Louis de Bonald

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Louis-Gabriel-Ambroise de Bonald

Louis Gabriel Ambroise, Vicomte de Bonald (2 October 1754 – 23 November 1840), was a French counter-revolutionary philosopher and politician. He is mainly remembered for developing a theoretical framework from which French sociology would emerge.


  • Father, mother, child, which express both the union of the sexes and de production of the being, can only be considered dependently on one another, and relatively to one another. A woman could exist without the existence of a man; but there is no mother if there is no father, nor a child without both of them. Each one of these ways of being presumes and recalls the other two; that is to say, they are relative. Considered thus, they are called relationships, in Latin, ratio; father, mother, child are persons, and their union forms the family. The union of the sexes, which is the foundation of all these relationships, is called marriage.
    • On Divorce (1801)
  • In the social body as in every organized body — that is, one in which the parts are arranged in certain relationships to each other relative to a given end — the cessation of vital functions does not come from the annihilation of their parts, but from their displacement and the disturbances of their relationships.
    • On Divorce (1801)
  • Marriage is therefore not an ordinary contract, since in terminating it, the two parties cannot return themselves to the same state they were in before entering into it. And if the contract is voluntary at the time it is entered into, it can no longer be voluntary, and almost never is, at the time of its termination, since the party which manifests the desire to dissolve it takes all liberty from the other party to refuse, and has only too many means to force its consent.
    • On Divorce (1801)

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