Émile Bréhier

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Émile Bréhier (French: [bʁeje]; 12 April 1876, Bar-le-Duc – 3 February 1952, Paris) was a French philosopher. His interest was in classical philosophy, and the history of philosophy. He wrote a Histoire de la Philosophie, translated into English in seven volumes.


Bréhier studied at the University of Paris. In 1908 he received his doctorate at the Sorbonne with a dissertation about Philo of Alexandria. He was Henri Bergson's successor at the University of Paris in 1945. The historian Louis Bréhier was his brother.


He was an early follower of Bergson; in the 1930s there was an influential view that Bergsonism and Neoplatonism were linked.[1]

He has been called "the sole figure in the French history who adopts an Hegelian interpretation of Neoplatonism",[2] but also a Neo-Kantian opponent of Hegel.[3]


  • Les idées philosophiques et religieuses de Philon d'Alexandrie (1908)
  • La Théorie des incorporels dans l'ancien stoïcisme, Paris, Librairie Alphonse Picard & fils, (1907).
  • Schelling (1912)
  • Histoire de la philosophie allemande (1921)
  • La Philosophie de Plotin
  • Plotin: Ennéades (with French translation), Collection Budé, 1924–1938
  • Histoire de la philosophie - I Antiquité et moyen âge (three volumes), II La philosophie moderne (four volumes)
  • La philosophie du moyen âge (1949)
  • Le monde byzantin - la civilisation byzantine (1950)
  • Chrysippe et l'ancien stoïcisme (Paris, 1951)
  • Histoire de la philosophie allemande, 3rd edition updated by Paul Ricœur (1954).
  • Études de philosophie antique (1955)


  1. ^ Paul Andrew Passavant, Jodi Dean, Empire's New Clothes: Reading Hardt and Negri (2004), p. 218.
  2. ^ Hankey p. 120 in Jean-Marc Narbonne, W. J. Hankey, Levinas and the Greek Heritage & One Hundred Years of Neoplatonism in France (2006).
  3. ^ Bruce Baugh, French Hegel: From Surrealism to Postmodernism (2003), note p. 183.


  • Alan D. Schrift (2006), Twentieth-Century French Philosophy: Key Themes And Thinkers, p. 107.

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