Single Idea 7646

[catalogued under 27. Natural Reality / G. Biology / 3. Evolution]

Full Idea

From animals to man there is no abrupt transition. What was man before he invented words and learnt languages? An animal of a particular species, with much less natural instinct than the others.

Gist of Idea

There is no abrupt transition from man to animal; only language has opened a gap


Julien Offray de La Mettrie (Machine Man [1747], p.13)

Book Reference

La Mettrie,Julien Offray de: 'Machine Man and Other Writings', ed/tr. Thomson,Ann [CUP 1996], p.13

A Reaction

This shows how strongly the evolutionary idea was in the air, a century before Darwin proposed a mechanism for it. This thought is the beginning of a very new view of man, and also of a very new view of animals.