Born Today: Joseph Priestly


Materialist who held to what Copleston calls an “associationist psychology” which emphasized the connection between physical psychical events. Priestly got into a debate with Richard Price over free will and the immateriality of the soul. He became a Unitarian and is most famous for his work in chemistry and physics as well as political philosophy.

Today’s quote: “Will is nothing more than a particular case of the general doctrine of association of ideas, and therefore a perfectly mechanical thing.”

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