Term Paper: Machine vs. Nature

Pages: 2 (669 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Drama - World  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] Man is so complicated a machine that it is impossible to get a clear idea of the machine beforehand, and hence impossible to define it. For this reason, all the investigations have been vain, which the greatest philosophers have made a priori, that is to say, in so far as they use, as it were, the wings of the spirit. Thus it is only a posteriori or by trying to disentangle the soul from the organs of the body, so to speak, that one can reach the highest probability concerning man's own nature, even though one can not discover with certainty what his nature is" (La Mettrie et al. 89).

La Mettrie based his views on his own "observations," not on scientific study. Today, his "findings" seem sadly out of date, and a bit too romanticized. "Winston Churchill once said that 'the further back you look, the further ahead in the future you can see'" (Moore and Simon 76), and this is surely the case with Le Mettrie's writings.

The human body is a machine which winds its own springs. It is the living image of perpetual movement. Nourishment keeps up the movements which fever excites"

La Mettrie et al. 93). Today, we tend to look at man not as much as a machine, but more a soul and a heart. The body is an incredible machine, but it is what is inside each man that gives him or her their own unique personality, outlook, and feelings about the world around them. The natural world also includes many incredible machines, but none of them have a soul, and that is what will always differentiate man from machines, and the natural world.

Works Cited

http://www.questia.com/PageManagerHTMLMediator.qst?action=openPageViewer&docId=70160745"La Mettrie, Julien Offray de, et al. Man a Machine. La Salle, IL: Open Court, 1912.

Moore, Stephen, and Simon, Julian L. "The Greatest Century That Ever Was." The World & I, Vol. 15. 1 March 2000, pp 76. Stearns, Peter N. The Industrial Revolution in World History. Boulder, CO:… [END OF PREVIEW]

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