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Honorer l'incertain ; la science positive du XIXè enfante le spiritisme

Abstract : Allan Kardec and French spiritism have not often been studied by historians of science. Yet the conceptions of Kardec, who had been a prolific pedagogue before becoming the reincarnation of a Gallic druid, were a mirror of the numerous tensions underlying the emergence of a positive science of the mind. Influenced by esotericism and occultism as well as by republican ideology and scientism, Kardec wanted to protect his spiritism from any mystical tendencies and presented it as an experimental discipline of which the objects were the powers of the mind when separated from the body. Many scientists were attracted by these claims which persisted in the Charles Richet's metapsychic. Until the beginning of the 20th century disciples of Kardec took part, alongside psychologists and psychophysiologists in the endeavor towards objectivation of the powers of the mind and in the constitution of a new body of positive and experimental knowledge. In spite of the clear scientific failure of spiritism, the conceptions of Kardec and his followers made a contribution to the creation of this field.
Mots-clés : histoire des sciences
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Contributor : Françoise Parot <>
Submitted on : Thursday, February 21, 2013 - 2:01:30 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, September 22, 2020 - 3:48:25 AM


  • HAL Id : halshs-00791603, version 1


Françoise Parot. Honorer l'incertain ; la science positive du XIXè enfante le spiritisme. Revue d'Histoire des Sciences, Armand Colin 2004, 57 (1), pp.33-63. ⟨halshs-00791603⟩



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