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Encyclopedia > Michel Serres

Michel Serres (born September 1, 1930) is a French philosopher and author with an unusual career. September 1 is the 244th day of the year (245th in leap years). ... 1930 (MCMXXX) is a common year starting on Wednesday. ... A philosopher is a person who thinks deeply regarding people, society, the world, and/or the universe. ...


Born the son of a barge man, Serres entered the Ecole Navale in 1949 and the École Normale Supérieure in 1952. He agregated in 1955 after having studied philosophy. He spent the next few years as a naval officer before finally receiving his doctorate in 1968 and began teaching in Paris. Self propelled barge carrying bulk crushed stone A barge is a flat-bottomed boat, built mainly for river and canal transport of heavy goods. ... 1949 (MCMXLIX) is a common year starting on Saturday. ... The quadrangle at the main ENS building on rue dUlm is known as the Cour aux Ernests – the Ernests being the goldfish in the pond. ... 1952 (MCMLII) was a Leap year starting on Tuesday (link will take you to calendar). ... In France, the agrégation is a civil service competitive examination for some positions in the public education system. ... 1955 (MCMLV in Roman) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1968 calendar). ... The Eiffel Tower has become a symbol of Paris throughout the world. ...


As a child, Serres witnessed firsthand the violence and devastation of war. "I was six for my first dead bodies," he told Bruno Latour. He studied mathematics and science in the shadow of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. These formative experiences led him to consistently eschew scholarship based upon models of war, suspicion, and criticism. Bruno Latour Bruno Latour (born June 1947, Beaune, France) is a French sociologist of science best known for his books We Have Never Been Modern, Laboratory Life, and Science in Action, describing the process of scientific research from the perspective of social construction based on field observations of working scientists. ...


Over the next twenty years Serres earned a reputation as a spell-binding lecturer and as the author of remarkably beautiful and enigmatic prose known so reliant on the sonorities of French that it is practically untranslatable. He took as his subjects such diverse topics as the mythical Northwest Passage, the concept of the parasite, and the explosion of the Space Shuttle Columbia. More generally Serres is interested in developing a philosophy of science which does not rely on a metalanguage in which one account of science is privileged and accurate. To do this he relies on the concept of translation between accounts rather than settling on one as authoritative. For this reason Serres has relied on the figure of Hermes (in his earlier works) and angels (in more recent studies) as messengers who translate back and forth between domains. Popular Northwest Passage routes through the Canadian archipelago This article describes the route through the Canadian Arctic. ... A parasite is an organism that spends a significant portion of its life in or on the living tissue of a host organism and which causes harm to the host without immediately killing it. ... Space Shuttle Columbia (NASA Orbiter Vehicle Designation: OV-102) was the first space shuttle in NASAs orbital fleet. ... Metalanguage in linguistics is a language used to make statements about language (the object language). ... Translation is an activity comprising the interpretation of the meaning of a text in one language — the source text — and the production, in another language, of a new, equivalent text — the target text, or translation. ... Hermes bearing the infant Dionysus, by Praxiteles Hermes (Greek IPA ), in Greek mythology, is the god of boundaries and of the travelers who cross them, of shepherds and cowherds, of orators, literature and poets, of athletics, of weights and measures and invention and commerce in general, of liars, and of... The Annunciation - the Angel Gabriel announces to Mary that she will bear Jesus (El Greco, 1575) An angel is ethereal being found in many religions, whose duties are to assist and serve God. ...


In 1990, Serres was appointed to the Académie Française, a sign of his position as one of France's most prominent intellectuals. In the English-speaking world, Serres is perhaps best known for teaching at Stanford University and for influencing younger intellectuals such as Bruno Latour. This article is about the year. ... The Académie française, or French Academy, is the pre-eminent French learned body on matters pertaining to the French language. ... The Leland Stanford Junior University, commonly known as Stanford University (or simply Stanford), is a private university in Stanford, California, USA. Located approximately 37 miles (60 kilometers) southeast of San Francisco in an unincorporated part of Santa Clara County adjacent to the city of Palo Alto, Stanford lies at the... Bruno Latour Bruno Latour (born June 1947, Beaune, France) is a French sociologist of science best known for his books We Have Never Been Modern, Laboratory Life, and Science in Action, describing the process of scientific research from the perspective of social construction based on field observations of working scientists. ...


Important Citations

Serres' The Birth of Physics is an important source in the third proposition of the "Treatise on Nomadology" as developed by Deleuze and Guattari in the second volume of Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Of particular importance are: Gilles Deleuze (January 18, 1925 - November 4, 1995) was a major French philosopher of the late 20th century. ... Félix Guattari (1930 - 1992) was a French pioneer of institutional psychotherapy, as well as the founder of both Schizoanalysis and the science of Ecosophy. ...

  • 1 The development of a hydraulic model of physics rather than a solid model where liquid is a special case;
  • 2 The development of a physical model based on becoming and hetrogeneity rather than being (stable identity) and homogeneity;

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Bibliography

  • La naissance de la physique dans le texte de Lucrece, 1977 tr. Jack Hawkes (2000) The Birth of Physics
  • Les Cinq Sens, 1985
  • Le Tiers-Instruit, 1991 (published in English as The Troubadour of Knowledge 1997)
  • Eclaircissements, interview with Bruno Latour, 1992
  • Hominescence, 2001
Preceded by:
Edgar Faure
Seat 18
Académie française
1990-
Succeeded by:
Incumbent

  Results from FactBites:
 
International Journal of Education & the Arts: Volume 3 Number 3 (9253 words)
Michel Serres is a provocative and unorthodox thinker, very little known in the English-speaking world, although he is one of the best-known contemporary French philosophers.
Serres' journey from a student of traditional science to revolutionary science in the late 1940s, then from sciences to philosophy in the 1950s and finally from traditional philosophy to literature and philosophy in the 1960s marks the trajectory of his thought.
Serres is clearly against the fragmentation of knowledge that is responsible for reproducing power relations at the global level (the power accumulated by science on the expense of the arts is one example of this).
French and Italian: Faculty (194 words)
Professor Michel Serres was born in 1930 in Agen, France.
During the 1960s he taught with Michel Foucault at the Universities of Clermont-Ferrand and Vincennes and was later appointed to a chair in the history of science at the Sorbonne, where he still teaches.
Serres has also been a full professor at Stanford University since 1984, and he was elected to the French Academy in 1990.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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