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Evolutionism in Eighteenth-Century French Thought

by Mary Efrosini Gregory (Author)
©2009 Monographs 348 Pages

Summary

This book examines how eight eighteenth-century French theorists – Maillet, Montesquieu, La Mettrie, Buffon, Maupertuis, Diderot, Rousseau, and Voltaire – addressed evolutionism. Each thinker laid down a building block that would eventually open the door to the mutability of species and a departure from the long-held belief that the chain of beings is fixed. This book describes how the philosophes established a triune relationship among contemporary scientific discoveries, random creationism propelled by the motive and conscious properties of matter, and the notion of the chain of being, along with its corollaries, plenitude and continuity. Also addressed is the contemporary debate over whether apes could ever be taught to speak as well as the issue of race and the family of man.

Details

Pages
348
Year
2009
ISBN (PDF)
9781453903834
ISBN (Hardcover)
9781433103735
DOI
10.3726/978-1-4539-0383-4
Language
English
Publication date
2008 (October)
Keywords
Frankreich Evolutionismus Geschichte 1700-1800 Benoît de Maillet Georges Louis Leclerc Denis Diderot François-Marie Arouet de Voltaire Charles de Secondat Pierre-Louis Moreau de Maupertuis Julien Offray de La Mettrie
Published
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2008. 356 pp.

Biographical notes

Mary Efrosini Gregory (Author)

The Author: Mary Efrosini Gregory received her B.A. and M.A. in French from Queens College and her M.Phil. in French from Columbia University. She is the author of numerous books on French literature including Diderot and the Metamorphosis of Species (2007) and An Eastern Orthodox View of Pascal (2008). Two other books, one on the Orthodox Church and the other on Christianity and twenty-first century science, are in the prepublication stage.

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Title: Evolutionism in Eighteenth-Century French Thought