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
Michel FoucaultMichel Foucault
15 October 1926
French philosopher

21 November 1694

Jean-Paul SartreJean-Paul Sartre
21 June 1905

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

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

Jacques DerridaJacques Derrida
15 July 1930

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

Albert SchweitzerAlbert Schweitzer
14 January 1875
Philosopher, Theologian
Baron de MontesquieuMontesquieu
18 January 1689

Auguste ComteAuguste Comte
19 January 1798

Simone WeilSimone Weil
03 February 1909
Philosopher, mystic and social activist

Michel de MontaigneMichel de Montaigne
28 February 1533

Pierre-Joseph ProudhonPierre-Joseph Proudhon
15 January 1809
Roland BarthesRoland Barthes
12 November 1915
French Literary Theorist & Philosopher

René GirardRené Girard
25 December 1923

Denis DiderotDenis Diderot
05 October 1713

Henri BergsonHenri Bergson
18 October 1859
Philosopher and Writer
Louis AlthusserLouis Althusser
16 October 1918

Georges BatailleGeorges Bataille
10 September 1897
Pierre Teilhard de ChardinPierre Teilhard de Chardin
01 May 1881

Jean-Baptiste LamarckJean-Baptiste Lamarck
01 August 1744

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

Jean-François ChampollionJean-François Champollion
23 December 1790
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
Emile DurkheimEmile Durkheim
15 April 1858
Sociologist & Philosopher

Continue Reading Below
Jean GottmannJean Gottmann
23 October 1915
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
Frantz FanonFrantz Fanon
20 July 1925
Christine LagardeChristine Lagarde
01 January 1956
Economist, Lawyer, Diplomat, Politician,

Luc MontagnierLuc Montagnier
18 August 1932
Physician, Biologist, Virologist, Researcher,

Gilles DeleuzeGilles Deleuze
18 January 1925
Philosopher, Historian, Writer, University

Jean BaudrillardJean Baudrillard
27 July 1929
France NuyenFrance Nuyen
31 July 1939
Psychotherapist, Psychologist, Stage actor, Film

Bernard of ClairvauxBernard of Clairvaux
1090 AD

Thomas PikettyThomas Piketty
07 May 1971
Economist, University teacher

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

Esther DufloEsther Duflo
25 October 1972
Economist, Professor
Savitri DeviSavitri Devi
30 September 1905
Writer, Poet

Dominique Strauss-KahnDominique Strauss-Kahn
25 April 1949
Economist, Politician, Lawyer, University teacher
Mohamed A. El-ErianMohamed A. El-Erian
19 August 1958

Bernard StieglerBernard Stiegler
01 April 1952

Benoit MandelbrotBenoit Mandelbrot
20 November 1924
Mathematician, Economist, Professor, Scientist,
Jean-Baptiste ColbertJean-Baptiste Colbert
29 August 1619
Economist, Politician

Vilfredo ParetoVilfredo Pareto
15 July 1848
Economist, Writer, Philosopher, Sociologist,
Peter AbelardPeter Abelard
1079 AD

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

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

Arthur de GobineauArthur de Gobineau
14 July 1816
Racial theorist, Philosopher, Writer, Diplomat,

Alain BadiouAlain Badiou
17 January 1937
Philosopher, Novelist, Playwright, Editor,
Maurice René FréchetMaurice René Fréchet
02 September 1878

Charles FourierCharles Fourier
07 April 1772
Economist, Sociologist, Philosopher

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

Julia KristevaJulia Kristeva
24 June 1941
Philosopher, Writer, Feminist
Maurice Merleau-PontyMaurice Merleau-Ponty
14 March 1908
Philosopher, Professor

Joseph de MaistreJoseph de Maistre
01 April 1753
Alfred BinetAlfred Binet
08 July 1857
Psychologist, Educationist

Émilie du ChâteletÉmilie du Châtelet
17 December 1706

Gustave Le BonGustave Le Bon
07 May 1841
Physician, Anthropologist, Archaeologist,
Georges SorelGeorges Sorel
02 November 1847
Philosopher, Engineer, Sociologist, Writer, Trade

Jean-François LyotardJean-François Lyotard
10 August 1924
Philosopher, Philologist, Writer, Linguist,
Henri LefebvreHenri Lefebvre
16 June 1901
Philosopher, Politician, Sociologist, University

Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, comte de MirabeauHonoré Gabriel Riqueti, comte de Mirabeau
09 March 1749
Journalist, Politician, Diplomat, Writer,

François-René de ChateaubriandFrançois-René de Chateaubriand
04 September 1768
Germaine de StaëlGermaine de Staël
22 April 1766

Emmanuel LevinasEmmanuel Levinas
12 January 1906
Philosopher, University teacher, Ethicist, Writer
Daniel DefertDaniel Defert
10 September 1937
Sociologist, University teacher

1101 AD
French nun

Alain de BenoistAlain de Benoist
11 December 1943
Journalist, Philosopher

Fernand BraudelFernand Braudel
24 August 1902
Economic historian, Historian, Professor
Michel OnfrayMichel Onfray
01 January 1959
Philosopher, Writer, Historian, Essayist, Audio
Gaston BachelardGaston Bachelard
27 June 1884
Philosopher, Poet, Writer, University teacher

Paul RicœurPaul Ricœur
27 February 1913

Allan KardecAllan Kardec
03 October 1804
Writer, Teacher, Philosopher

Romain RollandRomain Rolland
29 January 1866
Writer, Playwright, Essayist, Historian, Novelist,
Adolphe ThiersAdolphe Thiers
15 April 1797

Marcel LefebvreMarcel Lefebvre
29 November 1905
Theologian, Catholic priest

Félix GuattariFélix Guattari
30 April 1930

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

Ernest RenanErnest Renan
27 February 1823
Marc BlochMarc Bloch
06 July 1886
Historian, Medievalist, University teacher, Writer

Luce IrigarayLuce Irigaray
03 May 1930
Philosopher, Linguist, University teacher,
Henri de CastriesHenri de Castries
15 August 1954
Entrepreneur, Businessperson, Economist

George SteinerGeorge Steiner
23 April 1929
Philosopher, Novelist, Writer, University teacher,
James Mayer de RothschildJames Mayer de Rothschild
15 May 1792
Banker, Art collector, Economist, Businessperson
Alphonse BertillonAlphonse Bertillon
22 April 1853
Police Officer