Alain: On Happiness

alain philosopher

The philosopher Alain (1868-1951), whose real name is Emile Chartier, is the author of the famous:

– Works(1908-1919)

– On Happiness (1928)

– Ideas (1932)

– Elements of Philosophy (revised in 1940)

In Alain, Philosophize is escape prejudice, say no to what was previously considered reflection. Alain and exercise considerable influence on his generation.

Alain’s Method: the access to thinking

The philosophy of Alain does not form a system, but refers to a method Intellectual: This is the real and present existence to the order of reflection and thought.


What to think?

– Perform an intellectual or rational, weigh carefully what comes to mind, say no to prejudice, which is considered in advance, before they are either educated.

– This philosophical approach is characterized by the need to refer to the lucid thinking, but also to consciousness, understood as referring to knowledge itself and full transparency of the cogito.

Like Descartes, his mentor, Alain identifies, in fact, consciousness and psyche.

– As to the unconscious, from the dangerous myth of Freudianism (myth that exist within us, or mental representations of data and ignorant of themselves and not noticeable), we must reduce it and reduce it to simple nervous movements, to a pure psychological thing.

– Moreover, the term unconscious grow, does not go against the ethics and undermine that freedom is inseparable from our moral destination.

The moral of Alain:

But that means the moral ?

– It represents a set of principles leading to recognition of the spirit and human dignity.

– All legal, said Alain, is to find spirit and, as such, “obliged absolutely”.

Living within the spirit and ethics, what is it exactly?

– It is universal access to what is common to all minds right, universal characteristic of duty.

– Define, in a Kantian line, duty as a conduit presenting us with a Bond character and universality: everyone should be like and I decided as I do myself …

In this exercise universal moral linked to thought and duty, I experience, in depth, my freedom.

Alain, a philosopher of freedom rejects fatalism here, namely putting a doctrine that all facts of the world are subjected to an inevitable fate.

– The idea of ​​destiny, power determining absolutely the general course of events, is not a moral idea.

– In contrast to the lazy fatalism, determinism, the idea of ​​effects is not inconsistent with the ethical knowledge of determinism can act on things, it contributes to the exercise of our freedom.

Living in the Spirit, refer to human freedom and dignity: nice program as Alain, inseparable from the work program philosophy, philosophy, defined in Alain, as this work and practical effort, this assessment accurate and lucid goods and evils without which there is no possible existence.


Cite this article as: Tim, "Alain: On Happiness, May 12, 2012, " in Philosophy & Philosophers, May 12, 2012,

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