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Publication Ghislain Deslandes devotes a book to Jules Lequier

Overview

In his latest book, Ghislain Deslandes reveals the work of a philosopher mostly unknown in Anglophone countries, but who has greatly influenced French philosophy.

The Idea of Beginning in Jules Lequier's Philosophy is a three-step analysis (searching, making, beginning) of the work of an author mostly unknown to the general public, but who has greatly influenced the trajectory of French philosophy over the last two centuries. Many texts have been published in the USA on Jules Lequier, among others by philosopher Donald Wayne Viney, who wrote the foreword, but this is the first book in English to be entirely devoted to him.

Human freedom against necessity as a postulate

In The Search for a First Truth, Jules Lequier argues that beginning such a search is the goal towards which philosophy must tend. To achieve this, Lequier established a postulate, that of freedom against necessity, and set out a program as an inaugural gesture: “TO MAKE, not to become, but to make, and, in making, TO MAKE ONESELF.” By the fertility of possible beginnings, the making in Lequier is always first and radical. As Ghislain Deslandes reveals in this exploration of Lequier’s work, that something new is possible in philosophy after all, and that it should even be possible to invent it in other fields, applying the principle that “everything is to be relearned, and started again, but in another truth.” Deslandes explores parallels between the “classical” antiphilosophers Pascal and Kierkegaard, and Lequier, whose importance to French philosophy is today better documented and more widely recognized.

Jules Lequier was a thinker tormented by enigmas that he wished to elucidate, first and foremost the enigma of human freedom—an enigmatic author himself, which Ghislain Deslandes’s book progressively illuminates, until he appears in all his surprising complexity.

“Imagine a philosopher in a permanent struggle with himself. One who published only one brief writing during his whole life, but who, like Socrates, never ceased to walk the path of dialectic—dialectic between philosophy and religion, reason and faith, humanity and God, logical argumentation and poetic discourse, remarkable mastery of form and dissatisfaction with the constraints imposed by all form,” comments Collège International de Philosophie member and former President Diogo Sardinha. “Jules Lequier was a thinker tormented by enigmas that he wished to elucidate, first and foremost the enigma of human freedom—an enigmatic author himself, which Ghislain Deslandes’s book progressively illuminates, until he appears in all his surprising complexity.”

AUTHOR


Chi Hoang Ghislain Deslandes Professor in the Law, Economics, and Humanities department at ESCP Business School, former elected Program Director at the Collège International de Philosophie

Campus