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Émile-Auguste Chartier (3 March 1868 – 2 June 1951), commonly known as Alain, was a French philosopher, journalist, and pacifist.

Life and works[edit]

Emile Chartier, was born in Normandy, France, on 3 March 1868. From 1893 to 1933, Alain taught philosophy in secondary schools. According to his pupils he was an outstanding teacher, combining his own highly personal philosophy with a thorough knowledge of the great works of Western philosophy, from Plato to Hegel. He fought in the First World War and was demobilized in 1917. After the war ended he went back to teaching while at the same time working as a journalist, a sideline he had started about ten years earlier with his regular contributions to the newspaper "La Dépêche de Rouen". Most of Alain’s considerable output has come down to us in the form of journalistic comment, but many books have also been published separately, including the eighty-one chapters of L’Esprit et les Passions (1917), Le Système des beaux-arts (1920), Mars ou la guerre jugée (1921), and commentaries on philosophical or literary works. Alain died in Le Vésinet on 2 June 1951. [1]

Works (selection)[edit]

(in French)

  • Éléments de philosophie, 1916; Paris: Gallimard, 1941.
  • Propos sur l'esthétique, 1923.
  • Propos sur le bonheur, 1925; new ed., 1928.
  • Les Dieux, Paris: Gallimard, 1934.
  • Définitions, Paris: Gallimard, 1953.
  • Avec Balzac, Paris: Gallimard, 1937; new ed., 1999.