During the Enlightenment period in Europe people were exploring new ideas and views; some of those new ideas were relatively sound in nature and others were not. One of those new ideas was the belief of materialism which began to emerge in the 18th century, specifically in France. The individuals who had this belief of materialism are known as materialists. But what is materialism, and what were the views of the materialists, specifically the French materialists?
Materialism is the view that the human body is like a machine, that is in design only able to follow its nature. Because the human body is like a machine it does not have a soul, and is technically an animal, without a free will. The only difference between a human and an animal is that a human has purpose. In short, these were some of the views of the French Materialists.