First published in 1987. This study describes and analyses the published writings of the French philosopher Antoine Destutt de Tracy. The author focuses on the three decades from the calling of the Etats-généraux to the early years of the Restoration - the period of Tracy's entire literary production, and the period of his greatest influence and reputation. This title will be of great interest to students of history, philosophy and politics.
Although this is a work of biography rather than of philosophy, in presenting the life of a philosopher like de Tracy a good deal of attention is necessarily paid to presenting his thought. The author provides extensive discussions of the five volumes of the Elements d’ideologie, including the Grammaire, the Logique, and the Traité de la volonté et de ses effets. In addition, he describes how de Tracy developed his science to apply to political economy, morals, and politics. (...) In both cases the author seeks to show how de Tracy’s thought takes its bearings from his experiences in revolutionary France and from his readings of Locke, Condillac, Helvetius, d’Holbach, Diderot, and Voltaire. While preserving the materialist presuppositions of these antecedents, de Tracy’s originality, according to Kennedy, lies in applying their materialism to a novel theory of movement. Further, in applying this theory of movement to human things, de Tracy prepares for the modern historical interpretation of ideology. Unfortunately, the author does not elaborate what precisely distinguishes de Tracy’s theory of movement from similar theories in the Epicurean tradition which he follows. Further, he does not explain how de Tracy’s application of this theory of movement to history, at the same time as Hegel, affects the historical interpretation of "ideology" in a way that differs from Hegel and that yet explains the evolution of the concept of "ideology." We may conjecture that de Tracy’s incipient philosophy of history adumbrates later materialist theories of historical development as encountered in Comte, whom he inspired, or in John Stuart Mill, who as a young man had been acquainted with de Tracy. But this does not distinguish "the ideologue" from Voltaire, who is often credited with originating the philosophy of history and who was a source of de Tracy’s thought in so many other respects. (shrink)
The modern concept of ideology was established by the liberal politician and philosopher Destutt de Tracy, with the objective of creating an all-embracing and general science of ideas, which followed the sensualist and empiricist trend initiated by Locke that culminated in the positivism of Comte. Natural selection and immunity are two key concepts in the history of biology that were strongly based on the Malthusian concept of struggle for existence. This concept wrongly assumed that population grew faster than (...) the means of existence. This “natural” law contained implicitly the idea that the poor and least gifted would not survive. This idea led to the progressive development of the concept of natural selection, whose definitive version was given by Darwin. Mechnikov took the concepts of struggle for existence and natural selection and conceived infectious diseases as a struggle between a host and its invader, the so-called phagocytosis theory. This theory created the necessity to possess mechanisms to discriminate between the own and the foreign, and led to the conception of the immune self. These concepts were not developed from ideas coming from perceptions or sensations, but from ideas coming from their values: individual interest, inevitable inequality, property, utility and profit. Values are ideals that constitute an ideological matrix which exerts a numinous activity and influence the development of our future actions. In consequence, science and its practice cannot avoid and ignore the values that drive them and impulse them towards certain directions. (shrink)
L’ensemble des textes publiés ici est pour une moitié inédit. Il comprend, outre le mémoire de 1802, déjà connu, le Premier mémoire sur l’influence de l’habitude, rédigé en 1800, ainsi que deux introductions appartenant à des étapes encore antérieures. On trouvera également toutes les notes et commentaires ajoutés par Biran en marge de ces mémoires, le rapport de Destutt de Tracy et deux compte-rendus —l’un de Degérando, l’autre de Cabanis.Il est augmenté d’une substantielle étude de G. Romeyer-Dherbey.Tome II (...) des œuvres complètes, comprenant 13 tomes en 18 volumes. (shrink)
Ideology and its unsaid: the invention of the word and the invention of the notion As a neologism, the invention of “ideology” is justifiably attributed to the French Idéologues,and to Destutt de Tracy in particular. However by defining the scope of the term as “the science of man”, de Tracy broke with the political metaphysics which was in the process of being formulated in the 1770s and 80s, and which came to dominate the legislative debates between 1789 (...) and 1794. The present article examines the reasons for the marginalisation of de Tracy’s notion at this time. The emphasis is placed on the strategic dimension of the attested usage of the pseudo-concept of ideology in the context of the Directoire, itself a period which was strongly marked ideologically. This approach to the history of concepts enables us to reappraise the question of the invention of ideology and its reception by the young Marx. (shrink)
Starting from the doctrine of ideology proposed by Destutt de Tracy in the late eighteenth century, the paper reconstructs its historical relationship with the social science, of which it was originally meant to be the ultimate expression. The historical necessity of ideology as a political science of the social is found in its ability to mediate and legitimize power relationships. It is not for chance that the Marxian critique of ideology is a radical critique of the constitution of (...) power in a capitalist society. The attempt of the social science to neutralize the problem of power through the abandonment of the value judgments leads instead to the declaration of the end of ideologies. In the last part, the paper analyses the way in which ideology, after its identification with the forms of total domination, returns as a neoliberal tool of legitimizing market as a society without history. (shrink)
The subject of this work is Maine de Biran’s theory about nature, origin and function of language, and about signs in general. Such theoretical reflection is a not very well explored aspect of Biran’s thought, whereas it is extremely important because of its connections with Biran’s doctrine of the active nature of human being. In the present article we have tried to make a reconstruction of this reflection that shows in deep the connections between Biran’s thought and the doctrines of (...) his main interlocutors: Condillac, Maupertuis, Rousseau, Destutt de Tracy. (shrink)
Este artículo estudia la historia semántica del concepto de ideología desde su plano inicial como ciencia de las ideas, según Destutt de Tracy, a mistificación de la realidad, según Marx, quien buscó, como lo hicieron luego los del Círculo de Viena, un criterio de demarcación para diferenciar ciencia de lo que es falsificación de lo real (discurso sin contenido empírico o metafísica según los neo-positivistas). Creyó encontrarlo en el estudio de las figuras de la ideología (filosofía, religión y (...) economía política clásica), las cuales no tienen historia y es necesario depurarlas para edificar verdadera ciencia: la Historia misma, como rerum gestarum. (shrink)
El objetivo de este artículo es estudiar la teoría del espacio interior del cuerpo de Maine de Biran a lo largo de sus tres componentes principales que son establecidos a lo largo de un diálogo crítico con Condillac y Destutt de Tracy, y desarrollados desde el punto de vista de la teoría del esfuerzo. Esos componentes son: la durabilidad del esfuerzo primordial; la posibilidad de percibir el espacio exterior; la consistencia del tiempo furtivo de la sensibilidad.
discipline a general science of our "intellectual faculties, their principal phenomena, and the more remarkable circumstances of their activities" (1801, p. 4). Convinced of the sensationalist epistemology of Locke and Condillac, Destutt de Tracy believed one could resolve all ideas into the sensations that produced them and thereby test their soundness. The sensationalist assumptions of his project led him to propose that "ideology is a part of zoology" (1801, p. 1), and he consequently paid close attention to the (...) way physiological.. (shrink)
The thesis that republicanism was only suited for small states was given its decisive eighteenth-century formulation by Montesquieu, who emphasized not only republics' need for homogeneity and virtue but also the difficulty of constraining military and executive power in large republics. Hume and Publius famously replaced small republics' virtue and homogeneity with large republics' plurality of contending factions. Even those who shared this turn to modern liberty, commerce and the accompanying heterogeneity of interests, however, did not all agree with or (...) know about Publius' institutional responses to the problems of executive and military power. Throughout the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and on both sides of the Atlantic, it remained a live question whether large states could be stable moderate republics, with responses ranging from embraces of Montesquieuian limited monarchy, to denials that there was any real large-republic problem at all, with a variety of institutional solutions in between for those who thought there was a real but soluble large-republic problem. (shrink)
La Correspondance publiée entre Tracy et Maine de Biran présente un intérêt de premier plan pour l'interprétation de l'œuvre des Idéologues, dont elle permet de saisir le mouvement constitutif en un point particulièrement significatif, celui qui précède immédiatement l'éclatement du mouvement, et la rupture de Biran avec ses maîtres. Dans une première partie on trace les étapes principales de l'échange des idées, sur la question centrale du jugement; on cherche ensuite à en cerner l'incidence sur le problème idéologique du (...) jugement dont Biran offre une variante devenue incompatible avec l'entreprise plusieurs fois reprise de Condillac d'un « nouveau Traité des sensations »; enfin, l'aspect logique du problème du jugement met à découvert l'enjeu de cet échange de lettres et les limites indépassables qui se trouvent par là même éclairées, d'une Idéologie comme philosophie critique de la sensibilité exprimée dans les formes du langage. (shrink)
Que la philosophie puisse se pratiquer dans toute sa rigueur conceptuelle en s’appliquant à des notions politiques, voilà qui n’a pas été et n’est pas toujours évident pour tous. Le concept d’idéologie de Nestor Capdevila est une lecture tout indiquée pour les sceptiques. Le pari n’est pourtant pas gagné a priori : ce terme, forgé en 1798 par Destutt de Tracy pour désigner la science des idées prises au sens général de perceptions, est on ne peut plus fuyant. (...) S’il n’a pas, à l’origine, la con.. (shrink)
Many disabled people face some form of exclusion or discrimination. One of the most damaging, yet pervasive, types of exclusion is sexual exclusion. Various factors hinder sexual opportunities for disabled persons, such as social attitudes around body image, gender, and sexuality. In this paper, I engage with Sheila Jeffreys's paper, “ Disability and the Male Sex Right,” wherein she argues that discourse around sexual rights for disabled people is a veiled way of promoting male dominance over women. Though Jeffreys raises (...) many pertinent issues, she assumes that when a disabled man seeks commercial sex, he does so as an act of domination or violence. I argue that when a disabled man seeks commercial sex, he is seeking the goods of sex, such as connection, intimacy, and pleasure. (shrink)
Federic Bastiat came on to the economic scene in 1844 and died in 1850. He filled the pages with his analyses of economic relations and the effects of government plunder, regulation and transfers. He fulfilled the first character of a scientist, he was unterrifed. Before his writings he had had a quarter century of study of economics. He immersed himself in the major economic writings of the discipline. The French economists, Cantillon, Quesnay, Turgot, Dupont, Condorcet, Condillac, Say, Destutt de (...)Tracy, some of them precursors of Adam Smith, had been the leaders in the science of economics. The two leading disciples of Say, Charles Dunoyer and Charles Comte, had edited the major Liberal periodical, le Censeur europeen, from which Bastiat drew his thinking. Bastiat, like Say and Destutt de Tracy, was translated and published in the United States. Bastiat has had his greatest impact during the second half of the twentieth century on American public opinion.Frédéric Bastiat apparut sur la scène économique en 1844 et mourut en 1850. Parmi ses écrits figurent ses analyses des relations économiques et les effets du pillage, des régulations et des transferts étatiques. Il avait le tempérament essentiel dun scientifique, celui de ne pas avoir peur. Avant décrire, il avait étudié léconomie pendant un quart de siècle. Il simmergea dans les écrits des principaux auteurs de la théorie économique. Les économistes français, Cantillon, Quesnay, Turgot, Dupont, Condorcet, Condillac, Say, Destutt de Tracy, dont certains furent des précurseurs dAdam Smith, avaient été les chefs de file de la science économique. Les deux principaux disciples de Say, Charles Dunoyer et Charles Comte, avaient édité le principal périodique libéral, le Censeur Européen, qui inspira les écrits de Bastiat. Tout comme Say et Destutt de Tracy, Bastiat fut traduit en Americain. Limpact majeur de Bastiat se fit sentir sur lopinion publique aux Etats-Unis durant la seconde moitié du vingtième siècle. (shrink)
This paper analyses the Australian Values Education Program (VEP) within the framework of late-classical political economy. Using analytical methods from systemic functional linguistics and critical discourse analysis, we demonstrate that the VEP is an unwitting restatement of the principles of ideology as developed by the likes of Destutt de Tracy and the Young Hegelians. We conclude that the sudden shock of globalisation and the post-national cultures this has entailed is in many ways similar to the shock of formal (...) nationalism that emerged in the late-Seventeenth and early-Eighteenth centuries. The overall result of the VEP for the Australian school system is a massive procedural burden that is unlikely to produce the results at which the program is aimed. (shrink)
Résumé Les thèses de Destutt de Tracy relatives aux rapports des langues et de leur écriture sont identifiées et commentées en regard de leurs conséquences sur le « projet idéologiste » d'ensemble et son double objectif : scientifique et politique.D. de Tracy's theses on the relations between languages and writing are identified while their consequences are examined in regard to the scientifical and political objectives of the global Ideologist project.
SUMMARYThis essay combines the study of Humboldt's sources with a critique of the treatment of this subject in most studies of Humboldt and his linguistic thought. One crucial issue is the date of his early ‘Über Denken und Sprechen’, which is our first evidence of his mature thinking about language. This text is conventionally dated 1795, thus ruling out that Humboldt might be indebted to the anthropo-linguistic philosophy that he explored in Paris a few years later. But a host of (...) facts make the date untenable and the debt unquestionable, including incontrovertible evidence that ‘Über Denken und Sprechen’ relies on Condillac's argument for the anti-idealist principle that the distinction between subject and object is the absolute precondition for self-awareness and reflection, and thus, by the same token, for the concept of Weltansicht. ‘Über Denken und Sprechen’ also shows that Humboldt was inspired to choose Condillac's and Destutt de Tracy's argument over that of Fichte for what Berkeley disapprovingly called ‘outness’. This analysis exemplifies the critique that is advanced in this essay. (shrink)
L’article examine les conditions dans lesquelles le néologisme « idéologie », entre 1796, date à laquelle il a été forgé par Destutt de Tracy, et 1845, date à laquelle il a été réutilisé par Marx, est passé d’une valeur positive (en tant que science générale des idées) à une valeur connotée négativement (en tant que système social de croyances décalé par rapport à la réalité qu’il évoque).
This essay considers how scholarly approaches to the development of molecular biology have too often narrowed the historical aperture to genes, overlooking the ways in which other objects and processes contributed to the molecularization of life. From structural and dynamic studies of biomolecules to cellular membranes and organelles to metabolism and nutrition, new work by historians, philosophers, and STS scholars of the life sciences has revitalized older issues, such as the relationship of life to matter, or of physicochemical inquiries to (...) biology. This scholarship points to a novel molecular vista that opens up a pluralist view of molecularizations in the twentieth century and considers their relevance to current science. (shrink)
Psychological factors have long been associated with the onset, maintenance and exacerbation of many cutaneous disorders (Newell, 2000, p. 8; Papadopoulos, Bor & Legg, 1999, p. 107). Chronic cutaneous disease is often visible to others so that social factors in coping and adjustment are thus highly relevant (Papadopoulos, et al., 1999, p. 107). Psychological factors tend, however, to be overlooked in the dermatological treatment domain when the skin problem is not regarded as life threatening (MacGregor, 1990 as cited in Papadopoulos, (...) et al., 1999, p. 113). In 2004, at a meeting of the Editorial Board of Dermatology Nursing, the need for studies presenting the patient’s perspective on living with a skin disease was discussed. It was thought that qualitative exploration of the patient’s experience of cutaneous disease would provide medical and mental health care professionals with valuable insights and important information to help improve dermatology patient care (Hill, 2004, p. 399). More specifically, Papadopoulos et al. (1999, p. 122) posit that qualitative exploration of dermatological patients’ lived experience might help provide insight into the efficacy of coping strategies, the need for psychological counsel, and also the need for a more holistic understanding of this patient population rather than maintaining a dichotomous focus on either the mind or the body. Research in the field is currently characterised by (a) a predominance of quantitative studies, the design of which results in inevitable loss of in-depth information regarding the experiential world of sufferers of cutaneous disease (Hill, 2004, p. 399; Papadopoulos, et al., 1999, p. 122), and (b) a dearth of studies investigating the impact of disfiguring skin conditions on the self-concept. In order to address this lack, and simultaneously to contribute towards mapping the psychodermatological terrain in need of qualitative exploration, this paper attempts to integrate the findings of relevant studies in the fields of both dermatology and psychology, with specific focus on women suffering from psoriasis, a common chronic disorder of the skin, and the impact of this on the various dimensions of self. The primary aim of this paper is, however, to prompt qualitative - and, in particular, phenomenological - research in the area of body disfigurement and selfconcept in order to elucidate the lived experiences of people afflicted with disfiguring dermatological conditions, and as such to promote necessary change in the therapeutic domain. Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology , Volume 6, Edition 1 May 2006. (shrink)