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French philosopher - materialist and atheist, one of the ideologists of the revolutionary French bourgeoisie of the 18th century, was an active member of the "Encyclopedia of sciences, arts and crafts." Holbach theorized the need to replace the feudal order the new "natural" and "reasonable" social system, which in fact turned out to bourgeois society.
Holbach was the largest systematizer philosophy of the French materialists of the 18th century. He asserted the primacy of the material world and can not be created, the nature that exists independently of human consciousness, infinite in time and consciousness. Matter, according to Holbach, the collection of all existing bodies. Its simple, elementary particles are unchanging and indivisible atoms, the basic properties - length, weight, shape, impenetrability, motion. All forms of movement philosophy reduced to the mechanical movement. Holbach denied the universal animation of matter, considering that the inherent sensitivity of a certain way organized forms of matter. In his main work "Systema Naturae" summarized the data of contemporary estestvovaniya that gave grounds to call it in the 18th century "Bible of materialism."
Holbach acknowledged the existence of objective laws of the material world, believing that they are based on permanent and unbreakable bond with their actions. Man is part of nature, because it obeys the laws. Defending the intelligibility of the material world, Holbach believed feeling only source of knowledge. Cognition is a reflection of reality. The feeling and the concept are seen as images of objects. Based on the abstract, the abstract concept of human nature, Holbach reduced the social to the individual, sought the explanation of social phenomena in the laws of nature.
The development of human society, according to Holbach, is the result of action by Governments, eminent personalities, the growth of education, etc. The basis of human behavior he considered his interest, favor, considering self-love, the desire to satisfy personal interest the most essential feature of human nature. Holbach, however, he rejected the extreme selfishness and defended the idea of ??a combination of personal and public. The social environment has a formative role in relation to the individual.