Skip to main content
Select Source:

Saint-Simon, Claude Henri de Rouvroy, comte de

Claude Henri de Rouvroy Saint-Simon, comte de (klōd äNrē də rōōvrwä´ kôNt də săN-sēmôN´), 1760–1825, French social philosopher; grand nephew of Louis de Rouvroy, duc de Saint-Simon. While still a young man, he served in the American Revolution as a volunteer on the side of the colonists. He took no part in the French Revolution, but used the opportunity to make a fortune through land speculation. He lavished his wealth on a salon for scientists and spent his later years in poverty, sustained by the faith that he had a message for humanity. Foreseeing the triumph of the industrial order, Saint-Simon called for the reorganization of society by scientists and industrialists on the basis of a scientific division of labor that would result in automatic and spontaneous social harmony. In Le Nouveau Christianisme [the new Christianity] (1825), he proclaimed that the concept of brotherhood must accompany scientific organization. His writings contain ideas foreshadowing the positivism of Auguste Comte (for a time his pupil), socialism, federation of the nations of Europe, and many other modern trends. Around him gathered a small group of brilliant young men. After his death, they modified and elucidated his principles into a system of thought known as Saint-Simonianism. Partly because of their eccentricities, the Saint-Simonians achieved brief fame. Led by Barthélemy Prosper Enfantin and Saint-Amand Bazard, they organized a series of lectures (published in 1828–30 as L'Exposition de la doctrine de Saint-Simon), calling for abolition of individual inheritance rights, public control of means of production, and gradual emancipation of women. Although the movement developed into a moral-religious cult and had split and was disintegrated by 1833, it exerted much influence, especially on later socialist thought.

See Saint-Simon's Social Organization, The Science of Man and Other Writings, ed. and tr. by F. Markham (1964); Historical Memoirs, ed. and tr. by L. Norton (3 vol., 1969–72); studies by M. M. Dondo (1955), E. Durkheim (tr. 1958), and F. E. Manuel (1956, repr. 1963).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Saint-Simon, Claude Henri de Rouvroy, comte de." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 14 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Saint-Simon, Claude Henri de Rouvroy, comte de." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 14, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/saint-simon-claude-henri-de-rouvroy-comte-de

"Saint-Simon, Claude Henri de Rouvroy, comte de." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved December 14, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/saint-simon-claude-henri-de-rouvroy-comte-de

Saint-Simon, Claude-Henri de Rouvroy, Comte de

Saint-Simon, Claude-Henri de Rouvroy, Comte de (1760–1825) A most unusual French aristocrat who lived through remarkable times. His powerful liberal and republican sympathies saved him from the guillotine during the French Revolution, and after the Bourbon restoration he developed a system of ideas about social progress. What he created has been called the ‘characteristic ideology of industrialism’: that everyone must work and be rewarded according to merit, that all progress is based on science, and that the society of the future will be peaceful, prosperous, and run on strictly scientific principles. Saint-Simon gathered a band of enthusiastic disciples who were regarded as radicals and even socialists—although there was not much about his system that would be called socialist today. From 1817 to 1824, when they quarrelled, Auguste Comte worked with Saint-Simon, whose influence on the younger man's theories is clear. See Robert B. Carlisle , The Proffered Crown (1987
).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Saint-Simon, Claude-Henri de Rouvroy, Comte de." A Dictionary of Sociology. . Encyclopedia.com. 14 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Saint-Simon, Claude-Henri de Rouvroy, Comte de." A Dictionary of Sociology. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 14, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/saint-simon-claude-henri-de-rouvroy-comte-de

"Saint-Simon, Claude-Henri de Rouvroy, Comte de." A Dictionary of Sociology. . Retrieved December 14, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/saint-simon-claude-henri-de-rouvroy-comte-de