Victor Cousin

Picture of Victor Cousin

Date of Birth: 11/28/1792

Age: 74

Place of Birth: Paris

Citizenship: France


The French philosopher, activist and historian of education, was born in Paris on November 28, 1792 in an artisan family. Due to the occasion was educated at the Lycee Charlemagne, and then at the Higher Pedagogical Institute. He began teaching at the Higher Pedagogical Institute in 1815 with a lecture on the philosophy of common sense. He was influenced by Kant. He traveled to Germany, where he met with G.V.F.Gegelem, F.Shellingom and F.Yakobi. Protection Cousin constitutional government led to his dismissal in 1820. In 1828 was reinstated, and in 1830, after the enthronement of Louis Philippe, enjoyed the full support of the government, became a peer of France and a member of the State Council, member of the French Academy, and since 1834 - Rector Higher pedagogical Institute.

Cousin has developed a philosophical system which he has given (apparently unsuccessful) the name of eclecticism, and his critics (with good reason) - spiritualism. He shared the whole philosophy of the following four types of systems: sensationalism, idealism, skepticism and mysticism, seeing in each of them an element of truth. The philosophy of eclecticism - the culmination of the historical process; it arises from the cells that make up a particular historical era. Cousin was in all respects a man moderate and prone to compromise. Due to its caution against extremes, on the one hand, the sensationalism of Condillac and atheism and determinism, which he led, and on the other - Catholicism and tradition of scholasticism, he won wide public recognition. A rare oratorical talent to make philosophy popular with several generations of students. In 1840, after Guizot became prime minister, Cousin was appointed Minister of Education. Contrary to the wishes of the Catholics, he kept the teaching of philosophy in high school, however, has forced teachers to submit its views on what it is to teach philosophy. In 1848 he was forced to resign. Cousin worked successfully in the field of the history of philosophy, thanks to him, the subject came into vogue. He published works of Proclus, Abelard, Descartes and Maine de Biran, translated Plato.

In contrast to the skepticism of David Hume and other philosophers of the 18th century., Cousin stuck psychological approach, which makes its way through the work F.Men de Biran in France and Thomas Reid in Scotland. In the later period of creativity under the influence of Schelling`s cousin he added to this approach the idea of ??romantic-cosmological order. Philosophy must always start with an analysis of consciousness. This analysis reveals three main types of evidence: sensation gives us a first introduction to the world around them (as taught Scottish Common Sense Realism); our own work reveals a fact of human freedom; mind and allows us to understand certain fundamental principles and objectively significant. The main principle of reason two: substance and causality. Thanks to them we understand how I and the world (I`m not-I, in the terminology of Fichte) are related in the latter substance, God, whose causal creative activity gives a rational structure of the universe. Psychology thus completing the ontology and authorize the moral and aesthetic principles.

Among the works Cousin - sensationalism philosophy in the 18th century (Philosophie sensualiste au 18e siecle, 1819); preface to the Philosophical Fragments (Fragments philosophique, 1826) and the New Philosophical Fragments (Nouveaux fragments philosophique, 1828); Metaphysics of Aristotle (De la

m taphysique d`Aristote, 1835); On truth, beauty and goodness (Du vrai, du beau et du bien, 18, 36); The course of history of modern philosophy (Cours d`histoire de la philosophie moderne, 1841-1846); Studies on Pascal (Etudes sur Pascal, 1842); a number of studies on prominent women 17. Cousin Died in Cannes (France), 13 January 1867.