Birth of Claude Adrien Helvetius in France

Timeline of History

Religious History
Political History

Philosopher Claude Adrien Helvetius is born in Paris, France. Helvetius will become one of the leading philosophical figures of the French Enlightenment. Helvetius becomes best known for writing De l'esprit (On Mind), a book he intends to rival Montesquieu's Spirit of the Laws. In it he defends doctrines of utilitarianism, egalitarianism, and atheism, thus arousing the opposition of all leading political and religious institutions.

Claude Adrien Helvetius and his book will be condemned by the Sorbonne, Catholic priests argue that in court that it contained heretical doctrines, and in the end it will be declared heretical.

Its atheism will be regarded as so outrageous that it is burned publicly. Helvetius will be forced to write three separate retractions, but it doesn't help other philosophes because both church and state will be afraid of what might happen if ideas like his would spread.

Powered by JReviews

Today's Major Events

John Ashcroft Implies Atheists Aren't Civilized at Religious Convention
100,000 Japanese Americans Interned Until End of WWII
 Boerne v. Flores: Court Rules RFRA is Unconstitutional

February History Calendar