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.
VoltaireVoltaire
21 November 1694
Writer
Jean-Jacques RousseauJean-Jacques Rousseau
28 June 1712
Philosopher, Writer, & Composer

Albert CamusAlbert Camus
07 November 1913
Philosopher

Michel FoucaultMichel Foucault
15 October 1926
French philosopher

Jean-Paul SartreJean-Paul Sartre
21 June 1905
Philosopher

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

Jacques DerridaJacques Derrida
15 July 1930
Philosopher

Baron de MontesquieuMontesquieu
18 January 1689
Philosopher

Auguste ComteAuguste Comte
19 January 1798
 
Albert SchweitzerAlbert Schweitzer
14 January 1875
Philosopher, Theologian

Jacques LacanJacques Lacan
13 April 1901
Psychoanalyst, Psychiatrist
Alexis de TocquevilleAlexis de Tocqueville
29 July 1805
 

Michel de MontaigneMichel de Montaigne
28 February 1533
Philosopher

Simone WeilSimone Weil
03 February 1909
Philosopher, mystic and social activist
Roland BarthesRoland Barthes
12 November 1915
French Literary Theorist & Philosopher

Henri BergsonHenri Bergson
18 October 1859
Philosopher and Writer
Pierre Teilhard de ChardinPierre Teilhard de Chardin
01 May 1881
Philosopher & Jesuit Priest

Jean-François ChampollionJean-François Champollion
23 December 1790
Philologist

Marquis de CondorcetMarquis de Condorcet
17 September 1743
Mathematician, Philosopher
Emile DurkheimEmile Durkheim
15 April 1858
Sociologist & Philosopher

Frederic PassyFrédéric Passy
20 May 1822
Economist & Nobel Peace Prize Winner
Maurice AllaisMaurice Allais
31 May 1911
Economist

Jean GottmannJean Gottmann
23 October 1915
Geographer

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
Élisée ReclusElisee Reclus
15 March 1830
Geographer, Anarchist, Writer

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

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

Dominique Strauss-KahnDominique Strauss-Kahn
25 April 1949
Economist, Politician, Lawyer, University teacher
Gilles DeleuzeGilles Deleuze
18 January 1925
Philosopher, Historian, Writer, University

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Henri FayolHenri Fayol
29 July 1841
Economist, Entrepreneur

Jean BaudrillardJean Baudrillard
27 July 1929
Philosopher, photographer,Sociologist, Professor

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

Denis DiderotDenis Diderot
05 October 1713
Philosopher, Novelist, Essayist, Encyclopédistes,
France NuyenFrance Nuyen
31 July 1939
Psychotherapist, Psychologist, Stage actor, Film

René GirardRené Girard
25 December 1923
Philosopher, Anthropologist, Sociologist,
Pierre-Joseph ProudhonPierre-Joseph Proudhon
15 January 1809
Economist, Sociologist, Politician, Journalist,

Louis AlthusserLouis Althusser
16 October 1918
Philosopher, Politician, University teacher

Maurice Merleau-PontyMaurice Merleau-Ponty
14 March 1908
Philosopher, Professor
Thomas PikettyThomas Piketty
07 May 1971
Economist, University teacher

Georges BatailleGeorges Bataille
10 September 1897
Philosopher, Librarian, Poet, Novelist, Writer,
Jean-Baptiste LamarckJean-Baptiste Lamarck
01 August 1744
Botanist, Zoologist, Scientist, Naturalist,

Emil CioranEmil Cioran
08 April 1911
Philosopher, Writer, Diarist, Aphorist

Benoit MandelbrotBenoit Mandelbrot
20 November 1924
Mathematician, Economist, Professor, Scientist,

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

Georges CuvierGeorges Cuvier
23 August 1769
Geologist, Anatomist, Paleontologist, Politician,
Guy DebordGuy Debord
28 December 1931
Film maker, Artist, Philosopher, Film director,

Olympe de GougesOlympe de Gouges
07 May 1748
Playwright, Journalist, Philosopher, Writer,

Jean-Baptiste ColbertJean-Baptiste Colbert
29 August 1619
Economist, Politician

Michel SerresMichel Serres
01 September 1930
Philosopher, Writer
Francis de SalesFrancis de Sales
16 August 1567
Theologian, Priest, Writer

Julia KristevaJulia Kristeva
24 June 1941
Philosopher, Writer, Feminist
Allan KardecAllan Kardec
03 October 1804
Writer, Teacher, Philosopher

Charles FourierCharles Fourier
07 April 1772
Economist, Sociologist, Philosopher

Alain BadiouAlain Badiou
17 January 1937
Philosopher, Novelist, Playwright, Editor,
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,
Jean-François LyotardJean-François Lyotard
10 August 1924
Philosopher, Philologist, Writer, Linguist,

Jacques EllulJacques Ellul
06 January 1912
Theologian, Philosopher, Writer, Sociologist,

Arthur de GobineauArthur de Gobineau
14 July 1816
Racial theorist, Philosopher, Writer, Diplomat,
Henri LefebvreHenri Lefebvre
16 June 1901
Philosopher, Politician, Sociologist, University

Eliphas LeviEliphas Levi
08 February 1810
Philosopher, Non-fiction writer, Occultist
Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, comte de MirabeauHonoré Gabriel Riqueti, comte de Mirabeau
09 March 1749
Journalist, Politician, Diplomat, Writer,

Gustave Le BonGustave Le Bon
07 May 1841
Physician, Anthropologist, Archaeologist,

Alfred BinetAlfred Binet
08 July 1857
Psychologist, Educationist

Joseph de MaistreJoseph de Maistre
 
Ernest RenanErnest Renan
27 February 1823
philosopher, historian, professor, archaeologist,
Luc MontagnierLuc Montagnier
18 August 1932
Physician, Biologist, Virologist, Researcher,

Fernand BraudelFernand Braudel
24 August 1902
Economic historian, Historian, Professor

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

Marc BlochMarc Bloch
06 July 1886
Historian, Medievalist, University teacher, Writer
Marcel LefebvreMarcel Lefebvre
29 November 1905
Theologian, Catholic priest

Romain RollandRomain Rolland
29 January 1866
Writer, Playwright, Essayist, Historian, Novelist,

Jean-Marie LustigerJean-Marie Lustiger
17 September 1926
Theologian, Writer, Catholic priest

Daniel DefertDaniel Defert
10 September 1937
Sociologist, University teacher

Adolphe ThiersAdolphe Thiers
15 April 1797
Lawyer, Politician, Journalist, Historian, Writer
Jacques DelorsJacques Delors
20 July 1925
Economist, Politician, Banker, Trade unionist

François QuesnayFrançois Quesnay
04 June 1694
Philosopher, Economist, Physician,
Gaston BachelardGaston Bachelard
27 June 1884
Philosopher, Poet, Writer, University teacher

Jacques MaritainJacques Maritain
18 November 1882
Philosopher, Educationist, Writer

Félix GuattariFélix Guattari
30 April 1930
Psychiatrist, Philosopher, Psychanalyst,
Jacques AttaliJacques Attali
01 November 1943
Economist, Banker, Writer, Engineer, University

Jean-Baptiste SayJean-Baptiste Say
05 January 1767
Economist, Politician, Writer, Professor,
Alain de BenoistAlain de Benoist
11 December 1943
Journalist, Philosopher

Eugène Viollet-le-DucEugène Viollet-le-Duc
27 January 1814
architectural historian, art historian,

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

Henri de CastriesHenri de Castries
15 August 1954
Entrepreneur, Businessperson, Economist
Jean BodinJean Bodin
1529 AD
jurist, philosopher, economist, historian,

Marcel MaussMarcel Mauss
10 May 1872
Politician, Sociologist, Ethnologist,
Bernard StieglerBernard Stiegler
01 April 1952
Philosopher

Michel HenryMichel Henry
10 January 1922
Philosopher, Writer, University teacher
Michel OnfrayMichel Onfray
01 January 1959
Philosopher, Writer, Historian, Essayist, Audio

James Mayer de RothschildJames Mayer de Rothschild
15 May 1792
Banker, Art collector, Economist, Businessperson
Cornelius CastoriadisCornelius Castoriadis
11 March 1922
Philosopher, Economist, Writer, University