Materialist existence and knowledge in the context of French lighting

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Bursa Uludağ University, Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü, Turkey

Approval Date: 2020

Thesis Language: Turkish

Student: Ahamadou Sylla



French materialists are great thinkers who marked the 18th century philosophy. The 18th century is also the golden age of French materialism. They have had a major impact on the history of philosophy and western modern thought and the paradigm of science. At the time of the French materialists, the Church was highly sovereign and equipped with unlimited powers. The Inquisition prevented the printing and reading of all intellectual works against the basic dogma of the Church. The works of most enlightened materialists were burned, their representatives were taken into custody, and this continued to increase in severity until the French revolution. French materialists adopted some common ideas and sometimes advocated different ideas. Their common thoughts were "to stay away from all prejudices, to tolerate different thoughts, and to ask all institutions and thinkers to self-criticize". They wrote their works with anonymous or pseudonyms, and were trying to spread their ideas in this way. Many of the French enlightenment materialists' works have survived to the present day and include the sub-discipline of philosophy, namely politics, morality, aesthetics, education and similar original thoughts. French enlightened materialist philosophers say that existence and knowledge will always be in the position of matter, but that it can be explained by matter, and that any philosophical ideas that are not built with matter cannot be mentioned. In this context, the universe, human and any other living and inanimate beings carry everything from the atomic or molecular plane to the macro or mass plane. The functions of all existing ones can be studied with the science of law and mobility. Knowledge is obtained only through a mind and innate purity of mind, and the knowledge in question is also verified and grounded by means of experience and observation tools. The purpose and aim of knowledge are not seen as anything but prosperity and happiness. In this study, the understanding of existence and knowledge of French enlightenment materialists will be presented. To achieve this, we aim to reveal the views of some French enlightenment materialist philosophers by examining the literature of La Mettrie, Diderot, Helvétius, D'Holbach.