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(hɛlˈviːʃɪəs; French ɛlvesjys)
(Biography) Claude Adrien (klod adriɛ̃). 1715–71, French philosopher. In his chief work De l'Esprit (1758), he asserted that the mainspring of human action is self-interest and that differences in human intellects are due only to differences in education


(hɛlˈvi ʃəs)

Claude Adrien, 1715–71, French philosopher.
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This "controversialist approach," (11) as Jonathan Israel productively defines it, is adapted as the methodological fulcrum of this article, which focuses anew on the factional politics afflicting France from 1751-1764, and especially on the condemnations of De l'Esprit by Claude Adrien Helvetius, and of Denis Diderot's Encyclopedie.
The condemnation of Claude Adrien Helvetius in 1758 for his work De l'Esprit was the culmination of the campaign of censorship begun in 1751 -1752, and it would prove decisive in the self-fashioning of philosophe identity.
At the heart of Diderot's moral utilitarian judgment of Christianity was the conviction he shared with Claude Adrien Helvetius that passions and sentiments were the true basis of society and morality, not simply Lockean first ideas.