Burson, Jeffrey D. "Vitalistic
Materialism and Universal Histories of Philosophy in the Contributions of Abbé Claude Yvon to the 'Encyclopédie.'" Historical Reflections / Réflexions Historiques, vol. 40, no. 2, Berghahn Books, 2014, pp. 7-33. JSTOR, https://www.jstor.org/stable/24720583.
This article dives into the Abbé Claude Yvon’s relations and contributions to the Encyclopédie, including his recruitment, theological beliefs, and inclusion in the de Prades affair of 1752. Burson connects Yvon to the broader context of what is known as the Catholic Enlightenment and the varying perspectives associated with it. He discusses Yvon’s varying beliefs that often appeared to cross over from radical to orthodox and back again, especially in regard to the soul and afterlife. Burson claims that Yvon represents the side of the 18th century affiliated with “vitalistic materialism”; that is, that life and objects are based on science (rather than an outside force) yet can still attain immortality and have unexplainable experiences. Focusing on a small selection of Yvon’s articles in the Encyclopédie, Burson demonstrates these phenomena and brings in a unique perspective on the Catholic and theological side of the Enlightenment, which was not always completely distinct from the one associated with the philosophes.
Country of Publication: United States
Main Classification: Abbé Yvon, Cathlolic Enlightenment
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