French Materialism

French materialism is the name given to a handful of French 18th century philosophers during the Age of Enlightenment, many of them clustered around the salon of Baron d'Holbach. Although there are important differences between them, all of them were materialists who believed that the world was made up of a single substance, matter, the motions and properties of which could be used to explain all phenomena.

Prominent French materialists of the 18th century include:

  • Julien Offray de La Mettrie
  • Denis Diderot
  • Baron d'Holbach
  • Claude Adrien HelvĂ©tius
  • Pierre-Jean-Georges Cabanis
  • Jacques-AndrĂ© Naigeon

Famous quotes containing the words materialism and/or french:

    The open frontier, the hardships of homesteading from scratch, the wealth of natural resources, the whole vast challenge of a continent waiting to be exploited, combined to produce a prevailing materialism and an American drive bent as much, if not more, on money, property, and power than was true of the Old World from which we had fled.
    Barbara Tuchman (1912–1989)

    There is but one Paris and however hard living may be here, and if it became worse and harder even—the French air clears up the brain and does good—a world of good.
    Vincent Van Gogh (1853–1890)