Léger Marie Deschamps

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Léger Marie Deschamps (10 January 1716 – 19 April 1774),[1] Benedictine monk, known under his Benedictine name of Dom Deschamps, was a French philosopher and utopian socialist,[2] who taught a form of modified Spinozism.[3] During his lifetime he published very little, but corresponded with most of the leaders of the French Enlightenment. Rediscovered in 1862, he was hailed as a precursor of Hegel.[4] His metaphysical system anticipates Hegel by asserting that truth includes contradictory elements, and he had much to say about how the concept Being collapses into that of Nothing.[5] There was a further revival of interest in his work after 1974, and his collected works were finally published in 1993.

Major work[edit]

Le Vrai Système ou le Mot de l'énigme métaphysique et morale, facsimile published by the Société des textes français modernes, by Jean Thomas and Franco Venturi, Paris, 1939


  1. ^ see article in The New Oxford Companion to Literature in French, Oxford 1995
  2. ^ ^ see The Socialist Phenomenon, by Igor Shafarevich. (1980) Translated by H. William Tjalsma. New York: Harper & Row.
  3. ^ see Enlightenment Contested : Philosophy, Modernity, and the Emancipation of Man by Jonathan I. Israel, p50. Oxford 2006
  4. ^ "Beaussire, who published le centenaire de Hegel en 1870 (1871) saw Hegel as continuing the views of Dom ,,Deschamps" (The Bloomsbury Companion to Hegel, p322)
  5. ^ ""Everything is nothing." "No doubt no one before me has ever written that everything and nothing are one and the same." For Deschamps, this principle is basic to his doctrine on existence: "What is the cause of existence? Answer: Its cause resides in the fact that nothing is something, in that it is existence, in that it is everything." Here he finds a place for God as well: "God is nothing, nonexistence itself."" (Shafarevich, p116)