Monestier, Blaise

Monestier, BLAISE

a French philosopher, who did great service in combating the evil influences of the infidel schools which abounded in France towards the close of the 18th century, was born April 18, 1717, at Antezat, diocese of Clermont. After belonging to the Jesuits for some time he abandoned that order to allow himself more liberty for the cultivation of his taste for study. He taught mathematics at Clermont-Ferrand and philosophy at Toulouse, where he died in 1776. He is the author of Dissertation sur la Nature et la Formation de la Grele (Bordeaux, 1752, 12mo), which won a prize at the Academy of Bordeaux: Dissertations sur l'Analogie du Son et la Lumiere, et sur le Temps, which also drew a prize at the Academy of Nancy, and was printed in the collection of that company in 1754 Principes de la Piete Chretienne (Toulouse, 1756, 2 volumes, 12mo): — La vraie Philosophie, par l'Abbe M- (Bruxelles and Par. 1774, 8vo), a work directed against the philosophy of the Encyclopaedists, and particularly against Le Systeme de la Nature, and published by Needham. "In order to gain an idea of La vraie Philosophie," says a reviewer, "we should not permit ourselves to be repelled by the violent declamations and bad taste presented by each page, above all in the preface, nor by the indecision of the plan and the disorder in the succession of ideas which result from it. The doctrine which it contains is an experimental and eclectical spiritualism, equally distant from the theory of innate ideas and from the system of transformed sensation, but where Cartesianism occupies the greatest place." After having placed sensations and sentiments in the heart, Monestier analyzes reason, which he divides into primitive ideas (ideas of unity, being, time, space, affirmation, negation, with the axioms of geometry and morals), the faculty of generalizing and abstracting, the idea of the infinite, and the faculties of induction and reasoning. The idea of the infinite, imprinted as it is on all nature's work, attests to ius the existence of God and the immortalitv of the soul, at the same time that it instructs us in regard to our own destiny. The author closes by a discussion of free will. See Diet. des Sciences philos. 4:289-291, s.v.

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