"To limit the press is to insult a nation; to prohibit reading of certain books is to declare the inhabitants to be either fools or slaves." - Claude Adrien Helvetius
French philosopher Claude Adrien Helvétius was born in Paris in 1715. After holding the exceedingly profitable post of farmer-general (tax collector) for some years he retired to the country in 1751 where he devoted himself to writing and philanthropy. He is remembered for his hedonism (his 1758 book, De lesprit, drew the condemnation of both the Pope and the Parlement of Paris). Like Locke, Helvétius believed that all men are born with equal ability and that distinctions develop from education, and that through education all human problems could be solved. He died in 1771.
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