Døde la Mettrie “som filosof”?

  • Jens Glebe-Møller Det Kongelige Bibliotek


Jens Glebe-Møller: Did La Mettrie die “as a philosopher”?   The French physician and philosopher Jean Offray de la Mettrie (1709–51) was notorious throughout Europe for his many materialist writings and especially for his denial of the immortality of the soul, proposed in his book L’Homme Machine (first printed 1749 and many times later). He had to flee to Prussia where he spent his last three years and died on November 11th 1751, probably because of a food poisoning. But soon there were rumours about the circumstances of his death. According to some reports he died ”as a philosopher”, i.e. without giving up his irreligious denial of the immortality of the soul. According to others he converted on his deathbed and returned to the Catholic faith. The article presents and discusses a short and hitherto unknown manuscript about his death, now in The Royal Library.  
Glebe-Møller, J. (2015). Døde la Mettrie “som filosof”?. Fund Og Forskning I Det Kongelige Biblioteks Samlinger, 50. https://doi.org/10.7146/fof.v50i0.41250