Claude Helvetius

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In existographies, Claude Helvetius (240-184 BE) (1715-1771 ACM) (IQ:175|#261) (ID:3.13|56) (Cattell 1000:55) (PR:2,901|65AE / philosopher:165) (FA:93) (LH:4) (TL:39) was a French philosopher, noted for []


On the Mind

In 1758, Helvetius, in his On the Mind, building on Lucretius, outlines a purely material understanding of the human mind, wherein the mind consists of the flow of sensations, the perception of the difference and the similarity, which are stored in "continued images" of memory, which also is exclusively a physical phenomenon.[1]


In 1852, in England, Helvetius was being defined as the presumed author of Holbach's System of Nature (1770).[2]



Helvetius was friends with Voltaire, Denis Diderot, and Baron Holbach.


Helvetius influenced: Jeans Sales, who approved of him, and Henry Buckle.


Quotes | Employed

The following are quotes employed by Helvetius:

“We must see what life consists in, and the spirit. How they work and what forces drive them.”
Lucretius (60BC), On the Nature of Things (§1.130-32); cited by Helvetius (1758) in On the Mind (pg. #)[1]

Quotes | On

The following are quotes:

Holbach and Helvetius were life-long friends and spent much time together reading at Helvetius's country place at Vore. After his death in 1774, Holbach frequented madam Helvetius' salon where he knew and deeply influenced Volney, Cabanis, de Tracy, and the first generation of the ideologists who continued his and Helvetius' philosophical doctrines.”
— Max Cushing (1903), Baron d’Holbach: a Study of Eighteenth Century Radicalism in France (pg. #)[3]
“The failure of the reformation to capture France had left for the Frenchmen no half-way house between infallibility and infidelity; and while the intellect of Germany and England moved leisurely in the lines of religious evolution, the mind of France leaped from the hot faith which had massacred the Huguenots to cold hostility with which Mettrie, Helvetius, Holbach, and Diderot turned upon the religion of the fathers.”
Will Durant (1926), The Story of Philosophy (pg. 126)[4]
“Sketches on the history of atomism in biology; at a glance the history of ideas relating to the origin of monsters; remarks on the concept of the germ of Leeuwenhoek, Descartes and biology; Diderot and biology; the conception of man according as Helvetius and Diderot; Montesquieu and biology; a precursor of Mendel: the pharmacist Coladon; Cournot and biology; Renan’s precursor scientific work; the remains of the natural history of creation; Bechamp and Soviet biology; return to Bacon.”
— Jean Rostand (1956), Atomism in Biology

Quotes | By

The following are quotes by Helvetius:

Genius is nothing but continued attention.”
— Claude Helvetius (c.1760), Publisher[5]

End matter



  1. 1.0 1.1 Blom, Philipp. (2010). A Wicked Company: Holbach’s Salon and the Forgotten Radicalism of the European Enlightenment (Amz) (pgs. 127-29; forces drive them, pg. 127). McClelland, 2011.
  2. Holbach, Baron. (1770). The True Meaning of the System of Nature: Translated from the French of Helvetius; with Notes; Stereotype Edition (GB). Mendum, 1852.
  3. Cushing, Max. (1914). Baron d’Holbach: a Study of Eighteenth Century Radicalism in France (PhD dissertation) (txt) (salon, pg. #; Plato and Aristotle [Platon et des Aristote], pg. #). Alexandria.
  4. (a) Durant, Will. (1926). The Story of Philosophy (pg. 175). Simon & Schuster, 1953.
    (b) Hsieh, Ching-Yao; Ye, Meng-Hua. (1991). Economics, Philosophy, and Physics (pgs. 13-14). M.E. Sharpe.
  5. Edwards, Tryon. (1891). Dictionary of Thoughts: a Cyclopedia of Laconic Quotations (pg. 191). Cassell.

External links

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