In this paper, I discuss the Agrégation de Philosophie—the French national examination that certifies philosophy teachers for both lycée and university instruction—in terms of the role it has played in the intellectual formation of all French philosophers and, as a corollary, its impact on developments in 20th-century French philosophy. Following a recounting of the history and structure of the examination, I discuss how the examination reveals that a thorough grounding in the history of philosophy, especially pre-1800 philosophy, is a necessary (...) condition for employment as an instructor of philosophy. After discussing the connections between the examination and the teaching activities of the Sorbonne’s Department of Philosophy, I analyze the content of the exam, showing how it offers important insights into the French philosophical tradition and how it differs from the English language and German philosophical traditions. I conclude by examining in detail the appearances of Comte, Plotinus, and Nietzsche on the examination, showing how their appearances correlate with publication trends as well as the careers of influential philosophers. (shrink)
This unique book addresses trends such as vitalism, neo-Kantianism, existentialism, Marxism and feminism, and provides concise biographies of the influential philosophers who shaped these movements, including entries on over ninety thinkers. Offers discussion and cross-referencing of ideas and figures Provides Appendix on the distinctive nature of French academic culture.
More than any other figure, Friedrich Nietzsche is cited as the philosopher who anticipates and previews the philosophical themes that have dominated French theory since structuralism. Informed by the latest developments in both contemporary French philosophy and Nietzsche scholarship, Alan Schrift's Nietzsche's French Legacy provides a detailed examination and analysis of the way the French have appropriated Nietzsche in developing their own critical projects. Using Nietzsche's thought as a springboard, this study makes accessible the ideas of some of the most (...) important and difficult of contemporary French poststructuralist theorists including Jacques Derrida, Gilles Deleuze, Michel Foucault and Helene Cixous. Through a careful analysis and close reading of the texts of Nietzsche and French poststructuralism, Schrift illuminates the ways in which Nietzsche's thought prefigures certain poststructuralist motifs. He demonstrates how several dominant themes in contemporary Frenchphilosophy emerge out of Nietzsche's own thinking. As one of the first books to critically examine the work of the new French anti-Nietzschean's, Schrift defends the value of poststructuralism and Nietzsche as critical resources for confronting the present. (shrink)