Albert Einstein truly stated ‘Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death’. Though many in the world aspire to become intellectual, only a handful of the lot have the courage to voice against the opposition and the capability to pay the price that the aspiration comes with. France has been one of the blessed nations in the world when it comes to counting intellectuals and academicians. The country has been a powerhouse of people who used their intelligence and thinking to play an influential role in the development of the world. Who can forget the contribution of Blaise Pascal and his theory of probabilities in mathematics or the 20th century intellectual, Jean Paul Sartre and his idea of existentialism or even Auguste Comte who advanced social science to form a new genre called sociology? Not just men, French women too played an imperative role as academicians. To name a few we have, Simone de Beauvoir, Danica Seleskovitch and Isabell Maxwell. These people changed the society through their critical thinking, analysis, reasoning and research. What’s more, they made their presence felt in all the fields, be it literature, science, medicine, philosophy, religion and the like. Read this section to find out the life and works of some French intellectuals and academicians.
Albert CamusAlbert Camus
07 November 1913
Philosopher
Michel FoucaultMichel Foucault
15 October 1926
French philosopher

VoltaireVoltaire
21 November 1694
Writer

Jean-Paul SartreJean-Paul Sartre
21 June 1905
Philosopher

Jean-Jacques RousseauJean-Jacques Rousseau
28 June 1712
Philosopher, Writer, & Composer

Simone de BeauvoirSimone de Beauvoir
09 January 1908
Writer
Blaise PascalBlaise Pascal
19 June 1623
French Mathematician, Physicist, Inventor, Writer

Jacques DerridaJacques Derrida
15 July 1930
Philosopher

Jacques LacanJacques Lacan
13 April 1901
Psychoanalyst, Psychiatrist
Albert SchweitzerAlbert Schweitzer
14 January 1875
Philosopher, Theologian

Alexis de TocquevilleAlexis de Tocqueville
29 July 1805
 
Baron de MontesquieuMontesquieu
18 January 1689
Philosopher

Michel de MontaigneMichel de Montaigne
28 February 1533
Philosopher

Roland BarthesRoland Barthes
12 November 1915
French Literary Theorist & Philosopher

Auguste ComteAuguste Comte
19 January 1798
Philosopher

Pierre-Joseph ProudhonPierre-Joseph Proudhon
15 January 1809
Politician
Simone WeilSimone Weil
03 February 1909
Philosopher, mystic and social activist

Denis DiderotDenis Diderot
05 October 1713
Philosopher

Henri BergsonHenri Bergson
18 October 1859
Philosopher and Writer

Louis AlthusserLouis Althusser
16 October 1918
Philosopher
Georges BatailleGeorges Bataille
10 September 1897
Philosopher

René GirardRené Girard
25 December 1923
Philosopher
Pierre Teilhard de ChardinPierre Teilhard de Chardin
01 May 1881
Philosopher

Jean-Baptiste LamarckJean-Baptiste Lamarck
01 August 1744
Naturalist

Henri FayolHenri Fayol
29 July 1841
Industrialist, Management Thinker
Georges CuvierGeorges Cuvier
23 August 1769
Naturalist

Jean-François ChampollionJean-François Champollion
23 December 1790
Philologist
Marquis de CondorcetMarquis de Condorcet
17 September 1743
Mathematician, Philosopher

Frederic PassyFrédéric Passy
20 May 1822
Economist & Nobel Peace Prize Winner

Maurice AllaisMaurice Allais
31 May 1911
Economist
Emile DurkheimEmile Durkheim
15 April 1858
Sociologist & Philosopher

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Jean GottmannJean Gottmann
23 October 1915
Geographer
Élisée ReclusElisee Reclus
15 March 1830
Geographer, Anarchist, Writer

René DéscartesRené Déscartes
31 March 1596
Mathematician, Philosopher and Writer

Jean Le Rond d’AlembertJean Le Rond d’Alembert
16 November 1717
Mathematician, Physicist, Philosopher And Musical

Gerard DebreuGerard Debreu
04 July 1921
Economist
Luc MontagnierLuc Montagnier
18 August 1932
Physician, Biologist, Virologist, Researcher,
Frantz FanonFrantz Fanon
20 July 1925
Psychiatrist

Christine LagardeChristine Lagarde
01 January 1956
Economist, Lawyer, Diplomat, Politician,

Thomas PikettyThomas Piketty
07 May 1971
Economist, University teacher

Gilles DeleuzeGilles Deleuze
18 January 1925
Philosopher, Historian, Writer, University
Mohamed A. El-ErianMohamed A. El-Erian
19 August 1958
Businessman

Pierre BourdieuPierre Bourdieu
01 August 1930
Philosopher, Sociologist, Anthropologist,

Jean BaudrillardJean Baudrillard
27 July 1929
Sociologist

Esther DufloEsther Duflo
25 October 1972
Economist, Professor

George SteinerGeorge Steiner
23 April 1929
Philosopher, Novelist, Writer, University teacher,
Dominique Strauss-KahnDominique Strauss-Kahn
25 April 1949
Economist, Politician, Lawyer, University teacher

Princess María Teresa of Bourbon-ParmaPrincess María Teresa of Bourbon-Parma
28 July 1933
Political Scientist
Benoit MandelbrotBenoit Mandelbrot
20 November 1924
Mathematician, Economist, Professor, Scientist,

Savitri DeviSavitri Devi
30 September 1905
Writer, Poet

France NuyenFrance Nuyen
31 July 1939
Psychotherapist, Psychologist, Stage actor, Film
Peter AbelardPeter Abelard
1079 AD
Philosopher

Jean-Baptiste ColbertJean-Baptiste Colbert
29 August 1619
Economist, Politician
Jacques EllulJacques Ellul
06 January 1912
Theologian, Philosopher, Writer, Sociologist,

Vilfredo ParetoVilfredo Pareto
15 July 1848
Economist, Writer, Philosopher, Sociologist,

Guy DebordGuy Debord
28 December 1931
Film maker, Artist, Philosopher, Film director,

Bruno LatourBruno Latour
22 June 1947
Philosopher, Anthropologist, Sociologist,

Alain BadiouAlain Badiou
17 January 1937
Philosopher, Novelist, Playwright, Editor,
Charles FourierCharles Fourier
07 April 1772
Economist, Sociologist, Philosopher

Émilie du ChâteletÉmilie du Châtelet
 

Marc BlochMarc Bloch
06 July 1886
Historian, Medievalist, University teacher, Writer

Julia KristevaJulia Kristeva
24 June 1941
Philosopher, Writer, Feminist
Henri LefebvreHenri Lefebvre
16 June 1901
Philosopher, Politician, Sociologist, University

Maurice Merleau-PontyMaurice Merleau-Ponty
14 March 1908
Philosopher, Professor
Arthur de GobineauArthur de Gobineau
14 July 1816
Racial theorist, Philosopher, Writer, Diplomat,

Joseph de MaistreJoseph de Maistre
01 April 1753
Philosopher

Jean-François LyotardJean-François Lyotard
10 August 1924
Philosopher, Philologist, Writer, Linguist,
Gustave Le BonGustave Le Bon
07 May 1841
Physician, Anthropologist, Archaeologist,

Alfred BinetAlfred Binet
08 July 1857
Psychologist, Educationist
Emmanuel LevinasEmmanuel Levinas
12 January 1906
Philosopher, University teacher, Ethicist, Writer

François-René de ChateaubriandFrançois-René de Chateaubriand
04 September 1768
Writer, Politician, Diplomat, Historian, Poet,

Germaine de StaëlGermaine de Staël
22 April 1766
Philosopher
HéloïseHéloïse
1101 AD
French nun

Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, comte de MirabeauHonoré Gabriel Riqueti, comte de Mirabeau
09 March 1749
Journalist, Politician, Diplomat, Writer,
Fernand BraudelFernand Braudel
24 August 1902
Economic historian, Historian, Professor

Ernest RenanErnest Renan
27 February 1823
Philosopher

Adolphe ThiersAdolphe Thiers
15 April 1797
Politician

Henri de CastriesHenri de Castries
15 August 1954
Entrepreneur, Businessperson, Economist
Romain RollandRomain Rolland
29 January 1866
Writer, Playwright, Essayist, Historian, Novelist,
Félix GuattariFélix Guattari
30 April 1930
Psychiatrist, Philosopher, Psychanalyst,

Henri de Saint-SimonHenri de Saint-Simon
17 October 1760
Political Theorist

Georges SorelGeorges Sorel
02 November 1847
Philosopher, Engineer, Sociologist, Writer, Trade

Marcel LefebvreMarcel Lefebvre
29 November 1905
Theologian, Catholic priest
Paul RicœurPaul Ricœur
27 February 1913
Philosopher

Luce IrigarayLuce Irigaray
03 May 1930
Philosopher, Linguist, University teacher,

Allan KardecAllan Kardec
03 October 1804
Writer, Teacher, Philosopher

Emmanuel Joseph SieyèsEmmanuel Joseph Sieyès
03 May 1748
Writer

Daniel DefertDaniel Defert
10 September 1937
Sociologist, University teacher
Marcel MaussMarcel Mauss
10 May 1872
Politician, Sociologist, Ethnologist,

James Mayer de RothschildJames Mayer de Rothschild
15 May 1792
Banker, Art collector, Economist, Businessperson
Gaston BachelardGaston Bachelard
27 June 1884
Philosopher, Poet, Writer, University teacher

Jacques DelorsJacques Delors
20 July 1925
Economist, Politician, Banker, Trade unionist
Michel OnfrayMichel Onfray
01 January 1959
Philosopher, Writer, Historian, Essayist, Audio
Maurice René FréchetMaurice René Fréchet
02 September 1878
Mathematician