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Making Spirit MatterNeurology, Psychology, and Selfhood in Modern France$
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Larry Sommer McGrath

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780226699790

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226699967.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 21 September 2021

The Formations of French Spiritualism

The Formations of French Spiritualism

(p.19) Chapter 1 The Formations of French Spiritualism
Making Spirit Matter

Larry Sommer McGrath

University of Chicago Press

This chapter traces the genesis of “spiritualist realism or positivism,” a movement that brought together diverse thinkers including Félix Ravaisson, Jules Lachelier, and Émile Boutroux. I argue that these thinkers responded to two master concepts that had driven a fissure in French spiritualism since its origins in the early nineteenth century: Victor Cousin’s rational sense of self and Maine de Biran's sensation of muscular effort. Between them lay rival accounts—one substantial and introspective, the other kinetic and somatic—which shaped competing visions of selfhood.

Keywords:   psychology, physiology, Maine de Biran, Victor Cousin, Félix Ravaisson, Jules Lachelier, Émile Boutroux

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