Philosophy and policy in political philosophy of Vіncent Descombes

  • Florent Guénard
Keywords: political philosophy, substantiation philosophy, decisionist philosophy, nomocratism, artificialism, subjectivism


There is the question which haunts philosophy: how may be philosophy correlated with policy? The answer supposes the appeal to a so-called figure of philosopher-law-maker. Thus the author dwells in succession on three points: 1) comprehension of the figure of philosopher-law-maker in V. Descombes’ political philosophy; 2) elucidation, basing on V. Descombes’ directions, of the illusions generated by the above figure in the modern political thought; 3) this figure outline in Plato’s and Rousseau’s vision. The analysis brings the author to elucidation of divergences between substantiation philosophies which form the policy on rational principles and decisionist philosophies according to which policy is not the cause of substantiation, thus, political philosophy has to renounce any instance of fundamental reflection. In the author’s opinion it is necessary to revise interpretations of Platonism and Rousseauism to understand the interrelation between the appearance of autonomous will or “ability to formulate” (Liotard), and a myth about the philosopher-law-maker.


Descombes V. Le Complément de sujet. — Paris, 2004.

Descombes V. Le raisonnement de l’ours et autres essais de philosophie pratique. — Paris, 2007.

Descombes V. Philosophie du jugement politique. — Paris, 2008.

Descombes V. Philosophie par gros temps. — Paris: Minuit, 1989.

Hobbes Th. Léviathan. — Paris: Sirey, 1971.
How to Cite
Guénard, F. (2017). Philosophy and policy in political philosophy of Vіncent Descombes. Filosofska Dumka, (4), 16-24. Retrieved from