Pierre Boutang

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Pierre Boutang
Born (1916-09-20)20 September 1916
Saint-Étienne, France
Died 27 June 1998(1998-06-27) (aged 81)
Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France
Occupation philosopher, poet, translator, journalist
Nationality French
Genre Neoscholasticism, Christian philosophy, Christian existentialism
Notable works Les Abeilles de Delphes, Ontologie du secret and Apocalypse du désir.

Pierre Boutang (20 September 1916, Saint-Étienne, Loire – 27 June 1998) was a French philosopher, poet and translator. He was also a political journalist, associated with the currents of Maurrasianism and Royalism.


Boutang was "agrégé de philosophie" in 1936, he participated that year in editing Action Française and showed fervent support for the ideas of Charles Maurras. He was a member of Giraud's government in North Africa in 1943, and enlisted in the French colonial army, serving in Tunisia and Morocco. He was discharged without pension and prohibited from teaching. Thereafter he took up journalism, collaborating on Aspects de la France, where his articles from a royalist viewpoint showed obvious antisemitism.[1] He was a regular contributor to Bulletin de Paris, where using a pseudonym, he reviewed plays.

Seeking to renew royalism, in alignment with Christianity, with his friend Michel Vivier he founded the weekly La Nation Française in 1955, to which Les Hussards and also Marcel Aymé, Gustave Thibon, and Armand Robin contributed. He wanted to be "in the shelter of Sartre" and of the adherents of nihilism. He veered between supporting Charles de Gaulle and opposing him, insisting notably on the monarchical model on which, in his view, the constitution of the Cinquième République rested. Though he denounced the "terror" for which the FLN (Front de Libération Nationale Algérien) was responsible, Boutang refused to support the OAS. From the 1970s, his political declarations became rarer, but he showed a firm loyalty to the Comte de Paris.

After representations by Edmond Michelet, Alain Peyrefitte and others, Boutang was allowed to teach by President de Gaulle in 1967. He taught philosophy at the Lycée Turgot, and then became a lecturer at the University of Brest in 1974. Finally he was appointed Professeur of Metaphysics at the Sorbonne, where he taught until 1984, continuing his seminars at his home in Saint-Germain-en-Laye until the end of his life. He died on 27 June 1998.


  1. ^ Éric Roussel, in his biography Pierre Mendès France, coll. « N.R.F. Biographies », Gallimard, 2007 ISBN 978-2-07-073375-0, p. 323-324