Destutt de Tracy

(2250 words)

Destutt de Tracy was a seminal figure in the study of ideology, a term he coined in 1796 as a name for his own “science of ideas”. His philosophical writings published in the first decade of the nineteenth century laid the basis for the development of social science, and contributed to liberal and utilitarian thought in the domains of politics, economics and education.

Antoine Louis-Claude Destutt, Comte de Tracy, was born into a noble family that had emigrated from Scotland to France in 1420, thereafter rising through royal military service so that by the eighteenth century they were distinguished members of the noblesse d’épée with estates in the Bourbonnais near …

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Clark, Robert. "Destutt de Tracy". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 11 April 2008
[, accessed 26 November 2015.]