Born July 19, 1867, in Dijon; died Nov. 15, 1963, in Asnières. French philosopher. Member of the Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques (1922). Professor at the Sorbonne (1904).
Lalande was one of the founders of the French Philosophical Society (1901). His Technical and Critical Philosophical Dictionary (vols. 1–2, 1926; 7th ed., 1956), which was based on discussions about philosophical terminology in that society, brought him fame. Lalande’s other works were devoted to the philosophy of science, logic, psychology, and ethics. His philosophy combined positivist and metaphysical-spiritualistic elements. In contrast to the English philosopher H. Spencer’s idea of evolution, Lalande proposed the principle of involution, or dissolution: if a superficial examination of things reveals that evolution leads to increasing differentiation, the deep-seated and universal tendency of reality consists of dissolution—movement from the heterogeneous to the homogeneous and the uniform. Lalande regarded rational thinking as the highest expression of dissolution.
WORKSL’Idée directrice de la dissolution opposée à celle de l’évolution… Paris, 1899.
Précis raisonné de morale pratique. Paris, 1907.
La Psychologie des jugements de valeur. Le Caire, 1929.
Les Théories de l’induction et de l’expérimentation. Paris, 1929.
Les Illusions évolutionnistes. Paris, 1930.
La Raison et les normes. Paris, 1948.
In Russian translation:
Etiudy po filosofii nauk, 2nd ed. St. Petersburg, 1897.
V. A. LEKTORSKII and V. N. SADOVSKII