Cousin, whose views varied considerably at different periods of his life, 'not only adopted freely what pleased him in the doctrines of Pierre Laromiguiere, RoyerCollard and Maine de Biran, of Kant, Schelling and Hegel, and of the ancient philosophies, but expressly maintained that the eclectic is the only method now open to the philosopher, whose function thus resolves itself into critical selection and nothing more.
With Laromiguiere he distinguishes attention as an active effort, of no less importance than the passive receptivity of sense, and with Butler distinguishes passively formed customs from active habits.
Unconsciously, however, he fell away from the pure Scottish tradition and made concessions both to moderate empiricism and to the French ideologists (Laromiguiere, Cabanis and Destutt de Tracy).
From the lycee he passed to the Normal School of Paris, where Laromiguiere was then lecturing on philosophy.
In the second preface to the Fragmens philosophiques, in which he candidly states the varied philosophical influences of his life, Cousin speaks of the grateful emotion excited by the memory of the day in 1811, when he heard Laromiguiere for the first time.
Laromiguiere taught the philosophy of Locke and Condillac, happily modified on some points, with a clearness and grace which in appearance at least removed difficulties, and with a charm of spiritual bonhomie which penetrated and subdued."
To Laromiguiere he attributes the lesson of decomposing thought, even though the reduction of it to sensation was inadequate.
During this period Cousin seems to have turned with fresh interest to those literary studies which he had abandoned for speculation under the influence of Laromiguiere and RoyerCollard.