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The System of Nature, Volume 1 by baron d' Paul Henri Thiry Holbach
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THE SYSTEM OF NATURE
Volume I


Paul Henri Thiery,
Baron d'Holbach


Introduction by
Robert D. Richardson, Jr.




INTRODUCTION


Paul Henri Thiery, Baron d'Holbach (1723-1789), was the center of the
radical wing of the _philosophes_. He was friend, host, and patron to a
wide circle that included Diderot, D'Alembert, Helvetius, and Hume.
Holbach wrote, translated, edited, and issued a stream of books and
pamphlets, often under other names, that has made him the despair of
bibliographers but has connected his name, by innuendo, gossip, and
association, with most of what was written in defense of atheistic
materialism in late eighteenth-century France.

Holbach is best known for _The System of Nature_ (1770) and deservedly,
since it is a clear and reasonably systematic exposition of his main
ideas. His initial position determines all the rest of his argument.
"There is not, there can be nothing out of that Nature which includes