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.
Michel FoucaultMichel Foucault
15 October 1926
French philosopher
Albert CamusAlbert Camus
07 November 1913
Philosopher

VoltaireVoltaire
21 November 1694
Writer

René DéscartesRené Déscartes
31 March 1596
Mathematician, Philosopher and Writer

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

Jean-Paul SartreJean-Paul Sartre
21 June 1905
Philosopher
Simone de BeauvoirSimone de Beauvoir
09 January 1908
Writer

Blaise PascalBlaise Pascal
19 June 1623
French Mathematician, Physicist, Inventor, Writer

Emile DurkheimEmile Durkheim
15 April 1858
Sociologist & Philosopher
Jacques DerridaJacques Derrida
15 July 1930
Philosopher

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

Albert SchweitzerAlbert Schweitzer
14 January 1875
Philosopher, Theologian

Auguste ComteAuguste Comte
19 January 1798
Philosopher

Henri FayolHenri Fayol
29 July 1841
Industrialist, Management Thinker

Roland BarthesRoland Barthes
12 November 1915
French Literary Theorist & Philosopher
Michel de MontaigneMichel de Montaigne
28 February 1533
Philosopher

Denis DiderotDenis Diderot
05 October 1713
Philosopher

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

Pierre-Joseph ProudhonPierre-Joseph Proudhon
15 January 1809
Politician
Louis AlthusserLouis Althusser
16 October 1918
Philosopher

Jean-Baptiste LamarckJean-Baptiste Lamarck
01 August 1744
Naturalist
Georges BatailleGeorges Bataille
10 September 1897
Philosopher

Henri BergsonHenri Bergson
18 October 1859
Philosopher and Writer

Esther DufloEsther Duflo
25 October 1972
American-French Economist
René GirardRené Girard
25 December 1923
Philosopher

Pierre Teilhard de ChardinPierre Teilhard de Chardin
01 May 1881
Philosopher
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
Jean Le Rond d’AlembertJean Le Rond d’Alembert
16 November 1717
Mathematician, Physicist, Philosopher And Musical

Continue Reading Below
Élisée ReclusElisee Reclus
15 March 1830
Geographer, Anarchist, Writer
Frederic PassyFrédéric Passy
20 May 1822
Economist & Nobel Peace Prize Winner

Maurice AllaisMaurice Allais
31 May 1911
Economist

Gerard DebreuGerard Debreu
04 July 1921
Economist

Baron de MontesquieuMontesquieu
18 January 1689
Philosopher
Jean GottmannJean Gottmann
23 October 1915
Geographer
Dominique Strauss-KahnDominique Strauss-Kahn
25 April 1949
Economist, Politician, Lawyer, University teacher

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

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

Frantz FanonFrantz Fanon
20 July 1925
Psychiatrist
Nicholas FlamelNicholas Flamel
1340 AD
Philosopher's

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

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

Jean BaudrillardJean Baudrillard
27 July 1929
Sociologist

Thomas PikettyThomas Piketty
07 May 1971
Economist, University teacher
Pierre NoraPierre Nora
17 November 1931
Historian

France NuyenFrance Nuyen
31 July 1939
Psychotherapist, Psychologist, Stage actor, Film
Bernard of ClairvauxBernard of Clairvaux
1090 AD
Abbot

Saint BernardSaint Bernard
30 November 1089
Theologian

Savitri DeviSavitri Devi
30 September 1905
Writer, Poet
Luc MontagnierLuc Montagnier
18 August 1932
Physician, Biologist, Virologist, Researcher,

Guy DebordGuy Debord
28 December 1931
Film maker, Artist, Philosopher, Film director,
Vilfredo ParetoVilfredo Pareto
15 July 1848
Economist, Writer, Philosopher, Sociologist,

Teilhard de ChardinTeilhard de Chardin
01 May 1881
 

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

Charles FourierCharles Fourier
07 April 1772
Economist, Sociologist, Philosopher

Peter AbelardPeter Abelard
1079 AD
Philosopher
Mohamed A. El-ErianMohamed A. El-Erian
19 August 1958
Businessman

Daniel DefertDaniel Defert
10 September 1937
Sociologist, University teacher

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

Maurice Merleau-PontyMaurice Merleau-Ponty
14 March 1908
Philosopher, Professor
Jean-Baptiste ColbertJean-Baptiste Colbert
29 August 1619
Economist, Politician

Émilie du ChâteletÉmilie du Châtelet
17 December 1706
Philosopher
Julia KristevaJulia Kristeva
24 June 1941
Philosopher, Writer, Feminist

Alain BadiouAlain Badiou
17 January 1937
Philosopher, Novelist, Playwright, Editor,

Eliphas LeviEliphas Levi
08 February 1810
Philosopher, Non-fiction writer, Occultist
Henri LefebvreHenri Lefebvre
16 June 1901
Philosopher, Politician, Sociologist, University

Joseph de MaistreJoseph de Maistre
01 April 1753
Philosopher
HéloïseHéloïse
1101 AD
French nun

Emmanuel LevinasEmmanuel Levinas
12 January 1906
Philosopher, University teacher, Ethicist, Writer

Jean-François LyotardJean-François Lyotard
10 August 1924
Philosopher, Philologist, Writer, Linguist,
Frederic BastiatFrederic Bastiat
30 June 1801
 

Fernand BraudelFernand Braudel
24 August 1902
Economic historian, Historian, Professor
François-René de ChateaubriandFrançois-René de Chateaubriand
04 September 1768
Author

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

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

Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, comte de MirabeauHonoré Gabriel Riqueti, comte de Mirabeau
09 March 1749
Journalist, Politician, Diplomat, Writer,
Georges SorelGeorges Sorel
02 November 1847
Philosopher, Engineer, Sociologist, Writer, Trade
Henri de Saint-SimonHenri de Saint-Simon
17 October 1760
Political Theorist

Félix GuattariFélix Guattari
30 April 1930
Philosopher

Germaine de StaëlGermaine de Staël
22 April 1766
Philosopher

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

Allan KardecAllan Kardec
03 October 1804
Writer, Teacher, Philosopher

Marcel LefebvreMarcel Lefebvre
29 November 1905
Theologian, Catholic priest

Alfred BinetAlfred Binet
08 July 1857
Psychologist, Educationist

James Mayer de RothschildJames Mayer de Rothschild
15 May 1792
Banker, Art collector, Economist, Businessperson
Henri de CastriesHenri de Castries
15 August 1954
Entrepreneur, Businessperson, Economist

Emmanuel Joseph SieyèsEmmanuel Joseph Sieyès
03 May 1748
Writer
Marcel MaussMarcel Mauss
10 May 1872
Politician, Sociologist, Ethnologist,

Paul RicœurPaul Ricœur
27 February 1913
Philosopher
Jean BodinJean Bodin
1529 AD
jurist, philosopher, economist, historian,
Luce IrigarayLuce Irigaray
03 May 1930
Philosopher, Linguist, University teacher,