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French philosophers


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Am currently studying Denis Diderot. Rather like "Il n'y a qu'un devoir, c'est d'etre heureux", think I could live by that. And "Se faire tuer ne prouve rien; sinon qu'on n'est pas le plus fort" is indisputable. Any other students of French philosophy out there?

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I can't remember the exact wording, or who wrote it (it's been over 30 years since I saw this in one of my employer's books), but I've always liked this one:

"Que vous tes heureux, il ne vous faut que de vous en rendre compte".

Similar sentiment, really.
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  • 2 weeks later...
Alas no, but I do have very pleasant if hazy memories of the French Institute's grandly named Philosophy Circle...
I remember trotting through Diderot and the rest of what is presumably the French curriculum at a fast pace with a lot of asides about the fine work done by English philosophers... I rather got the impression that they did a lot of hard work while Diderot, Voltaire et al were very good writers?
Then we dwelled on more modern works, I vaguely remember Barthes, more clearly Levi Strauss (?) for Le cru et le cuit, and vividly Derrida.
The latter seems to have made rather too much impression on academics from all sorts of unlikely disciplines, his premise that perfect understanding is impossible being used as an excuse for not really bothering about anything any more... which certainly at the time he hadn't suggested was a logical conclusion.
It took me years to understand why the teacher so enjoyed teaching English people with our lousy accents... he often commented on how much more capable we were of true philosophy, of analysing the works in an original fashion... I wonder if he realised how little we were likely to retain compared with French counterparts... I wonder if it matters...
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