Claude-Arien Hélvetius

(389 words)

As the son of the Queen's physician, Hélvetius was well-connect in royal circles and given the prestigious office of fermier général (collector of taxes) at the early age of 23. He cultivated relations in intellectual circles of the Englightenment, notably with Diderot, Voltaire and others who would be involved in the Encyclopédie, married in 1751 and retired to his lands at Voré where he wrote a poem Le bonheur which would be published posthumously and a philosophical treatise De l'esprit [On the mind] (1758) which, because it was a relatively simple-minded and unoriginal repetition of ideas which were becoming generally current, would become one of the most widely-read philosophical works in the last …

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Clark, Robert. "Claude-Arien Hélvetius". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 15 September 2002
[, accessed 01 July 2015.]