Evolutionism in Eighteenth-Century French Thought

Evolutionism in Eighteenth-Century French Thought

by Mary Efrosini Gregory
     
 

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

Overview

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781433103735
Publisher:
Lang, Peter Publishing, Incorporated
Publication date:
10/28/2008
Series:
Currents in Comparative Romance Languages and Literatures Series
Pages:
348
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the 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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