Biography[ edit ] He was born at Grenoble into a legal family, the youngest of three brothers. He was appointed as Abbot of Mureau. He developed a friendship with Rousseau , which lasted in some measure to the end of his life. He had already published several works when the French court sent him to Parma to educate the orphan duke, then a child of seven years.
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Ordained a Roman Catholic priest in , Condillac began a lifelong friendship in the same year with the philosopher J. Moving to Paris , Condillac became acquainted with the Encyclopaedists, a group of writers led by Denis Diderot.
In he was elected to the Berlin Academy. Finding the irreligious climate of Parisian intellectual society offensive, he retired to spend his last years at Flux, near Beaugency. His economic views, which were presented in Le Commerce et le gouvernement, were based on the notion that value depends not on labour but rather on utility.
The need for something useful, he argued, gives rise to value, while prices result from the exchange of valued items. As a philosopher, Condillac gave systematic expression to the views of Locke , previously made fashionable in France by Voltaire. Like Locke, Condillac maintained an empirical sensationalism based on the principle that observations made by sense perception are the foundation for human knowledge. He doubted, for example, that the human eye makes naturally correct judgments about the shapes, sizes, positions, and distances of objects.
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