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Pierre Laromiguière

Pierre Laromiguière (November 3, 1756 - August 12, 1837), French philosopher, was born at Livignac[?], and died in Paris.

As professor of philosophy at Toulouse[?] he was unsuccessful and incurred the censure of the parliament by a thesis on the rights of property in connexion with taxation. Subsequently he came to Paris, where he was appointed professor of logic in the École Normale and lectured in the Prytanée. In 1799 he was made a member of the Tribunate, and in 1833 of the Academy of Moral and Political Science. In 1793 he published Projet d'éléments de metaphysique, a work characterized by lucidity and excellence of style. He wrote also two Mémoires, read before the Institute, Les Paradoxes de Condillac (1805) and Le cours de philosophie (1815-1818).

Laromiguière's philosophy is interesting as a revolt against the extreme physiological psychology of the natural scientists, such as Cabanis. He distinguished between those psychological phenomena which can be traced directly to purely physical causes, and the actions of the soul which originate from within itself. Psychology was not for him a branch of physio]ogy, nor on the other hand did he give to his theory an abstruse metaphysical basis. A pupil of Condillac and indebted for much of his ideology to Destutt de Tracy, he attached a fuller importance to Attention as a psychic faculty. Attention provides the facts, Comparison groups and combines them, while Reason systematizes and explains. The soul is active in its choice, i.e. is endowed with freewill, and is, therefore, immortal.

For natural science as a method of discovery he had no respect. He held that its judgments are, at the best, statements of identity, and that its so-called discoveries are merely the reiteration, in a new form, of previous truisms. Laromiguière was not the first to develop these views; he owed much to Condillac, Destutt de Tracy and Cabanis. But, owing to the accuracy of his language and the purity of his style, his works had great influence, especially over Armand Marrast[?], Cardaillac[?] and Cousin. A lecture of his in the École Normale impressed Cousin so strongly that he at once devoted himself to the study of philosophy. Jouffroy and Taine agree in describing him as one of the great thinkers of the 19th century.

See Damiron, Essai sur la Philosophie en France au XIX' siècle; Biran, Examen des leçons de philosophie; Victor Cousin, De Methodo siva de Analysis; Daunou, Notice sur Laromiguière; H Taine, Les Philosophes classiques du XIX' siècle; Gatien-Arnoult, Etude sur Laromzguière; Compayré, Notice sur Laromiguière; Ferraz, Spiritualisme et Libéralisme; F Picavet, Les Ideologues.

This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.

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