Fourier, (François-Marie-) Charles

Fourier, (François-Marie-) Charles

biographical name


Charles Fourier, engraving by Samuel Sartain after a painting by Jean-François Gigoux—Culver Pictures

(born April 7, 1772, Besançon, France—died Oct. 10, 1837, Paris) French social theorist. He advocated a reconstruction of society based on communal associations of producers known as phalanges (phalanxes). His system became known as Fourierism. He felt that phalanges would distribute wealth more equitably than would capitalism and that they would contribute both to a cooperative lifestyle and to individual self-fulfillment. After inheriting his mother's estate in 1812, he devoted himself to writing and refining his theories. Cooperative settlements based on Fourierism were started in France and the U.S., including Brook Farm.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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