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Book Details

BOUGEANT (Guillaume-Hyacinthe). A Philosophical Amusement upon the Language of Beasts. Written originally in French, by Father Bougeant, a famous Jesuit; now confined at La Fleche, on Account of this Work.1739

Dublin: Printed for Cor. Wynne, C. Connor, and Oli. Nelson, First Dublin Edition, no half-title, with the final advertisement leaf, 62 [2]pp., disbound. Father Bougeant was born at Quimper in Brittany, in 1690. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1706, taught classics in the College of Caen and Nevers and lived for a number of years in Paris until his death in 1743. His "Amusement Philosophique sur le Language des Bestes," published in 1737, became a cause of considerable embarrassment to him, and resulted in a brief exile from Paris. The work was controversial in that it considered whether animals had a soul and a language, and if this could be viewed as a sign of reason. He approaches this subject and reduces it to an absurd one, concluding that it does not represent a threat to religion and grants souls to animals which would inhabit their bodies like a punishment.

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