Jean Sales nsIn existographies, Jean Delisle de Sales (1741-1816) (IQ:190|#67) (CR:89) was a French polygraph and philosopher noted for his 1770-initiated seven-volume The Philosophy of Nature: Treatise on Human Moral Nature, wherein he employs materialism philosophy logic, presents social Newton illustrated play “Reasonable Drama”, goes against the prevailing 6,000-year-old creationism model of the Bible, digresses on rational morality, among other controversial topics; in the 1789 edition of which he coins the term "human molecule" and introduces the human molecular hypothesis.

Name | Variations
Sales, historically, is found in a number of name variants, including: Jean Claude Izouard Delisle de Sales, Jean Baptiste Claude Isoard, Jean-Baptiste-Claude Delisle de Sales, or Jean-Baptiste Isoard de Lisle, surnamed-cited as: "Delisle de Sales" (Buckle, 1856), “Delisle de Sales” (Gustav Johoda, 1999; Antonello Gerbi, 2010; Patricia Fara, 2011), and labeled “J. Del. de Sales” in portrait (Ѻ), among other variants; including an indexed name grouping of: “Jean-Babtiste-Claude Isoard” (first name) and “Delisle de Sales” (surname or last name) by Robert Darnton (1996). In circa 2010, reprint publishers, of tendency, began to republish his works, simply as: Jean Sales.

Sales, according to American new worlds scholar Antonello Gerbi, is summarized as follows: [2]

“Sales’ [writings] are a morass of long-winded and conventional hodgepodge of ideas. Delisle de Sales is basically a Voltairian. But in natural philosophy he often inclines to Robinet, and his idolization of nature frequently brings him alongside Rousseau. He approves of Condillac, Helvetius, and with some hesitation of d’Holbach. As a convinced theist, however, he fulminates against the atheist La Mettrie; believing firmly in the immortality of the soul, he ‘demonstrates’ it with the story of Richardson’s Clarissa, and by way of further proof with a doleful tale of his own, ‘the pathetic history of Jenny Lille’.”

The following is a circa 2010 French-to-English translated book description of Sales:

"Izouard, who styled himself, Delisle de Sales, was a member of the group of the Ôphilosophes.Õ ÒHe wrote a work called Philosophie de la Nature (in 1770) which was condemned by the Chatelet in 1775 and after which Sales was imprisoned. Chatalet, after lengthy proceedings sentenced, Delisle to perpetual banishment on absurdly inadequate grounds, but the sentence was quashed by the parliament.

Izouard wrote a number of philosophical, historical, and political works including a defense of freedom of the press, and a utopian work based on Plato's Republic which impressed Voltaire, but he remains a relatively unstudied figure in French 18th century philosophy.

The fourth edition had first appeared in 1793-5 but our author condemns the poor printing of that edition and has corrected the errors and omissions of that issue and has added some new text and a map of Atlantis. It is interesting to note that he remarks that America has been left off his maps as it is still too new to picture accurately. The title of Izouard's work is reminiscent of Court de Gebelin's grammatically based work and is sometimes confused with it but Izouard calls the other work a poor performance. One available book of his contains seven engraved t.p.s & 30 plates including 13 folding maps (3 fully hand-colored), and 3 folding astrological star charts some signed by Macret, Monnet, Schmitx, etc.; portrait of Delisle de Sales by Duflos after Borel."

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Newton in Senegal (labeled)
Sales' illustration of “Newton in Senegal” (see: social Newton), from his satirical play “Reasonable Drama” (1777), showing Newton, depicted as a vegetarian, eavesdropping on a conversation between a merman, a meat-eater, and an oyster, which is desperately reasoning for its life, amid which a African, who believes in a scarab-like god, enters the scene, illustrating the idiosyncrasies and seeming moral conundrums involved in so-called morality of eating. [4]
Reasonable Drama | Newton in Senegal
In 1777, Sales’ penned “Reasonable Drama”, a short Socratic dialogue style satirical play, accompanied by an image of “Newton in Senegal”, shown adjacent, which is found in volume four of his The Philosophy of Nature, with a accompanying discussion section, of controversial nature, the gist of which, as summarized by Patricia Fara (2002), situates an allegorical tale of Newton perched by the coast in Senegal, Africa, representative of a civilizing force of the enlightenment, taking time off from checking his calculations of the tides to contemplate the grandeur of nature, during which Newton, presented as vegetarian, enters into a dialogue with a merman, an oyster, and a native African about whether or not they should eat each other.

Newton, set up as an icon of rationality, concludes that only African is worth teaching, since his perception of God as a cockchafer does at least indicate that he can acquire a human soul. [4]

Bible | Earth age
Sales challenged the young earth biblical 6,000 year old date of creation which was popular in his day, instead believing on the basis of astronomical data that the earth was around 140,000 years old and that it took 40,062 years to cool down following its formation. He however rejected the three-million year old date of the earth which was taught in India at the time. [3]

Prison and banishment
See main: Human molecule (banned)
Sales' Philosophy of Nature, supposedly, was condemned by the Chatelet (a Paris courthouse and prison) in 1775 after which Sales was imprisoned and later sentenced to perpetual banishment on what have been called "absurdly inadequate grounds". Alternatively, at first the book passed passed unnoticed, by then in 1777 began to attract objectionable attraction owing to its moral views considered contrary to religion, during which time he was condemned to perpetual banishment by the order of the Chatelet.

While imprisoned, in 1777, Sales (age 36) was visited by French philosopher Voltaire (1694-1778) (IQ=195) (age 83), a year before his death, who gave 500 pounds to towards his release, which is equivalent to 91,000 dollars in 2013 inflation terms.

Philosophy of Nature
There do not seem to be any English translations of Sales' best-known work The Philosophy of Nature: Treatise on Human Moral Nature. The following is a translate of the French Wikipedia article summary of Sales' Philosophy: [3]

“Philosophically, Delisle claims to Locke and envisions a world whose god is the architect and the nature of the machinist. A primitive fire, God's instrument and agent of nature, communicates to the world movement and life. In psychology, Delisle was inspired by Descartes basing the exploration of human faculties on the experience of consciousness rather than the rationalist assumptions. In ethics, consistent with French philosopher Claude-Adrien Helvetius, who says that self-love is the sole foundation. The state of nature, in his view, a dream that man is born to live in society, and all laws that underpin the social order are identical with those upon which our own happiness. The ideal government is held as far from the despotism of anarchy.”


Human molecular hypothesis
In 1789, Sales introduced the human molecular hypothesis via his coining of the term ‘human molecule’, or molécules humaines (French), referring to a person atomically, in the following way: [1]

“We conclude that there exists a principle of the human body which comes from the great process in which so many millions of atoms of the earth become many millions of human molecules.”

from the fourth volume of his multi-edition, multi-volume opus The Philosophy of Nature: Treatise on Human Moral Nature, first published in 1770 and expanded over the years, supposedly going through seven editions, increasing in size to include up to a dozen volumes. The following shows the full French to English translation where Sales uses the term molécules humaines or human molecules: [1]

“Il faut conclure de mon fyrtême, que Sevu le principe du corps humain vient de la terre qui d'abord a végété, & de l'état de végétal a enfuite paffé à celui d'animal: cet animal a fervi d'aliment à l'homme, & cet aliment a été d'abord du fperme , enfuite de la chair, des veines & des os dont l'être eft né , & après la naiffance il fubfifte, ou il ne fubfifte pas. — Sachez donc, vous qui cherchez le grand œuvre, que de tant de millions d'atomes de la terre^ à peine un feul devient affez actif pour végéter ; que la plus petite partie de mille millions de végétaux devient animale ; que de mille millions d'animaux une feule molécule devient humaine, & que de mille millions de molécules humaines, il n'y en a qu'une qui devienne une goutte de fperme ce n'eu pas tout encore : de mille million.' de gouttes de fperme, une feule devient femence : de mille millions de parties de femence, une feule arrive à la matrice, & de mille millions de ces particules féminales qui arrivent à la matrice, il en naît un feul homme, & de mille millions qui naiffent, un feul fubiifte, & de mille millions qui fubfiftent un feul eft Mufulman, & de mille millions de Mufulmans, un feul a la vraie foi , & de mille millions de fideles un feul eft philofophe, & de mille millions de philofophes, un feul devient adepte. — Le but de tant de générations eft donc un adepte : ainfi la nature emiere a contribué * à fon exiftence.”“We conclude my fyrtême, Sevu that the principle of the human body comes from the earth first vegetated, and the rule of plant has pafled afterwards to that of animals: This animal ferved food to man, and the food was the first fperme, and afterwards of the flesh, veins and bones which is being born, and after the birth it subsists, or it does not subsists. - Know So, who seek the great work, as so many millions of atoms of the earth just one only becomes active enough to vegetate; the smallest part of a mile million plant becomes animal, than a thousand millions of animals alone molecule becomes human, and how many thousand millions of human molecules, there is only one that will become a drop of sperm this n'eu not all: one thousand million. Drops of fperme, alone becomes a feeds: one thousand million games of feeds, one reaches the matrix alone, and a thousand million of these particles Feminale coming to the matrix, there arises a alone man, and a thousand million who are born, a fubiifte alone, and a thousand million that subsist alone is a Mussulman, and a thousand millions of Mahometans, one only has the true faith, and a thousand million faithful one alone is philosopher, and a thousand million philosophers, one only becomes a follower. - The goal of many generations is thus a fan: thus nature ime has contributed to existence.”


Quotes | On
The following are quotes about Sales:

“I think this work is worn out. The same goes for philosophical books in general, which have rarely been requested for more than a year now.”
— Jean-Felix Charmet (1781), “Letter to Societe Typographique de Neuchatel”, Jun 9 [5]

“Among his many books, is often found a vast erudition, often brilliant ideas and new.”
— Anon (c.1800), quote from the description of 1804 seven-volume set (Ѻ)

Delisle de Sales was sentenced to perpetual exile, and confiscation of all his property, on account of his work on the Philosophy of Nature.”
Henry Buckle (1856), History of Civilization, Volume One (pg. 534)

1. Sales, Jean. (1789). De la Philosophie de la Nature: ou Traité de morale pour le genre humain, tiré de la philosophie et fondé sur la nature (The Philosophy of Nature: Treatise on Human Moral Nature, from Philosophy and Nature), Volume 4 (molécules humaines, pg. 281). Publisher.
2. Gerbi, Antonello. (2010). The Dispute of the New World (§IX: Delisle de Sales, De Pauw’s Admiring Adversary, pgs. 111-17). University of Pittsburgh Press.
3. Johoda, Gustav. (1999). Images of Savages: Ancient Roots of Modern Prejudice in Western Culture (pg. 75). Psychology Press.
4. (a) Sales, Jean. (1777). “Reasonable Drama” (“Drame Raisonnable”). Publisher.
(b) Sales, Jean. (1789). The Philosophy of Nature: Treatise on Human Moral Nature, Volume 4 (De la Philosophie de la Nature: Ou Traité de Morale Pour Le Genre Humain, Tiré de la Philosophie Et Fondé Sur la Nature, Volume 4) (Drame Raisonnable, 7+ pgs; esp. pgs. 173-201, 205). Publisher.
(b) Darnton, Robert. (1996). The Forbidden Best-Sellers of Pre-Revolutionary France (Delisle de Sales, Jean-Babtiste-Claude Isoard, pgs. 48-49, 70-71, 397 n. 32). W.W. Norton.
(c) Malandian, Pierre. (1982). Delisle des Sales: Philosophe de la Nature (1741-1816), Volume 1. Oxford: Voltaire Foundation.
(d) Malandian, Pierre. (1982). Delisle des Sales: Philosophe de la Nature (1741-1816), Volume 2. Oxford: Voltaire Foundation.
(e) Fara, Patricia. (2002). Newton: the Making of a Genius (pg. 126; Newton in Senegal, figure 5.1). Columbia University Press.
(f) Shank, J.B. (2008). The Newton Wars and the Beginning of the French Enlightenment (pg. 9). University of Chicago Press.
5. Darnton, Robert. (1996). The Forbidden Best-Sellers of Pre-Revolutionary France (Delisle de Sales, pg. 397 n. 32). W.W. Norton.

Further reading
● Sales, Jean. (1766). The Parallel Between Descartes and Newton (Parallell Entre Descartes et Newton) (Ѻ). Publisher.

External links
Jean-Baptiste-Claude Delisle de Sales (French → English) – Wikipedia.
Jean-Baptiste-Claude Delisle de Sales – Wikipedia.
Sales, J. de (Jean) (1741-1816) – WorldCat Identities.

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