Maurice Blondel

Blondel, Maurice, 1861–1949, French Catholic philosopher, b. Dijon. He was a professor at the universities of Montauban, Lille, and Aix-Marseille during his influential career. Like his contemporary Henri Bergson he was antirationalist and scorned science. In his first work, L'Action (1893, rev. ed. 1950), he laid the groundwork for his later thought. Blondel held that action alone could never satisfy the human yearning for the transfinite, which could only be fulfilled by God, whom he described as the "first principle and last term." In his positive affirmation of God he was close to St. Augustine, Plato, and Leibniz; he later also accorded legitimacy to the rational proofs of God's existence. His other chief works were La Pensée (2 vol., 1934–35) and Le Problème de la philosophie catholique (1932).

See study by H. Bouillard (1969).

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