Proceedings chapter

La genèse sociale d’une psychologie au XVIIIe siècle : Charles Bonnet et les sociabilités genevoises

ContributorsRatcliff, Marc
Published inPhysique de l'esprit: Empirisme, médecine et cerveau (XVIIe- XIXe siècles), Editors Céline Cherici, Jean-Claude Dupont, Charles Wolfe, p. 101-123
PublisherParis : Hermann
Publication date2018

While Charles Bonnet's psychology has often been approached solely from the perspective of the history of ideas, this article proposes a social and cognitive history approach to psychology. It shows how, in the 1740s, Bonnet shifted from his identity as a naturalist to that of a philosopher and psychologist in a European context of changing sensibilities toward psychology and philosophy, turning toward empiricism and even materialism. With the help of a network of friends, Bonnet fought against a double handicap - he was partially blind and partially deaf - to develop his psychology and to become part of the Geneva social scene. In particular, he joined several societies whose members used to read works on science, morality, and philosophy, creating a welcome network for the new ideas of the Enlightenment. One of these societies, the Société des 4 B - whose members' names began with the letter B - was founded in the middle of the century and served for a decade as a specific context of discursive confrontation for many of Bonnet's later ideas and texts. It was during this period that he published his most important psychological texts.

  • Social history of psychology
  • Charles Bonnet
  • History of disability
  • Eighteenth century science
  • Scientific sociability
  • Soul psychology
Citation (ISO format)
RATCLIFF, Marc. La genèse sociale d’une psychologie au XVIII<sup>e</sup> siècle : Charles Bonnet et les sociabilités genevoises. In: Physique de l’esprit: Empirisme, médecine et cerveau (XVIIe- XIXe siècles). Paris : Hermann, 2018. p. 101–123.
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Proceedings chapter (Published version)
  • PID : unige:175374

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