, every man is innocent, whose crime has not been proved. How can pain be a test of truth?! Truth does not reside in the muscles and the bers of a wretch in torture. All that torture does is condemn the feeble and acquit the robust. The only political intention of such punishments is to terrify and to set terror in the hearts of would-be criminals. Torture is meant to make the accused reconcile contradictions; but humans, even at their most tranquil contradict themselves. How can someone who is under duress not do so?! Torture is not in the least bit conducive to getting a non-contradictory statement from the person being tortured. There is only an apparent, and not a real, distinction between torture and trials by re or boiling water. The impression of pain, then, may increase to such a degree, that occupying the mind entirely, it will compel the sufferer to use the shortest method of freeing himself from torment. His answer, therefore, will be in effect, as necessary as that of re or boiling water; and he will accuse himself of crimes of which he is innocent. There are countless innocent persons who, under the agony of torture, have confessed themselves guilty.

THE PURPOSE OF TORTURE: The force of the muscles, and the sensibility of the nerves of an innocent person being given, it is required to nd the degree of pain necessary to make him confess himself guilty of a given crime. The claim is that it will discover the truth. But that is NEVER the case for all the reasons listed above. And a strange and necessary consequence of all of this is that the case of the innocent is worse than of the guilty. Its a lose-lose situation for the innocent--he is unjustly convicted or, even when acquitted, has necessarily faced a great deal of agony. At least, in the case of the unjust person, he might get an acquittal if he has enough forbearance. There are some heinous laws and rationales for torture: --Men have an unalienable right of self-preservation as well as a natural self-love. But nature must be subverted and a contrary sentiment, a heroical self-hatred must be created instead. --Torture is used to discover whether or not the accused is guilty of crimes other than the specic ones of which he is accused. Thou art guilty of one crime, therefore it is possible that thou mayst have committed a thousand others; but the affair being doubtful, I must try it by my criterion of truth. The laws order thee to be tormented, because thou are guilty, because thou mayst be guilty, and because I chouse thou shouldst be guilty. --It is used to make the criminal reveal his accomplices. argument for eliminating theology is that we have the the basis in our social contract and the purpose of government is not enforcing gods laws. The authority comes from a social contract and not from God. *** ROUSSEAU Readers always remember that he who speaks to you is neither a scholar nor a philosopher, but a simple man, a friend of the truth, without party, without system; a solitary who, living little among men, has less occasion to contract their prejudices and more time to reect on what strikes him when he has commerce with them. My reasonings are founded less on principles than on facts; and I believe that I cannot better put you in a position to judge of them than often to report to you some example of the observations which suggested them to me. Rousseau exploded onto the European intellectual scene with his Discourse on the Arts and Sciences (1749), in which he argued from history and reason that progress in the arts and sciences has led us away from virtue, lessening rather than increasing it. According to Rousseau, history shows us that moral decadence always accompanies cultural progress. The simple societies of ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome were overtaken by profound depravity as they became more cultivated and cultured.

The simple Swiss and the American Indians compare favorably to the most cultured Europeans in both virtue and happiness, just as the simple Spartans do to the cultured Athenians. Reason also shows the linkage between cultural progress and moral decadence. The arts and sciences create and then satisfy articial vices and human pride, serving luxury and vanity, not our natural needs. They lead to laziness and boredom. Rousseaus themes included the celebration of the primitive, the decadence of culture, and the natural versus the articial. In his Second Discourse, On the Origins of Inequality (1755), Rousseau asks whether inequality is natural. Rousseaus lyrical picture of primitive, pre-social humanity informs us of what we have lost as a result of civilization. He senses the great tragedy in human history: out of some perceived ephemeral need, we created permanent society. --This society is a dominant, coercively triumphant form of human life that sweeps away the morally superior primitive. --It introduces unnatural forms that create unnatural relationships: property ownership, division of labor, social inequality, and the imposition rst of the strong, then of the rich. --Arbitrary power creates and maintains social injustices that we regard as natural, but that are wholly a creation of culture. --The attempt to satisfy articial needs sties conscience and natural compassion and breeds selshness. --We are separated from our real (God-given) natures as a species. Rousseau proposes two means of partial reparation to our ills: education and setting a new moral foundation to politics. EducationRousseaus Emile seeks to create the greatest amount of natural learning and inoculation against social depravity. The goal is direct education by nature, not by men or things. Education begins in infancy and proceeds by experience, not by rote or books. Form strong bodies and senses, and develop condence in them. One should develop the intellect by observation and by promoting reasoning in the service of real needs. Let the student reinvent the sciences to satisfy basic desires, and let him learn morals from natural consequences and mutually benecial interactions that depend upon ethical principles and relationships. There should be no religious education until adolescence. The student should be taught a useful, honest trade, not a career. GovernmentRousseau argues that a proper understanding of the nature and basis of government can produce moral rather than depraved citizens. Unlike Beccaria's model, Rousseaus social contract insists that all individual freedom is given to the state, such that one's own happiness is one's share of the happiness of the society.

When ones self-interest can only be pursued by pursuing the well-being of all others, society becomes a means to overcome selshness and permit moral beings to exist in civilized society. Only the general will has political authority. This has profound democratic implications, since the general will arises from all and applies to all. Legitimacy resides only in the general will, not in an immoral and depraved majority. Thus only the general will is sovereign, not the majority per se. Being subject to our moral selves (the general will) forces us to be free and unenslaved to our own or others articial power, even while in society. To preserve the general will and the social contract, there must be no factions, no gulf between rich and poor, and no society too large for democratic self-governance. 1. What does Rousseau mean by "nature" and "natural"? Does he hold to one meaning of those terms? How does his use of "nature" compare to Butler's? Nature is not merely habit. Some people claim it is. For e.g. the habit of plants is to keep vertical direction and interfering with its nature causes it to grow in a different direction. But we are born with the use of sense and, as soon as we have consciousness of our sensations, we avoid objects that produce pain and seek objects that produce pleasure; we also seek or avoid objects on according to the conformity or lack thereof that we nd between ourselves and the objects. These dispositions are extended and strengthened as we become more capable of using our senses and more enlightened. But if we constrain these by our habits, they are corrupted by our opinions. NATURE is the state we are in before this corruption takes place. Our nature is what our original dispositions are. Nature is opposed to social institutions. We have natural inclinations which are corrupted by prejudices and human institutions. Before that happens, our happiness lies in the use of the freedom of these inclinations. There is a perfect freedom in the state of nature for men. For children, the freedom in the state of nature is as limited and imperfect as the freedom of men in civil society. 2. Given that, for Rousseau, we cannot return to a state of nature, what are the goals of his model of education? how could education change society? Plants are shaped by cultivation, and men by education. Everything that we do not have at our birth and which we need when we grow up is given to us by education. There are three kinds of education--that which comes from nature, that which comes from things and that which comes from men. We are only true masters of the last one. The goal of education is the same as the goal of nature. One cannot make both a man and a citizen, unfortunately, since nature is essentially at odds with social institutions. Good social institutions know how to properly denature man, to take his absolute existence from him in order to give him a relative one. These institutions transpose the individual into the common unity so that the individual no longer thinks of himself as an individual but as part of a greater unity. A citizen of Rome was not Caius or Lucius--he was a Roman.

There are two contrary forms of instruction--the public and common and the individual and domestic. Platos Republic is an educational treatise about public education. Public education doesnt exist and cant exist because fatherland and citizen have been, and should be, effaced from modern languages. [huh?] Colleges dont provide public education. Nor does society--society makes for double men because it tends to two contrary ends. It causes us to be swept along in contrary routes by nature and by men and we follow a composite impulse that leads us neither to societal goals nor to natural ones. DOMESTIC EDUCATION IS THE EDUCATION OF NATURE. Removing the contradictions of socialized man would remove one of the greatest obstacles to happiness. All men are equal in the natural order and thats how the student should be treated. Prior to the calling of his parents is the calling to human life. All our wisdom consists in servile prejudices. All our practices are only subjection, impediment, and constraint. Civil man is born, lives, and dies in slavery...So long as he keeps his human shape, he is enchained by our institutions. The teacher is to be called a governor rather than a preceptor because his task is not to instruct but to lead. He ought to make percepts discovered; he ought not to give them. Natural education ought to make man t for all human conditions. The parents are of no consequence in education. Emile might as well be an orphan. True attachment is important and master and pupil must never be separated. The body must be vigorous in order to obey the soul. Intemperance excites the passions and in the long run it also wears out the body. The weaker the body, the more it commands; the stronger the body, the more it obeys. A frail body weakens the soul. Reason teaches us to know good and bad. Conscience makes us love the former and hate the latter but cannot be developed independent of reason. Before the age of reason, there is no morality in our actions. It is a combination of impotence and passions that cause both the infant and the old man to act in immoral ways. Four maxims: 1) One must let children have the use of all the strength nature gives them--a strength they could not know how to abuse 2) One must aid children and supplement what is lacking to them, whether in intelligence or strength, in all that is connected with physical need. 3) One must, in the help one gives children, limit oneself solely to the really useful, without granting anything to whim or to desire without reason; for whim, inasmuch as it does not come from nature, will not torment them if it has not been induced in them. 4) One must study the language of children and their signs with case in order that, at an age when they do not know how to dissimulate, one can distinguish in their desires what comes immediately from nature and what comes from opinion.

3. What is the theory of knowledge that underlies Rousseau's model of education? We are born capable of learning but able to do nothing, knowing nothing. The soul, enchained in imperfect and half-formed organs does not even have the sentiment of its own existence. The movements and the cries of the child who has just been born are purely mechanical effects, devoid of knowledge and of will. Not only would [the new born] perceive no object outside of himself, he would not even relate any object to the sense organ which made him perceive it: the colors would not be in his eyes; the sounds would not be in his ears the bodies he touched would not be on his body; he would not even know that he had one. The sensations are the rst materials of a childs knowledge and they must be presented to him in an appropriate order so that one day his memory can present them in the same order. Everything we learn is learned from experience and from our fellows; we are in a state of primitive ignorance before we do so. What is attained is, for the most part, common to all. It is pre-rational and the product of basic experience. A great deal of early education involves simply habituating the child. The child does not know a word of what is going on in society but he knows very well to know what to do to suit himself. This knowledge is acquired in an empirical way, through repeated trial and error and observations of cause and effect. Since he is constantly in motion, he is forced to observe many things, to know many effects. He acquires a large experience early. He gets his lessons from nature and not from men. He instructs himself so much the better because he sees nowhere the intention to instruct him. 4. Locke had written that individuals acquire moral knowledge from "experience." Does Rousseau agree? How, in practice, does the tutor attempt to teach moral lessons to Emile? Certainly, the ultimate goal of an education is to make a reasonable man. But there is a fundamental error is raising a child by reason. This is to begin with the end, to want to make the product the instrument. There is a great disadvantage in speaking to them, from an early age, in a language which they do not understand. This encourages and allows them to show off with words, to believe themselves as wise as their masters, to control all that is said to them, and to become disputatious and rebellious. Lessons in morality dont involve an appeal to the childs capacity to reason; the child has no such capacity. Do not give your pupil any kind of verbal lessons; he ought to learn them only from experience The only lesson of morality appropriate to childhood, and the most important for every age, is never to harm anyone. Everything he sees, everything he hears strikes him and he remembers it. He keeps in himself a record of the actions and speeches of men, and all that surrounds him is the book in which, without thinking about it, he continually enriches his memory while waiting for his judgment

to be able to prot from it. It is the choice of these objects, it is in the care with which one constantly presents him the objects he can know, and hides from him those he ought not know, that the true art of cultivating in him this rst faculty consists This method forms men who are judicious, robust, healthy of body and understanding, men who, having made themselves admired when young, make themselves honored when grown. 5. What is the view of human nature that informs Emile? In what ways is Rousseau, as you read him, optimistic and pessimistic about our species? The optimism consists in the hope that education will allow us to nd a way of living in accordance with our virtuous natures even when we are born into society. The pessimism is about the present state of affairs. From rearing children to governing, man has moved as far away from nature and has controverted it to a considerable degree. Rousseau has a profound mistrust of man-made institutions and of philosophes who use their grand theories as smokescreens for their lack of virtue. For instance, his remarks on cosmopolitanism. He thinks that we can be dependent in two ways--dependence on natural things and dependence on men. The former is from nature; the latter from society. The former is in no way detrimental to freedom and engenders no vices; the latter is detrimental to freedom since it is without order and it engenders all vices. The only way to remedy this is to substitute law for man. Once again we get a trace of optimism. Left to his own devices, man is capable of innite corruption. But virtue still exists and we can still bring about a civil society wherein freedom, albeit imperfect freedom, is to be found by substituting law for man. The laws of nations should be like laws of nature--inexible and not susceptible to the whims of particular wills. They should serve the general will. If this were to happen [again, optimism] dependence on men would become like dependence on things. The advantages of the natural state would then be united with those of the civil state. While there may be something pessimistic about his belief that rationality is the last and most difcult thing to develop, it is also notable that he thinks more highly of passions and sentiments than the Enlightenment philosophes do. He thinks that the savage is the sharpest of all and the peasants--the ones who are in society-are the dullest of all. The peasant only does what he is ordered to do and be works by habit and routine and his life is that of an automatons. He is constantly busy with the same labors, habit and obedience. The savage, on the other hand, is not a creature of habit and is attached to no one place and has no set task and has to obey no one. He has to reason all the time; every single action of his has to be thought about in advance. As his body is exercised, his mind is enlightened. His strength and reason grow together and reinforce each other. The pupil should be like the savage.

6. For Rousseau, what ought to be an adult's understanding of infancy? of childhood? What are the greatest errors we have made, in his view, in looking at the period of infancy and childhood? Nature exercises children constantly and it is never wise to oppose it or the leave the path that it maps out. Nature hardens the temperament of children through means such as teething, colics, long coughs, worms, and so on. Children who are raised delicately die more--and more easily--than those who are not. Pain is very important. To suffer is the rst thing that most children ought to learn and it is the thing they will most need to know. No baby proong! It is a barbarous education which sacrices the present to an uncertain future, which makes a child miserable in order to prepare him from afar. The rst duty of all men is to be humane. Men should be humane with every station and every age. Homo sum: nihil a humani a me alienum puto. Love childhood, promote its games, its pleasure and its amiable instincts. The closer man stays to his natural condition, the smaller is the difference between his faculties and his desires, and consequently the less removed he is from being happy. All the animals have exactly the faculties necessary to preserve themselves. Man alone has superuous faculties. Is it not very strange that this superuity should be the instrument of his unhappiness? In every country the arms of a man are worth more than his subsistence. If he were wise enough to count this superuity for nothing, he would always have what is necessary because he would never have anything too much. Society has made man weaker not only in taking from him the right he had over his own strength but, above all in making his strength insufcient for him. Weakness arises from the excessive attachments of parents to children. Parents who live in the civil state transport the child into it before the proper age. Childhood has its own ways of seeing thinking and feeling which are proper to it. Nothing is less sensible than to want to substitute ours for theirs. Reason does nothing for children. They see quite well that obedience is advantageous to them and rebellion harmful but only when you notice either. Force and promises are a terrible way of showing a child what is right. They cannot grasp the reason for duty and are obedient only because of a fear of punishment. By imposing a duty on them, which they do not feel one sets them against one and turns them away from loving one. Second, they are taught to become dissemblers and liars. Finally, you give them a means of deceiving you constantly and of depriving you of the knowledge of their true character. Grown men without a conscience are children spoiled by bad education. Use force with children, and reason with men. Such is the natural order.

The rst movements of nature are always right. There is no original perversity in the human heart. There is not a single vice to be found in it of which it cannot be said how and whence it entered. The sole passion natural to man is amour de soi. The amour propre in an extended sense in itself or relative to us is good and useful; and since it has no necessary relation to others, it is in this respect naturally neutral. It becomes good or bad only by the application made of it and the relations given to it. Therefore until the guide of amour propre--which is reason--is born, it is important for the child to do nothing in relation to others. The rst education must be purely negative and consist in shielding the child from vice and prejudice and error. Exercise his body, his organs, his senses, his strength but keep his soul idle for as long as possible. Fables can instruct men, but the naked truth has to be told to children. A child does not understand the fables he is made to learn. ANd if he were to understand them it would be even worse for the moral in them is so mixed and disproportionate. At his age these fables would lead him more to vice than virtue. In thus taking away all duties from children, I take away the instruments of their greatest misery--that is, books. Reading is the plague of childhood and almost the only occupation we knowhow to give it.

7. Is there a relationship between the deism of the "Profession of the Faith" and model of childhood education offered in Emile?

8. What, if any, are the political implications of Rousseau's model of early education? ` Individualism. The child must be shielded from the outside world and must not see himself in relation to others because that goes against nature and because it will lead to corruption. Patriotism. Anti-cosmopolitanism. People are cosmopolitans because they want an excuse to not love their neighbors. A child should not be educated in foreign languages because study of languages involves more than just the study of words. Languages modify the ideas which the words represent--minds are formed by languages and thoughts take on the colour of the idioms. Only reason is common; in each language the mind has its particular forms. This is a problem because language is probably a cause or an effect of national characters. In all nations of the world language follows the vicissitudes of morals and is preserved or degenerates as they are.

Since the child does not know what he is doing when he commits himself, then he cannot lie in committing himself. One needs full knowledge of X and its implications in order to do X. Ignorance and culpability--denitely legal implications. Emphasis on freedom--the teacher is to do everything by doing nothing. The ideal thing is to develop naturally and freely without any reliance on men. The only reliance should be on things and the only teacher should be nature. There is no subjection so perfect as that which keeps the appearance of freedom. Rousseau on lies: There are two sorts of lies--de facto and de jure. The de facto lie is with respect to the past and the de jure is with respect to the future. The former takes place when one denies having done what one has done or when one afrms having done something one hasnt done and the latter takes place when one makes a lying promise or when one has an intention contrary to the intention one gives evidence of having. He who is aware of the need he has of others help and who never fails to experience their benevolence has no interest in deceiving them. So the de facto lie certainly isnt natural to children. The law of obedience is the thing which produces the necessity of lying. In the natural and free education, what has the child to hide from you? You do not reprove him, you punish him for nothing, you exact from him. The de jure lie is still less natural, since promises to do or forbear are conventional acts which depart from the state of nature and impair freedom. What is more, all commitments of children are in themselves null, because, since their limited point of view cannot exist beyond the present; in committing themselves they hardly know what they are doing. This is why laws take no account of childrens commitments. Since the child does not know what he is doing when he commits himself, then he cannot lie in committing himself. Rousseau on common sense: It is out sixth sense. It results from the well-regulated use of the other senses. It instructs us about the nature of things by the conjunction of their appearances. Its sensations are called perceptions or ideas and its sensations are in the brain and thus purely internal. It is by the number of these ideas that the extend of our knowledge is measured. It is by the distinctness and their clarity that we measure the accuracy of the mind. ***

LA METTRIE The following are the primary themes of La Mettries LHomme Machine (Machine Man, or The Human Mechanism).

1. One must make an absolute choice between spiritualism and materialism: there is no middle ground. La Mettrie saw much of Greek philosophy as wholly materialistic. Spiritual explanations are essentially a confession of ignorance and helplessness, an abandonment of inquiry. Materialism is the possibility of human knowledge and mastery. It is an invitation to human exploration of the human phenomenon; a tearing down of boundaries to science. Materialism is a strategy of human knowledge, not a metaphysical truth. 2. The soul or mind is not distinct from the body, but a behavior of the body. The Physiology has a tremendous impact on our consciousness and will. Thought and will are correlated to the physiology of the brain and the central nervous system. 3. Human beings are not categorically distinct from other animals; the transition from lower animals to man is gradual and founded upon observable physical differences of constitution. 4. Matter is not inert and lifeless absent an indivisible soul, but alive and vital in specic organizations. 5. La Mettrie concludes that the soul is the effect, not the cause, of the bodys behavior. Nature has formed us as organisms capable of thought. La Mettrie's, in his earlier work, attempted to covertly show how all human intellectual functions can be explained by the workings of the material brain and nerves, which he attempted to describe. This position was openly declared in the notorious L'homme machine, in which he stated clearly that there is no such thing as the soul. His main aim in this book was to demonstrate, by means of comparative anatomy and accounts of experiments on animal parts, that the smallest parts of organized matter, the bers, possess their own life and capacity for movement. Organized matter can thus account for all human faculties, as for all other natural phenomena. Although he did not express himself openly on the question of the existence of Goda question subsidiary to his main interestit is clear that he wished to imply that atheism is the only reasonable position. The title of this work was deliberately provocative and has led to erroneous and diverse interpretations of the nature of La Mettrie's philosophy. It refers to the hypothesis defended by followers of Ren Descartes that animals are mere insensitive material machines and are as such distinguished from humans, who have an immaterial and immortal soul united to this material machine. La Mettrie was thus thought to be taking the material Cartesian machine and claiming that this is all that exists, and therefore that nothing distinguishes human from animal, for neither possesses an immortal soul. Indeed, La Mettrie claims that this is precisely what he was doing, and that had Descartes dared to defy the church, he would have written the same thing. This declaration has in the past been taken at face value, and La Mettrie's

mechanical materialism has been contrasted with the more vitalistic materialism of Diderot, for example. He was in many ways continuing the Epicurean tradition of the seventeenth century, transmitted through the French philosopher Pierre Gassendi and certain physiologists, in particular the Englishman Thomas Willis. He was also inuenced by clandestine philosophical treatises that circulated in the early eighteenth century, often in manuscript form. In addition, he proclaimed, particularly in L'homme machine, his hostility to all metaphysical systems and his reliance on experiment and observation. Thus, in this work, we nd no clear description of the sensations or the workings of the brain, but instead a series of metaphors and accounts of physiological experiments proving that the bers, possess their own motive force; the Cartesian physiology present in La Mettrie's earlier work is here almost absent. He emphasized the movement inherent in matter, or what he called the natural oscillation of each ber, as well as the creativity of the brain. Rather than emphasizing its role as a processor of external sense-impressions, as he had done in L'histoire naturelle de l'me, he now insisted on the imagination and on the interaction between the brain and the rest of the body. His materialism thus contains a vitalistic element that brings it much closer than is usually realized to that of Diderot in Le rve de d'Alembert (D'Alembert's Dream). It is from such amoralism that d'Holbach in Le systme de la nature and Diderot in the Essai sur les rgnes de Claude et de Nron (Essay on the Reigns of Claudius and Nero, 1782) attempted to dissociate themselves by means of violent attacks on La Mettrie. Diderot was attempting to found a system of morality based on human nature, but he had come to conclusions very similar to those of La Mettrie in certain of his earlier works, and he was aware of the similarity between their philosophies. Indeed, in a version of Le rve de d'Alembert that he wrote when he was at the court of Empress Catherine II in Moscow and that is situated earlier in the century, the physician Bordeu, in whose mouth Diderot places his materialistic explanations of humans, is replaced by La Mettrie, although it is difcult to know how to interpret this. 1. Is La Mettrie's materialism simply scientic or is it philosophically anti-theological (or, perhaps, some combination of both)? From the text, does he appear to want his readers to take away any views relating to God? It is certainly a combination of both. In addition to the implicit theological implications of his scientic and philosophical views, there are also explicit statements like : "if there is a revelation, it isnt adequately established just by the Churchs authority without being examined by reason, as all those who fear reason claim that it is; and to shield from attack the method of those who would like to follow the path that I am clearing for them, interpreting supernatural thingswhich, taken on their own, are incomprehensibleby the lights that each of us has received from nature, i .e. interpreting them by the lights of experience and reason" He thinks that experience and observation should be our only guides. Organized matter is endowed with a motive principle. Everything that happens in animals arises from differences in how they are organized.

CONTRA ROUSSEAU: 1) "If I am now asked where in our bodies this innate force this principles of motion resides, I reply that it is obviously situated in what the Ancients called the parenchyma, i.e. the very substance of the body-parts, excluding the veins, arteries, nerves, in short, the entire bodys organisation" " matter moves by itself, not only when it is organised (as in a whole heart, for example). but even when that organisation is destroyed" " I am as reconciled to not knowing how inert simple matter comes to be active and organised as I am to not being able to look at the sun except through a red lens -- " 2) "But what about the power of the will? That leads nowhere. The will does indeed issue commands, but it receives and must obey a hundred commands for every one that it gives" Sure, this doesn't get us beyond deism--thus far he is in agreement with the deist naturalists. However, thinking of the human being as a machine doesn't require us to posit any divine intelligence that created it. The existence of self-moving and reproducing animals like polyps shows that we needn't posit some rst cause. All animal esh palpitates after death. Pragmatically too--we can't know whether or not there is a God so the debate is futile. Furthermore, there is social utility in admitting that there's no God or living as though there is no God. "Lets not get bogged down in attempts to think about innity; we arent built to have the slightest idea of it; and were absolutely incapable of tracing things back to their origin. makes no difference to our peace of mind whether matter is eternal or was created, whether there is or isnt a God.It is stupid to torture ourselves about things that we cant know and that wouldnt make us any happier if we did manage to know them." "I am not questioning the existence of a supreme Being; on the contrary, it seems to me extremely probable that there is such a Being. But that doesnt prove that some one cult must be right, as against all the others; it is a theoretical truth that serves very little practical purpose." All that deists do is destroy chance. But that doesn't prove the existence of a supreme Being for there may be something that is neither chance nor God--namely, nature, the study of which can only produce unbelievers. The 'weight of the universe' won't bother the atheist, let alonee crush him. "If atheism were generally accepted (he said), all the branches of religion would be destroyed, cut off at the roots. No more theological wars, no more soldiers of religionthose dreadful soldiers! Nature, now infected by sacred poison, would get back its rights and its purity. Mortal men, deaf to all other voices, would calmly follow only the spontaneous promptings of their own individual being, which are the only ones that it is dangerous for us to disregard, the only ones that can lead us, along the pleasant paths of virtue, to happiness. Such is the law of nature: anyone who obeys it strictly is an honest fellow who deserves the condence of the whole human race. If someone doesnt follow it scrupulously, he is either a knave or a hypocrite, whom I distrust; he cant avoid that by conspicuously going through the motions of belonging to some other religion." "Anyone who erects altars to superstition in his heart is constitutionally built to worship idols and not to care about virtue...problems about matter, life, and mind have been denitively

solved. If you dont yet believe this, here are some empirical data that will completely satisfy you."

2. What, for La Mettrie, are the ethical implications of his way of looking at nature and human life? La Mettrie wished to demonstrate that crimes must be understood independently of deviations from religiously derived moral codes and seen as expressions of physical-medical disruptions that may be cured rather than punished. The consequences of the passions overriding reason led La Mettrie to conclude that many that commit crimes are "punished enough for their crimes when they return to their senses" and that judges should also be physicians because "(O)nly then could they distinguish criminal innocence from criminal guilt. 3. La Mettrie speaks frequently of "nature" and "natural." How does his use of these terms compare to that of other thinkers we have read? 4. What, for you, are the arguments that La Mettrie believes to be most central to his anti-spiritualism? Are they, above all, philosophical arguments about what the world actually is? scientic and empirical arguments about what we actually know? moral arguments about the uses of knowledge? He begins with an epistemological presupposition to the effect that our understanding is far more limited than we usually take it to be. It's stupid to torture ourselves about things we can't know and that wouldn't make us any happier if we did manage to know them. He uses this in conjunction with scientic and empirical arguments to demonstrate anti spiritualism. Experiments and observations should be our only guides and only scientists have the right to speak on the subject of soul. Our only way to understand the true nature of man-whether or not he has a soul--is a posteriori. It's on the basis of empirical evidence, by trying to disentangle the soul, as it were, from the body's organs. The human body, it seems, is a machine that winds itself up, a living likeness of perpetual motion. We copy everything from those we live with and the soul's various states are always correlated with the body's. The soul is no more than the imagination. There's also a moral component. Cleverness, knowledge and virtue come from a natural disposition and to refuse to acknowledge this is to insult nature. All our admirable qualities come from nature and to her we owe all we are. "the soul is an empty term, with no idea associated with it; a good mind should use it only to refer to the part of us that thinks." This is so because a machine's organization would sufce to explain everything. A combination of Occam's razor and IBE. The differences between man and others are simply upshots of his having a few wheels and springs more than the most perfect non human animals have, a brain proportionately closer to the hear and thus receiving

more blood, and perhaps others. Though obviously develops with the organs so why shouldn't the matter than organs are made of also become capable of feeling. With the slightest principle of movement, animate bodies will have everything they need to move, feel, think, repent and conduct themselves appropriately. This claim is backed up through examples in nature. In the rst place there exist self-moving bodies. Polyps etc. Furthermore, all kinds of bodily functions can be explained best by springs. 5. To what authors (if any) read thus far does La Mettrie seem to share the most? Voltaire and Diderot. Voltaire in his belief that humans are more like machines than anything else. Diderot in his staunch materialism, tendencies towards atheism and exploration and frank discussion of human sexuality. Diderot's position on sexuality, despite his use of a physician as a mouth-piece, should be understood in terms of the secularization of sexual morality, rather than as a medicalization of sexuality. However, before concluding this section, it should be acknowledged that both Mandeville and La Mettrie were physicians and Diderot himself, according to Theodore Tarczylo, was such a keen student of medicine that he should be raised "above the level of mere amateur".10 This connecting feature of all three philosophes indicates that the nineteenth century medicalization of psychology, sexuality and even criminality, has an antecedent in the Enlightenment project. 6. What, for La Mettrie, are the crucial distinctions and similarities between human beings and other animals? For La Mettrie, humans are only different from other animals insofar as they have imagination and more rened senses. In all other respects, humans are identical to other animals. "Theres no sharp line between animals and man; true philosophers would agree about that. What was man before he invented words and learned languages?" "Man was drilled like an animal; he was trained into being an author in the same way as a dog, for instance is trained to carry a pack." " only the imagination perceives; that it makes representations of all objects, along with the words and gures that characterise them; and thusIll say it againthe imagination is the soul" "So nature made us to be beneath the animals, or at least to exhibit vividly the great achievements of education, which is the only thing that can remove us from that level and eventually place us above the animals" " the fact is that up to a certain age he is more of an animal than they are, because he is born with less instinct." We even have reasons to believe that speechless animals have been given the natural law! They certainly behave as if they do [cf. Androcles and the lion]. In fact they display a

gratitude that a lot of humans don't! The portion of nature is simply to allow living things to be happy. In this, man is not distinct from other animals. "Who knows after all whether the reason for mans existence doesnt lie in his existence itself? " "Nature is so uniform that we start to get a sense of the analogy between the animal and vegetable kingdoms, between man and plant." ": I am virtually certain, given the apes similarity to us in structure and operations, that if we went about it in the right way we could teach this animal to utter sounds and consequently to learn a language. Then it would no longer be a wild man or an imperfect man, but a perfect man, a small man of the town as against man of the woods" La Mettrie, J. O. (2012). Man, the Machine, 136. p.3: To ask whether unaided matter can think is like asking whether unaided matter can indicate the time. Its clear already that we arent going to hit the rock on which Locke had the bad luck to come to grief in his speculations about whether there could be thinking matter. -Highlighted apr 28, 2012 p.3: The Leibnizians with their monads have constructed an unintelligible hypothesis. Rather than materialising the soul like the philosophers I have just mentioned, they spiritualised matter. -- Highlighted apr 28, 2012 p.3: Descartes and all the Cartesiansamong whom Malebranches followers have long been includedwent wrong in the same way, namely by dogmatising about something of which they knew nothing. -- Highlighted apr 28, 2012 p.4: if there is a revelation, it isnt adequately established just by the Churchs authority without being examined by reason, as all those who fear reason claim that it is; and (2) to shield from attack the method of those who would like to follow the path that I am clearing for them, interpreting supernatural thingswhich, taken on their own, are incomprehensibleby the lights that each of us has received from nature, i .e. interpreting them by the lights of experience and reason. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.4: experience and observation should be our only guides -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.4: Physicians have explored and thrown light on the labyrinth of man -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.4: these are the only scientists who have the right to speak on this subject -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.4: Here are two options. Choose one: Everythingboth nature itself and revelationis illusion.

Faith can be justied by unaided experience. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.5: Man is a machinesuch a complex machine that its initially impossible to get a clear idea of it or (therefore) to dene it. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.5: Our only way to discover the true nature of man is a posteriori, i.e. on the basis of empirical evidence, trying isolate the soul, as it were disentangling it from the bodys organs. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.5: Let us take up the staff of experience and turn our backs on the sad story of all the futile opinions of philosophers. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.7: The human body is a machine that winds itself up, a living likeness of perpetual motion. -Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.7: Its the way our machine is provisioned that makes us lively or brave, and in the same way it makes us think, and makes us honest. Sometimes one would say that the soul lives in our stomach. . . . -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.9: We copy everything from those we live withgestures, accents, and so ondoing this as involuntarily as the eyelid blinks when it sees a blow coming, or as a spectators body imitates mechanically, and despite himself, all the movements of a good mime. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.9: o the souls various states are always correlated with the bodys. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.10: Some animals learn to talk and sing; they remember tunes and get all the notes as exactly as any musician. Others (such as the ape) display more intelligence and yet cant manage this. Why is this, if its not because of a defect in the speech organs? -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.11: I am virtually certain, given the apes similarity to us in structure and operations, that if we went about it in the right way we could teach this animal to utter sounds and consequently to learn a language. Then it would no longer be a wild man or an imperfect man, but a perfect man, a small man of the town as against man of the woods -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.11: Locke was never suspected of credulity, and he saw no obstacle to believing Sir William Temples account of a parrot that. . . .had learned, as we do, to conduct a sort of coherent conversation. I know that some have made fun of this great metaphysician,4 but if someone had announced to the world that some animals can reproduce without eggs and without females, would he have found many supporters? Yet Trembley has discovered such animals, which reproduce by simple division, without matingpolyps -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012

p.11: Theres no sharp line between animals and man; true philosophers would agree about that. What was man before he invented words and learned languages? -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.11: Reduced to raw sensory knowledge. . . ., he saw only shapes and colours, -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.12: Man was drilled like an animal; he was trained into being an author in the same way as a dog, for instance is trained to carry a pack. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.12: leading in due course to spontaneous soundsdifferent sounds for each animalthis being a natural expression of their surprise, joy, emotions or needs -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.12: But art is the child of nature, and nature must have long preceded it. [In this context, art refers to anything that involves inventiveness, techniques, rules, skill; so linguistic competence is an art.] -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.12: Just as a violin string. . . .vibrates and makes a sound, so also the strings of the brain, struck by sound-waves, were stimulated to give out or repeat the words that reached them. -Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.13: I keep using the word imagine because I believe that everything is imagined and that all the parts of the soul ultimately come down to imagination, which creates them all, -Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.14: Imagination makes pleasure take root in the study of the philosopher or the dusty pedant, and it makes scientists as well as orators and poets. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.14: only the imagination perceives; that it makes representations of all objects, along with the words and gures that characterise them; and thus that thusIll say it again the imagination is the soul, -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.15: Mans rst asset is his physical constitution. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.15: Exaggerated modesty (a rare defect indeed!) is a sort of ingratitude towards nature. Honest pride on the other hand is the mark of a ne, great soul, indicated by manly traits moulded by feeling -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.15: instruction is the second. Without it, the best constructed brain would be wasted -Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.15: Where do cleverness, knowledge, and virtue come from, if not from a dispositiona physical constitution -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012

p.15: education is useless if spent on someone who is constitutionally incapable of proting from it -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.15: All our admirable qualities come from nature; to her we owe all that we are -Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.15: But a brain that is both well organised and well educated is a fertile and perfectly seeded plot of ground that produces a hundred times what it has received. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.16: I say about truth in general what Fontenelle said about some truths in particular, namely that it must be sacriced to social convenience. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.16: the person with the most imagination should be regarded as the one with the most mind [esprit] or the most intellect [gnie], for these three expressions are synonymous; -Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.16: Our ideas come into our minds in a fast-moving jumble, pushing one another along. If the imagination is to deserve its ne label faculty of judgment, it has to (so to speak) use some of its muscles to stand upright on the brains tightropes, staying for a while above a eeing object so as to contemplate it before it disappears -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.17: Having no education, they have no prejudices -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.17: So nature made us to be beneath the animals, or at least to exhibit vividly the great achievements of education, which is the only thing that can remove us from that level and eventually place us above the animals. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.17: he fact is that up to a certain age he is more of an animal than they are, because he is born with less instinct. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.18: A philosopher is entitled to reject any opinion that isnt based on experiencedoes this objection (this mere assertion) have any such basis? H -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.18: How could we know that speechless animals have been given the natural law? -Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.18: he facts seem to show that they do. A dog that bites its master. . . .seems to repent the very next moment; -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.18: The animals give us obvious signs of repentance and of intelligence, so why is it absurd to think that beingsmachines almost as well-made as we arewere made like us to think, and to have a sense of the demands of nature? -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.18: If only men would always show the same gratitude for kindness and the same respect for humanity! -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012

p.20: We werent originally made to be learned, and our having become learned may result from a misuse of our organic faculties; and well have done this at the expense of the State, which maintains a crowd of idlers whom vanity has decked out with the label Philosophers. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.21: to be happyyes, all, from the earthworm to the eagle up in the clouds. Thats why she gave all animals a portion of the law of nature; how rened a portion any given animal gets depends on what its organs, in their healthy state, can cope with. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.21: Who knows after all whether the reason for mans existence doesnt lie in his existence itself? -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.21: the law of nature? It is a sentiment [a French word that can mean feeling or belief or opinion] that teaches us what we ought not to do, steering by what we wouldnt like to have done to us. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.21: Lets not get bogged down in attempts to think about innity; we arent built to have the slightest idea of it; and were absolutely incapable of tracing things back to their origin. makes no difference to our peace of mind whether matter is eternal or was created, whether there is or isnt a God.It is stupid to torture ourselves about things that we cant know and that wouldnt make us any happier if we did manage to know them. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.21: You can see that the law of nature is only an inner feeling that belongs to the imagination, along with all the other things I have assigned to the imagination, including thought. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.21: The weapons of fanaticism may destroy those who uphold these truths, but theyll never destroy these truths themselves. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.21: I am not questioning the existence of a supreme Being; on the contrary, it seems to me extremely probable that there is such a Being. But that doesnt prove that some one cult must be right, as against all the others; it is a theoretical truth that serves very little practical purpose -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.22: Anyway it is a lot more than is said by the physician Diderot in his Philosophical Thoughts, a high-ying work that wont convince any atheist. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.22: The deist asks: Would chance be a great enough mathematician to achieve this variety of means to a single end? -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.22: And as deisms supporters overlook nothing in their attempts to justify it, tirelessly piling proof upon proof, they want to take advantage of everything, even the minds weaknesses in certain cases. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012

p.22: Thus, destroying chance isnt proving the existence of a supreme Being, for there may be something that is neither chance nor Godnamely, nature, the study of which can only produce unbelievers, as is shown by the way of thinking of all its most successful observers. -Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.22: the weight of the Universe wont bother the atheist, let alone crush him! -Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.22: the deists add that atheists nearly always renounce atheism when their passions have weakened along with the body that is their instrument. That is certainly everything that can be said in favour of the existence of a God -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.23: They tell us that the same causes that enabled a chemist to create the rst mirror by a chance mixture of certain materials are used by nature to create clear water -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.23: If atheism were generally accepted (he said), all the branches of religion would be destroyed, cut off at the roots. No more theological wars, no more soldiers of religionthose dreadful soldiers! Nature, now infected by sacred poison, would get back its rights and its purity. Mortal men, deaf to all other voices, would calmly follow only the spontaneous promptings of their own individual being, which are the only ones that it is dangerous for us to disregard, the only ones that can lead us, along the pleasant paths of virtue, to happiness. Such is the law of nature: anyone who obeys it strictly is an honest fellow who deserves the condence of the whole human race. If someone doesnt follow it scrupulously, he is either a knave or a hypocrite, whom I distrust; he cant avoid that by conspicuously going through the motions of belonging to some other religion. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.23: Im not choosing a side. Its not in my power to decide so great a controversy between you. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.23: Anyone who erects altars to superstition in his heart is constitutionally built to worship idols and not to care about virtue...problems about matter, life, and mind have been denitively solved. If you dont yet believe this, here are some empirical data that will completely satisfy you. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.24: All animal esh palpitates after death -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.24: Suppose that man alone received the law of nature as his heritage -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.24: 2. Muscles separated from the body contract when they are pricked. 3. The bowels retain their peristaltic. . . .movement for a long time after death. 4. A simple injection of warm water reanimates the heart and the muscles, -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012

p.24: 5. A frogs heart, particularly when left in some warm place, moves for an hour or more after removal from the body -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.24: would that make him any less of a machine? Absolutely not!Those differences between man and the others could be upshots of his havina few wheels and springs more than the most perfect non-human animals have, a brain proportionately closer to the heart and thus receiving more blood,. . -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.24: Thus the soul is an empty term, with no idea associated with it; a good mind should use it only to refer to the part of us that thinks. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.24: Boyle and Steno have reported similar results with pigeons, dogs, rabbits, pieces of whose hearts move just like whole hearts -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.25: Caterpillars, worms, spiders, ies and eels show more of this same phenomenon -Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.25: A drunken soldier cut off the head of a turkey-cock with a sabre. The animal stayed upright, then it walked, then ran; -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.25: If I am now asked where in our bodies this innate force this principlec of motion resides, I reply that it is obviously situated in what the Ancients called the parenchyma, i.e. the very substance of the body-parts, excluding the veins, arteries, nerves, in short, the entire bodys organisation-- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.25: After polyps have been cut up, they dont just move; within eight days each piece generates a new animal! -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.26: It comes from the interplay between those muscles and the imagination. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.26: All we have here is one spring that is set going by the sight of beauty and arouses another spring that was sound asleep until the imagination awoke it. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.26: the heart beats, contracting more strongly than any other muscle, the erector muscles make a mans penis go erect, like that of an animal that masturbates, and even of a child, who can have an erection when that part is stimulated. The last example, incidentally, shows that the penis has a special kind of spring that isnt yet understood, producing effects that havent yet been well explained despite all our knowledge of anatomy. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.26: I am talking about the instigating and impetuous principlec the soul [he gives the Greek word that was Hippocrates name for it]. This principlec exists and is located in the brain at

the starting-point of the nerves, through which it exerts its control over all the rest of the body -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.27: But what about the power of the will? That leads nowhere. The will does indeed issue commands, but it receives and must obey a hundred commands for every one that it gives -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.27: From the harmony between the inner life and the outer you will discover the material unity of man. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.28: a system of springs that wind each other up without our being able to say at which point on the human circle nature began -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.28: So the soul is only a principlec of motion, a tangible material part of the brain that we can safely consider as a mainspring of the whole machine, which visibly inuences all the other springs and seems indeed to have been made rst; in which case all the others are a mere by-product of it. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.29: matter moves by itself, not only when it is organised (as in a whole heart, for example). but even when that organisation is destroyed, -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.29: Experience teaches us only this: If one or more bres still have some movement, however little, it takes only a jab for this barely existent movement to be kicked back into life. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.30: If youll just grant me that organised matter is endowed with a motive principlec, which is the only thing distinguishing it from unorganised matter (come on now! can you refuse to accept the most incontrovertible observations?); and that everything that happens in animalsand everything that makes one animal unlike another arises from differences in how they are organised (and I have proved that well enough); I can solve the riddle of substances, and the riddle of man. It turns out that there is only one of them in the universe, and that man is the most perfect one. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.30: So I am as reconciled to not knowing how inert simple matter comes to be active and organised as I am to not being able to look at the sun except through a red lens -Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.31: the human body is a clock, a huge and complex and nely designed clock. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.31: For we knowdont we?that when several blood-vessels are blocked, -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.31: And we knowdont we?that when the optical nerve is compressed and no longer lets through the images of objects, -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012

p.31: No-one denies that this famous philosopher made many mistakes; but he understood animal nature, and was the rst to demonstrate perfectly that animals were mere machines. After such an important discovery, requiring so much wisdom, it would be ungrateful of us not to pardon all his errors! -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.31: Similarly, we know that someone in an epileptic seizure can hear without being able (for a while) to say that he can hear; -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.32: There is nothing contradictory about (1) being a machine and (2) being able to feel, to think and to tell right from wrong like telling blue from yellow; that is, (1) being a mere animal and (2) being born with intelligence and a sure instinct for morality, any more than there is about being an ape or a parrot and being able to give oneself pleasure -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.33: Nature is so uniform that we start to get a sense of the analogy between the animal and vegetable kingdoms, between man and plant. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.33: Were real moles in the eld of nature; our range is hardly bigger than a moles; and when we put limits on things that dont have any, that is our pride speaking. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.34: Break the chains of your prejudices and arm yourself with the aming torch of experience, and then youll honour nature in the way it deserves, instead of drawing derogatory conclusions from the ignorance in which it has left you. Just open your eyes, and when there is something you dont understand, let it go -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.35: Following the law of nature given to all animals, he doesnt want to do to others what he wouldnt like others to do to him. Let us then conclude boldly that man is a machine and that the whole universe contains only one substance. . . -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.35: Anyone who thinks in this way will be wise, just, calm about his fate and consequently happy. He will wait for his death without fearing it or wanting it; cherishing life and nding it almost unintelligible that someones heart might be corrupted by dislike of this delightful place; hell be full of respect for Nature; full of gratitude, affection and tenderness in proportion to. . . .the kindnesses she has shown to him, happy to sense her within himself and to be present at the enchanting Theatre of the Universe. He will certainly never destroy nature in himself or in anyone else. More than that: he will be full of humanity and will love the sign of it even in his enemies. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012

p.35: Thus we have seen that the materialist in his thought and speech will do homage to something that others quite wrongly refuse to honour, namely the natural gifts that people have, which are the source of all their acquired ones. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.36: I disqualify any man who is full of his own opinions but isnt an anatomist or educated in the only branch of science that is relevant here, namely the study of the human body -Highlighted apr 29, 2012

*** DIDEROT--DAlemberts dream Denis Diderots relationship to Enlightenment atheism. A. DHolbachs circle included Diderot and Naigeon. B. Diderots atheistic works were published only after his death, although his salons had been preoccupied with his atheist theses. Diderots work displays the following naturalistic themes. --The crucial issue is the existence or non-existence of God. --All matter (all nature) is potentially alive. --There is no categorical distinction between the organic and inorganic. --Physical behavior depends upon organization and catalysts. --Time and purely natural agencies transform the living into inorganic and the inorganic into the living. --Life and death are two modes of the same matter. --The hypothesis of God explains nothing, confuses much, and is unnecessary. [LM] Diderot offers proto-evolutionary speculations on the transformation of the species over time, the survival of the best adapted, the scientic need to abandon the limitations of Scriptural time, and the cells as carriers of the information of each organism. Human thought is a scientic, not a theological, mystery. Diderot squarely faces the ethical implications of atheistic naturalism. --Ethics as behavior is partly inherited, partly learned. --The goal of ethics is survival and better interaction with nature and ourselves. --The only ethical criteria are pleasure and utility. --For Diderot, atheism is proper humility. --Atheism is the ultimate humanism. Conclusion

--Naturalism is the ultimate overthrow of the Aristotelian scholastic system. --Naturalism asks to be judged less on philosophical than on historical grounds. --In an unplanned universe that does not care for us, there exists the need to coexist with nature and with each other and to build human well-being. --The debates of the modern age begin in all of their intensity.

1. If you believe this work to be explicitly "atheistic," how would you characterize Diderot's atheism? If not, how would you explain the attempt to explain nature without reference to God? 2. How does Diderot want his readers to think about the seeming mysteries of human life and experience: consciousness; unity of the organism; or inherited characteristics, for example? 3. What, for Diderot, are the ethical implications of his naturalism? Diderot secularized morality. Dr. Bordeu offers us two moral statements in regards to sexual pleasure. First, like Tissot, Diderot's Bordeu condemns all excesses. In the materialist position, the sexual act is not immoral, or a sin, unless it is done in excess. Second, Dr. Bordeu condemns as a social evil uncompromising demands of chastity, such as in the Christian tradition. Thus we have a secular morality that condemns excesses in both directions; unyielding chaste and sexual excess are both detrimental to the human machine. Diderot's aesthetic and moral hierarchy is, from top to bottom, what is useful and pleasurable, what is only pleasurable, what is only useful and, nally, what is neither useful nor pleasurable. Diderot describes non-procreative sex as "wholly non-utilitarian pleasure" but gives it the edge over masturbation because it gives pleasure "both to him and to a being of the same or of the opposite sex". Diderot then repeats himself and emphasizes that it does not matter "which sex does what, with which, and to whom." Diderot's materialism is clearly on display in his discussion of homosexual sex and bestiality. As Delon argues, Diderot's dialogue blurs the frontiers of bodies both between men and women but also between human and animal. The blurring of bodies and roles appears a number of times throughout D'Alembert's Dream, these include the early discussion of the swarm of bees that may be mistaken as a whole or may be cut into numerous pieces, or the possibility, put forth by Bordeu, that our species may be "a hatchery for another generation of beings who will supplant our species after the lapse of countless centuries." Morality can be as uid as physical bodies and looking to God in nature will not serve our search for morality; "[N]o form is completely stable, no concept is so eternally xed in nature that one has only to discover it there." The dialogue between Mlle. de l'Espinasse and Dr. Bordeu in the Suite de 'Entretien offers us an interesting glimpse into the materialist's system of morality. Throughout the dialogue Diderot takes apart theological morality in favour of a secular morality that places health utility, pleasure and social consciousness over concerns that subsume our material conditions to concern for the soul. In

common with writers like Mandeville and La Mettrie, Diderot worked to understand our world through natural processes and governed by natural laws that did not require an ordering and interested deity. Diderot's contribution in D'Alembert's Dream to the secularization of morality pulled sexuality from the grips of theology. Consistent with Tissot and Menuret, Diderot approached masturbation as a necessary and pleasurable means of relieving sexual tension but maintained that the practice was bad if done in excess to the extent of physical harm. Here, perhaps most starkly, we have Diderot being a secularist and a moralist when he recognizes the benets of masturbation but holds that the practice must not be taught. His position on masturbation leads to a consonant position regarding homosexual sex as a pleasurable act. Finally, bestiality comes in as a theoretical concept that not only blasts theological concerns for morality but subsumes them to the moral question of how to rectify the condition of slavery in the new world. The materialists afrmed their own moral positions but understanding our drives and suggesting that what was healthy must be good and by discrediting theological morality by demonstrating the absurdity of theological concerns in the face of real world moral travesties such as slavery.

Diderot, D. (2008). DAlemberts Dream, 148. p.2: MADEMOISELLE DE L'ESPINASSE -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.2: At the start it was a lot of nonsense about vibrating strings and sensitive bres. -Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.2: I went up to a small table at the foot of his bed and started to write down everything I could catch of his dream talk. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.2: A living point . . . No, I'm wrong. Nothing at rst, then a living point . . . Another living point attaches itself to this one, and then anotherand from these successive conjoinings a single living unity results, for I am certainly a unity. Of that I have no doubt. . . -Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.2: "But how does this unity create itself . . . -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012

p.3: "All right, philosopher, I can grasp an aggregate, a tissue of small sensitive beings, but an animal . . . a totality, a unied system, on its own, with an awareness of its own unity? That I don't understand. No, I don't understand it at all. . . ." -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.3: Just as a drop of mercury fuses itself with another drop of mercury, so a sensitive and living molecule fuses itself with a sensible and living molecule . . . At rst there were two dropsafter the contact there is only one . . . Before the assimilation there were two molecules; after the assimilation there is now only one . . . The sensibility becomes common to the common mass . . . And, indeed, why not? . . . In my thinking about the length of an animal bre, I can distinguish as many parts as I like, but the bre will remain a unity . . . yes . . . a unity. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.4: That way everything comes together to produce a sort of unity which exists only in an animal. . . . -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.4: "Have you sometimes seen a swarm of bees going out of their hive? . . . The world, or the general mass of matter, is the large hive. . . Have you seen them move out to the end of a tree branch to form a long cluster of small winged animals, all hooked to one another by their feet? . . . This cluster is a being, an individual, an animal of some sort . . . But these clusters all have to be similar to each other . . . Yes, if he allowed only one homogenous material. . . . Have you seen them?" -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.5: BORDEU: Look at your pages and listen to me. A man who took this cluster for an animal would be wrong. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.5: Weaken the feet by which they hold themselves togetherchange them from the contiguous condition they are in so that they become continuous. Between this new state of the cluster and the earlier one there is certainly a marked difference. And what might this difference be other than that now it is a totality, a unied animal; whereas, before it was only an assembly of animals?All our organs -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.5: Are only distinct animals which the law of continuity holds together in a general state of sympathy, a single unity, a single identity. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.5: MADEMOISELLE DE L'ESPINASSE -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.5: So now I can conrm for all the world that there is no difference between a doctor who's awake and a philosopher who's dreaming. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.6: BORDEU: -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.6: this totality, made up of imperceptible bees, will be a true polyp which you only destroy by crushing. The difference between the group of bees formed continuously and the group of bees formed contiguously is precisely the difference between normal animals, like us, sh, worms, and snakes, and animal polyps. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012

p.7: MADEMOISELLE DE L'ESPINASSE: "In Jupiter or in Saturn, human polyps! The males resolve themselves into males, females into femalesthat's an amusing thought . . ." -Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.8: BORDEU: This extravagant assumption is almost the real history of all species of animalsthose presently existing and those still to come. If man does not divide himself into an innity of human beings, at least he does divide himself up into an innity of animalcules, whose changes and whose future and nal organic structure it's impossible to predict. -Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.8: BORDEU: Nothing. Nothing at all. It was my turn to dream. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.8: "Voltaire may make as much fun as he likes about it, but the Eel-monger [John Needham, an English scientist] is rightI believe my eyes, I see how many of them there are! How they come and go! How they wriggle around! . . ." The vase where he was looking at so many momentary generations he then compared to the universe. He saw in a drop of water the history of the world -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.8: "In Needham's drop of water, everything takes place and goes away in the blink of an eye. In the world, the same phenomenon last a little longer, but what is our length of time compared to an eternity of time? -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.9: Who knows the races of animals which came before us? Who knows the races of animals which will come after ours? Everything changes, everything passes away. Only the totality remains. The world begins and ends without ceasing. At every instant it is at its beginning and at its end. It's never been anything else and never will be anything else. In this immense ocean of matter, no single molecule resembles any other, and no single molecule resembles itself for more than a moment: Rerum novus nascitur ordo [a new order of things is born] there's its eternal slogan." -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.10: Who knows if the process of fermentation and what it produces have run their course? Who knows what point we're at in the sequence of these animal generations? Who knows if this deformed biped, only four feet high, which is still called a human being in the regions of the pole but which would quickly lose this name if it grew a little more deformed, is not the image of a species which has passed away? Who knows if things are not the same with all animal species? Who knows if everything isn't tending to reduce itself to a large, inert, and immobile sediment? Who knows how long this inertia will last? Who knows what new race could result some day from such a huge heap of sensitive and living points? Why not a single animal? What was the elephant at its origin? -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.10: Watch out for the logical fallacy of the ephemeral. . . ." Doctor, what is the logical fallacy of the ephemeral? BORDEU: It occurs when a transitory being believes in the immortality of things. -Highlighted apr 29, 2012

p.11: MADEMOISELLE DE L'ESPINASSE: Like Fontenelle's rose who used to say that in the memory of a rose no one had ever seen a gardener die? BORDEU: Preciselythat's both deft and profound. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.11: MADEMOISELLE DE L'ESPINASSE: What do you call a serious subject? BORDEU: Well, sensibility in general, the formation of a sentient being, its unity, the origin of animals, how long animal life lasts, and all questions related to these matters. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.11: MADEMOISELLE DE L'ESPINASSE: Well, I call all that so much nonsense which I'll admit people dream about when they're asleep but which a sensible man never concerns himself with when he's awake. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.11: MADEMOISELLE DE L'ESPINASSE: Because some of them are so obvious it's useless to seek out the reason, and others are so obscure that there's nothing to see in them, and all are perfectly useless. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.11: Diderot's views? -- Written apr 29, 2012 p.11: BORDEU: Mademoiselle, do you believe that it makes no difference whether you deny or admit there's a supreme intelligence? MADEMOISELLE DE L'ESPINASSE: No. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.11: Atheism? Similar to La Mettrie's view -- Written apr 29, 2012 p.11: MADEMOISELLE DE L'ESPINASSE: But how can they be important to me if I don't know how to clarify them? -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.12: MADEMOISELLE DE L'ESPINASSE: Well, for example, the question of my unity, of my "me." My goodness, it seems to me that so much verbiage is not necessary to know that I am myself, that I've always been me, and that I'll never be someone else. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.12: MADEMOISELLE DE L'ESPINASSE: It seems to me that contact alone is sufcient. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.13: D'ALEMBERT: Why am I the way I am? That's because it was necessary for me to be like this . . . Here, yes, but somewhere else? -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.13: If a distance of a few thousand leagues changes my species, what would a distance of a few thousand earth diameters do?And if everything is a universal ux, as the panorama of the universe demonstrates to me everywhere, what would the changes in a time span of a few million centuries produce here and elsewhere? -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012

p.13: The more senses, the more needs. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.13: BORDEU: He's right. The organs produce the needs and, conversely, the needs produce the organs. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.13: BORDEU: Why not? I've seen two stumps become over time two arms. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.14: D'ALEMBERT: So I am the way I am because I had to be that way. Change the whole and you necessarily change me. But the totality is changing constantly . . . -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.14: All beings circulate through each otherthus all the species . . . everything is in a perpetual ux Every animal is more or less a human being, every mineral is more or less a plante, and every plant is more or less an animal. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.14: And you talk about individuals, you poor philosophers! Forget about your individuals. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.14: There is only one great individual that's the totality. In this totality, as in a machine, in some animal or other, there is a part which you'll call this or that, but when you give the name "individual" to this part of the totality, it's a conceptual error, just as if, in a bird, you gave the name "individual" to a wing, to a feather in the wing And you speak of essences, your poor philosophers! Forget about your essences. Look at the general mass, or if your imagination is too narrow to take it all in, consider your rst origin and your nal end . -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.15: And what's important about one form or another? Each form has the happiness and unhappiness appropriate to it. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.15: there's no point in all nature which does not undergo pain and pleasure. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.15: BORDEU: Yes. He made a really ne speech. Now that's lofty philosophy. At this point it's a theoretical system, but I believe that the more human understanding progresses, the more it will be conrmed. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.17: MADEMOISELLE DE L'ESPINASSE: How could a God of that sort . . . BORDEU: The only sort which one can conceive of . . . MADEMOISELLE DE L'ESPINASSE: . . . how could He have been or come and pass away? BORDEU: How indeed? But since He would be made up of matter in the universe, a portion of the universe, subject to change, He'd grow old and die. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012

p.17: BORDEU: You see intelligence unied with very energetic portions of matter and the possibility of all sorts of imaginable wonders. Others have thought the way you do -Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.17: BORDEU: I agree. But what's frightening about that idea? There would be an epidemic of good and evil geniuses, the most constant laws of nature would be interrupted by natural agents, our understanding of general physics would become more difcult, but there would be no miracles -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.18: MADEMOISELLE DE L'ESPINASSE: In truth, we should be very cautious about what we afrm and what we deny. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.22: MADEMOISELLE DE L'ESPINASSE: But it seems to me that a machine as complex as an animal, a machine which develops from a single point, in an agitated uid, perhaps in two uids mixed together randomlyfor one hardly knows what one is doing at such times a machine which develops toward perfection through an innity of successive developments, a machine whose regular or irregular development depends upon a bundle of thin, delicate, exible wires, a kind of tangle where the least thread cannot be broken, worn out, displaced, or missing without harmful consequences for the totality such a machine would get all tied up and confused during its development even more than the silk on my skein winder. -Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.22: BORDEU: Well, it does suffer much more than we think. There's not enough dissection done, and our ideas about its development are very far from the truth. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.26: You can mislead it whenever you like: if you cross your ngers one on top of the other and touch a small ball it will declare there are two of them. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.26: MADEMOISELLE DE L'ESPINASSE: That shows it's just like all judges in the world and needs experience, without which it will mistake the feeling of ice for that of re. BORDEU: It can do many other things. It can give an almost innite volume to an individual or shrink the individual down almost to a point. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.26: BORDEU: What is it that establishes a limit to your actual extent, the true sphere of your sensibility? MADEMOISELLE DE L'ESPINASSE: My senses of sight and touch. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.26: BORDEU: During the day, yes, but at night, in the shadows, above all when you're dreaming about something abstract, or even during the day when your mind is preoccupied. MADEMOISELLE DE L'ESPINASSE: Nothing. I exist as a point. I almost cease to be something material. I feel only my thought. There is no more sense of place or movement or body or distance or space for me. The universe is annihilated for me, and I am nothing to it. -Highlighted apr 29, 2012

p.26: BORDEU: There you have the nal limit to the concentration of your existence, but, in theory, its expansion could have no limits. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.28: BORDEU: Cold makes us smaller, heat makes us larger, and an individual of a certain sort can believe all his life that he is smaller or larger than he really is. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.32: BORDEU: Not as extravagant as you might think. If there's only one consciousness in an animal, there are countless wills at work, for each organ has its own. D'ALEMBERT: Why do you say that? BORDEU: Well, I mean that the stomach wants food, but the palate does not. The difference between the palate or the stomach and the entire animal is that the animal knows what it wants, but the stomach and the palate have desires without knowing it. The stomach or the palate are to the complete animal almost like the brute is to the human being. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.36: MADEMOISELLE DE L'ESPINASSE: Tell me about it, Doctor. I'm like a childI love marvellous facts, and if it brings honour to the human race, it I rarely challenge their credibility. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.38: BORDEU: Well, a spasm in the centre is not like a spasm in one of the threads. The head is perfectly capable of commanding the feet, but the feet cannot command the head. The centre can command one of the threads, but the thread cannot command the centre. -Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.38: BORDEU: It's because consciousness has only one location. MADEMOISELLE DE L'ESPINASSE: Well, there's a quick answer. BORDEU: It can have only one location, at the common centre of all sensations, the place where the memory sits and comparisons are made. Each thread is only susceptible to a certain xed number of impressions, successive sensations, in isolation and unremembered. The centre is susceptible to everything. It is the registry. It keeps the memory or a sustained sensation, and the animal is led from its rst formation to connect itself with this centre, to x its entire identity there, and to exist in it. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.38: MADEMOISELLE DE L'ESPINASSE: So what then is memory? BORDEU: It's the property of the centre, the specic sense of the centre of the network, just as sight is the property of the eye. And it's no more astonishing that the eye has no memory than that the ear has no sense of sight. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.38: BORDEU -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.38: But if I'm weak on certain specics, I'm very strong on general phenomena. MADEMOISELLE DE L'ESPINASSE: And these general phenomena are . . . ? -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012

p.39: BORDEU: Reason, judgment, imagination, madness, imbecility, ferocity, instinct. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.39: MADEMOISELLE DE L'ESPINASSE: I understand. All these qualities are only the consequences of the original relationship or something acquired by habit between the centre of the network and its branches. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.39: BORDEU Is the principal part or trunk is too vigorous in relation to the branches? That's how we get poets, artists, people with imagination, timid people, zealots, and fools. If it's too feeble? That gives us what we call brutes, ferocious animals. If the total system is lax and soft, without energy? That's how we get imbeciles. And if the whole system is energetic, harmonious, and well ordered? Well, then we get the good thinkers, philosophers, wise men. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.39: MADEMOISELLE DE L'ESPINASSE: What are you dreaming about? BORDEU: About Voltaire. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.39: BORDEU: I was reecting on the way great men are made. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.39: How? Well, sensitivity . . -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.40: or the extreme mobility of certain threads in the network is a dominant quality in mediocre creatures. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.40: BORDEU: I was expecting that reaction. But what is a sensitive being? A creature who's a slave to the wishes of his diaphragm. If a touching word strikes his ear or a remarkable sight strikes his eye, there he is all of a sudden caught up in an inner tumult. -Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.40: BORDEU: The great man who has the misfortune to receive this disposition from nature will spend all this time trying to weaken and dominate it, to make himself the master of his movements and to see that the centre of the network maintains all its imperial power. -Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.40: Sensitive creatures or fools are on the stage, but he is in the orchestra seats. He's the wise man. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.40: BORDEU: But because you haven't worked to be like him you'll go through an alternating series of acute pains and pleasures; you'll spend your life laughing and crying and will never be anything but a child. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.41: BORDEU: Mademoiselle, this quality of sensitivity which people prize so much never leads to anything great. It hardly ever manifests itself strongly without pain or weakly without boredom. One is either intoxicated or yawning -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012

p.42: BORDEU: Sleep is the state where, whether through exhaustion or habit, the whole network relaxes and stays motionless. Then, as in sickness, each strand of the network is stimulated, moves, and transits to the common centre a crowd of sensations which are often disparate, disjointed, and troubled. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.42: BORDEU: It's a state in the animal where it is no longer a harmonious whole. All coordination and subordination stops. The master is left to the discretion of his servants and to the unbridled energy of his own activity. Is the optic thread stimulated? The centre of the network sees. And it hears if the auditory thread prompts it. Action and reactions are the only things which remain between them. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.42: D'ALEMBERT: And so there's a dream as we rise and a dream as we go down. I had one of the former last night, but I don't know where it went. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.42: BORDEU: While we're awake, the network obeys the impressions of external objects. In sleep, it's the exercise of it own sensibility which gives rise to everything that takes place in it. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.43: BORDEU: His absence. But if it is impossible to distinguish being awake from being asleep, who can appreciate how long sleep lasts? When it's peaceful, it's an unconscious interval between the moment of going to bed and the moment of getting up. When it's disturbed, it sometimes lasts for years. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.43: BORDEU -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.43: Does one have a will all by -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.44: oneself? The will is always born from some interior or exterior motive, some present impression, some reminiscence of the past, some passion, some future project. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.45: MADEMOISELLE DE L'ESPINASSE: One moment, doctor, let's summarize. According to your principles, it seems to me that by a sequence of purely mechanical operations, I could reduce the nest genius in the world to a mass of unorganized esh to which we wouldn't ascribe anything but sensibility at a particular moment, and then we could bring back this unformed mass from a state of the profoundest stupidity one could imagine to the condition of a man of genius. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.45: if I cut out or mix up the others, then farewell to the organic structure of the brain, farewell memory, judgement, desires, aversions, passions, willing, consciousness of the self, and lo and behold an unformed mass which retains nothing but life and sensation. -Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.45: BORDEU: Two almost identical qualities. Life is the aggregate, and sensitivity is among the elements. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012

p.46: BORDEU: That's exactly it. Stick to that. The rest is nothing but nonsense. But the abstractions, the imagination? The imagination is the memory of forms and colours. The spectacle of a scene or an object necessarily sets up the sensing instrument in a certain manner. It either winds itself up by itself or is wound up by some foreign cause. Then it quivers inside or it makes some external sound. It either records in silence the impressions which it has received or it makes them burst out in conventional sounds -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.46: BORDEU: That's true. The account can be historical or poetical. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.46: MADEMOISELLE DE L'ESPINASSE: But why complicate the question with this metaphorical language? I would say that each since everyone has his own eyes, he sees differently and gives a different account. I'd say that each idea awakens others and that, according to how his mind works or his character, a person either holds to ideas which represent the facts rigorously or else he introduces into them other ideas which have been aroused. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.47: D'ALEMBERT: What about abstractions? BORDEU: There aren't any. There are only habitual omissions, ellipses which make propositions more general and language faster and more convenient. They are the linguistic signs which have given birth to the abstract sciences. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012 p.47: We have no idea of an abstract word. We have observed in all three-dimensional bodies length, width, and depth. We have busied ourselves with each of these dimensions, and from that we have derived all the mathematical sciences.All abstraction is nothing but a sign empty of ideas. All abstract science is only a combination of signs. -- Highlighted apr 29, 2012

Atheism: There are some striking parallels between Diderot and La Mettrie. They were the foremost materialists and atheists of their time. The also pioneered the scientic study and the moral defense of human sexuality.