François Jullien

Chairholder of the Altérité Chair [2012-2020]


François Jullien is Professor at the University Paris Diderot. He is one of the most important figures of contemporary French philosophy.

The work of François Jullien is deployed at the crossroads of sinology and general philosophy. Based on a study of the thinking of ancient China, neoconfucianism and the literary and aesthetic conceptions of classical China, it questions the history and categories of European reason by establishing a confrontation between cultures. By making the detour through China, the work of François Jullien has thus opened up fertile and demanding tracks to think interculturality.

The current work of François Jullien aims at simultaneously disorienting thought, exploring in the Far East other intelligibilities than those developed by European thought; and by returning from this gap, to go back into the embedded choices of European reason and to re-examine it in its prejudices-in other words, in its unthought. In attempting to avoid the dual pitfalls of ethnocentric prejudice and the fascination of exoticism, the ambition of open work is to build an intercultural relationship that keeps from easy universalism and lazy relativism that leads to culturalism; it is, by making Chinese "heterotopia" play, to put the European tradition back into perspective, to re-categorize the thought and thus contribute to a reconfiguration of the field of the thinkable.

Selective bibliography

François Jullien is the author of more than twenty major works, translated in more than 20 countries (including China and Viet-Nam). He recently signed:

Dé-coïncidence. D'où viennent l'art et l'existence ?, Grasset, 2017, 162 p.

Une seconde vie, Grasset, 2017, 185 p.

Il n'y a pas d'identité culturelle, mais nous défendons les ressources d'une culture, 93 p., Éditions de l'Herne, 2016.

Près d'elle, Présence opaque / présence intime, Galilée, 2016, 119 p.

Vivre en existant, Une nouvelle éthique, Gallimard, 2016, 281 p.

De l'être au vivre, Lexique euro-chinois de la pensée, Gallimard, 2015, 315 p.

De l’intime. Loin du bruyant Amour, Grasset, 2013, 253 p. ; réed. Le Livre de Poche, 2014.

De l’universel, de l’uniforme, du commun et du dialogue entre les cultures (Fayard, Paris  2008)

His work has been the subject of numerous studies and symposia. He was awarded the Rousseau Prize of the City of Geneva, the Académie Française Prize, the House of Literature and the Hannah-Arendt Prize for Political Thought.

Closed project


- Projet clos -


Study day

L'incommensurable, l'inouï, la vraie vie. Des concepts pour changer la vie

Journée d'étude | Mardi 22 mars 2022

Décoïncidences. Du théologique au politique

Colloque de la Chaire sur l'Altérité | 8 et 9 décembre 2021

L’incommensurable est dans l’existence

Cours méthodique et populaire de philosophie - 18 mai

Qu’ai-je le droit d’espérer ?

Cours méthodique et populaire de philosophie - 4 mai
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Published at 23 September 2016