Jules Lachelier

Lachelier, Jules


Born May 27, 1832, in Fontainebleau; died there Jan. 16, 1918. French logician and idealist philosopher. Professor at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris (1864–75). Member of the Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques.

In works on the theory of knowledge, Lachelier linked Kantianism with spiritualist realism. He defended the thesis of the correspondence of various types of thinking to various levels of existence in a major work, Foundation of Induction (1871). According to Lachelier, unity of existence may be understood only teleologically, through the idea of god as a final goal which unites all levels, or orders, of existence. Existence is hierarchical; it evolves from various orders, or spiritual realities, which are encompassed by a single spiritual principle. Lachelier related different types of knowledge to different levels of existence. He considered scientific thinking to be the lowest function of thinking, adequately expressing only the formal, most abstract structure of the world. Lachelier viewed man as the subject and simultaneously the object of universal consciousness, which he understood in the spirit of Neoplatonism as a world soul. Lachelier is also known for his works on the logic of relations.


Oeuvres, vols. 1–2.Paris, 1933.


Voishvillo, E. K. “Kritika logiki otnoshenii kak reliativistskogo napravleniia v logike.” Filosofskie zapiski, vol. 6.Moscow, 1953.
Séailles, G. La Philosophie de J. Lachelier. Paris, 1920.
Jolivet, R. De Rosmini à Lachelier. Paris, 1953.
Millet, L. Le Symbolisme dans la philosophie de Lachelier. Paris, 1959.


References in periodicals archive ?
Although William James might have been expected, the names of James Beattie (the one considered to be a 'silly bigoted fellow' by David Hume), John Stuart Mill (his paper 'Theism' in Three Essays on Religion) and the French idealist philosopher Jules Lachelier are perhaps more surprising entries on the list.