The ‘New Philosophers’

  • Keith A. Reader


The phenomenon known as the ‘new philosophy’ has attracted attention in Britain and America principally as the most extreme recent example of supposed Gallic modishness and perfidy. The term was coined in June 1976, when Les Nouvelles Littéraires published a dossier entitled Les nouveaux philosophes [The new philosophers], edited by the writer who was to become the most prominent of their number, Bernard-Henri Lévy. 1976 and 1977 saw a profusion of books, articles, public lectures, seminars, and radio and television appearances by such figures as Christian Jambet, Guy Lardreau, Philippe Némo, Jean-Marie Benoist, Jean-Paul Dollé, and André Glucksmann: all more or less associated with the ‘new philosophy’, despite Glucksmann’s rejection of the label. The speed vtith which so may previously unknown writers became — at least briefly — celebrities was unprecedented, and widely criticised for being more akin to the marketing of film-stars or pop-singers than to the diffusion of serious ideas. Even François Aubral and Xavier Delcourt’s trenchant critique of the movement, Contre la nouvelle philosophie [Against the new philosophy], itself widely diffused amid much publicity, was not immune to such criticism.


Cultural Revolution Marxist Philosophy Nuclear Disarmament Masculine Noun Fell Swoop 
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Notes and References

  1. 2.
    F. Aubral and X. Delcourt, Contre la nouvelle philosophie (Gallimard, Paris, 1977) p. 183.Google Scholar
  2. 7.
    B.-H. Lévy, La barbarie à visage humain (Grasset, Paris, 1977) p. 8.Google Scholar
  3. 8.
    B.-H. Lévy, L’idéologie française (Livre de Poche, Paris, 1981) pp. 83–8.Google Scholar
  4. 9.
    A. Glucksmann, Les maîtres penseurs (Grasset, Paris, 1977) p. 48.Google Scholar
  5. 13.
    V. P. Chilton, ‘Glucksmannstalk: Packaging the Force’, Modem and Contemporary France, no. 20 (December 1984), pp. 32–6.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Keith A. Reader 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Keith A. Reader
    • 1
  1. 1.Kingston PolytechnicUK

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