The revival of political philosophy in France in the second half of the 20th century

Revival of political philosophy in the 20th century

Keywords: political philosophy, national traditions in philosophy, French philosophy, Marxism, intellectual history


The article identifies elements of national experience that became the preconditions for such revival, as well as determined the originality of French political philosophy. Based on the publi- cations of V. Descombes, G. Labelle, D. Tanguay, M. Foessel, . Jourdain, the author distin- guishes between French political philosophy in the narrow sense, which is represented by C. Castoriadis, C. Lefort, P. Rosanvallon, M. Gauchet, P. Manent, Ph. Raynaud (paying special atten- tion to the Ukrainian translations of their works), and the articulation of political questions in terms of philosophical theory by well-known representatives of French theory. The reasons that hindered the development of political philosophy in France were the dominance of the positiv- ist paradigm in the social sciences and Marxism in the French intellectual milieu. The impulsion for the revival of political philosophy in France was the crisis of Marxism and preparations for the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution of 1789. The distinguishing features of French political philosophy, according to the author, are the study of political problems in the context of intellectual, social, cultural history and ethnology, as well as through the prism of the works of classical French authors. The author also pays attention to the special role of R. Aron in the revival of French political philosophy.

Author Biography

Serhii Yosypenko

Doctor of Sciences in Philosophy, Deputy Director, Head of the Department of History of Philosophy in Ukraine, H.S. Skovoroda Institute of Philosophy, NAS of Ukraine


Aron, R. (1965). D mocratie et totalitarisme. Paris: Gallimard.

Aron, R. (2004). Main Currents in Sociological Thought. [In Ukrainian]. Kyiv: Univers.

Aron, R. (2006). The Opium of the Intellectuals. [In Ukrainian]. Kyiv: Univers.

Castoriadis, C. (1975). L'Institution imaginaire de la sociеtе. Paris: Seuil.

Descombes, V. (1979). Le Mеme et l'Autre. Quarante-cinq ans de philosophie franсaise (1933-1978). Paris: Еditions de Minuit.

Foessel, M., Jourdain, . (2012). tat, repr sentation, d mocratie. Que faire de la philosophie politique ? Table ronde avec Bruno Bernardi, Philippe Raynaud et Myriam Revault d'Allonnes. Esprit, 3, 185-199.

Furet, F. (1978). Penser la Rеvolution franсaise. Paris: Gallimard.

Gauchet, M. (1985). Le dеsenchantement du monde. Une histoire politique de la religion. Paris: Gallimard.

Gauchet, M. (1989). La Rеvolution des droits de l'homme. Paris: Gallimard.

Gauchet, M. (1995). La Rеvolution des pouvoirs. La souverainetе, le peuple et la reprеsentation. Paris: Gallimard.

Gauchet, M. (2002). Les t ches de la philosophie politique. Revue de MAUSS, 19, 275-303. Gauchet, M. (2006). Democracy against itself. [In Ukrainian]. Kyiv: Ukrainian Center of spiritual culture.

Labelle, G., Tanguay, D. (2003). Le retour de la philosophie politique en France. Politique et Sociеtеs, 22(3), 3-7. DOI:

Lefort, C. (1981). L'invention dеmocratique. Les limites de la domination totalitaire. Paris: Fayard.

Manent, P. (2005). An Intellectual History of Liberalism. [In Ukrainian]. Kyiv: Dukh i Litera.

Manent, P. (2009). A familiar course of political philosophy. [In Ukrainian]. Kyiv: Ukrainian Center of spiritual culture.

Popovych, М., Rosanvallon, P. (2009). Democratic legitimacy. The Round Table with the participation of Pierre Rosanvallon. [In Ukrainian]. Filosofska Dumka, 5, 72-89.

Raynaud, Ph. (2008). Le juge et le philosophe: Essais sur le nouvel аge du droit. Paris: Armand Colin. Raynaud, Ph. (2009). Rule of Law. In: B. Cassin, K. Sigov (Eds.), Dictionary of Untranslatables: A Philosophical Lexicon. V. 1. [In Ukrainian]. Kyiv: Dukh i Litera, 322-327.

Raynaud, Ph. (2016). Politeness of the Enlightenment (laws, habits, manners). [In Ukrainian]. Kyiv: Stilos.

Rosanvallon, P. (1996). Le politique. In: Une cole pour les sciences sociales. De la IV Section l'Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences sociales (pp. 299-322). Paris: Cerf / EHESS.

Weber, M. (1959). Le savant et le politique. (Tr. fr.: J. Freund; introduction: R. Aron). Paris: Plon.

How to Cite
Yosypenko, S. (2020). The revival of political philosophy in France in the second half of the 20th century. Filosofska Dumka, (3), 17-28.