L'Homme Machine (Man, the Machine).

LA METTRIE, Julien Offray de.

Published by Elie Luzac Fils, Leyde, 1748
Condition: Recently rebound
From Athena Rare Books ABAA (Fairfield, CT, U.S.A.)

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TP + [i]-[iv] = Avertissement + [vi]-[xviii] = Dedicace + [1]-109, 12mo. Sometimes referred to as the "X" issue of the First Edition but, more accurately, the Second Edition, (Stoddard 31). The Most Shocking Enlightenment Declaration of Atheism.The very rare second edition of La Mettrie's L'Homme Machine - the first edition (numbering 108 pages and sometimes referred to as the "W" issue) having been destroyed on orders of the Consistoire of Leyden in December of 1747 with almost no copies surviving. Tchemerzine (VI, p. 465) reports only 6 to 8 extant copies of this edition - but incorrectly claims a TP date of 1747. Tchemerzine then lists a 148 page edition as being the next edition issued after this rare first edition but this has since been proved to be a later piracy and is sometimes referred to as the "Y" issue. Roger Stoddard, in his recent bibliography on La Mettrie, lists the rare 108 page version (#30) as the true first edition. He differentiates between two 109 page versions (#31 & #32) by noting that the first has a 6 line quote from Voltaire on the TP while the second has a 7 line quote. Although both of these books have title pages listing 1748 (MDCCXLVIII) as the publication date, Stoddard notes that the first (#31) was published in "1752 or before" and the second (#32) in 1764. This copy has the 6-line quote from Voltaire identifying it as Stoddard's #31. This book marks the starting point of modern materialism and was the most forceful expression of the anti-religious sentiment of the Enlightenment. In La Mettrie's "human machine' there was no essential difference between conscious and unconscious behavior, no freedom of the will, no rational soul and no moral good beyond the perfectibility of the mechanism. In its final consequence, this doctrine of physiological determinism leaves no freedom to the individual and all human actions are intrinsically amoral. period-style full vellum making this an absolutely lovely copy of an extremely rare little book. ADDITIONAL PHOTOS AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST. Bookseller Inventory # 726

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Bibliographic Details

Title: L'Homme Machine (Man, the Machine).

Publisher: Elie Luzac Fils, Leyde

Publication Date: 1748

Book Condition:Recently rebound

Signed: Signed by Author(s)


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