Who was Pierre Leroux? Biography, Philosophy and What did Pierre Leroux do?


Who is Pierre Leroux? What did Pierre Leroux do? Information on Pierre Leroux biography, life story, works and philosophy.

Pierre Leroux; (1797-1871), French Utopian socialist writer and journalist, who embodied the social romanticism typical of France in the 1840’s. He was born in Bercy on April 6, 1797. After receiving a good secondary education, Leroux became a mason and then a printer when his father’s death left die family virtually penniless.

Pierre Leroux

Entering journalism in 1824 he cofounded the liberal Le Globe, a literary journal of European reputation. In 1830, Leroux became a Saint-Simonian socialist and transformed Le Globe into the sect’s official organ. With other dissidents he left a year later to found La Revue encyclopédique. By 1835, Leroux, though opposed to violence, was identified with republicanism. In L’Encyclopédie nouvelle (1836-1843), he formulated his religious philosophy of progress. His disciple George Sand, the novelist, joined a review he started during this period, La Révue indépendante ( 1841-1848). She also helped finance his printing shop at Boussac, which was organized as a commune in 1844.

The French Revolution of 1848 propelled Leroux into politics. Although elected as a socialist in June 1848 to the Constituent Assembly and to the Legislative Assembly, its successor in 1849, he was not an effective politician. Forced into exile after Louis Napoléons coup d’etat in December 1851, Leroux established a commune on the English Channel island of Jersey. Permitted to return home in 1859, he lived in penury, continuing to publish in his usual vein. He died in Paris on April 11, 1871.


Philosophy. Leroux’s doctrines were Saint-Simonian in their emphasis on organization and industrial progress, but they were laced with humanist deism, number mysticism—the special virtue of three, the “Triad”—elements of Indian religions, sympathy for the proletariat, and purely personal idiosyncracies. Though hailed as a socialist sage in 1848, modern scholars have concluded that Leroux was no seminal thinker.

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