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.
Karl MarxKarl Marx

05 May 1818

VoltaireVoltaire

21 November 1694

Michel FoucaultMichel Foucault

15 October 1926

Albert CamusAlbert Camus

07 November 1913

Jean-Paul SartreJean-Paul Sartre

21 June 1905

Blaise PascalBlaise Pascal

19 June 1623

Simone de BeauvoirSimone de Beauvoir

09 January 1908

Baron de MontesquieuMontesquieu

18 January 1689

Jacques DerridaJacques Derrida

15 July 1930

Albert SchweitzerAlbert Schweitzer

14 January 1875

Auguste ComteAuguste Comte

19 January 1798

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Jacques LacanJacques Lacan

13 April 1901

Michel de MontaigneMichel de Montaigne

28 February 1533

Roland BarthesRoland Barthes

12 November 1915

Simone WeilSimone Weil

03 February 1909

Henri BergsonHenri Bergson

18 October 1859

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Marquis de CondorcetMarquis de Condorcet

17 September 1743

Emile DurkheimEmile Durkheim

15 April 1858

Frederic PassyFrédéric Passy

20 May 1822

Maurice AllaisMaurice Allais

31 May 1911

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René DéscartesRené Déscartes

31 March 1596

Jean GottmannJean Gottmann

23 October 1915

Élisée ReclusElisee Reclus

15 March 1830

Gerard DebreuGerard Debreu

04 July 1921

Christine LagardeChristine Lagarde

01 January 1956

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Pierre BourdieuPierre Bourdieu

01 August 1930

Denis DiderotDenis Diderot

05 October 1713

Gilles DeleuzeGilles Deleuze

18 January 1925

Dominique Strauss-KahnDominique Strauss-Kahn

25 April 1949

Jean BaudrillardJean Baudrillard

27 July 1929

Henri FayolHenri Fayol

29 July 1841

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Jean-Baptiste LamarckJean-Baptiste Lamarck

01 August 1744

Thomas PikettyThomas Piketty

07 May 1971

France NuyenFrance Nuyen

31 July 1939

Louis AlthusserLouis Althusser

16 October 1918

Vilfredo ParetoVilfredo Pareto

15 July 1848

Pierre-Joseph ProudhonPierre-Joseph Proudhon

15 January 1809

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Benoit MandelbrotBenoit Mandelbrot

20 November 1924

Francis de SalesFrancis de Sales

16 August 1567

René GirardRené Girard

25 December 1923

Alain FinkielkrautAlain Finkielkraut

30 June 1949

Olympe de GougesOlympe de Gouges

07 May 1748

Emil CioranEmil Cioran

08 April 1911

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Georges BatailleGeorges Bataille

10 September 1897

Georges CuvierGeorges Cuvier

23 August 1769

Marc BlochMarc Bloch

06 July 1886

Jean-Baptiste ColbertJean-Baptiste Colbert

29 August 1619

Guy DebordGuy Debord

28 December 1931

Julia KristevaJulia Kristeva

24 June 1941

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Charles FourierCharles Fourier

07 April 1772

Maurice Merleau-PontyMaurice Merleau-Ponty

14 March 1908

Bruno LatourBruno Latour

22 June 1947

Henri LefebvreHenri Lefebvre

16 June 1901

Alain BadiouAlain Badiou

17 January 1937

Emmanuel LevinasEmmanuel Levinas

12 January 1906

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Jean-François LyotardJean-François Lyotard

10 August 1924

Eliphas LeviEliphas Levi

08 February 1810

Alfred BinetAlfred Binet

08 July 1857

François-René de ChateaubriandFrançois-René de Chateaubriand

04 September 1768

Jacques EllulJacques Ellul

06 January 1912

Arthur de GobineauArthur de Gobineau

14 July 1816

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Fernand BraudelFernand Braudel

24 August 1902

Romain RollandRomain Rolland

29 January 1866

Luc MontagnierLuc Montagnier

18 August 1932

Ernest RenanErnest Renan

27 February 1823

Joseph de MaistreJoseph de Maistre
Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, comte de MirabeauHonoré Gabriel Riqueti, comte de Mirabeau

09 March 1749

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Marcel LefebvreMarcel Lefebvre

29 November 1905

Gustave Le BonGustave Le Bon

07 May 1841

Allan KardecAllan Kardec

03 October 1804

Daniel DefertDaniel Defert

10 September 1937

Adolphe ThiersAdolphe Thiers

15 April 1797

Georges SorelGeorges Sorel

02 November 1847

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Luce IrigarayLuce Irigaray

03 May 1930

Jean-Baptiste SayJean-Baptiste Say

05 January 1767

Gaston BachelardGaston Bachelard

27 June 1884