Émile Bréhier

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search

Émile Bréhier (French: [bʁeje]; 12 April 1876 – 3 February 1952) was a French philosopher. His interest was in classical philosophy, and the history of philosophy. He wrote a Histoire de la Philosophie, translated into English in seven volumes.


Bréhier was born in Bar-le-Duc. He studied at the University of Paris. In 1908 he received his doctorate at the Sorbonne with a dissertation about Philo of Alexandria. Bréhier was Henri Bergson's successor at the University of Paris in 1945.

The historian Louis Bréhier was his brother. He died in Paris.

Career overview

He was an early follower of Bergson; in the 1930s there was an influential view that Bergsonism and Neoplatonism were linked.[1]

He has been called "the sole figure in the French history who adopts an Hegelian interpretation of Neoplatonism",[2] but also a Neo-Kantian opponent of Hegel.[3]


History of Philosophy

  • Histoire de la Philosophie Allemande (1921; 3rd edition updated by Paul Ricœur, 1954)
  • Histoire de la Philosophie[4]
    • I. — Antiquité et Moyen Âge (1926–28; 3 volumes)
    • II. — La Philosophie Moderne (1929–32; 4 volumes)
    • Fascicule Supplémentaire: La Philosophie en Orient (1948; with Paul Masson-Oursel)


  • La Théorie des Incorporels dans l'Ancien Stoïcisme (1907)
  • Les Idées Philosophiques et Religieuses de Philon d'Alexandrie (1908)
  • Chrysippe (1910)
  • Schelling (1912)
  • Pendant la Guerre (1918)
  • La Philosophie de Plotin (1928)
  • La Philosophie et son Passé (1950)
  • Transformation de la Philosophie Française 1900-1950 (1950)
  • Études de Philosophie Antique (1955)
  • Les Thèmes Actuels de la Philosophie (1967)


  • Lydie Adolphe, La Philosophie Religieuse de Bergson (1946)
  • André Henry, Bergson Maitre de Péguy (1948)



  • Ennéades, by Plotinus (1924–38)
  • Les Stoïciens (1962)

Translated into English

  • The Philosophy of Plotinus (1958)
  • The History of Philosophy (1963–69; 7 volumes)
  • "The Creation of the Eternal Truths in Descartes's System." In: Willis Doney, ed., Descartes: A Collection of Critical Essays (1967)
  • "Is There a Christian Philosophy?." In: Gregory B. Sadler, ed., Reason Fulfilled by Revelation: The 1930s Christian Philosophy Debates in France (2011)


  1. Paul Andrew Passavant, Jodi Dean, Empire's New Clothes: Reading Hardt and Negri (2004), p. 218.
  2. Hankey p. 120 in Jean-Marc Narbonne, W. J. Hankey, Levinas and the Greek Heritage & One Hundred Years of Neoplatonism in France (2006).
  3. Bruce Baugh, French Hegel: From Surrealism to Postmodernism (2003), note p. 183.
  4. Brunschvicg, Léon (1935). "L'Histoire de la Philosophie par Émile Bréhier". Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale. XLII (3): 385–98.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>


External links