Luc Ferry

Philosophising Today Publication date : October 4, 2007

This is a pedagogical introduction to philosophy and to the history of philosophy. In the first part of the book, Luc Ferry defines philosophy and gives a clear description of the five major periods in its history. He reviews the basics of philosophy today and recapitulates the ideas presented in his last two books (Qu'est-ce qu'une vie réussie? and Apprendre à vivre: Traité de philosophie à l'usage des jeunes générations). Ferry's approach here is similar to Sartre's in his famous lecture “The Humanism of Existentialism”. In the second part of the book, he re-examines his earlier definition of philosophy as “a doctrine of salvation without God” and the criticisms that this definition has elicited, and engages in a dialogue with André Compte-Sponville as well as with several theologians. These discussions enable him to clarify.

Luc Ferry is a professor of philosophy at the University of Paris-VII. He was formerly Minister of Education and president of the Conseil National des Programmes (the official body that determines curricula for French schools). He is the author of Qu'est-ce qu'une vie réussie? (2005) and Apprendre à vivre (2006) and the co-author, with J. D. Vincent, of Qu'est-ce que l'homme? (2000).