Essay on a Critique of Life and a Science of Practice
484 pages, 6.00 x 9.06
Paperback | 9780268201524 | December 2021
Hardcover | 9780268201555 | December 2021
eBook (Web PDF) | 9780268201531 | December 2021
eBook (EPUB) | 9780268201548 | December 2021
This new edition of the English translation of Maurice Blondel’s Action (1893) remains a philosophical classic.
Action was once a common theme in philosophical reflection. It figured prominently in Aristotelian philosophy, and the medieval Scholastics built some of their key adages around it. But by the time French philosopher Maurice Blondel came to focus on it at the end of the nineteenth century, it had all but disappeared from the philosophical vocabulary. Today, it is no longer possible or legitimate to ignore action in philosophy as it was when Blondel defended and published his doctoral dissertation and most influential work, L’Action: Essai d’une critique de la vie et d’une science de la pratique (1893). Oliva Blanchette’s definitive English translation of Action was first published in 1984 to critical acclaim. This new edition contains Blanchette’s translation, corrections of minor errors in the first edition, and a new preface from the translator, describing what makes this early version of Action unique in all of Blondel’s writings and what has kept it in the forefront of those interested in studying Blondel and his philosophy of Christian religion. Action (1893) will appeal to philosophers, theologians, and those looking for spiritual reading, and is an excellent study in reasoning for the more scientifically inclined.
Maurice Blondel (1861–1949) was a philosopher born in Dijon, France, and educated at the École Normale Supérieure. Blondel 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. He was the author of a number of books, including Philosophical Exigencies of Christian Religion (University of Notre Dame Press, 2021).
Oliva Blanchette is professor emeritus of philosophy at Boston College. He is the author and translator of eleven books, including Maurice Blondel’s Philosophical Exigencies of Christian Religion (University of Notre Dame Press, 2021).
Reviews for the 1984 edition of Action:
“Blondel’s masterwork, Action, remains a philosophical classic. It is a book that should be read by every mature philosopher and theologian.” —International Philosophical Quarterly
“This translation by Oliva Blanchette is very welcome and quite readable . . . [his] introduction is excellent and provides a clear and thorough preparation for the uninitiated reader.” —Philosophy of Religion
“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