Henri Saint Simon Essay

1507 words - 7 pages

In Henri Saint-Simon’s writing “Lettres d’un habitant de Genève à ses Contemporains”, he stated that there should be three classes of mankind (Saint-Simon, 1803). In this proposition he explained that the first class was composed of scientists, artists and all those that hold the liberal thought or idea (Saint-Simon, 1803). The second class consisted of all the proprietors who did not fit in the first class. The third class is constructed by the rest of the people that believe in the slogan of equality (Saint-Simon, 1803). The general intent of Henri Saint-Simon in his writing was to explain that how there were the three classes and how the first class, which consisted of scientist and ...view middle of the document...

The important questions and insights that Henri Saint- Simon presented in the quest for his understanding of society was how the old order was not the system to regain social stability for the Post-Revolutionary society. The Henri Saint-Simon questioned how the Philosophes would take charge and control the order of society (Zeitlin, 2001). In the understanding of the Saint-Simon’s view of society he argued that the Philosophies had insistence to the principles of equality and natural rights, which, to Saint-Simon, was destructive of the old society (Zeitlin, 2001). The important question that did arise in his writing of Lettres d’un habitant de Genève à ses Contemporains was what ultimately out of all the factions of mankind made which ones were aimed directly for the common good (Saint-Simon, 1803). Henri Saint-Simon argued that the faction made by the first class, which is scientist was the one that was aimed directly for the common good. This is clearly stated in his writing when he states:

“… sciences will make rapid strides. It is well known that the study of the sciences becomes easier with every advance made, so that those who, like yourselves, can only devote a short time to their education can learn more, and as they learn more, they lessen the extent of the power exercised over them by the rich” (Saint-Simon, 1803).

In Zeitlin’s (2001) writing it explains that Saint-Simon’s understanding of society was made clear when he saw it to be his and his contemporaries’ task to create a new and organic social order that is solely based on the new principles of science. The insights that lead Saint-Simon to have a view of social order to be lead by new scientific principles were through the thinking of human knowledge (Zeitlan, 2001).

The core concept of Henri Saint-Simon in his writing was stating that scientific knowledge would take the place of religion and scientists and industrialists would emerge as the new “natural” elite to replace the leaders in the medieval society (Saint-Simon, 1803). In his writing Lettres d’un habitant de Genève à ses Contemporain, Saint-Simon expands on his thesis by stating “…addressing myself to different sections of mankind, which I have divided into three classes” (Saint-Simon, 1803). Here he established the three classes but also came too the conclusion that science must be the new social unity that would regain society. Henri Saint-Simon held on to a conception of science as a body that did verify and establish the important beliefs that could take place of religion as the binding force of society (Zeitlin, 2001:67). One of the concepts that allowed him to make the narrow down new scientific principles as the new social order of the Post-Revolutionary society was human knowledge. Saint-Simon believed that human knowledge has three stages theological, metaphysical and scientific, which he calls “social physiology” (Zeitlin, 2001:67). He conducted that social physiology must become a positive...

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