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Cousin

french, victor and 17th

COUSIN, Victor, French philosopher: b. Paris, 28 Nov. 1792; d. Cannes, 13 Jan. 1867. He founded a school of eclectic philosophy, combining the doctrines of the Scotch school of Reid and Stewart, based on sensation, with those of Schelling and Hegel, which rest on the opposite of idealism or intuition. He was not an original thinker but possessed in a high degree the faculty of clear exposition, and for that reason his lectures and his writings enjoyed a great popularity. He rendered a memorable service both to philosophy and lit erature by his translation of 'Plato) (1840). Besides his 'Fragments philosophiques' (1826) and other works on that theme, he is the author of a few biographical sketches, mostly of char acters related to the spiritual and intellectual movements of the 17th century as 'Jacqueline Pascal); 'Berme. de Longueville) ; 'Mme. de Hautefort); 'French Society in the 17th Cen tury.' As a lecturer and philosophical writer

Cousin was distinguished by a rare combination of eloquence, enthusiasm and, as already stated, clearness of exposition. He possessed a beauty of style such as no modern or ancient philoso pher excepting Plato has equaled. He rendered a very valuable service to his native land in the part he took in the organization of primary instruction. In 1831, under a commission from the French government, he visited Germany to study educational methods there, and the 'Rap port sur l'Etat de l'Instruction Publique' pub lished on his return had powerful influence on subsequent legislation. Consult Janet, 'Vic tor Cousin et son cEuvre' (1885) ; Simon, Jules, 'Victor Cousin' (1887) ; Taine, 'Les Philoso phes Classiques du XIXe Siècle) (1888) ; Saint Hilaire, B, 'Victor Cousin, sa vie, sa Cor respondence' (1895).