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École pratique des hautes études

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

École pratique des hautes études
TypeÉtablissement public à caractère scientifique, culturel et professionnel
DirectorHubert Bost (since 2013)
AffiliationsUniversité PSL

The École pratique des hautes études (French pronunciation: ​[ekɔl pʁatik de ot.z‿etyd]), abbreviated EPHE, is a Grand Établissement in Paris, France, and a constituent college of PSL Research University. It is counted among France's most prestigious research and higher education institutions. It is highly selective and member of the elite Université PSL (with ENS Ulm, EHESS or Ecole des Mines). Its degrees in religious studies and in history count among the best in the world. Closely linked to École française d'Extrême-Orient and Institut français du Proche-Orient, EPHE has formed continuously world-class experts in Asian and Islamic studies and among them investment bankers, diplomat and military officers specialized in these areas. Particularly, leading researchers in military strategy have taught in EPHE for more than a century (for example the famous Hervé Coutau-Bégarie). Moreover, famous researchers in natural sciences (especially neurosciences and chemistry) teach and taught in EPHE (among them Jean Baptiste Charcot and Marcellin Berthelot). Highly regarded for its top level in both natural and human sciences, EPHE has relations and exchange programs with world-renowned institutions such as Cambridge, Princeton, and Al-Azhar.

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  • ✪ Public lecture by Alain de Libéra: "Philosophical archeology and deconstruction"
  • ✪ Bienvenue à Paris Sciences & Lettres ! Welcome to Paris Sciences & Lettres !
  • ✪ Conservation Conversations: Judith Olszowy-Schlanger and Michelle Chesner
  • ✪ Kashmir and the Development of Tibetan Buddhism: Talk by Professor Matthew Kapstein
  • ✪ The Religious Question in Modern China


SPEAKER 1: Good afternoon. Welcome, everyone. [INAUDIBLE] sound good. [INAUDIBLE] Is it better [INAUDIBLE]? Yes? Good. [INAUDIBLE] So I'd like to welcome you all to a lecture by Professor Alain de Libera [INAUDIBLE] archeology and deconstruction towards an archaeology of the subject. And as many of you know, Professor de Libera is this week ending his stay at the University of Chicago which began last week. And we heard an earlier medieval lecture on [INAUDIBLE] in the middle ages. Professor de Libera is a professor College de France, where he gave his [INAUDIBLE] lecture a couple of years ago and was entitled [INAUDIBLE], where is [INAUDIBLE]. So I'm sure there will be some medieval points this afternoon that will be made too. But this lecture is more broadly philosophical than the earlier lecture. In the College de France, he holds [INAUDIBLE] there are two points I wanted to mention. This is the first. In the College de France, he holds a chair that was formerly held by [INAUDIBLE] says something about the structure of the Professor [INAUDIBLE] his immediate successor. There was some time in between, but [INAUDIBLE] quite [INAUDIBLE]. Before his election in the College de France held a chair [INAUDIBLE] philosophy in Geneva. I was just talking to a friend from Europe the last few days and I said Alain de Libera was here. And he said, oh, just a few years ago, he heard him on the radio in France. So, thank you [INAUDIBLE] on the radio. I don't know what program it was. But [INAUDIBLE] related to something medieval I seem to remember. But the other point I want to make is that this lecture, the event of this lecture, presents us with a kind of [INAUDIBLE] conundrum. Because Professor de Libera was once 15 years ago now scheduled to come and to make a grand tour [INAUDIBLE] starting in Chicago. But his departure was scheduled for September 11, 2001. So as a result of events, that tour as it were never happened. So in a way, I was thinking we're celebrating the 15th anniversary of Professor de Libera's non-appearance at the University of Chicago. And we hope that-- or we know that this visit has now really materialized. After Professor de Libera's lecture, you know that there will be two responses. So after his lecture, I'll briefly introduce [INAUDIBLE] will then in sequence give their response. And after that, depending on whether Professor de Libera will want to respond to them, we'll open it up for discussion. So please join me in welcoming to this [INAUDIBLE] lecture hall [INAUDIBLE] Professor Alain de Libera. [APPLAUSE] ALAIN DE LIBERA: Professor [INAUDIBLE], can you hear me? Yes? [SPEAKING FRENCH] I move to some sort of English. Except usually, it's pardon my French, but [INAUDIBLE] pardon my English. So [INAUDIBLE] 1971 [INAUDIBLE] monstrosities in criticism regarding to [INAUDIBLE] of the hour, the [INAUDIBLE] review of the order of things [INAUDIBLE] denied any influence of [INAUDIBLE] analysis of the variations of the philosophical, [INAUDIBLE] and science [INAUDIBLE] of the shame. [INAUDIBLE] being [INAUDIBLE] and natural [INAUDIBLE] as concerns the archaeology of the subject, I will certainly not [INAUDIBLE] in this very fine book as [INAUDIBLE] described with great shame [INAUDIBLE] our views that the historians has is cursed to identify the persistent, dynamic factors, the ideas that produce effects in the history of [INAUDIBLE] and [INAUDIBLE] diseases implicit or [INAUDIBLE] specific assumptions more or less [INAUDIBLE] dialectical [INAUDIBLE] at work in the [INAUDIBLE] individual [INAUDIBLE] generation and finally the book of principles, principles that [INAUDIBLE] writes to be tracked down, strewn [INAUDIBLE] of history in which they [INAUDIBLE]. I fully agree. philosophical archeology is meant to study the principles, those archived as well as the various contexts of questions and answers that constitute the medieval archive and by principles are also [INAUDIBLE] distinctions [INAUDIBLE] come essential schemes and argumentative structures. At this point, you will probably ask that, if so, why [INAUDIBLE]? Why deconstruction? [INAUDIBLE] because the archeology of the subject is a point where philosophical archeology crosses [INAUDIBLE] under the title of critical [INAUDIBLE] and deconstruction [INAUDIBLE]. How and why did the Aristotelian subject, the logical substrate of [INAUDIBLE] properties and dispositions, [INAUDIBLE] become the psychological and ethical subject for passion and [INAUDIBLE]. The human sentiment, the human aspect-- that is, thinking and willing-- the knowing subject called I, myself, or my own. This question raised in my book [INAUDIBLE] on the basis of the Nietzschean criticism of logical [INAUDIBLE] other [INAUDIBLE] and from [INAUDIBLE] that make us attribute our actions as predicates to a subject as we [INAUDIBLE] from the beginning to the end of this so-called [INAUDIBLE] of thinking [INAUDIBLE]. Because it's a [INAUDIBLE] in 1920 second semester lecture [INAUDIBLE] of intuition and of expression that Heidegger put forward the first iteration of the notion, his notion, of deconstruction. This is pretty [INAUDIBLE] that what is most important [INAUDIBLE] from the beginning, deconstruction had to do with [INAUDIBLE], that is, with [INAUDIBLE] criticism of [INAUDIBLE] and the scholastics. To the end, deconstruction was primarily addressed to what we would term as a subject complex. And that was the last [INAUDIBLE], that the two elements played a major role in Heidegger's evolution from [INAUDIBLE] ontology to historical [INAUDIBLE] or, to be more precise, [INAUDIBLE] approach of deconstruction to an approach on deconstruction based on and integrated to what [INAUDIBLE] calls de-historical construction, which is Heidegger's historical [INAUDIBLE] and of expression starting from [INAUDIBLE] of the [INAUDIBLE] a situation to elaborate [INAUDIBLE] the theory of a combination of [INAUDIBLE] concepts and in turn [INAUDIBLE] absorption with [INAUDIBLE]. [INAUDIBLE] provided a precise description of [INAUDIBLE] as a [INAUDIBLE] which induces a certain conception of the [INAUDIBLE] of the conditions of possibility of the [INAUDIBLE] or intellectual history. The various philosophies [INAUDIBLE] actually appropriated in a [INAUDIBLE] philosophical apprehension in the [INAUDIBLE]. This creation which responds to a desire to go [INAUDIBLE] to free one's self of the so-called [INAUDIBLE] history that [INAUDIBLE] systems and points of view. That what [INAUDIBLE] himself calls creates the conditions of [INAUDIBLE] of statements. The law of [INAUDIBLE] the specific problem of [INAUDIBLE] the principles according to which the [INAUDIBLE] become transformed [INAUDIBLE]. All that is accomplished by [INAUDIBLE] deconstruction. Deconstruction and re-enactment are linked together perhaps as the two faces of the same ontological meadow. Deconstruction is intended of Heidegger to free ourselves of an inauthentic tradition imposed on us to [INAUDIBLE] the obstructive contents back to their origins, to unblock the past [INAUDIBLE]. It is a philosophical act set in the practical horizon of the [INAUDIBLE] philosophy phenomenology. In the 1923, '23 introduction to [INAUDIBLE] research, these abstracted concepts are named. They are consciousness, person, subject. And the historical test of free existence is clearly formulated as its item one in your handout [INAUDIBLE] The task of shaping our present day existance-- that is, [INAUDIBLE] with its abstractedness of dismantling it in such a way that [INAUDIBLE] categories of consciousness, person, subject, [INAUDIBLE] sense. They are to be [INAUDIBLE] in the sense that one shows some insight into the origin of this category that [INAUDIBLE] on an entirely different [INAUDIBLE] experience of being and that in terms of their conceptual tendency, they are inadequate for what [INAUDIBLE] view as existence. Researchers [INAUDIBLE] once Heidegger's [INAUDIBLE] was consummated with destruction of traditional ontologies made [INAUDIBLE] history of being [INAUDIBLE]. The key word was no longer the return to the origins, the change, mutation, permutation, transformation, [INAUDIBLE], and [INAUDIBLE]. The 1934 [INAUDIBLE] lecture [INAUDIBLE] and the question the essence of [INAUDIBLE] initially announced that [INAUDIBLE] types of [INAUDIBLE]. State and silence [INAUDIBLE] raised the following questions [INAUDIBLE]. What does it mean that man is a subject? What does subject mean? How does it happen that we [INAUDIBLE] of man can be explained? These questions are those of the [INAUDIBLE] of the subject. Heidegger's answer relates to permutation [INAUDIBLE] to the complete reversal of the meaning of words like subjective and objective on the stretch of [INAUDIBLE] to the complete turnaround [INAUDIBLE] they were hidden by the meaning [INAUDIBLE] to that which they had in the middle ages. As a matter of fact, the scholastic called [INAUDIBLE] the extramental thing [INAUDIBLE] called the object and [INAUDIBLE], the mental representation that we now call subjective. Hence, the novel question [INAUDIBLE] three how then [INAUDIBLE] which way did it come to this turnaround of the fundamental concepts of philosophy and what does it mean? This is once again what the archaeology of the subject investigates. The aim of archaeology of subject is to trace back the encounter of subject and agency. Apparently, [INAUDIBLE] encounter considering the definition of subjective, that what Heidegger calls [INAUDIBLE]. Subjecticity or subjectity, whose subjectivity [INAUDIBLE] is only [INAUDIBLE] that is, a guise or a manner [INAUDIBLE]. I cannot sum up here in two or three pages [INAUDIBLE] that is 10 years of lectures and talks dedicated to the saga of subjective and agency. I'd rather like to point out that Heidegger's [INAUDIBLE] are part of the bigger picture. I don't mean a picture of the [INAUDIBLE] historical construction narrative. First an archeology [INAUDIBLE]. In Heidegger's historical construction, there are semantical and conceptual who care [INAUDIBLE] and [INAUDIBLE] is a basis of the 1941 [INAUDIBLE] past history of beings according to which [INAUDIBLE] he draws this account that for the first time, subjectin and ego. Subjectity and egoity [INAUDIBLE] require an identity [INAUDIBLE]. Man thus becoming the only subject [INAUDIBLE], the rise of a Cartesian section being the [INAUDIBLE] of the so-called [INAUDIBLE] subjectivism. There are many versions of the statement, largely [INAUDIBLE] in the '20s and the '30s. [INAUDIBLE] basic claims when describing the [INAUDIBLE] 1934 to 1936 [INAUDIBLE] object [INAUDIBLE] sense, not subject [INAUDIBLE] sense. He writes, "nowadays, a subject is usually [INAUDIBLE] as an [INAUDIBLE] whereas the term object is reserved for naming objects, things without an ego." This is the consequence of the Roman and medieval and [INAUDIBLE] history of [INAUDIBLE] the Greek word for the Greek understanding of [INAUDIBLE] what comes to presence as thus [INAUDIBLE], that what lies there before man, what lies in front in underlying the substrate. Item five, still in the Middle Ages, the term subjectin was used for everything that lies in front [INAUDIBLE] conversely in the middle ages, an objectin was something thrown over against and [INAUDIBLE]. My representation [INAUDIBLE] my representation. It is at the end of the middle ages that all this was turned upside down and it is [INAUDIBLE] with a doubt that the ego, that the I, had the decision that [INAUDIBLE] on the subject. Therefore, the only underlying reality-- no subject agent before [INAUDIBLE]. This deserves consideration. The medieval understanding of the subjective as [INAUDIBLE] is not Heidegger's discovery, which is already mentioned in [INAUDIBLE] analyze as such in [INAUDIBLE] terms notes on [INAUDIBLE] and in [INAUDIBLE] lectures of metaphysics. And it is fully acknowledged in [INAUDIBLE] psychology from an empirical standpoint, [INAUDIBLE] who was very well acquainted with [INAUDIBLE] and [INAUDIBLE] works. The interpretation of man as subjectin in the modal sense of the free agent is nevertheless orderly present in the middle ages and not only at the end of the middle ages. You find it in Aquinas. That is, in the subject sentence. The concept of such a subject includes four main elements-- subsistence, individuality, rationality, and agency. They are articulated in Thomas' concept of the [INAUDIBLE] based on his [INAUDIBLE] understanding-- based on his understanding of the [INAUDIBLE]. The Latin word for [INAUDIBLE] hyperstasis versus [INAUDIBLE] and grammatical subject versus apposition, which means attribute or predicate. Every substance is a suppositive. Every suppositin is an individual-- an individual substance. But man is a material kind of suppositin, the kind of [INAUDIBLE] that [INAUDIBLE] Thomas dominion over that of action, [INAUDIBLE] that can act of themselves. Those are rational individuals. Those are persons. They deserve this special name because [INAUDIBLE] deserve a special name. This is the reason why human beings are called persons. They can act. They can perform of themselves. There can be no persons or subjects which cannot act of themselves or which can [INAUDIBLE] consider their selves as subject agent of their own actions. This is [INAUDIBLE]. But [INAUDIBLE] the conditions of possibility of the Cartesian [INAUDIBLE] of the Greek great [INAUDIBLE] already will us in Aquines' 13th century. I do not [INAUDIBLE] ego part. The ego part is quite a novel part. There's the subject agent part. [INAUDIBLE] what I call the [INAUDIBLE] of the subject. There are famous [INAUDIBLE] in the history of philosophy and theology. Best known is called the communication [INAUDIBLE] we exchange [INAUDIBLE] property between [INAUDIBLE] of natures [INAUDIBLE] natures in Christ. The [INAUDIBLE] of the subject belongs to the same history [INAUDIBLE]. Other [INAUDIBLE] could be mentioned pertaining to that story such as the one I call the [INAUDIBLE] of agency-- that is, the attribution of agency to the subject and of subject [INAUDIBLE] to the agent, which makes the very idea of subjectivity-- that is, [INAUDIBLE] I studied this particular [INAUDIBLE] in doing the [INAUDIBLE] of the principle used [INAUDIBLE]. Principle-- that is what I call the principle of subjective action-- in Latin, [INAUDIBLE] actions obtained [INAUDIBLE] subjective. [INAUDIBLE] archaeology and [INAUDIBLE] deconstruction as well as Heidegger's [INAUDIBLE] has something in common. They do not know where to place the first conditions of [INAUDIBLE] of the subject agent [INAUDIBLE] places it to [INAUDIBLE] and [INAUDIBLE] places too early. Heidegger places it too late. He goes-- he draws no distinction between the emergence of the subject agent and the egoistic interpretation of the subject agent. For [INAUDIBLE] they had to appear together at the same time [INAUDIBLE] of the first [INAUDIBLE] searching for [INAUDIBLE] for [INAUDIBLE] this can only be once [INAUDIBLE]. But Foucault places it too early-- as early as Plato's [INAUDIBLE]. In order to show the archeology at work [INAUDIBLE] philosophical archeology as well. [INAUDIBLE] comments on Foucault's reading of Plato. Foucault told one student [INAUDIBLE] that [INAUDIBLE] the question on the subject [INAUDIBLE] in the 16th century [INAUDIBLE] in the 19th. Foucault distinguishes the questions of the subject from the question of man. The question of man is an old-fashioned story. Man is dead. The [INAUDIBLE] man. It is [INAUDIBLE] that [INAUDIBLE] the subject. That is the call of Foucault's interpretation. But is the subject a real part of history-- of Greek history? [INAUDIBLE] we must care about the self. Foucault notes that this raises a question-- what is a self? [INAUDIBLE] individually at that item six. The question does not concern the nature of man but what we-- that is, as today, since the world is not [INAUDIBLE] text-- will call the question of the subject. We will [INAUDIBLE]. So in his reading of the text, what is this self? Because, I quote, "what is a subject? What is this point towards which this reflexive activity, this reflected activity, which turns the individual back to itself must be directed?" Why subject? One could say object as well. [INAUDIBLE] reflected. [INAUDIBLE] when he asks in the imperative one must take care of the self, what is this thing, this object, this self to which one must attend? Proving thus subject and object to refer to the oneself, [INAUDIBLE] means that Foucault said the question of self could be [INAUDIBLE] defined by the articulation of subjectin and that what I call attributivism, item seven. Attributivism-- that is any doctrine or interpretation of the soul or [INAUDIBLE] or of the understanding or of the mind based on a presupposing of implying an assimilation of mental or psychic activities, operations, or dispositions to attributions or predicates of the subject defined as an ego or an I [INAUDIBLE] of attributivism. So in a way, Foucault's reading of the question of self in the [INAUDIBLE] is literally begging the question of the subject in the [INAUDIBLE]. He writes, "what is the self does not mean what kind of [INAUDIBLE] are you. What is your nature? How are you composed?" That [INAUDIBLE] what is this relation? What is this [INAUDIBLE] this reflected [INAUDIBLE]? What is this element which is the same on [INAUDIBLE] the subject side and the object side? What is this [INAUDIBLE] no more than what is [INAUDIBLE] and what is [INAUDIBLE] means? [INAUDIBLE] what is this identical element present as [INAUDIBLE] on both sides of the pair-- subject on the pair and object on the pair? The answer is well-known. It is the soul. The aim of Foucault is thus-- to show how through a discussion Socrates and [INAUDIBLE] arrived at this [INAUDIBLE] that even [INAUDIBLE] paradoxical definition of one's self as soul. It is to follow the analysis that takes us from the question, what is thy self, to the answer, I am my soul. It starts with the sentence Socrates speaks to [INAUDIBLE]. What does that mean, as Socrates [INAUDIBLE]? Foucault translates. What subject to be presuppose when we invoke this activity of speech which is the speech activity of Socrates towards [INAUDIBLE] in short? [INAUDIBLE] the questions [INAUDIBLE] revealing the subject in its [INAUDIBLE]. I don't [INAUDIBLE] solution for Plato that Foucault, the subject of [INAUDIBLE] actions, is the same as the one that really uses the body, its parts, and all the others, and secondly uses tools and finally language. It is the soul. In the [INAUDIBLE], the soul is neither the soul which is prisoner of the body and must be set free as in the [INAUDIBLE], nor the soul as a pair of great forces which must be lead in the right direction as in [INAUDIBLE] the soul structured according to the higher [INAUDIBLE] of [INAUDIBLE] which must be [INAUDIBLE]. It is only the soul that [INAUDIBLE] the subject, the action, the soul as such which uses the body [INAUDIBLE] et cetera. So there is a subject [INAUDIBLE]. And this subject is the subject of [INAUDIBLE]. The subject of the [INAUDIBLE], the subject of the [INAUDIBLE], use the French [INAUDIBLE] is a [INAUDIBLE] word, a [INAUDIBLE] word by [INAUDIBLE]. Second volume of the [INAUDIBLE] is called [INAUDIBLE], the use of pleasure. Item eight-- when Plato or Socrates employs this notion of [INAUDIBLE] in order to identify what is [INAUDIBLE] and what is subject to eat in the expression taking care of one's self, in actual fact, he doesn't want to designate an instrumental relationship of the soul to the rest of the world or to the body. But rather, the subject singular [INAUDIBLE] position, as it were, with regard to what surrounds him, to the objects available to him, but also to other people with whom he has a relationship to his body itself and finally to itself. As you see, Foucault's reading of [INAUDIBLE] is not based on the [INAUDIBLE] reduction of man to his soul interpreted as a substance. The usual interpretation of Plato sits [INAUDIBLE] on the nature of man [INAUDIBLE]. It is based on the notion of [INAUDIBLE] Plato has discovered the subject, the sole subject, that one must not reduce to the sole substance. Item nine-- we can say that when Plato [INAUDIBLE] this notion of [INAUDIBLE] in order to stick the self, one must take [INAUDIBLE] off. It is not [INAUDIBLE] the sole substance being discovered but rather the [INAUDIBLE]. For Plato, everything depends on grasping and expressing the ultimate truth-- not as substance, but as subject as well. One could say that for Foucault, Socrates' question in the [INAUDIBLE] is, I quote, "the question of taking care of one's self as subject on the [INAUDIBLE]." With all the words cohesive-- subject of actions, subject of behavior, subject of relationships, subject of [INAUDIBLE]-- the outcome of the argument of the [INAUDIBLE] what is one's self and what limits should be given to one's self when we say that one should take care of the self [INAUDIBLE] the soul as subject and article [INAUDIBLE] substance. At the end of his life, in June, 1984, in the return of morality, in last interview of the occasion of the French education of [INAUDIBLE] two and three of [INAUDIBLE] as well, Foucault changed his formulation. his interviewers [INAUDIBLE] and [INAUDIBLE] asked, item 10, [INAUDIBLE] when one reads your work, one gets the impression that there is probably no theory of the subject [INAUDIBLE]. But they are given a definition of the subject. Which would that be last in Christianity to [INAUDIBLE] yes. [INAUDIBLE] I do not believe that an experience of the subject should be reconstituted where it did not find formulation I am much more closer to the [INAUDIBLE] because no great thinker ever found a definition of the subject [INAUDIBLE]. I would simply say that there is no subject, which does not mean that [INAUDIBLE] did not strive to define the condition in which an experience would take place-- an experience not of the subject, but of the individual to the extent that the individual was to constitute itself as its own master. What was missing in the antiquity for the [INAUDIBLE] of the constitution of the self as subject. [INAUDIBLE] Christianity, we are the opposite-- the creation of morality by material perception. Foucault seems in the end to accept [INAUDIBLE] constraint-- that is, no agent can naturally [INAUDIBLE] to have meant or done something which he could never be [INAUDIBLE] to accept as [INAUDIBLE] description of what he had meant [INAUDIBLE] Skinner's constraint. And Foucault seems to join Heidegger in saying that [INAUDIBLE] human being is never subject and therefore non-human beings can never have [INAUDIBLE] of objects [INAUDIBLE] that state [INAUDIBLE] against. Foucault defines [INAUDIBLE] as the equation of soul equals agent equal subject. He underlines its historical import, saying that [INAUDIBLE] his notion of [INAUDIBLE] recurs throughout the [INAUDIBLE] and its [INAUDIBLE]. He mentions a [INAUDIBLE] incidentally without further qualification and he carries on with the project of the history of the [INAUDIBLE] of one's self. [INAUDIBLE] as an experience and thus also as a technique collaborating and transforming that experience at the intersection of two things treated previously-- a history of subjectivity and an analysis of the [INAUDIBLE] of [INAUDIBLE]. But in subjectivity and truth, the only mention of [INAUDIBLE] to the use of pleasure. How did the philosophical and medical techniques of [INAUDIBLE] on the eve of Christianity's development define [INAUDIBLE] the practice of sexual acts [INAUDIBLE]? Is the only [INAUDIBLE]. More importantly, Foucault himself said that he has [INAUDIBLE] concerning the text [INAUDIBLE] and its stating [INAUDIBLE] subjects maybe there was a kind of rewriting of the [INAUDIBLE] Plato's old age or even after Plato's death to [INAUDIBLE] try to [INAUDIBLE] as it were are joined together to strata which [INAUDIBLE] and are stitched together at a certain [INAUDIBLE] maybe. But according to me, this is not the right question. The right question. [INAUDIBLE] the idea of [INAUDIBLE] my question is, does the idea of [INAUDIBLE] in Plato include that of the subject of the [INAUDIBLE], of the soul as subject of the [INAUDIBLE]? That is an idea of the subject of [INAUDIBLE] as a form of [INAUDIBLE]. One cannot be close to things without being also close to words. Plato mentioned on the subject lectures of [INAUDIBLE]. There is no subject in Plato's [INAUDIBLE]. There is no question of the subject in Plato's [INAUDIBLE]. In the end, Heidegger and [INAUDIBLE] says the hermeneutics of self places the subject to the [INAUDIBLE]. Heidegger places it too late. [INAUDIBLE] and Heidegger agree in saying that to date, no [INAUDIBLE] ever found a definition of the subject and never searched for one. Then [INAUDIBLE] the only theory on the subject explicitly based on [INAUDIBLE] definition of man as the subject of the [INAUDIBLE]. It is neither Greek nor medieval. It is in between. [INAUDIBLE] from eight [INAUDIBLE] and is [INAUDIBLE] Christian. One must look at the [INAUDIBLE] to reach the [INAUDIBLE] capacity of the archeology of the subject for several reasons I will briefly mention. [INAUDIBLE] invoked the father in his first May, 1932, lecture [INAUDIBLE] concerning the Christian notion of the [INAUDIBLE], dropping the name of [INAUDIBLE] of [INAUDIBLE] as a proponent of Christian asceticism and again, 400 pages later, [INAUDIBLE] when speaking of spiritual exercises. He could issue [INAUDIBLE] pages where there still distinguishes their theories of flesh [INAUDIBLE] use of flesh and [INAUDIBLE] with soul [INAUDIBLE] and those of soul using a body to [INAUDIBLE] soul which uses a body to feel grief, happiness, anxiety, and [INAUDIBLE]. The important work is, of course, [INAUDIBLE] the user. It is a first step. We need to set material the subject of [INAUDIBLE]. Second would be getting [INAUDIBLE] of subject and [INAUDIBLE]. I maintain that there is no theory of the subject without a notion of the subject, without a formal [INAUDIBLE] of the subject, subjective, subjecticity. You cannot have subjectivity in the sense of [INAUDIBLE] without a connection between subject [INAUDIBLE] and some kind of attributivism. Can we find it before Kant, before [INAUDIBLE], before the Kantified [INAUDIBLE] we see at the father of the [INAUDIBLE]? Yes, we can. Let us go one step after another. We recall the idea of the user-- that is, the subject agent and [INAUDIBLE] and the subject of the [INAUDIBLE]. We [INAUDIBLE] of the one who works in us to [INAUDIBLE]. That is [INAUDIBLE] inevitable [INAUDIBLE] in [INAUDIBLE] to 13 [INAUDIBLE]. Of course, then the agent, the working, is God. But since he would [INAUDIBLE] my soul, whatever, instead of God. Item 11-- God is [INAUDIBLE] with one [INAUDIBLE] according to this [INAUDIBLE] measure [INAUDIBLE] it's as [INAUDIBLE] bodies [INAUDIBLE] or not [INAUDIBLE]. We must now find the subject agent, an agent which [INAUDIBLE] who is a subject, a subject which or who is an agent. The user as subject agent of [INAUDIBLE] as subject of the [INAUDIBLE]. We have that [INAUDIBLE] were [INAUDIBLE] the most important sources of [INAUDIBLE] and soul [INAUDIBLE] from the [INAUDIBLE] that is, the self [INAUDIBLE] of the [INAUDIBLE] of the [INAUDIBLE] fountain of knowledge. John, who died in [INAUDIBLE] in December 749. [INAUDIBLE] four times [INAUDIBLE] title [INAUDIBLE] the current [INAUDIBLE] writing [INAUDIBLE] translation [INAUDIBLE] 1153, 1154 [INAUDIBLE] what I said exactly [INAUDIBLE] in '93, [INAUDIBLE]. In this text, John makes two important distinctions that can be articulated into this [INAUDIBLE] natural of agency and the [INAUDIBLE] natural of will. I [INAUDIBLE] natural from Foucault's [INAUDIBLE] of things and sort of the preternatural of language. I do not say square because it is not the square of [INAUDIBLE] in the logical sense of the term, as a square is naturally [INAUDIBLE] and assume that one can [INAUDIBLE] natural [INAUDIBLE] confront each of the [INAUDIBLE] and [INAUDIBLE] each [INAUDIBLE]. Anyway, [INAUDIBLE] in '59 concerning the operations of God Jesus Christ [INAUDIBLE] item 12. However, one must note that operation [INAUDIBLE] one's self [INAUDIBLE] what is operated [INAUDIBLE]. What is operated [INAUDIBLE]. There's still another [INAUDIBLE] operator [INAUDIBLE]. Operation, then, [INAUDIBLE] efficacious and substantial motion of a nature and that which is [INAUDIBLE] in the nature from which the operation proceeds. That which is operated is the effect of the operation and the operator is the one who performs the operation [INAUDIBLE] the person. That is [INAUDIBLE]. I give you the Latin [INAUDIBLE]. The four terms, [INAUDIBLE] are the measures of our [INAUDIBLE]. The last word [INAUDIBLE] are the most important. They made the thing which is the agent, i.e., the user of [INAUDIBLE]. Its name is hypostasis, translated by the person [INAUDIBLE] subsistence in [INAUDIBLE] by the person in [INAUDIBLE]. But there is no mention of [INAUDIBLE] and [INAUDIBLE] 1942 so-called [INAUDIBLE] of [INAUDIBLE] agency. Conversely, [INAUDIBLE] provide the definition of hypostatis-- hypostasis, the operator of the [INAUDIBLE], i.e., the one performing the operation or, in another translation, the agent of energy of the one which confers the energy. The second important distinction is that of the [INAUDIBLE] of the will [INAUDIBLE]. You find it [INAUDIBLE] concerning conditions and free will of our lord Jesus Christ. I mention it last because it is a [INAUDIBLE] offers the most important distinction. John draws a distinction between willing [INAUDIBLE] and the manner of willing [INAUDIBLE]. Willing, like [INAUDIBLE] being of the nature to [INAUDIBLE] since it belongs to all men. The manner of will [INAUDIBLE] looking [INAUDIBLE] favorably or unfavorably [INAUDIBLE]. Then he refers to what he terms as the user's only [INAUDIBLE] of using a [INAUDIBLE], i.e., acting, operating, [INAUDIBLE] to the [INAUDIBLE] 1916. Now, one must know that willing [INAUDIBLE] are the same thing as how our wills [INAUDIBLE]. This is because willing [INAUDIBLE] of the nature since it belongs to how one wills. However, it doesn't belong to nature, but to our judgement just as [INAUDIBLE] how one noticed something, whether it be [INAUDIBLE]. All men do not [INAUDIBLE] alike, nor do they see things alike. And this we shall also concede in the case of the operations [INAUDIBLE] operations for one. For how one wills or sees or acts is a mode of the use of willing or seeing or acting [INAUDIBLE] And this [INAUDIBLE] belongs to the user alone [INAUDIBLE] sorry, sorry-- and distinguishes him from the others in [INAUDIBLE] with what has [INAUDIBLE] the difference. Then, [INAUDIBLE] draws a distinction between [INAUDIBLE] and [INAUDIBLE] 1917. Consequently, simple willing is called will of the [INAUDIBLE] which is a natural will and [INAUDIBLE]. Then how are our wills [INAUDIBLE] the subject of the [INAUDIBLE] is the object wills [INAUDIBLE] and [INAUDIBLE] based on [INAUDIBLE]. And that is a quality which has in its nature to will. For example, [INAUDIBLE] nature is [INAUDIBLE]. And so [INAUDIBLE] he is the willing [INAUDIBLE] who uses our nature [INAUDIBLE] and that is the person [INAUDIBLE] for example [INAUDIBLE]. And here it comes, [INAUDIBLE] is precisely the point. The difference between the subject of willing and the user of willing [INAUDIBLE] and of [INAUDIBLE] [INAUDIBLE]. I say the subject of willing because [INAUDIBLE] What is remarkable is that here, the [INAUDIBLE] the meaning of object-- not the object existing of the mind, but [INAUDIBLE] seeing, adding, objective being in my representation of [INAUDIBLE] my judgement. As a matter of fact, listening is a [INAUDIBLE]. That is to say, [INAUDIBLE] economic will that is the object of deliberative, selective will, the kind of will absent in Christ, the object of [INAUDIBLE]. So far, so good. But do not forget that the technical philosophical name of the user is [INAUDIBLE] the individual subject calls for [INAUDIBLE] Peter or Paul or even Mary. John draws a critical distinction between the [INAUDIBLE], the object of will, and the hypostasis, the subject of will. [INAUDIBLE] subject [INAUDIBLE] that is the contaminate [INAUDIBLE] the Latin translation of [INAUDIBLE] and [INAUDIBLE] the hypostasis [INAUDIBLE]. He draws a distinction between the subject object, the intentional object of the scholastics [INAUDIBLE] and the school of [INAUDIBLE] and the subject agent [INAUDIBLE] and hypostasis. This distinction is crucial. If I have time, I will be [INAUDIBLE] to the distinction between the two [INAUDIBLE] of soul and the [INAUDIBLE] the Aristotelian one based on the [INAUDIBLE] and as [INAUDIBLE] from accidents, disposition, and a disposition of properties, and the [INAUDIBLE] Augustinian one, the [INAUDIBLE] model based on the [INAUDIBLE] a mutual eminence of the soul, its acts, and its faculties. I cannot do it [INAUDIBLE]. But I think it is not necessary to stress the importance of the distinction between the two [INAUDIBLE] subjects, the subject of attribution on the one hand, the subject agent on the other. To [INAUDIBLE], I can answer the question as [INAUDIBLE] by [INAUDIBLE]. There is no definition of the subject given by the Greeks which would [INAUDIBLE] in Christianity-- not at all. There is rather the definition of the subject given by the Greek [INAUDIBLE] which has been lost in historiography. Heidegger [INAUDIBLE] of being [INAUDIBLE]. I would rather stress the forgetting of [INAUDIBLE], the forgetting of the distinction between [INAUDIBLE] and [INAUDIBLE], the forgetting of the church [INAUDIBLE], the forgetting of the Greek [INAUDIBLE], the forgetting of [INAUDIBLE], the forgetting of [INAUDIBLE]. The [INAUDIBLE] the presence of deconstruction is [INAUDIBLE]. [INAUDIBLE] historians are now talking about decolonizing the past or decolonizing the middle ages. Some [INAUDIBLE] to promote post-colonial middle ages and post-colonial medieval studies to deconstruct [INAUDIBLE] the middle ages we regard as a colonized region of history [INAUDIBLE] narrative of the west. They say they want to [INAUDIBLE] destabilize and hegemonate identities-- racial, sexual, ethnic, religious, class, age, [INAUDIBLE] detailing their historical [INAUDIBLE], to say that they want to decenter Europe. Thus, the Quran [INAUDIBLE]. To make it even vaster, I would suggest that this criticism of [INAUDIBLE] the othering should include also the philosophy of the church fathers, the contribution of the so-called Eastern Christianity to medieval philosophy and theology and [INAUDIBLE] of theology with which [INAUDIBLE] a minor study among philosophers, that it could be pushed into the background of [INAUDIBLE] of many of my French colleagues. I am anyway very happy to have the opportunity to lecture here [INAUDIBLE]. And philosophy and Christology and anthropology and metaphysics [INAUDIBLE] those two cliches that our profession [INAUDIBLE] and the question of the subject. There have been questions on the [INAUDIBLE] of man, the subject of thought, the subject of virtues, the subject of passions, the subject of knowledge. There is [INAUDIBLE] questions of the self. There is no single question of man, no single question of the subject [INAUDIBLE] prepared [INAUDIBLE] of the questions that do arise [INAUDIBLE] what would be meant by those expressions [INAUDIBLE] can retain, what should be preserved. What are the [INAUDIBLE]? What [INAUDIBLE] very important and what people [INAUDIBLE]. SPEAKER 1: Thank you for a wonderful lecture with much archaeological retrieval, I would say. I would now like to yield the floor first to Professor Ryan Coyne, who is a professor here in philosophy, religions, and theology and he's known to most or all of you as the author of Heidegger's Confessions, a book that also just won a prize [INAUDIBLE] prize that he is going to collect shortly in [INAUDIBLE]. And after that, I'll yield the floor to Professor Jean-Luc Marion, who I think does not need any introduction, and I'll refrain from one. Just to [INAUDIBLE] that this last book, which is lying in my book case, is called Negative Certainties. So I'll first yield the floor to Professor [INAUDIBLE], then to Professor [INAUDIBLE]. After that, I would invite Professor [INAUDIBLE] to maybe respond if he so chooses and otherwise open the floor for discussion. The floor is [INAUDIBLE] RYAN COYNE: Thank you. I'd like to begin today by expressing a debt of gratitude and also begin with an apology-- an apology for my voice [INAUDIBLE] for about 10 minutes or so. [INAUDIBLE] I'll try to be brief. But also my debt of gratitude to Professor [INAUDIBLE] for a chance to participate in today's discussion. I'd also like to begin by expressing my gratitude to Professor Alain de Libera not only for his wonderful lecture this afternoon, but for his scholarship in general. I've [INAUDIBLE] start that the projects of the archeology of the subject roughly eight years ago [INAUDIBLE] Paris. And ever since, I've profited enormously from his luminous [INAUDIBLE] which allows him to address at the highest degree of ontological precision as we've seen the Greek fathers in one page, contemporary [INAUDIBLE] philosophy on the next page, all in the service of taking up the [INAUDIBLE] analyses of Nietzsche, Foucault, and Heidegger. So we see quite clearly today the incite that accompanies this unparalleled scholarly range. I say unparalleled, of course, having said that, it sometimes sticks with me [INAUDIBLE] similar palette. I would like to confine the [INAUDIBLE] to two themes mentioned in lecture And on this basis, I would like to pose a single question in response to what I take to be the main thrust of the argument. These views are forgetting theology mentioned toward at the end of the lecture. And the locus of the archeology of the subject mentioned at the outset when Professor de Libera indicated that his archeology is situated and here I quote, "at the point where philosophical archeology crosses the path Heidegger elaborated under the title privileged [INAUDIBLE]." It seems to me that the two themes are linked, and they're linked in a manner that allows philosophical archeology, as Professor de Libera articulated it, to intervene within this project of privileged instruction as Heidegger's, but also within, let's say, archeology [INAUDIBLE] and to issue the critical rejoinder on both even, as he says quite clearly, that his own project of archeology diverges from these other [INAUDIBLE]. So first, on forgetting theology, Professor de Libera provides a clear illustration of this forgetting [INAUDIBLE] theology integrating John of Damascus, in which he demonstrates that the first conditions of the modern subject agent emerge at the moment when John articulates the so-called quadrilateral of agency, according to which the subject [INAUDIBLE] must be determined as [INAUDIBLE] this example I think provide provided a glimpse of a much larger theme running throughout Professor de Libera's archeology which takes for granted that a theory of the subject brings together a formal [INAUDIBLE] category of the subject with an attributivist view on [INAUDIBLE] subject. Both of these two elements must be present for Professor de Libera to admit or be willing to identify the conditions of the emergent-- the conditions of the modern subject agent. The challenge in identifying the convergence of these two elements that signal in the range between the two indices we're given in the paper. The first indice in the example [INAUDIBLE] is from John of Damascus [INAUDIBLE] century. But the prior example is instructive in this regard. It's taken from Philippians. It's taken from Paul in Philippians 2:13, for it is God who is at work in you with Paul [INAUDIBLE], therefore enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure. It is this notion of [INAUDIBLE] divine will that establishes a finite creature of both locus of the divine power while at the same time empowering the will as free, as de Libera holds on as a crucial piece of the puzzle setting out to identify the conditions for the [INAUDIBLE]. Professor de Libera mentions in passing two theories of the soul prevalent during the medieval period, Aristotelian and Augustinian. It's the latter that I find particularly intriguing, especially given the role that Augustine plays for him and his project. For example, in this institution today where we are told that Augustine articulates two theories of the subject, one on an immortality of the soul, the other on the trinity. In each case, he is said to be-- Augustine is said to [INAUDIBLE] without entirely accepting it. So one of the questions that I pose here [INAUDIBLE] my question I would like to pose here concerns the relevance of the inner working of the divine will or in one's spirit. In Augustine's discussion of grace and free will, the relevance of this issue Augustine to the larger [INAUDIBLE] philosophical archeology. It seems that already, Augustine in the anti-collegiate writings, we have a relatively robust notion of God working within the soul but alongside the will, the soul. And precisely because such inner working might be seen to jeopardize the freedom of choice, Augustine strives to the finite will, We also have an equally robust account of the finite will as [INAUDIBLE] under the heading of the [INAUDIBLE]. And thus, in some sense, a subject of his own actions, actions which [INAUDIBLE] ahead of time in the minds eye and which it in fact must attribute to itself. So Augustine often explicitly invokes Philippians 2:13 to describe the action by which the will and the faculty of action are empowered and determined by the divine will, yet nevertheless free to exercise this power itself. So I don't know if it's fair to say that we have in Augustine, we find in Augustine, a particular combination of [INAUDIBLE] that we do in John of Damascus. But it seems at least interesting to note that perhaps, the conditions for John's attributivist account of the subject [INAUDIBLE] in the dates surrounding the relationship between free will and grace in both eastern and western Christian sources. So this observation raises questions about privilege and eastern sources. When we talk about forgetting theology, Christian theology, it is much more important in my mind to register the effects of this forgetting as they [INAUDIBLE] the importance of this forgetting as it may be confirmed in modern and contemporary sources. And here, I think that Professor de Libera's analysis is utterly crucial to understanding the theoretical-- and, I might add, political-- dimensions of the modern subject agent as well as the criticisms leveled against it by the likes of Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Foucault. It is becoming increasingly apparent, for example, that Heideggerian focus is marked by a paradox. The paradox [INAUDIBLE] the genealogical roots of Heidegger's critique of the mind as a subject, as a subject that is intentionally willing to will, enforcing the will to bend to this world. The law [INAUDIBLE] engagement of theological sources in which Heidegger himself relies heavily upon a notion of Christian religiosity as guided by [INAUDIBLE]. Here, I have in mind not simply the connection between Heideggerian and Lutheran accounts of destruction, which Professor de Libera spells out very clearly in his work, but also Heidegger's reading of Pauline sources in late 1920 and early 1921, which in my estimation articulated [INAUDIBLE] Christian [INAUDIBLE] as founded upon the individual experience [INAUDIBLE]. In order to clarify what it means to say because of the human being is a central historical temple. Here, we should not fail to recognize the enormous potential of this notion of forgetting theology to inspire a new manner of critically engaging not only Heidegger in higher tradition of, let's say, [INAUDIBLE] phenomenology to inspire this critical engagement from [INAUDIBLE] to the present. This rubric can provide valuable, for example, in making sense of the increasingly complex and [INAUDIBLE] violent ways in which Heidegger disavows Christianity and Judaism in the 1930s and the 1940s while simultaneously trying to disengage himself from an era [INAUDIBLE] that he sees as marked by the winter [INAUDIBLE], which [INAUDIBLE] major spokesperson was Nietzsche. And it's interesting in this regard that in this effort to free himself from this era marked by interpretation of [INAUDIBLE] will, it is, in fact, the [INAUDIBLE] notion of philosophy. Again, if you can relate to Philippians 2:13 that Heidegger seems to employ as a counter-- maybe a counter-weight or countermeasure to Nietzsche. So this brings me to the second of the two things I'd like to discuss. They claim that the archeology of the subject is situated at the point where philosophical archeology is [INAUDIBLE] destruction or deconstruction [INAUDIBLE]. The Heideggerian notion of destruction as well as the [INAUDIBLE] of archeology can, in my estimation, both be understood as emancipatory gestures, as we've heard Heidegger initially articulated the project of [INAUDIBLE] destruction as a way of gradually freeing philosophical reflection from the outside influence of traditional sources, freeing reflections so that it could re-appropriate these sources in novel ways. Simply, [INAUDIBLE] concern in the archeology of knowledge is to articulate the method of [INAUDIBLE] inquiry that would allow him to identify the a priori of history that is given. But at the same time, he envisioned archeology as a way of questioning the very locus in which we are speaking today, and here I quote, "freeing the history of thought from its subjection [INAUDIBLE] transcendence," end quote, and ultimately, and here I quote, "to free history from the grip of phenomenology, which would make differences available in our current perspective." So one could argue that Foucault and Heidegger also both sought to liberate philosophy, liberate their own analysis of historicity from the grip of abstraction which [INAUDIBLE] postman's is played by the [INAUDIBLE] part of abstraction is played by phenomenology. But that they did this, both Heidegger and Foucault, they thought about emancipation in diametrically opposed ways. Heidegger sought emancipation in the direction of being, the history of being, and thus the radical and unprecedented transcendence, [INAUDIBLE] in the direction of the hermeneutics of the subject in a final effort to throw off what he saw as [INAUDIBLE] transcendence. So my question, very brief question, to Professor de Libera following this rich and quite fascinating, very prescient lecture, is this. In what way does the archeology of the subject-- philosophical archeology, as Professor de Libera has articulated it-- function as a critical rejoiner to the notion of emancipation, of liberation, that we find in Foucault and Heidegger? If we overcome the forgetting of theology and identify in either eastern or western Christian sources, the condition suddenly emerges of the modern subject agent, how does that help us think differently today about the role that freedom and free inquiry should play and why? JEAN-LUC MARION: [INAUDIBLE] my old friend [INAUDIBLE] in my [INAUDIBLE] from Chicago. [INAUDIBLE] at the same moment and [INAUDIBLE] story. Our two ways [INAUDIBLE] never [INAUDIBLE] who were according to [INAUDIBLE]. And I would [INAUDIBLE] on the importance of the impact of what [INAUDIBLE] he already achieved by [INAUDIBLE] and more important what he want now to [INAUDIBLE] achieve. As a [INAUDIBLE] as [INAUDIBLE] the lecture we have heard, [INAUDIBLE] small summary in a nutshell of [INAUDIBLE] achieve an archeology of the subject. This huge work is now [INAUDIBLE] with three books [INAUDIBLE] published starting in 2007 [INAUDIBLE] and there is [INAUDIBLE] valuable books to complete the [INAUDIBLE] subject. This huge [INAUDIBLE] would not have been made possible without the [INAUDIBLE] of all the [INAUDIBLE] which are [INAUDIBLE] and published by [INAUDIBLE] starting from the question of [INAUDIBLE] and the ancient mystique and throughout the old [INAUDIBLE] with a lot of discussion which in fact reached out to [INAUDIBLE] in general. And I really insist that [INAUDIBLE] on that point. On the [INAUDIBLE] more impressive [INAUDIBLE] invisible study [INAUDIBLE] talents is not only the real [INAUDIBLE] to [INAUDIBLE] that this historical [INAUDIBLE] is always used [INAUDIBLE] in order to at once [INAUDIBLE] questions. So [INAUDIBLE] not [INAUDIBLE] read and to explain, discuss with [INAUDIBLE] as well with the analytical tradition and not only for the sake of [INAUDIBLE] as many [INAUDIBLE] do because they only use [INAUDIBLE] to understand [INAUDIBLE] study their own [INAUDIBLE]. But in the case of [INAUDIBLE], want to get into the things himself, as he himself [INAUDIBLE] the question of will, the question of [INAUDIBLE] history [INAUDIBLE] and so on. So there is a real and comprehensive [INAUDIBLE] project behind [INAUDIBLE] of scholarship and it is absolutely exceptional. We all know that the [INAUDIBLE] when you start as an historian of a particular field [INAUDIBLE] at the same time [INAUDIBLE]. And [INAUDIBLE]. It's why it is so important for us [INAUDIBLE] where you [INAUDIBLE] France and [INAUDIBLE] to continue to work [INAUDIBLE] language. The [INAUDIBLE] and there is [INAUDIBLE] to discuss [INAUDIBLE] the two main functions of [INAUDIBLE]. We enjoy [INAUDIBLE] and [INAUDIBLE] one side [INAUDIBLE] project of initial [INAUDIBLE] on the other side the early [INAUDIBLE] I would say deconstructive project of Heidegger. And those do [INAUDIBLE] I would not say [INAUDIBLE] resources for [INAUDIBLE] the question of [INAUDIBLE]. And [INAUDIBLE] the assertion is very clear. Where and when does the will [INAUDIBLE] we assume [INAUDIBLE] to the question that [INAUDIBLE] that is very soon [INAUDIBLE] and least in one [INAUDIBLE] and the [INAUDIBLE]. Heidegger later in [INAUDIBLE] rule in the prediction by German philosophers that [INAUDIBLE] with school. Heidegger [INAUDIBLE] that is Foucault's theory and [INAUDIBLE] Heidegger [INAUDIBLE]. So what is it? What is [INAUDIBLE]? It is bold [INAUDIBLE] and Heidegger and what is even bolder to see [INAUDIBLE] and this is a natural [INAUDIBLE] for me and for many of us [INAUDIBLE] selection [INAUDIBLE] to identify the [INAUDIBLE] the part of the historical [INAUDIBLE] experience of the west [INAUDIBLE] part of this [INAUDIBLE] that we are [INAUDIBLE]. And there is [INAUDIBLE]. And to make them [INAUDIBLE] serious predictors of the common issues of theology is-- there is no question about that-- the challenge [INAUDIBLE]. Obviously, there is [INAUDIBLE]. We've got a [INAUDIBLE] important. And this case, it is [INAUDIBLE] German philosophers which are on the stage. But we are [INAUDIBLE] experience at [INAUDIBLE] university can be [INAUDIBLE] reinforced [INAUDIBLE] but also any other [INAUDIBLE]. So I could not be any more in agreement than I am with Heidegger [INAUDIBLE] of [INAUDIBLE]. Nevertheless, [INAUDIBLE] questions. You start with [INAUDIBLE] asking [INAUDIBLE] questions [INAUDIBLE]. Heidegger [INAUDIBLE] the focus was on 32 [INAUDIBLE]. N is [INAUDIBLE] the formulation [INAUDIBLE] research of the [INAUDIBLE] and inconclusive. It's very strange because Heidegger is [INAUDIBLE] and very precise reader and this omission [INAUDIBLE] says twice that he wants to reach [INAUDIBLE] reason where subjective [INAUDIBLE]. The leash [INAUDIBLE] and unscheduled. [INAUDIBLE] and a momentary thing is that [INAUDIBLE] a general agreement in the German-- in the [INAUDIBLE] of history of [INAUDIBLE] that subjectivity is [INAUDIBLE] for best and worst. And [INAUDIBLE] to my knowledge, we have [INAUDIBLE] never used subjective as an indication of [INAUDIBLE] and subject [INAUDIBLE]. And it's usually that [INAUDIBLE] between the matter and the attributes [INAUDIBLE]. And when it says objective, [INAUDIBLE] the objectum is what is known [INAUDIBLE] it says, for instance, the objectum [INAUDIBLE]. The objective [INAUDIBLE] what is [INAUDIBLE] is not yet the subject itself. [INAUDIBLE] able [INAUDIBLE] thinking is [INAUDIBLE] with this privilege mode of thinking which is [INAUDIBLE] this is not yet connected with the question of [INAUDIBLE] and [INAUDIBLE] between [INAUDIBLE] is not [INAUDIBLE]. So this will start with a possibility [INAUDIBLE] will use [INAUDIBLE] object [INAUDIBLE] I guess [INAUDIBLE] on this prediction that everything will be [INAUDIBLE]. In fact, [INAUDIBLE] not in the case of [INAUDIBLE]. And far from [INAUDIBLE] that the question [INAUDIBLE] I would ask [INAUDIBLE] you suggest in the [INAUDIBLE] are very convincing [INAUDIBLE] German [INAUDIBLE] is the first to propose [INAUDIBLE] relate [INAUDIBLE] with the act of [INAUDIBLE] And this is [INAUDIBLE] an essential [INAUDIBLE] in the contradiction of [INAUDIBLE]. And you can see that it is about not simply will or nill [INAUDIBLE] the mode, the force of the will [INAUDIBLE] could not [INAUDIBLE] be possible that [INAUDIBLE] here the [INAUDIBLE]. of Maximus. Because Maximus has [INAUDIBLE] his Christology on the distinction between the [INAUDIBLE] the purpose [INAUDIBLE] through [INAUDIBLE] his own way of thinking, which is crucial. And it is really good to read [INAUDIBLE]. So I wonder whether the [INAUDIBLE] is in fact frozen [INAUDIBLE] the most important [INAUDIBLE] back again of this point. So at last, we [INAUDIBLE] find additional [INAUDIBLE] by doing [INAUDIBLE] But thank you very much for [INAUDIBLE]. ALAIN DE LIBERA: [INAUDIBLE] Sorry. Thank you very much. [INAUDIBLE] And I suppose [INAUDIBLE] expressions but [INAUDIBLE] the last 12 [INAUDIBLE] the others [INAUDIBLE] I used to teach in French or in German and never, ever in English. So [INAUDIBLE] coming are [INAUDIBLE] French and German I use [INAUDIBLE]. I thought [INAUDIBLE] this very important remark on German [INAUDIBLE] would say [INAUDIBLE] of mine [INAUDIBLE] said I am convinced that you're right, that [INAUDIBLE] at a closer [INAUDIBLE] precise [INAUDIBLE] Maximus because John of Damascus is a [INAUDIBLE] on Maximus where he has made his own choices in a [INAUDIBLE]. Anyway, there are choices of [INAUDIBLE] this subject of [INAUDIBLE] and Maximus certainly. But why wouldn't I mention that? Because I had [INAUDIBLE] the [INAUDIBLE] suggesting [INAUDIBLE] he goes, I am interested [INAUDIBLE] archeology, philosophy, [INAUDIBLE] medieval philosophy, and modern philosophy [INAUDIBLE] possible reception [INAUDIBLE]. And so Damascus has been the main source. Before that, people did not know exactly [INAUDIBLE] what was at stake in giant, huge [INAUDIBLE] the important from the [INAUDIBLE] point of view the controversy between Maximus and [INAUDIBLE]. And nowadays, [INAUDIBLE] to be frank, there's only one Jesus in French, in Canada, written from this [INAUDIBLE] where all these problems are [INAUDIBLE] Maximus. So you know that [INAUDIBLE] John of Damascus was the first Eastern theologian to have such [INAUDIBLE] in the west because [INAUDIBLE] took part in this [INAUDIBLE] in his own sentences. And what's interesting is that [INAUDIBLE] was criticized as well as, [INAUDIBLE] Peter [INAUDIBLE], in the beginning when [INAUDIBLE] wrote against the four labyrinths in English [INAUDIBLE] of France-- Peter [INAUDIBLE], Peter [INAUDIBLE], and [INAUDIBLE]. He adds some [INAUDIBLE] you know. John of Damascus-- so immediately, John is attacked by some kind of a [INAUDIBLE] in the 12th century. So it's very exciting to see the influence of John on the generation after Aquinas [INAUDIBLE]. So-- OK, for a moment, Maximus through John and perhaps with other [INAUDIBLE] transmissions for [INAUDIBLE] this is [INAUDIBLE] they say [INAUDIBLE] the authority was like a nosing [INAUDIBLE] that you could [INAUDIBLE] because it changed [INAUDIBLE] that instills [INAUDIBLE] is a translation of an Aristotelian [INAUDIBLE] in metaphysics [INAUDIBLE] says exactly actions bear on the [INAUDIBLE] subjects. You cannot act [INAUDIBLE] subject [INAUDIBLE] because there is no such thing. So to act upon something, to act on, to do something, you have to act on singular particular thing, the [INAUDIBLE]. So it's another case of [INAUDIBLE] where the meaning [INAUDIBLE] exchange [INAUDIBLE] actions and [INAUDIBLE]. The question of [INAUDIBLE] and ego-- so what's between? What is too early and what is too late? I would say-- and this goes [INAUDIBLE] related [INAUDIBLE] obviously in the Augustinian tradition. And the thesis [INAUDIBLE] because Augustinian tradition is amazing. It's rigid. It started [INAUDIBLE] and it reaches [INAUDIBLE]. I will give an example. And intentionality-- intentional-- what is to be intention or [INAUDIBLE] to the mind? It is, [INAUDIBLE] says, right in a note, a footnote in his psychology [INAUDIBLE]. It is to dwell in the [INAUDIBLE], not to be adherent to but to dwell in. And this is what he calls [INAUDIBLE] which is [INAUDIBLE] in habitats, you know. And, well-- so something is intentionally present to the soul means that it exists in the soul each [INAUDIBLE] have present to [INAUDIBLE] mind [INAUDIBLE] equivalence between to exist [INAUDIBLE] in the sense of [INAUDIBLE] the Greek word for [INAUDIBLE] which is a synonym for [INAUDIBLE], that is simple [INAUDIBLE] circumstantial, and so on. So it starts with Augustine says [INAUDIBLE]. So he says that what [INAUDIBLE] call intentional presence of something [INAUDIBLE] was already known by Augustine when he said that things were [INAUDIBLE] in the mind through their [INAUDIBLE] species of [INAUDIBLE]. So then [INAUDIBLE] have a mutual [INAUDIBLE] dwelling, the mutual [INAUDIBLE] as that is commonly [INAUDIBLE] there are so many [INAUDIBLE] of acts and states of [INAUDIBLE] Augustine. And that is one [INAUDIBLE]. And if you [INAUDIBLE] trinity, you now that you love and you love but you know you know what you love [INAUDIBLE] and knowledge about [INAUDIBLE] one and another and both are in the mind and the mind is in the mind and [INAUDIBLE] in the mind [INAUDIBLE] memory is, yes, self. Presence is present to the self. So one basic [INAUDIBLE] theorem [INAUDIBLE] of Augustine to [INAUDIBLE] is what he says. [INAUDIBLE] and [INAUDIBLE] are not in the mind as in the subject. [INAUDIBLE] into [INAUDIBLE] it cannot be there. It's there like a [INAUDIBLE] in they are not like disposition of properties-- properties in theory in [INAUDIBLE] that would be the sort that is subject of [INAUDIBLE]. So he rejects-- that's what I mean when I say [INAUDIBLE] he rejects attributivism because he says that mental state or activities are not [INAUDIBLE]. They are not accidents of the mind because the mind-- all mind, let's say-- soul [INAUDIBLE] soul [INAUDIBLE] is [INAUDIBLE] and you cannot say that God is a subject of this goodness because his goodness will be in God as a subject. That is at an accident or [INAUDIBLE] position. So you've got this [INAUDIBLE] of the soul that there was when I started to [INAUDIBLE] medieval philosophy [INAUDIBLE] well, that's theology. You know, oh, what is that? The medieval [INAUDIBLE] of the trinity and we wanted something more [INAUDIBLE], you know-- a subject with properties and dispositions. And that was a great mistake. When does the ego [INAUDIBLE] concept regarded [INAUDIBLE] the ego, but perhaps something concerning the ego and the subject? I suggest that the subject agent's story is another story as the ego [INAUDIBLE] story but at a certain point in time [INAUDIBLE] yet to encounter [INAUDIBLE]. Not any cross [INAUDIBLE] going to say [INAUDIBLE] story. And there is something like that in the middle ages. Is it Augustinian tradition [INAUDIBLE] the Franciscan tradition. And you would, for instance, find that in Peter and [INAUDIBLE] when [INAUDIBLE] non-standard Franciscan [INAUDIBLE] conceived again in [INAUDIBLE]. It says that [INAUDIBLE] I don't remember exactly now. But it's something like [INAUDIBLE] our own acts, mental acts, cannot be the seed by [INAUDIBLE] adjectives. And he said-- he goes-- [INAUDIBLE] one must add a presentation of one's self as the subject of his own mental activities in order so that to-- in order to add such mental [INAUDIBLE]. You know, we said an [INAUDIBLE] is something that you add. You must add these activities to say it's mine [INAUDIBLE]. And so you must have two things [INAUDIBLE] presentation of yourself as a possible subject of attribution and [INAUDIBLE] of your soul's [INAUDIBLE] and actions and [INAUDIBLE] in order to [INAUDIBLE] will and to act [INAUDIBLE]. So this is clearly said. He says it isn't exactly right that when we speak, we have the subject first, then the verb, then the attribute. That is the same in our mind. We have ourselves as the subject and then [INAUDIBLE] predicating an action and this action as the predicate, something [INAUDIBLE] you know. So that's very interesting. There is a natural order. Subject always comes first before the representation of our own activity. So I will say that in the end of [INAUDIBLE] century, the idea that I am the subject of my soul, my souls, or my action, is [INAUDIBLE] by the [INAUDIBLE] because he says, well, [INAUDIBLE] Aristotelian. They say, [INAUDIBLE] is the subject of my soul. But my problem is not to know whether there is or there is not the subject of [INAUDIBLE]. Of course there is a subject of myself. But my question is, am I the subject of [INAUDIBLE] and [INAUDIBLE] do I know that I am the subject of myself? And it says everyone, as Augustine says, as [INAUDIBLE] I am absolutely [INAUDIBLE] I am [INAUDIBLE] when I say I say, I know that I am the one who says I said. And that is an [INAUDIBLE] here [INAUDIBLE] TAB or TA or TA, TAP-- if one knows that P, one knows that one knows that P. And every intentional [INAUDIBLE] as is [INAUDIBLE]. And, well, it sounds pretty obvious for us now. But [INAUDIBLE] to be [INAUDIBLE] and expressed with the right words at the right time. And the right words were to use a word that wasn't absolutely meant by that in a resident. But man [INAUDIBLE] with the theology because the subject is not [INAUDIBLE] in the end. It is a [INAUDIBLE]. That is a Latin word for [INAUDIBLE]. And that is the trick. You've got a [INAUDIBLE] in Latin [INAUDIBLE] to express subject [INAUDIBLE] thought and [INAUDIBLE] beginning of this [INAUDIBLE] lecture. And it is in the [INAUDIBLE] of the theologian and [INAUDIBLE] the three persons of the trinity with respect to the essence and nature of God. But it's also the subject, the grammatical subject. The grammarians in the middle ages says, well, the sentience is constituted by a [INAUDIBLE] and an [INAUDIBLE]. The subject matter of this course, [INAUDIBLE] call that, that's what I'm talking about. The [INAUDIBLE] the thing I'm talking about, is the [INAUDIBLE] So you see you have got, with this [INAUDIBLE], you've got everything that is an [INAUDIBLE] and there's a nexus, very interesting. The [INAUDIBLE] is dedicated to-- at least to see that there exists and try to [INAUDIBLE] to do something with the thing and the future [INAUDIBLE] 10 or 11, 12 [INAUDIBLE] future [INAUDIBLE] things [INAUDIBLE]. That's the idea of having a vast [INAUDIBLE] is that you do not need to do it. [INAUDIBLE] Kant specifically. So [INAUDIBLE] not do it. Anyway, I do not know because [INAUDIBLE] before. [INAUDIBLE] anyway, [INAUDIBLE]. Anyway, thank you so much. SPEAKER 1: Thank you. ALAIN DE LIBERA: Any questions [INAUDIBLE]? SPEAKER 1: Yeah, are there still some questions [INAUDIBLE]? Yes, please [INAUDIBLE]. SPEAKER 2: I want to thank you for the privilege of this archeology. I must say, because I work in phenomenology, I don't know the [INAUDIBLE]. I would have loved to hear more about the philosophical and to see the philosophical dimensions of [INAUDIBLE] because while I was enriched by [INAUDIBLE] but could you tell us more? Because in all the work [INAUDIBLE] Damascus [INAUDIBLE] a little like a [INAUDIBLE] or [INAUDIBLE] less importance [INAUDIBLE]. ALAIN DE LIBERA: [INAUDIBLE] in a few sentences, I would say that John of Damascus is a necessity for medieval studies because as I said, at the end of the 12th century when Peter [INAUDIBLE] writes his famous sentences which [INAUDIBLE] common [INAUDIBLE] proverbs [INAUDIBLE] medieval studies at the University of Paris and then [INAUDIBLE] Europe, you know? There is [INAUDIBLE] first to [INAUDIBLE] Damascus as a-- his sentences are based on the [INAUDIBLE] principle [INAUDIBLE] You've got the problem to [INAUDIBLE] has set the question and posed the question and find [INAUDIBLE] pro and contra [INAUDIBLE] provided [INAUDIBLE]. But there is a Latin champion, Augustine, and they are struggling for a Greek champion. And [INAUDIBLE] is one if you look at a number of interpretations. But I will say that in real theological issues that if you look at more [INAUDIBLE] issues, you must look at Damascus, John of Damascus. And there, it is a Latin [INAUDIBLE] visa vi Augustine. And this is not that surprising because there are some close relationships between the two [INAUDIBLE] do not know [INAUDIBLE] and Damascus may have never written Augustine. [INAUDIBLE] that that must have had philosophical resources in common. And there is a [INAUDIBLE] for philosophy, I would say, more intent upon the soul and what we would call psychology. There is [INAUDIBLE] by [INAUDIBLE] which is [INAUDIBLE] known by Augustine and [INAUDIBLE] illustration of that point that the [INAUDIBLE] That is a [INAUDIBLE] And it is the same with all Greeks. When I say all Greeks, I could say all Syrians because the two main points would be found everything that is needed in the middle ages to construct the psychology and the [INAUDIBLE] anthropology [INAUDIBLE] to find that in Ignatius of [INAUDIBLE]. That is, [INAUDIBLE] in Syria [INAUDIBLE] famous [INAUDIBLE] and was a bishop of this city in [INAUDIBLE]. And, well, it's a famous [INAUDIBLE] and it [INAUDIBLE] age of man. That is [INAUDIBLE] it is the source of John of Damascus. And so the [INAUDIBLE] inheriting of ancient Greek philosophy of mind is transmitted to the proverb of the church Greek-speaking and then to [INAUDIBLE]. If you look for [INAUDIBLE] of anything else, you look first [INAUDIBLE] you know that they wound up a vagabond [INAUDIBLE] seem to be [INAUDIBLE]. You know the [INAUDIBLE] and this is no [INAUDIBLE] but if you look at the sources of Thomas Aquinas, you will see images-- John of Damascus, et cetera. Those Greek [INAUDIBLE], Greek so to speak, aren't really the [INAUDIBLE] that would be [INAUDIBLE] second group in this whole history of [INAUDIBLE] anthropology, psychology. The three together [INAUDIBLE] with an [INAUDIBLE] Augustine and finally with a [INAUDIBLE] and the neoclassical tradition of not only Plato, but mostly Aristotle and the Aristotelian [INAUDIBLE] very important. And what strikes me in that when [INAUDIBLE] the founder of [INAUDIBLE] had read extensively so many materials [INAUDIBLE] Greek philosophy and [INAUDIBLE] philosophy and [INAUDIBLE] famous [INAUDIBLE] footnote [INAUDIBLE] explains exactly what is the objectum today and what was objectum and objectum being in the middle ages and so on. That is a complete [INAUDIBLE] that we attribute to [INAUDIBLE] and that is also [INAUDIBLE]. But there is the premise in [INAUDIBLE] the idea is [INAUDIBLE] So Augustine, always. And if you look for something unexpected [INAUDIBLE] Augustine and then [INAUDIBLE] that's something I wouldn't [INAUDIBLE] when I was younger because I wasn't in the Augustine time [INAUDIBLE]. And I was Aristotelian [INAUDIBLE] and so on. [INAUDIBLE] Anyway, [INAUDIBLE]. SPEAKER 1: Well, I'm looking at the clock and [INAUDIBLE] question. [INAUDIBLE] maybe this Augustinian converge [INAUDIBLE] ALAIN DE LIBERA: [INAUDIBLE] SPEAKER 1: --a good time to end the lecture and I want to thank you very, very much for your wonderful series of lectures.



The EPHE brings together 240 faculty members and about 3,000 students/attenders into three core departments called “Sections” : Earth and Life Sciences, Historical and Philological Sciences, and Religious Sciences. In all Sections, tutoring and immediate induction in research practice are at the core of teaching in the different degree programs. It is one of the only place in the world where so many ancient and rare oriental languages are taught.

It has headquarters in Paris, and is present in many locations in France. Teaching and research in human sciences are conducted in Paris, notably at the Sorbonne, the historical house of the former University of Paris and in the building of Maison des Sciences de l'Homme. In the Earth and Life Sciences Section, the work takes place at the EPHE's many laboratories (Paris and its region, Nancy, Dijon, Lyon, Grenoble, Montpellier, Perpignan, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Caen, Dinard, French Polynesia). EPHE is a leading place for neurosciences and A.I. related subjects.

After selective entry requirements and the validation of highly specialized courses student can obtain the Master's and Doctorate degrees, and the postdoctoral Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches. The School also offers its specific postgraduate degrees – the “Diplôme EPHE” and the “Diplôme post-doctoral” – as well as joint degrees with other universities.

The EPHE maintains extensive cooperative exchanges with universities and research institutions. Priority areas of cooperation are in Europe, the Mediterranean, Middle-East and Asia.

EPHE history

Présidents of EPHE

  • 1990-1994 : Monique Adolphe
  • 1994-1998 : Bruno Neveu
  • 1998-2002 : Jean Baubérot
  • 2002-2006 : Marie-Françoise Courel
  • 2006-2011 : Jean-Claude Waquet
  • 2011-2013 : Denis Pelletier
  • From 7 November 2013 : Hubert Bost

The École pratique des hautes études was established by imperial decree on 31 July 1868 at the initiative of Victor Duruy, then Minister of Education under Emperor Napoleon III. Its purpose was to introduce research in academia and, more importantly, to promote academic training through research. It was intended to promote a practical form of scholarship designed to produce knowledge and to be taught in seminars and laboratories, as was being practiced in Germany at the time. Faculty members were to be dedicated, available to students and others for collaboration, accessible, and advance a form of education dependent on a framework of a direct relationship between the master and his disciple.

The School originally had four Sections: first established were Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry; Natural Sciences and Physiology; Philological and Historical Sciences. The Economics Section followed in 1869, but was not developed. The Religious Sciences Section was added in 1886.

Section VI, called Economic and Social Sciences, was founded after the Second World War. This section included the study of anthropology, and the French made substantial contributions to these fields, particularly in the structuralism of Claude Lévi-Strauss and others. Their scholars were doing research in South America, Africa and Southeast Asia. There was also research in ethnopsychoanalysis and ethnopsychiatry, particularly by Georges Devereux, who joined the Section in 1963 and influenced more than a generation of scholars.[1] In 1975 Section VI was separated to establish a new school, the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS).

The institution has been reorganized into three Sections: Earth and Life Sciences, Historical and Philological Sciences, Religious Sciences. Many renowned scholars have lectured at the EPHE or worked in its laboratories.[2] We may cite the following: Émile Benveniste (1928-1975), Fernand Braudel (1938-1953), Claude Bernard, André Berthelot (Vice-President), Marcellin Berthelot, Michel Bréal (1893-1913), Paul Broca, Jean-Baptiste Charcot, Henry Corbin (1938-1977), Georges Dumézil (1933-1967), Lucien Febvre (1943-1947), Étienne Gilson (1930-1941), Marcel Granet (1930-1939), Joseph Halévy (1887-1916), Bernard Halpern, Alexandre Kojève (1933-1939), Alexandre Koyré (1931-1961), Camille-Ernest Labrousse (1936-1952), Claude Lévi-Strauss (1950-1967), Sylvain Lévi, Alfred Loisy, Auguste Longnon (1887-1911), Gaston Maspero (1872-1915), Louis Massignon (1932-1957), Marcel Mauss (1930-1938), Gabriel Monod (1887-1911), Gaston Paris (1887-1904), Lucie Randoin, Jean Rouch (1959-1992), Émile Roux, Ferdinand de Saussure, Rolf Stein, William Henry Waddington, Henri Wallon...

Recent developments

Since 2006, the EPHE has been setting up specialized centers which draw on the same scientific resources of the Sections, but whose primary purpose is to develop disciplinary expertise and vocational training, and to disseminate scholarly knowledge. Three institutes have been established to date : The European Institute of Religious Sciences (IESR),[3] the Pacific Coral Reef Institute (IRCP) and the Transdisciplinary Institute for the Study of Aging (ITEV).

More recently the EPHE has undertaken, as one of nine project sponsors, to create a new research campus in the human and social sciences, the “Campus Condorcet”.[4] Finally, the school has joined PSL, Paris Sciences et Lettres in December 2014.


Courses at the EPHE are taught in accordance with the institution's founding educational principle: to train in research by means of adapted practice in lectures, seminars or lab sessions, in the following areas: Earth and Life Sciences; Historical and Philological Sciences; Religious Sciences.

This tradition, which has endured since the founding of the EPHE, is at the root of the EPHE's main vocation in preparing for research degrees today.

Studies programs

  • Two institution-specific postgraduate degrees (in each of the three Sections): “Diplôme de l’EPHE”, “Diplôme post-doctoral de l’EPHE”;
  • Two master's degrees: The Master in Biology, Health, Environment (research degree, 3 specialties), The Master in Historical, Philological and Religious Sciences (Religious Sciences and Society, European, Mediterranean and Asian Sciences);
  • The Doctorate, in three subjects areas prepared at the same Doctoral School: Integrated Systems, Biodiversity and Environment (“SIEB”), History, Documents and Texts (“HTD”), Religions and Thought Systems (“RSP”).

The EPHE also confers the Habilitation à diriger des recherches (HDR) and offers joint university degrees (“DIU”) in collaboration with other institutions.

Earth and Life Sciences

The Earth and Life Sciences Section groups faculty and laboratories in Paris and throughout France. All laboratories have joint research units in place with other institutions (universities, CNRS, INSERM, INRIA, MNHN). One laboratory is in French Polynesia on the island of Moorea, where the EPHE has a research station. The School also has a station in coastal geomorphology in Dinard on the coast of Brittany. The Section's research is carried out within four networks: environment and cellular regulation; neurosciences; environment and Society; biodiversity dynamics.

Historical and Philological Sciences

The Historical and Philological Sciences Section covers the study of languages, the explanation and commentary of documentary sources, written and book history, and the history of knowledge. Geographically, the emphasis is on the Mediterranean, Asia and Europe, where writing was earliest developed. It remains a field of choice for philological and, more generally, scholarly criticism of written and unwritten sources, aimed at resolving questions of language and history. The Section may also be regarded as one large laboratory devoted to the study of works, cultures and power systems in periods preceding contemporary times, and reaching back over a very long time span within a vast Eurasian area.

In 2010, the Section included 92 full professors and lecturers, and it welcomes every year a large number of foreign scholars as guest fellows.

Topics covered by the Historical and Philological Sciences Section fall into eight broad categories:[5]

  • Ancient Near and Middle East;
  • Classical Antiquity;
  • Muslim worlds;
  • History and Philology of Medieval Period;
  • Modern and contemporary History of the West;
  • India and the Far East;
  • History of the Arts and Archeology;
  • Linguistics.

Historical and Philological Sciences Publications : The Historical and Philological Sciences Section publishes two collections at Editions Honoré Champion:[6]

  • Bibliothèque de l’École des hautes études, Historical and Philological Sciences;
  • Advanced studies in contemporary history).

It also publishes six other collections at the publisher Droz Publisher:[7]

  • Advanced studies in numismatics;
  • Advanced oriental studies, divided in two series : Near and Middle East, Far East;
  • Advanced studies of the Greco-Roman world;
  • Advanced studies in comparative Islamic and oriental history;
  • Advanced studies of medieval and modern times;
  • History and civilization of the book.

Religious Sciences

Established in 1886, the Religious Sciences Section is reputed for its original scholarship in the subject of religions, which it examines in a secular and cross-cultural spirit. By emphasizing comparative and interdisciplinary study, it is the only academic body in France to cover this field so extensively, using a wide range of scientific approaches. The Section's teaching in the area of research extends into the most diverse cultural and linguistic fields, from Antiquity to modern and contemporary times. Strongly committed to the philological tradition, it also naturally draws on disciplines or resources as diverse and complementary as history, archeology, iconology, law, philosophy, ethnology, anthropology and sociology, as well as the cinema and new technologies.

The Section included 54 full professors and 12 lecturers in 2010, and it welcomes every year a large number of foreign scholars as guest fellows. Topics covered may be grouped in nine broad categories:[8]

  • Religious ethnology (Africa, Americas, Europe, Australia/Oceania);
  • Religions of Asia;
  • Polytheistic Religions of the Ancient World;
  • Judaism;
  • Christianity and its margins;
  • Islam;
  • Laicities and Religions in the Contemporary World;

The Religious Sciences Section publishes two collections:

  • The "Bibliothèque de l'École des hautes études", Religious Sciences (BEHE, SR), published by Brepols,[9] which includes two series: History and prosopography of the Religious Sciences Section and Sources and documents.
  • The Conferences of the EPHE, published by Le Cerf.[10] Of interest to both specialists and the educated general public, this recently created collection notably includes transcripts of lectures given at the School by guest research fellows.

Doctoral School

The Doctoral School is also responsible for the attribution of scholarships, grants and financial aid. It implements the EPHE's doctoral studies program in accordance with the plan defined in the institution's quadriennal contract. It operates with other services of the EPHE such as the Education and International Relations divisions. The Doctoral School is organized along three subject areas:

  • Integrated Systems, Environment and Biodiversity;
  • Religions and Thought Systems;
  • History, Texts and Documents.

See also


  1. ^ "Devereux, Georges", in: Gérald Gaillard, The Routledge Dictionary of Anthropologists, Psychology Press, 2004, pp. 181 and 292, accessed 21 August 2014
  2. ^ More authors may be found on the digitized collection of the Annuaire publication (Historical and Philological Sciences Section and Religious Sciences Section) on Persee portal
  3. ^ "IESR official site". Retrieved 18 June 2018.
  4. ^ "Accueil". Retrieved 18 June 2018.
  5. ^ More topics may be found on the Annuaire of the Historical and Philological Sciences Section
  6. ^ "HONORE CHAMPION". Retrieved 18 June 2018.
  7. ^ "Librairie Droz". Retrieved 18 June 2018.
  8. ^ More topics may be found on the Annuaire of the Religious Sciences Section
  9. ^ "Welcome to Brepols Publishers". Retrieved 18 June 2018.
  10. ^ "Editions du Cerf - Librairie chrétienne en ligne". Retrieved 18 June 2018.

External links

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