Alfred FouilleeIn human physics, Alfred Fouillee (1838-1912) was a French philosopher and sociologist noted for []

In circa 1880, Fouillee, supposedly, outlined some type of theory of “idea-forces”, an idea that does not reflect a reality independent of itself but rather becomes one of the factors of reality, the concept of which he summarizes as follows (1890): [1]

“One has not enumerated all the causes and forces in nature when one has enumerated all movements. There may be and there are other activities than those that are purely mechanical: these are the psychic activities. The ideas are at once the expression of their activities and the movements through which they reveal themselves externally. They are the intermediaries between the world of motion and the moral world. For true evolutionism, ideas are far from being inert but are conscious forms of action. Thinking is a manifestation of mental energy, not of mental inertias.”

As summarized by Spanish philosopher Miguel de Unamuno (1912): [2]

“Once more I must repeat that our ethical and philosophical doctrines in general are usually merely the justification a posteriori of our conduct, of our actions. The very same reason which one man may regard as a motive for taking care to prolong his life may be regarded by another man as a motive for shooting himself. Nevertheless it cannot be denied that reasons, ideas, have an influence upon human actions, and sometimes ever determine them, by a process analogous to that of suggestion upon a hypnotized person, and this is so because of the tendency in every idea to resolve itself into action—an idea being simply an inchoate or abortive act. It was this notion that suggested to Fouillee his theory of idea-forces. But ordinarily ideas are forces which we accommodate to other forces, deeper and much less conscious.”

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Fouillee’s 1880 Contemporary Social Science was cited French social-philosopher Maurice Hauriou’s 1899 Lessons on Social Movement.

1. Goodstein, Elizabeth S. (2005). Experience Without Qualities: Boredom and Modernity (pg. 48). Stanford University Press.
2. Unamuno, Miguel de. (1912). The Tragic Sense of Life (pg. 261). Dover, 1954.

External links
‚óŹ Alfred Jules Emile Fouillee – Wikipedia.

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