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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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Science and Spirit in the Classroom

Science and Spirit in the Classroom

Chapter:
(p.77) Chapter 3 Science and Spirit in the Classroom
Source:
Making Spirit Matter
Author(s):

Larry Sommer McGrath

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226699967.003.0004

In the late nineteenth century, the philosophy course in lycées (the French equivalent of high schools) was mobilized by education reformers as a means of promulgating the emergent brain sciences and simultaneously steering their cultural resonance. These twin goals of philosophy’s public mission under the Third Republic reconciled contradictory pressures to advance the nation’s scientific prowess following its defeat in the Franco-Prussian war of 1870 while preserving the country's distinct tradition of spiritualism. Between 1874 and 1902, the French Ministry of Public Instruction transformed philosophy into a national project designed to mold the public reception of neurophysiology.

Keywords:   Third Republic, education, Paul Janet, Victor Cousin, Henri Bergson

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