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Edgar Morin

Updated on August 31, 2008

Edgar Morin is one of France's leading contemporary philosophers, an emeritus research director at the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS). His large body of work is characterised by a concern for knowledge that is neither hampered nor pigeonholed, capable of grasping the complexity of reality, of observing the singular while placing it within the whole. In this spirit: he has conducted research into contemporary sociology (L'Esprit du temps, published by Grasset, 1962-1976...) he has sought to understand anthropo-social complexity by incorporating the biological dimension and the imaginary dimension (L'Homme et la mort, Seuil, 1951, Le Cinema ou l'Homme imaginaire, Minuit, 1956, Le Paradigme perdu: la nature humaine, Seuil, 1973...) he has set out a diagnostic analysis and an ethic for the fundamental problems of our age (Pour sortir du XXe siecle, Nathan, 1981, Penser l'Europe, Gallimard, 1987, Terre-Patrie, Seuil, 1993, Une politique de civilisation, with Sami Nair, Arlea, 1997) finally, over a period of twenty years (1977-1991), he has worked on a Method (Seuil) that would enable a reform of our way of thinking. La Complexite humaine (Flammarion, 1994) combines key concepts from the work of Edgar Morin (excerpts from his main works), for an introduction to his "complex thought". Most of these works have been translated (or are being translated) into Chinese, English, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish...

Anne Rapin, Label France nº 28, July 1997

Three reasons to love Edgar Morin

Reason #1: In the last 50 years, Edgar Morin has developed an astounding, diverse, and rich body of work. He is widely recognized as one of the most important French and indeed European thinkers to emerge in the 20th century.

Reason #2: His six volume masterwork La Méthode (Method), is not merely a scientific project but also a complex message from the heart of the 20th century.

Reason #3: Morin's books address such a variety of issues that it's necessary to first of all catalog some of them at least, a small selection out of the 60 or so books he has published, in order to get an idea of the scope of his work. In the process, we can begin to see the "path laid down in walking", and begin to recognize the threads that tie much of Morin's work together.

Source: Babel, a bibliographic website about Edgar Morin's works

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