Jules Vuillemin
Born15 February 1920
Died16 January 2001 (2001-01-17) (aged 80)
Les Fourgs, Doubs
Alma materÉcole Normale Supérieure
Era20th-century philosophy
RegionWestern philosophy
SchoolAnalytic philosophy[1]
InstitutionsCollège de France
Main interests
Philosophical logic, philosophy of science, epistemology
Notable ideas
Renewals of methods in mathematics tend to influence philosophy

Jules Vuillemin (/ˌviˈmæn/; French: [vɥijmɛ̃]; 15 February 1920 – 16 January 2001) was a French philosopher, Professor of Philosophy of Knowledge at the prestigious Collège de France, in Paris, from 1962 to 1990, succeeding Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Professor emeritus from 1991 to 2001.[2] He was an Invited Professor at the Institute for Advanced Studies, in Princeton, New Jersey (1968).[3]

Collège de France (Paris, France).
Jules Vuillemin, La philosophie de l'algèbre, Presses Universitaires de France, Paris, 1962.
Jules Vuillemin, La philosophie de l'algèbre, Presses Universitaires de France, Paris, 1962.

At the Collège de France, Vuillemin introduced analytical philosophy to France.[4] Vuillemin’s thought had a major influence on Jacques Bouveresse's works.[5] Vuillemin himself vindicated the legacy of Martial Gueroult.

A friend of Michel Foucault, he supported his election at the Collège de France, and was also close to Michel Serres.


After studying at the Ecole Normale Supérieure, he completed his agrégation in 1943, being received premier ex aequo alongside Tran Duc Thao. A student of French historical epistemologists Gaston Bachelard and Jean Cavaillès, he was however at first influenced by phenomenology and existentialism, before shifting towards study of logics and science. In 1962, he published a book titled The Philosophy of Algebra, dedicated to the mathematician Pierre Samuel, a member of the Bourbaki group, as well as to René Thom, to the physicist Raymond Siestrunck and to the linguist George Vallet. Vuillemin thought that renewals of methods in mathematics have influenced philosophy, thus relating the discovery of irrational numbers to Platonism, algebraic geometry to Cartesianism, infinitesimal calculus to Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. Furthermore, he observed that philosophy had not yet taken into account the changes brought to mathematics by Joseph Louis Lagrange and Évariste Galois.

In 1968, he co-founded with Gilles-Gaston Granger the journal L’Âge de la Science.[6] He was one of the main commentators of Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Rudolf Carnap and Willard Van Orman Quine in France.[7]

Vuillemin also took an interest into aesthetics, beside writing several books on Kant, Anselm or on Diodorus's master argument (see problem of future contingents).

Jules Vuillemin’s Archives

The Jules Vuillemin's Archives are located in France at the Laboratoire d'Histoire des Sciences et de Philosophie - Archives Henri Poincaré.[8]

Gilles-Gaston Granger was, until his death in 2016, the president of the scientific committee of Jules Vuillemin's Archives.[9]


English translations


  1. ^ Alan D. Schrift (2006), Twentieth-Century French Philosophy: Key Themes and Thinkers, Blackwell Publishing, p. 76.
  2. ^ Collège de France.
  3. ^ Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton (1968).
  4. ^ See 1962-1990. Résumés des cours et travaux, Annuaires du Collège de France, Paris.
  5. ^ "Vuillemin's eulogy by Jacques Bouveresse" (PDF) (in French). Retrieved May 25, 2012.
  6. ^ Bibliography
  7. ^ Jules Vuillemin's Archives, "Description".
  8. ^ Laboratoire d'Histoire des Sciences et de Philosophie - Archives Henri Poincaré
  9. ^ Jules Vuillemin's Archives.

Further reading