The system of Holbach seeks to provide a consistent materialistic view of the world and its processes.
Holbach thus worked out the basis of a rigorously materialistic conception of evolution.
The question of human development which Holbach touched on was one which occupied many minds both in and out of France during the 18th century, and more especially towards its close.
von Holbach) capped materialism with confessed atheism.
PAUL HEINRICH DIETRICH HOLBACH, BARON D' (1723-1789), French philosopher and man of letters, of German origin, was born at Heildeisheim in the palatinate in 1723.
Much of Holbach's fame is due to his intimate connexion with the brilliant coterie of bold thinkers and polished wits whose creed, the new philosophy, is concentrated in the famous Encyclopedie.
Denying the existence of a deity, and refusing to admit as evidence all a priori arguments, Holbach saw in the universe nothing save matter in spontaneous movement.
Holbach exposed the logical consequences of the theories of the Encyclopaedists.
In the Systeme social (1 773), the Politique naturelle (1773-1774) and the Morale universelle (1776) Holbach attempts to rear a system of morality in place of the one he had so fiercely attacked, but these later writings had not a tithe of the popularity and influence of his earlier work.
Holbach is also the author of the following and other works: Esprit du clerge (1767); De l'imposture sacerdotale (1767); Pretres demasques (1768); Examen critique de la vie et des ouvrages de St Paul (1770); Histoire critique de Jesus-Christ (1770), and Ethocratie (1776).
For further particulars as to his life and doctrines see Grimm's Correspondance litteraire, &c. (1813); Rousseau's Confessions; Morellet's Memoires (1, 821); Madame de Geniis, Les Diners du Baron Holbach; Madame d'Epinay's Memoires; Avezac-Lavigne, Diderot et la societe du Baron d'Holbach (1875), and Morley's Diderot (1878).
The other chief collaborators were Pechmeja, Holbach, Paulze, the farmergeneral of taxes, the Abbe Martin, and Alexandre Deleyre.
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