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8 July 1921
|Alma mater||University of Paris|
|Notable work||La méthode (1977–2004, 6 vols.)|
Criticism of structuralism
Criticism of Ludwig von Bertalanffy's systems theory
Edgar Morin (French: [mɔʁɛ̃]; born Edgar Nahoum on 8 July 1921) is a French philosopher and sociologist who has been internationally recognized for his work on complexity and "complex thought," and his scholarly contributions to such diverse fields as media studies, politics, sociology, visual anthropology, ecology, education, systems biology, and beyond. He holds degrees in history, economics, and law. Though less well known in the United States due to the limited availability of English translations of his over 60 books, Morin is renowned in the French speaking world, Europe, and Latin America.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Morin's family migrated from the Greek city of Salonica (Thessaloniki) to Marseille and later to Paris, where Edgar was born. He is of Judeo-Spanish (Sefardi) origin.
When the Germans invaded France in 1940, Morin assisted refugees and joined the French Resistance. 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. The book was a sustained reflection on his adherence to, and subsequent exit from, the Communist party focusing on the dangers of ideology and self-deception.
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.
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.
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.
In addition to being the UNESCO Chair of Complex Thought, Morin is known as a founder of transdisciplinarity and is the holder of a diverse array of honorary doctorates in a variety of social science fields from no fewer than 21 universities (Messina, Geneva, Milan, Bergamo, Thessaloniki, La Paz, Odense, Perugia, Cosenza, Palermo, Nuevo León, Université de Laval à Québec, Brussels, Barcelona, Guadalajara, Valencia, Vera Cruz, Santiago, the Catholic University of Porto Alegre, the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Candido Mendes University (Rio de Janeiro))
The University of Messina in Sicily, Ricardo Palma University in Lima, and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), the prestigious French National Research Center in Paris, have established research centers based on his transdisciplinary methods and philosophy. In addition, a university was established recently in Mexico based on his work, Multiversidad Mundo Real Edgar Morin.
He did not embrace the French postmodern or poststructuralist movements and instead pursued his own research agenda. As a result, US academics did not transport his theories into disciplinary discourses in same fashion as they did Foucault and Derrida, and he did not slide into the heredities of traditional academic disciplines in the 1980s and 1990s. His work spans scholarly and popular literature, and he has graced the cover of multiple publications including Sciences Humaines and a special issue of Le Monde.
According to Alfonso Montuori in "Edgar Morin: A partial introduction"
"The 6 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."
- 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 vols.; regrouping of the contents of the 6-volume work La Méthode, 1977–2004)
- 2008, Pour une politique de civilisation, Paris, Éditions Arléa
- 2009, **Vidal and His Family: From Salonica to Paris, The Story of a Sephardic Family in the Twentieth Century**, Brighton and Portland, Sussex Academic Press
- 2011, La Voie. Pour l'avenir de l'humanité, Paris, Fayard
- 2013, **Mon Paris, ma mémoire**, Paris, Fayard
- "The Noise and the Message". Telos 33 (Fall 1977). New York: Telos Press.
- Daniel Bougnoux and Bastien Engelbach, "Entretien avec Edgar Morin (2) : Science et philosophie", nonfiction.fr, 10 April 2008.
- Jennifer Wells, Complexity and Sustainability, Routledge, 2012, p. 134.
- Steven Vertovec (ed.), Routledge International Handbook of Diversity Studies, Routledge, 2014, p. 373.
- Edgar Morin, Restricted complexity, general complexity, 2005.
- François Dosse, History of Structuralism: The sign sets, 1967-present, Volume 2, University of Minnesota Press, 1997, p. 449.
- Sacha Kagan, Art and Sustainability: Connecting Patterns for a Culture of Complexity, transcript Verlag, 2014, p. 171.
- Morin, Edgar (1997-12-30). "An encyclopaedic spirit". Radical Philosophy. Retrieved 2008-04-03.
- Julian Bourg (ed.), After the Deluge: New Perspectives on the Intellectual and Cultural History of Postwar France, Lexington Books, 2004, p. 113.
- Edgar Morin, Véronique Nahoum-Grappe, Haïm Vidal Sephiha (1989), Vidal et les siens, Paris: Seuil.
- Morin, Edgar; Boukhardi, Sophie (January 2004). "Talking to Edgar Morin: Defining dialogue". UNESCO: the new Courier: 8–11.
- "Centre Edgar-Morin". iiac. Archived from the original on October 23, 2009. Retrieved 2010-01-23.
- Van Herpen, Marcel. "PARIS MAY '68 AND PROVO AMSTERDAM '65" (PDF). p. 19. Retrieved 2010-01-23.
- Montuori, Alfonso (June 2013). "COMPLEX THOUGHT An Overview of Edgar Morin's Intellectual Journey". MetaIntegral Foundation. Resource Paper.
- Gershenson, C., D. Aerts, and B. Edmonds (eds.). (2007). Worldviews, Science, and Us: Philosophy and Complexity. World Scientific, Singapore.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Edgar Morin.|
- The Persecution of Edgar Morin by Doug Ireland
- An interview and short biography on Unesco's web site
- (French) "La réalité semi-imaginaire de l'homme", chapitre conclusif du livre "Cinéma ou l'homme imaginaire" (1956), reproduit sur le site d'analyse L'oBservatoire (simple appareil).
- A lecture in English http://www.wise-qatar.org/edgar-morin
- A Spanish language website http://www.edgarmorin.org/
- Interview with Edgar Morin http://www.guninetwork.org/resources/guni.talks/edgar-morin
- Edgar Morin: Seven Complex Lessons in Education https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUfqZE-Ywts