Helvetius, in his work on man, referred all differences between our species and the lower animals to certain peculiarities of organization, and so prepared the way for a conception of human development out of lower forms as a process of physical evolution.
He first visited Paris, where he saw a good deal of d'Alembert, Diderot, Barthelemy, Raynal, Helvetius, Baron d'Holbach and others of that circle, and was often a welcome guest in the saloons of Madame Geoffrin and Madame du Deffand.
In Paris he frequented the salons, especially those of Mme Graffigny - whose niece, Mlle de Ligniville ("Minette"), afterwards Mme Helvetius and his lifelong friend, he is supposed at one time to have wished to marry - Mme Geoffrin, Mme du Deffand, Mlle de Lespinasse and the duchesse d'Enville.
The impression was confirmed by the study of the English psychologists, as well as Condillac and Helvetius, and in1822-1823he established among a few friends the "Utilitarian" Society, taking the word as he tells us, from Galt's Annals of the Parish.
She was well versed in mathematics, which she studied at the university of Moscow, and in general literature her favourite authors were Bayle, Montesquieu, Boileau, Voltaire and Helvetius.