Ideology and Social Science

Destutt de Tracy and French Liberalism

  • Authors
  • Brian William Head

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-VII
  2. Brian William Head
    Pages 1-24
  3. Brian William Head
    Pages 25-44
  4. Brian William Head
    Pages 45-66
  5. Brian William Head
    Pages 67-91
  6. Brian William Head
    Pages 93-107
  7. Brian William Head
    Pages 109-127
  8. Brian William Head
    Pages 129-148
  9. Brian William Head
    Pages 149-162
  10. Brian William Head
    Pages 163-185
  11. Brian William Head
    Pages 187-204
  12. Brian William Head
    Pages 205-208
  13. Back Matter
    Pages 211-229

About this book


This book attempts to present a detailed and critical account of the thought of Antoine-Louis-Claude Destutt de Tracy (1754-1836). Major importance has been placed on the analysis of his published writings. Biographical details have been provided only to the extent necessary to elucidate the circumstances of the composition and publication of his writings: in particular, the intellectual and political currents in France during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic periods. The book has three main themes. The first is Tracy's philosophy of ideologie, which was concerned to clarify concepts and provide guarantees of reliable knowledge. The second is Tracy's attempt to elaborate a science of social organisation, la science sociale, whose objective was to recommend institutions and policies which could maximise social happiness. The third theme is Tracy's development of liberal and utilitarian approaches to the fields of politics, economics and education. This study began life as a doctoral dissertation at the London School of Economics and Political Science. I am grateful for the guidance of my supervisor, Professor Ken Minogue, and for helpful comments from Professor Maurice Cranston, Professor Jack Lively, and Dr John Hooper.


Liberal Liberalism morality policy politics

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, Dordrecht 1985
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-94-010-8783-4
  • Online ISBN 978-94-009-5159-4
  • Series Print ISSN 0066-6610
  • Series Online ISSN 2215-0307
  • Buy this book on publisher's site