Saint-Simon, Claude-Henri de Rouvroy, count de

(1760-1825)
   philosopher, economist
   A distant cousin of louis de rouvroy, duke de saint-simon, Claude-Henri de Rouvroy, count de Saint-Simon was born in Paris and served as a military officer in the American War of Independence. Returning to France, he supported the revolution of 1789 but was imprisoned (1793-94) during its radical stage. Reduced to working as a copier in a pawnshop, he rallied to the Empire during the hundred days and, opposed to the restoration, was arrested (1820) and later attempted suicide (1823). Only because of the support of one of his disciples did he not sink into complete poverty. Saint-Simon's first works make him the precursor of positivist philosophy and the social sciences (Lettres d'un habitant de Genève à ses concitoyens, 1803; Introduction aux travaux scientifiques du XIXe s., 1807). With the creation of his revue, L'Industrie (1816), the publication of L'Organisateur with auguste comte (1819-20), and the editing of two other works (Du Système industriel, 1821-22; Le Catéchisme des industriels 1823-24), he affirmed the theses of his optimistic industrialism, the end of the old order, and the future of an industrial society led by scientists, which would automatically bring together the interests of the owners and the workers. Le nouveau Christianisme (published posthumously in 1825), formulated the morality for this new society by using presocialist themes. it would, in turn, serve as the basis for the Saint-Simonian school of socialism, founded by his disciples (prosper enfantin, armand bazard, and pierre leroux). A number of economists, industrialists, and bankers (ferdinand de lesseps, michel chevalier), who subsequently played important roles in 19th-century economic developments, were all influenced by Saint-Simonian ideas.

France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present . 1884.

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