Edgar Morin

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Edgar Morin
Edgar Morin IMG 0558-b.jpg
Born Edgar Nahoum
(1921-07-08) 8 July 1921 (age 94)
Paris, France
Nationality French
Occupation Philosopher

Edgar Morin (French: [mɔʁɛ̃]; born Edgar Nahoum in Paris on July 8, 1921) is a French philosopher and sociologist. He is of Judeo-Spanish (Sefardi) origin. He is known for the transdisciplinarity of his works.


At the beginning of the 20th century, Morin's family migrated from the Greek city of Salonica (Thessaloniki) to Marseille[1] and later to Paris, where Edgar was born. He first became tied to socialism in connection with the Popular Front and the Spanish Republican Government during the Spanish Civil War. When the Germans invaded France in 1940, Edgar fled to Toulouse, where he assisted refugees and committed himself to Marxist socialism. As a member of the French Resistance he adopted the pseudonym Morin, which he would use for the rest of his life. He joined the French Communist Party in 1941. In 1945, Morin married Violette Chapellaubeau and they lived in Landau, where he served as a Lieutenant in the French Occupation army in Germany.

In 1946, he returned to Paris and gave up his military career to pursue his activities with the Communist party. Due to his critical posture, his relationship with the party gradually deteriorated until he was expelled in 1951 after he published an article in Le Nouvel Observateur. In the same year, he was admitted to the National Center of Scientific Research (CNRS).

Morin founded and directed the magazine Arguments (1954–1962). In 1959 his book Autocritique was published.

In 1960, Morin travelled extensively in Latin America, visiting Brazil, Chile, Bolivia, Peru and Mexico.He returned to France where he published L'Esprit du Temps.

That same year, French sociologist Georges Friedmann brought him and Roland Barthes together to create a Centre for the Study of Mass Communication that, after several name-changes, became the Edgar Morin Centre of the EHESS, Paris.[2]

Beginning in 1965, Morin became involved in a large multidisciplinary project, financed by the Délégation Générale à la Recherche Scientifique et Technologique in Plozévet.

In 1968, Morin replaced Henri Lefebvre at the University of Nanterre. He became involved in the student revolts that began to emerge in France. In May 1968, he wrote a series of articles for Le Monde that tried to understand what he called "The Student Commune." He followed the student revolt closely and wrote a second series of articles in Le Monde called "The Revolution without a Face," as well as co-authoring Mai 68: La brèche with Cornelius Castoriadis and Claude Lefort.[3]

In 1969, Morin spent a year at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California.

In 1983, he published De la nature de l’URSS, which deepened his analysis of Soviet communism and anticipated the Perestroika of Mikhail Gorbachev.

Morin was married to Johanne Harrelle, with whom he lived for 15 years.

In 2002, Morin participated in the creation of the International Ethical, Scientific and Political Collegium. In this year, he also had a trip to Iran with Dariush Shayegan.

Philosophical development[edit]

According to Alfonso Montuori in "Edgar Morin: A partial introduction"

"The 5 volume Method is perhaps Morin’s culminating work, a remarkable and seemingly inexhaustible treasure trove of insights, reflection, and a real manual for those who are interested in broadening the nature of human inquiry. Drawing on cybernetics, information theory, systems theory, but also integrating all the work he has done before, from the work on imagination in his research on movies to his profound reflections on death, Method integrates Morin’s journey and provides the reader with an alternative to the traditional assumptions and method of inquiry of our time.".

See also[edit]

Literary Work[edit]


  • 1951, L’Homme et la mort
  • 1956, Le cinéma ou l'homme imaginaire
  • 1957, Les Stars
  • 1962, L'Esprit du temps
  • 1969, La Rumeur d’Orléans
  • 1967, Commune en France: La Métamorphose de Plodemet
  • La Méthode (6 volumes)
    • 1977, La Nature de la nature
    • 1980, La Vie de la vie
    • 1986, La Connaissance de la connaissance
    • 1991, Les Idées
    • 2001, L’Humanité de l’humanité
    • 2004, L'Éthique complexe
  • 1970, Journal de Californie
  • 1973, Le paradigme perdu: la nature humaine
  • 1981, Pour sortir du siècle XX
  • 1982, Science avec conscience
  • 1983, De la nature de l’URSS
  • 1988, Penser L'Europe
  • 1990, Introduction à la pensée complexe
  • 1993, Terre-patrie
  • 1994, Mes démons
  • 1994, La Complexité humaine
  • 1997, Comprendre la complexité dans les organisations de soins
  • 1999, L’Intelligence de la complexité
  • 1999, Relier les connaissances
  • 1999, La Tête bien faite
  • 2000, Les Sept savoirs nécessaires à l'éducation du futur
  • 2001, Journal de Plozévet, Bretagne
  • 2002, Pour une politique de civilisation
  • 2002, Dialogue sur la connaissance. Entretiens avec des lycéens
  • 2003, La Violence du monde
  • 2003, Éduquer pour l’ère planétaire, la pensée complexe comme méthode d’apprentissage dans l’erreur et l’incertitude humaine
  • 2003, Les Enfants du ciel: entre vide, lumière, matière
  • 2004, Pour Entrer dans le siècle XXI
  • 2006, Le Monde Moderne et La Question Juive
  • 2007, Vers l'abîme ?
  • 2007, Où va le monde ?
  • 2007, L'An I de l'ère écologique : la Terre dépend de l'homme qui dépend de la Terre, Paris, Éditions Tallandier ?
  • 2008, La Méthode, Seuil, Collection Opus (2 vol.) ?
  • 2008, Pour une politique de civilisation, Paris, éditions Arléa ?
  • 2011, La Voie. Pour l'avenir de l'humanité, Paris, Fayard


  • “The Noise and the Message”. Telos 33 (Fall 1977). New York: Telos Press.



  1. ^ Edgar Morin, Véronique Nahoum-Grappe, Haïm Vidal Sephiha (1989) "Vidal et les siens", Paris: Seuil, 317 pages.
  2. ^ "Centre Edgar-Morin". iiac. Retrieved 2010-01-23. [dead link]
  3. ^ Van Herpen, Marcel. "PARIS MAY ’68 AND PROVO AMSTERDAM ‘65" (PDF). p. 19. Retrieved 2010-01-23. 
  4. ^ Gershenson, C., D. Aerts, and B. Edmonds (Eds.). (2007). Worldviews, Science, and Us: Philosophy and Complexity. World Scientific, Singapore.

External links[edit]