SOAN 2112 Chapter Notes - Chapter 7: Joseph De Maistre, Bourgeoisie, French Revolution
SchoolUniversity of Guelph
DepartmentSociology and Anthropology
Course CodeSOAN 2112
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CHAPTER 7: BONALD AND MAISTRE
Here for the German thinkers the movement took on a strong
nationalistic character as a reaction against Napoleonic imperialism,
among French thinkers the movement measured both a religious and
Bonald and Maistre developed the Catholic counterrevolutionary
philosophy which not only provided ideological defense of the post
revolutionary order (restoration) but also called for additional
regression to the order of the old regime. They contradicted the ideas
of the Enlightenment and that the inferiority of individual reason
compared with reveal and traditional truth.
They put forward a religious and philosophical doctrine in which the
human being acquired knowledge not by means of their original reason
but rather as a social being through tradition – growing up in a cultural
community with tradition being transmitted and supported by the
church and other fundamental institutions.
They also rejected the immediate past by defending the Providence
against the naturalism of the philosophes.
Louis de Bonald (1754-1850)
He is best known for his book “theorie du pouvoir”. He treats all form
of knowledge as products and expressions of the society that produces
them. They are social products. Every art is a collective e?ort and
therefore the person is simply the tool rather than the creator of an art
work. Errors are viewed as a fault of age and not of the person. He
wants to prove the errors of individualism and the validity of traditional
ideas. He thinks that rights only exist in the de@nite and concrete
social relationships. He believes that natural is the simple existence of
natural man that is anterior to society. Compared to Rousseau he says
that there is no natural man only one that is social. He also attacked
Condillac on his views of language.
In short his work was an attempt to undermine every major
assumption of the enlightenment. His ideas were innate but not in the
Cartesian sense. Knowledge of moral truth is innate in sociality and is
transmitted to the person through speech. Man did not invent
language. They both preceed society.
The family, the church and the state derived their respective aspects of
the truth from the general truth. Man is born into society and becomes
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