Action (1893)

Essay on a Critique of Life and a Science of Practice

Maurice Blondel
Translated by Oliva Blanchette

“Blondel’s masterwork, Action, here elegantly translated into English for the first time by Oliva Blanchette, remains a philosophical classic. It is a book that should be read by every mature philosopher and theologian.” —International Philosophical Quarterly

“This translation of Blondel’s critique of life, [his] guide to living, is the best introduction to the man and his important kind of thinking, with a special eloquence and moving force in the reading of the whole.” —Religious Studies Review

“This translation by Oliva Blanchette is very welcome and quite readable . . . [her] introduction is excellent and provides a clear and thorough preparation for the uninitiated reader.” —Philosophy of Religion

“Maurice Blondel was one of the foremost French Catholic philosophers of the twentieth century. This is the first complete English translation of his highly influential work.” —Theology Digest

MAURICE BLONDEL (1861–1949) was born in Dijon, France and educated at the École Normale Supérieure. He defended his thesis, L’action, in 1893 at the Sorbonne. Blondel at first was refused a university position on the grounds of having taken an improperly religious position in his philosophy, but finally received a professorship in Aix in 1897.

OLIVA BLANCHETTE is professor of philosophy at Boston College.