The Reception of three Besançon Socialist Philosophers in the English-speaking world from 19th century till date.

From the diverse academic fields of history, philosophy, sociology, and economics. I have chosen the political cum philosophical field of study, especially in relation to socialism. This is at its heart a philosophical position about morality and justice. In my philosophical studies, I have found the philosophy of Karl Marx well featured in this field especially in the English world. However, with little or no idea of it in the French world. In a similar interest, a voyage into the new course of Rare books and Digital Humanities, I found in the French world philosophers whose thoughts and theories were in similar views of Marxism. The significances of the socialist also referred as the utopians work is wide ranging. Their ideas are imbedded in the language of social analysis. I, therefore, desired to know more of these Besançon socialist and mutualist philosophers namely

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (1809-1865)

François-Marie-Charles Fourier, (1772- 1837)

Victor Prosper Considérant (1808-1893)

This project tends to investigate the reaction of the works of these philosophers in the English-speaking world, in other words, the development and response given to the major works of these philosophers from the 19th century till date.  As it is an ongoing project, I will note that the French socialists prior to the development of Marxism in France whether they were, Fourierists, or Proudhon have inspired myriad criticisms, either because of the content of their theories and doctrine. Unfortunately, some of their writings are still to be translated, while some have already been translated. The nucleus of this project, therefore, will be formed on the translated works of the three philosophers from Besançon named above. Furthermore, examine how it was conceived and received in the English world, how many translations of these works are available. If little, why?

So far I have the major works of Joseph Proudhon and Charles Fourier and the translated English edition of Benjamin Tucker and Gareth Stedman Jones & Ian Patterson respectively. On the other hand, there is little or no translation of the writings of Victor Considérant’s major work in English. However, his thoughts are being presented in an article by Joan Roelofs  »Principles of Socialism. Manifesto of 19th-century democracy » Therefore the English editions of Proudhon and Fourier forms the terminus a quo of this project. Consequently, I will be working basically on these two philosophers and their translated versions of their writing for this year. They are as follows,

  • What Is Property? Or, an Inquiry into the Principle of Right and Government (Qu’est-ce que la propriété? Recherche sur le principe du droit et du gouvernement), published in 1840 by Proudhon and the Translations of Benjamin R. Tucker  »The Works of P. J Proudhon What is property, Volume 1Translated from French. Princeton, Mass 1876 ».  »Proudhon What is property? Cambridge text in the history of political thought by Donald R. Kelley & Bonnie G. smith 1994. »
  • Théorie des quatre mouvements et des destinées générales (1808; The Social Destiny of Man; or, Theory of the Four Movements, 1857 by Charles Fourier. English editions of Gareth Stedman Jones & Ian Patterson  »FourierThe theory of the four Movements. Cambridge text in the history of political thought » 1996. Albert Brisbane  »The Social destiny of man or the theory of the four-movement »

Prospectively, the terminus ad quem of this project will be to give a better understanding of the impact of these besançon philosophers and their influence on the English-speaking world. Indeed, the digitalization will not be left out in the course of this project. The basic bibliographies of this project have been worked on using Zotero to organize and upload my bibliography. And the Umap which I also used to pinpoint certain locations that are related to my authors and places of publications in France, England, and America. Above all, this project will be digitalized in order to make it accessible and fit in the current flow of the digital world of the 21st century.

The works of P.J. Proudhon. Vol. 1 What is property?
P.-J Proudhon und Benjamin Ricketson Tucker, The works of P.J. Proudhon. Vol. 1 What is property?: an inquiry into the principle of right and of government. Vol. 1 What is property? : an inquiry into the principle of right and of government., Princeton, Mass. 1876.
What is property?
Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Donald R Kelley und Bonnie G Smith, What is property?, Cambridge 2008.
Property is theft!
P.-J Proudhon und Iain McKay, Property is theft!: a Pierre-Joseph anthology, Edinburgh; Oakland, CA 2011. Online: <>, Stand: 28.03.2021.
Qu’est-ce que la propriété ?
Pierre-Joseph Proudhon und undefined, Qu’est-ce que la propriété ? ou Recherche sur le principe du droit et du gouvernement, Paris 1849.
The social destiny of man, or, Theory of the four movements
Charles Fourier, Henry Clapp und Albert Brisbane, The social destiny of man, or, Theory of the four movements, New York 1857.
The theory of the four movements
Charles Fourier, Ian Patterson und Gareth Stedman Jones, The theory of the four movements, Cambridge [England]; New York 1996.
Théorie des quatre mouvements et des destinées générales
Charles Fourier und undefined, Théorie des quatre mouvements et des destinées générales, A Leipzig 1808.
Destinée sociale
Victor Considerant, Destinée sociale 2 Bd., Paris 1838. Online: <>, Stand: 28.03.2021.
Considerant’s „Principes du Socialisme“
Joan Roelofs, „Considerant’s ‚Principes du Socialisme‘“, in: Science & Society 74/1 (2010) JSTOR S. 114–127. Online: <>, Stand: 28.03.2021.