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E.E. Fournier d’Albe’s Fin de siècle: Science, nationalism and monistic philosophy in Britain and Ireland

Stewart, Ian B. (2017) E.E. Fournier d’Albe’s Fin de siècle: Science, nationalism and monistic philosophy in Britain and Ireland. Cultural and Social History, 14 (5). pp. 599-620. ISSN 1478-0038

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Identification Number: 10.1080/14780038.2017.1375721


The fin de siècle witnessed radical shifts in the intellectual and cultural landscapes of the British Isles in the context of a general revolt against Victorian values. E. E. Fournier d’Albe – physicist, spiritualist, inventor and Pan-Celticist – personified the ability of intellectuals to latch onto and advance new trends, made available by the emergent intellectual pluralism. Like many contemporaries he rejected traditional religion, but he also disdained scientific materialism, and sought a deeper metaphysical meaning to life, pursued through his various interests. Influenced by the totalising theories of figures like Herbert Spencer and Ernst Haeckel, Fournier concocted his own brand of scientific monism, rejecting materialism, embracing spiritualism, and ever optimistic in the notion of scientific progress, even in the wake of the carnage of the Great War. The article aims to give Fournier a fuller historical treatment, allowing his story to add to understanding of the milieus in which he lived and operated, and revealing how his monistic philosophy incorporated some of the disparate cultural strands explored by intellectuals in the fin de siècle reaction against conventional Victorian ideals.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2017 Taylor & Francis
Divisions: International History
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Date Deposited: 22 Sep 2017 10:33
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 02:34

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