Collège de France

Collège de France

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The Collège de France is a higher education and research establishment (Grand établissement) located in Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, in the 5th arrondissement, or Latin Quarter, across the street from the historical campus of La Sorbonne at the intersection of Rue Saint-Jacques and Rue des Écoles. It mainly supports research; it also provides teaching, but to professors and researchers.

It was established in 1530 by King Francis I of France
Francis I of France
Francis I was King of France from 1515 until his death. During his reign, huge cultural changes took place in France and he has been called France's original Renaissance monarch...

, as an imitation of the Collegium Trilingue
Collegium Trilingue
The Collegium Trilingue, often also called Collegium trium linguarum, or, after its creator Collegium Buslidianum , was founded in 1517 under the patronage of the Luxembourgian humanist, Jérôme de Busleyden .The College, in fact inspired by Erasmus who was a friend of...

 in Louvain, at the urging of Guillaume Budé
Guillaume Budé
Guillaume Budé was a French scholar.-Life:Budé was born in Paris. He went to the University of Orléans to study law, but for several years, being possessed of ample means, he led an idle and dissipated life...

. Of humanist
Humanism
Humanism is an approach in study, philosophy, world view or practice that focuses on human values and concerns. In philosophy and social science, humanism is a perspective which affirms some notion of human nature, and is contrasted with anti-humanism....

 inspiration, this school was established as an alternative to the Sorbonne
Collège de Sorbonne
The Collège de Sorbonne was a theological college of the University of Paris, founded in 1257 by Robert de Sorbon, after whom it is named. With the rest of the Paris colleges, it was suppressed during the French Revolution. It was restored in 1808 but finally closed in 1882. The name Sorbonne...

 to promote such disciplines as Hebrew language
Hebrew language
Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Culturally, is it considered by Jews and other religious groups as the language of the Jewish people, though other Jewish languages had originated among diaspora Jews, and the Hebrew language is also used by non-Jewish groups, such...

, Ancient Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 (the first teacher being the celebrated scholar Janus Lascaris
Janus Lascaris
Janus Lascaris , also called John Rhyndacenus , was a noted Greek scholar in the Renaissance.After the fall of Constantinople he was taken to the Peloponnese and to Crete...

) and Mathematics
Mathematics
Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...

. Initially called Collège Royal, and later Collège des Trois Langues (Latin: Collegium Trilingue), Collège National, Collège Impérial, it was named Collège de France in 1870.

What makes it unique is that each professor is required to give lectures where attendance is free and open to anyone, although some high-level courses are not open to the general public. The school's goal is to "teach science in the making" and therefore the professor
Professor
A professor is a scholarly teacher; the precise meaning of the term varies by country. Literally, professor derives from Latin as a "person who professes" being usually an expert in arts or sciences; a teacher of high rank...

s are chosen from among the foremost researcher
Scientific method
Scientific method refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of...

s of the day, with no requirement other than that of being at the top of their fields. They are chosen from a variety of disciplines, in both science
Science
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

 and the humanities
Humanities
The humanities are academic disciplines that study the human condition, using methods that are primarily analytical, critical, or speculative, as distinguished from the mainly empirical approaches of the natural sciences....

. Even though the motto of the Collège is "Docet Omnia," Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 for "It teaches everything," its goal can be best summed up by Maurice Merleau-Ponty
Maurice Merleau-Ponty
Maurice Merleau-Ponty was a French phenomenological philosopher, strongly influenced by Karl Marx, Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger in addition to being closely associated with Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir...

's phrase: "Not preconceived notions, but the idea
Idea
In the most narrow sense, an idea is just whatever is before the mind when one thinks. Very often, ideas are construed as representational images; i.e. images of some object. In other contexts, ideas are taken to be concepts, although abstract concepts do not necessarily appear as images...

 of free thought
" which is burned in golden letters above the main hall of the Collège building.

The Collège does not grant degrees, but has research
Research
Research can be defined as the scientific search for knowledge, or as any systematic investigation, to establish novel facts, solve new or existing problems, prove new ideas, or develop new theories, usually using a scientific method...

 laboratories
Laboratory
A laboratory is a facility that provides controlled conditions in which scientific research, experiments, and measurement may be performed. The title of laboratory is also used for certain other facilities where the processes or equipment used are similar to those in scientific laboratories...

, as well as one of the best research libraries
Research library
A research library is a library which contains an in-depth collection of material on one or several subjects . A research library will generally include primary sources as well as secondary sources...

 of Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, with sections focusing on history
History
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

 with rare books, humanities
Humanities
The humanities are academic disciplines that study the human condition, using methods that are primarily analytical, critical, or speculative, as distinguished from the mainly empirical approaches of the natural sciences....

, social sciences
Social sciences
Social science is the field of study concerned with society. "Social science" is commonly used as an umbrella term to refer to a plurality of fields outside of the natural sciences usually exclusive of the administrative or managerial sciences...

, but also chemistry
Chemistry
Chemistry is the science of matter, especially its chemical reactions, but also its composition, structure and properties. Chemistry is concerned with atoms and their interactions with other atoms, and particularly with the properties of chemical bonds....

 or physics
Physics
Physics is a natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion through spacetime, along with related concepts such as energy and force. More broadly, it is the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the universe behaves.Physics is one of the oldest academic...

.

As of June 2009, over 650 audio podcasts of Collège de France lectures are available on iTunes. Only a handful of those are in English. Similarly, the Collège de France's website hosts several videos of classes (including Mathematics, which are not available on the podcast).

Faculty


The faculty of the Collège de France currently comprises fifty-two Professors, elected by the Professors themselves from amongst eminent Francophone scholars in a wide range of subjects. Chairs cover a range of subjects including mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, history, archaeology, linguistics, oriental studies, philosophy, the social sciences and other fields. In addition, two chairs are reserved for foreign scholars who are invited to give lectures.

Present Chairs, College of France

Past faculty include (see also full list since 1530):

  • Naṣrallāh Shalaq al-'Āqūrī, Latinized as Victor Scialac
    Victor Scialac
    Victor Scialac was a Maronite priest who collaborated with French Orientalist François Savary de Brèves in the 17th century....

  • Raymond Aron
    Raymond Aron
    Raymond-Claude-Ferdinand Aron was a French philosopher, sociologist, journalist and political scientist.He is best known for his 1955 book The Opium of the Intellectuals, the title of which inverts Karl Marx's claim that religion was the opium of the people -- in contrast, Aron argued that in...

  • Jean François Boissonade de Fontarabie
    Jean François Boissonade de Fontarabie
    Jean François Boissonade de Fontarabie was a French classical scholar.He was born at Paris. In 1792 he entered the public service during the administration of General Dumouriez. Driven out in 1795, he was restored by Lucien Bonaparte, during whose time of office he served as secretary to the...

  • Etienne Baluze
    Étienne Baluze
    Étienne Baluze was a French scholar, also known as Stephanus Baluzius.Born in Tulle, he was educated at his native town and took minor orders. As secretary to Pierre de Marca, archbishop of Toulouse, he won his appreciation of him, and at his death Marca left him all his papers...

  • Roland Barthes
    Roland Barthes
    Roland Gérard Barthes was a French literary theorist, philosopher, critic, and semiotician. Barthes' ideas explored a diverse range of fields and he influenced the development of schools of theory including structuralism, semiotics, existentialism, social theory, Marxism, anthropology and...

  • Émile Benveniste
    Émile Benveniste
    Émile Benveniste was a French Jewish structural linguist, semiotician, an apprentice of Antoine Meilletand his successor, who, in his later years, became enlightened by the structural view of language through the work of Ferdinand de Saussure, although he was unwilling to grasp it at first, being...

  • Henri Bergson
    Henri Bergson
    Henri-Louis Bergson was a major French philosopher, influential especially in the first half of the 20th century. Bergson convinced many thinkers that immediate experience and intuition are more significant than rationalism and science for understanding reality.He was awarded the 1927 Nobel Prize...

  • Claude Bernard
    Claude Bernard
    Claude Bernard was a French physiologist. He was the first to define the term milieu intérieur . Historian of science I. Bernard Cohen of Harvard University called Bernard "one of the greatest of all men of science"...

  • Marcelin Berthelot
  • Yves Bonnefoy
    Yves Bonnefoy
    Yves Bonnefoy is a French poet and essayist. Bonnefoy was born in Tours, Indre-et-Loire, the son of a railroad worker and a teacher....

  • Pierre Boulez
    Pierre Boulez
    Pierre Boulez is a French composer of contemporary classical music, a pianist, and a conductor.-Early years:Boulez was born in Montbrison, Loire, France. As a child he began piano lessons and demonstrated aptitude in both music and mathematics...

  • Pierre Bourdieu
    Pierre Bourdieu
    Pierre Bourdieu was a French sociologist, anthropologist, and philosopher.Starting from the role of economic capital for social positioning, Bourdieu pioneered investigative frameworks and terminologies such as cultural, social, and symbolic capital, and the concepts of habitus, field or location,...

  • Jean-François Champollion
    Jean-François Champollion
    Jean-François Champollion was a French classical scholar, philologist and orientalist, decipherer of the Egyptian hieroglyphs....

  • Jean-Pierre Changeux
    Jean-Pierre Changeux
    Jean-Pierre Changeux is a French neuroscientist known for his research in several fields of biology, from the structure and function of proteins , to the early development of the nervous system up to cognitive functions...

  • Georges Cuvier
    Georges Cuvier
    Georges Chrétien Léopold Dagobert Cuvier or Jean Léopold Nicolas Frédéric Cuvier , known as Georges Cuvier, was a French naturalist and zoologist...

  • Marie Henri d'Arbois de Jubainville
    Marie Henri d'Arbois de Jubainville
    Marie Henri d'Arbois de Jubainville , was a French historian and philologist.He was born at Nancy. In 1851 he left the École des Chartes with the degree of palaeographic archivist...

  • Jean Darcet
    Jean Darcet
    Jean d'Arcet or Jean Darcet was a French chemist, and director of the porcelain works at Sèvres. He was one of the first to manufacture porcelain in France. In 1774 he was appointed professor of chemistry in the Collège de France and in 1795 he became a member of the Institute...

  • Jacques-Arsène d'Arsonval
    Jacques-Arsène d'Arsonval
    Jacques-Arsène d'Arsonval was born in La Porcherie and was a French physician, physicist and inventor of the moving-coil galvanometer and probably of the thermocouple ammeter...

  • Pierre-Gilles de Gennes
    Pierre-Gilles de Gennes
    Pierre-Gilles de Gennes was a French physicist and the Nobel Prize laureate in physics in 1991.-Biography:...

  • Émile Deschanel
    Émile Deschanel
    Émile Auguste Étienne Martin Deschanel was a French author and politician, the father of Paul Deschanel, the 11th President of the French Republic....

  • Georges Duby
    Georges Duby
    Georges Duby was a French historian specializing in the social and economic history of the Middle Ages...

  • Georges Dumézil
    Georges Dumézil
    Georges Dumézil was a French comparative philologist best known for his analysis of sovereignty and power in Proto-Indo-European religion and society...


  • Lucien Febvre
    Lucien Febvre
    Lucien Febvre was a French historian best known for the role he played in establishing the Annales School of history. He has designed the Encyclopédie française together with Anatole de Monzie.-Biography:...

  • Oronce Fine
    Oronce Finé
    Oronce Fine was a French mathematician and cartographer.-Life:...

  • Michel Foucault
    Michel Foucault
    Michel Foucault , born Paul-Michel Foucault , was a French philosopher, social theorist and historian of ideas...

  • Ferdinand André Fouqué
    Ferdinand André Fouqué
    Ferdinand André Fouqué was a French geologist and petrologist.He was born at Mortain, in the Manche département....

  • Etienne Fourmont
    Étienne Fourmont
    Étienne Fourmont was a French orientalist.Born at Herblay near Argenteuil, he studied at the Collège Mazarin in Paris and afterwards in the Collège Montaigu where his attention was attracted to Oriental languages....

  • Jean-Baptiste Gail
    Jean-Baptiste Gail
    Jean-Baptiste Gail was a French Hellenist scholar, member of the Institut de France .-Early years:Gail was born in Paris on July 4, 1755. In 1791 he was appointed deputy, and in 1792 titular professor at the Collège de France...

  • Charles Gide
    Charles Gide
    Charles Gide was a leading French economist and historian of economic thought. He was a professor at the University of Bordeaux, at Montpellier, at Université de Paris and finally at Collège de France.- Academic work :...

  • Ian Hacking
    Ian Hacking
    Ian Hacking, CC, FRSC, FBA is a Canadian philosopher, specializing in the philosophy of science.- Life and works :...

  • Eugène Auguste Ernest Havet
    Eugène Auguste Ernest Havet
    Eugène Auguste Ernest Havet , French scholar, was born in Paris.Educated at the Lycée Saint-Louis and the Ecole Normale, he was for many years before his death professor of Latin eloquence at the Collège de France....

  • Françoise Héritier
    Françoise Héritier
    Françoise Héritier is a French anthropologist and successor to Claude Lévi-Strauss at the Collège de France . Her work deals mainly with the theory of alliances and on the prohibition of incest...

  • Frédéric Joliot
  • Alfred Jost
    Alfred Jost
    Alfred Jost was a French endocrinologist, famous for his discovery of the Mullerian inhibitor, now called anti-Mullerian hormone or Mullerian inhibiting substance...

  • Stanislas Julien
    Stanislas Julien
    Stanislas Aignan Julien was a French sinologist.-Biography:Born at Orléans, he studied the classics at the Collège de France, and in 1821 was appointed assistant professor of Greek. In the same year he published an edition of The Rape of Helen of Coluthus, with versions in French, Latin, English,...

  • Edouard Rene Lefebvre de Laboulaye
  • Sylvestre François Lacroix
    Sylvestre François Lacroix
    Sylvestre François Lacroix was a French mathematician.He was born in Paris, and was raised in a poor family who still managed to obtain a good education for their son. He displayed a particular talent for mathematics, calculating the motions of theplanets by the age of 14...

  • René Laënnec
    René Laennec
    René-Théophile-Hyacinthe Laennec was a French physician. He invented the stethoscope in 1816, while working at the Hôpital Necker and pioneered its use in diagnosing various chest conditions....

  • Paul Langevin
    Paul Langevin
    Paul Langevin was a prominent French physicist who developed Langevin dynamics and the Langevin equation. He was one of the founders of the Comité de vigilance des intellectuels antifascistes, an antifascist organization created in the wake of the 6 February 1934 far right riots...

  • René Leriche
    René Leriche
    René Leriche was a famous French surgeon.-Eponymous terms:René Leriche gave his name to two syndromes:...

  • Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie
    Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie
    Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie is a French historian whose work is mainly focused upon Languedoc in the ancien regime, particularly the history of the peasantry.-Early life and career:...

  • Claude Lévi-Strauss
    Claude Lévi-Strauss
    Claude Lévi-Strauss was a French anthropologist and ethnologist, and has been called, along with James George Frazer, the "father of modern anthropology"....

  • André Lichnerowicz
    André Lichnerowicz
    André Lichnerowicz was a noted French differential geometer and mathematical physicist of Polish descent.-Biography:...

  • Alfred Loisy
    Alfred Loisy
    Alfred Firmin Loisy was a French Roman Catholic priest, professor and theologian who became the intellectual standard bearer for Biblical Modernism in the Roman Catholic Church...

  • Edmond Malinvaud
    Edmond Malinvaud
    Edmond Malinvaud is a French economist. He was the first president of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences....


  • Henri Maspero
    Henri Maspero
    Henri Maspero was a French sinologist, today particularly remembered for his pioneering works on Taoism.-Biography:...

  • Louis Massignon
    Louis Massignon
    Louis Massignon was a French scholar of Islam and its history. Although a Catholic himself, he tried to understand Islam from within and thus had a great influence on the way Islam was seen in the West; among other things, he paved the way for a greater openness inside the Catholic Church towards...

  • Marcel Mauss
    Marcel Mauss
    Marcel Mauss was a French sociologist. The nephew of Émile Durkheim, Mauss' academic work traversed the boundaries between sociology and anthropology...

  • Maurice Merleau-Ponty
    Maurice Merleau-Ponty
    Maurice Merleau-Ponty was a French phenomenological philosopher, strongly influenced by Karl Marx, Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger in addition to being closely associated with Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir...

  • Jules Michelet
    Jules Michelet
    Jules Michelet was a French historian. He was born in Paris to a family with Huguenot traditions.-Early life:His father was a master printer, not very prosperous, and Jules assisted him in the actual work of the press...

  • Adam Mickiewcz
  • Jean-Baptiste Morin
  • Alexis Paulin Paris
    Alexis Paulin Paris
    Alexis Paulin Paris , was a French scholar and author.He was born at Avenay . He studied classics in Reims and law in Paris. He published in 1824 an Apologie pour l'école romantique and took an active part in Parisian journalism...

  • Paul Pelliot
    Paul Pelliot
    Paul Pelliot was a French sinologist and explorer of Central Asia. Initially intending to enter the foreign service, Pelliot took up the study of Chinese and became a pupil of Sylvain Lévi and Édouard Chavannes....

  • François Pétis de la Croix
    François Pétis de la Croix
    François Pétis de la Croix was a French orientalist.He was born in Paris, the son of the Arabic interpreter of the French court, and inherited this office at his father's death in 1695, afterwards transmitting it to his own son, Alexandre Louis Marie, who also distinguished himself in Oriental...

  • Guillaume Postel
    Guillaume Postel
    Guillaume Postel was a French linguist, astronomer, Cabbalist, diplomat, professor, and religious universalist.Born in the village of Barenton in Basse-Normandie, Postel made his way to Paris to further his education...

  • Edgar Quinet
    Edgar Quinet
    Edgar Quinet was a French historian and intellectual.-Early years:Born at Bourg-en-Bresse, in the département of Ain. His father, Jérôme Quinet, had been a commissary in the army, but being a strong republican and disgusted with Napoleon's 18 Brumaire coup, he gave up his post and devoted himself...

  • Petrus Ramus
    Petrus Ramus
    Petrus Ramus was an influential French humanist, logician, and educational reformer. A Protestant convert, he was killed during the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre.-Early life:...

  • Henri Victor Regnault
    Henri Victor Regnault
    Henri Victor Regnault was a French chemist and physicist best known for his careful measurements of the thermal properties of gases. He was an early thermodynamicist and was mentor to William Thomson in the late 1840s....

  • Jean-Pierre Abel-Rémusat
  • Jean-Baptiste Say
    Jean-Baptiste Say
    Jean-Baptiste Say was a French economist and businessman. He had classically liberal views and argued in favor of competition, free trade, and lifting restraints on business...

  • Jean-Pierre Serre
    Jean-Pierre Serre
    Jean-Pierre Serre is a French mathematician. He has made contributions in the fields of algebraic geometry, number theory, and topology.-Early years:...

  • Jibrā'īl aṣ-Ṣahyūnī, Latinized as Gabriel Sionita
    Gabriel Sionita
    Gabriel Sionita was a learned Maronite, famous for his role in the publication of the 1645 Parisian polyglot of the Bible.-Life:...

  • François Simiand
    François Simiand
    François Simiand was a French sociologist and economist best known as a participant in the Année Sociologique. As a member of the French Historical School of economics, Simiand predicated a rigorous factual and statistical basis for theoretical models and policies...

  • Paul Valéry
    Paul Valéry
    Ambroise-Paul-Toussaint-Jules Valéry was a French poet, essayist, and philosopher. His interests were sufficiently broad that he can be classified as a polymath...

  • Jean-Pierre Vernant
    Jean-Pierre Vernant
    Jean-Pierre Vernant was a French historian and anthropologist, specialist in ancient Greece. Influenced by Claude Lévi-Strauss, Vernant developed a structuralist approach to Greek myth, tragedy, and society which would itself be influential among classical scholars...


External links