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Helvétius

(1715—1771)


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(1715–71)

One of the moving spirits behind the Encyclopédie, Helvétius defended a theory of human motivation founded on sensation: we are pushed to action solely by self-interested love of pleasure and desire to avoid pain. He is principally remembered for De l'esprit (1758), which was influential upon Bentham and subsequent utilitarian theory.


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