Freethought Archives > Baron d'Holbach > The System of Nature

 

THE

SYSTEM OF NATURE;

OR,

THE LAWS

OF THE

MORAL AND PHYSICAL WORLD.


==========================

TRANSLATED
FROM THE ORIGINAL FRENCH OF

M. DE MIRABAUD.[*]

==========================

LONDON:
PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY THOMAS DAVISON,
Duke Street, West Smithfield;

AND SOLD BY ALL OTHER BOOKSELLERS.
____
1820.

 



Translated from the Original,
BY SAMUEL WILKINSON.





CONTENTS.

 
 

 PREFACE

 

PART I.

Laws of Nature--Of man--The faculties of the soul--
Doctrine of immortality--On happiness.

 
CHAPTER I. 

Nature and her laws.


 
CHAPTER II. 

Of motion and its origin.


 
CHAPTER III.

Of matter--of its various combinations--of its diversified motion--or of the course of Nature. 


 
CHAPTER IV. 

Laws of motion common to every being of Nature--attraction and repulsion--inert force--necessity. 


 
CHAPTER V. 

Order and confusion--intelligence--chance. 


 
CHAPTER VI.  Moral and physical distinctions of man--his origin.

 
CHAPTER VII.  The soul and the spiritual system. 
   
CHAPTER VIII.  The intellectual faculties derived from the faculty of feeling. 

 
CHAPTER IX. The diversity of the intellectual faculties; they depend on physical causes, as do their moral qualities.--The natural principles of society--morals--politics. 

 
CHAPTER X.  The soul does not derive its ideas from itself--it has no innate ideas. 

 
CHAPTER XI. Of the system of man's free-agency. 

 
CHAPTER XII.  An examination of the opinion which pretends that the system of fatalism is dangerous. 

 
CHAPTER XIII.  Of the immortality of the soul--of the doctrine of a future state--of the fear of death. 

 
CHAPTER XIV.  Education, morals, and the laws suffice to restrain man--of the desire of immortality--of suicide. 

 
CHAPTER XV.  Of man's true interest, or of the ideas he forms to himself of happiness.--Man cannot be happy without virtue

 
CHAPTER XVI.  The errors of man.--Upon what constitutes happiness.--The true source of his evils.--Remedies that may be applied. 

 
CHAPTER XVII.  Those ideas which are true, or founded upon Nature, are the only remedies for the evil of man.--Recapitulation.--Conclusions of the First Part.
 
 
PART II.

Of the Divinity.--Proofs of his existence.--Of his attributes.--
Of his influence over the happiness of man.

   
CHAPTER I.  The origin of man's ideas upon the Divinity. 

 
CHAPTER II. Of mythology.--Of theology. 

 
CHAPTER III.  Of the confused and contradictory ideas of theology. 

 
CHAPTER IV.  Examination of the proofs of the existence of the Divinity, as given by Clarke. 

 
CHAPTER V.  Examination of the proofs offered by Descartes, Malebranche, Newton, &c. 

 
CHAPTER VI.  Of Pantheism; or of the natural ideas of the Divinity. 

 
CHAPTER VII.  Of Theism--Of the System of Optimism--Of Final Causes. 

 
CHAPTER VIII.  Examination of the Advantages which result from Man's Notions on the Divinity;--of their Influence upon Morals;--upon Politics;-upon Science;--upon the Happiness of Nations, and that of individuals. 

 
CHAPTER IX.  Theological Notions cannot be the Basis of Morality.-- Comparison between Theological Ethics and Natural Morality-- Theology prejudicial to the Human Mind. 

 
CHAPTER X.  Man can form no Conclusion from the Ideas which are offered him of the Divinity.--Of their want of just Inference.--Of the Inutility of his Conduct. 

 
CHAPTER XI.  Defence of the Sentiments contained in this Work.--Of Impiety.--Do there exist Atheists? 

 
CHAPTER XII.  Is what is termed Atheism, compatible with Morality? 

 
CHAPTER XIII.  Of the motives which lead to what is falsely called Atheism.--Can this System be dangerous?--Can it be embraced by the Illiterate? 

 
CHAPTER XIV.  A Summary of the Code of Nature. 


[Translator's Appendix]  
A Brief Sketch of the Life and Writings of M. De Mirabaud.  [*]

 
[Webmaster's note: *Holbach's pseudonym]
 

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