Pierre Duhem avait-il «quelque théologien derrière lui» lors de l’élaboration de son articulation de la physique et de la métaphysique ? Le cas de Maurice Blondel


Authors
Jean-François Stoffel
Haute école Louvain En Hainaut
Abstract
S'étonnant qu'un simple physicien sache traiter des rapports de la physique et de la métaphysique, Edmond Domet de Vorges s'était demandé si Pierre Duhem n'avait pas bénéficié de l'aide de quelque théologien dans l'élaboration de son articulation de ces deux disci­plines. Faisant suite à cette question très perti­nente, cet article liste d'abord les intellectuels catholiques qui étaient en relation avec Duhem avant la publication, en 1893, de son article Physique et métaphysique et qui auraient effec­tivement pu l'aider à concevoir une telle articulation. Se con­sacrant ensuite spécifiquement à l'un d'entre eux, à savoir Maurice Blondel, il étudie les similitudes et divergences existant entre les pensées du physicien bordelais et du philosophe d'Aix pour conclure que Blondel ne peut pas être celui qui aurait inspiré Duhem. À l'appui de cette conclusion, il fait notamment état d'une lettre inédite adressée par Duhem à Ambroise Gar­deil et dans laquelle celui-ci porte un jugement sévère à l'en­droit de son «pauvre ami» Blondel. ––– One might be surprised to find that a simple physician could be able explain with clarity the subtle relationship between physics and metaphysics. It is with this question in mind that Edmond Domet de Vorges asked himself if it might not have been with the aid of theologians that Pierre Duhem was able to find and express his subtle articulation between the two disciplines. Following in the footsteps of this pertinent question, this article begins by listing the catholic intellectuals who were acquain­tances of Pierre Duhem before the publication in 1893 of “Physique et métaphysique”, who may have been able to help him arrive at the relationship between the two sciences expressed in his publication. This line of questioning is followed by a specific study of one of these men, namely Maurice Blondel. The similarities and differences in the opinions of the physician from Bordeaux and the philosopher from Aix are explored with the resulting conclusion that Blondel could not have been he who inspired Duhem. This conclusion can be confirmed by a previously unpublished letter from Duhem to Ambroise Gardeil which contains a very severe judgement with regards to his “poor friend” Blondel.
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