Fourier, FrançoIs cHarles mArie
Fourier, François Charles Marie a philosophical socialist, was born at Besancon April 7, 1772. His father designed him for trade, but he never took to it willingly. In 1796 he entered the French army, but in 1798 he left it and entered a mercantile house at Marseilles. His mind seems to have been turned about this time to social questions by the scarcity of food and the terrible sufferings of the poor. The relations of capital to labor, and similar social problems, occupied his mind intensely for several years, and in 1808 he issued his first book, entitled Theorie des Quatre Mouvements et des Destinees Generales. "It is the strangest, most mystical, and most startling of all his works, though merely given as a general announcement of his theory. Surprise and wonder were the only effects which it produced on those who read it, and the few public writers who reviewed it." In 1821 he removed to Paris, in order to publish his writings, and he lived there, with some interruptions, to his death, October 10, 1837. His principal works are Theorie des Quatres Mouvements et des Destinees Generales (1808, 8vo): — Traite de Association Domestique Agricole (1822, 2 volumes, 8vo): — Le Nouveau Monde, Industriel et Societaire (1829); a Livret d'annonce (1830): — Pieges et Charlatanisme des deux Sectes St. Simon et Owen (1831): — La Fausse Industrie, morcelee, repugnante, mensongere, et l'Antidote, l'Industrie naturelle, combinee, attrayante. His (Euvres completes were published at Paris in 6 volumes (1840-46). The Passions of the Human Soul, translated by Morell, was published in London in 1851 (2 volumes, 8vo). "His philosophy may be divided into science and praxis, or his psychological and ontological theory and its application in his societary system. The first comprises what he styles passional attraction, the last its application to society in industrial association. His psychology is confined to an analysis of the affections, from which he infers that the Newtonian principle of attraction is equally applicable to the social and mental worlds, and that society should be moulded in accordance with the diversity and intensity of individual attractions. Unity in diversity and harmony in contrast is what he professes to achieve in his new social system. This principle of passional attraction is regarded by Fourier as his grand discovery, which had been culpably neglected and overlooked by past philosophers" (Tennemann, Hist. Philos. § 435). Among the followers of Fourier are counted Considerant, Pompery, Lemoyn, Hennequin, Jules Lechevalier, and Transen. Several periodicals mostly short-lived, have been established for the defense of Fourierism, as Le Nouveau Monde, Le Phalanstere, La Phalange, La Democratie Pacifique.
Several attempts to carry out the view of Fourier were made in France, the United States, and Brazil, but all failed. See Gamond, Fourier and his System (London, 1842, 8vo); Doherty, False Association, with Memoir of Fourier (London, 1841, 8vo); Christian Examiner, 36:57; Methodist Quarterly Rev. 5:545. SEE COMMUNISM.