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13 September 2002

France's New Education Minister Spent Part of Student Years in Heidelberg

Luc Ferry came to Heidelberg University on a grant in the early 70s, heard Gadamer and debated with Gadamer's then assistant Bubner

Luc Ferry, France's new education minister, came to Heidelberg University on a grant in the early 70s, heard Gadamer lecture and debated with Gadamer's then assistant Bubner. Back in France, he did his doctorate in political philosophy and taught at the Ecole normale supérieure and various universities, since 1989 at Caen.

An adherent of Raymond Aron, he published a pamphlet against what he called the "anti-humanist" thinking of the 1968 generation. Other essays also translated into German are "Man as Aesthete. The Invention of Taste in the Age of Democracy" (1993) and "Of Human Divinity or The Meaning of Life" (1996). Ferry has translated Fichte and Kant. In a recent newspaper article he declared Heidegger to be the greatest philosopher of the 20th century, Kant the founder of modern thought and Nietzsche the philosopher to have drawn the most radical consequences from this line of thought.

With his concern for the communication of knowledge, Luc Ferry contributed for many years to L'Express and Le Point, two renowned intellectual weeklies. He also made a name for himself as an academic organiser. Among other things he was co-founder of the innovative "Collège de Philosophie" and acted as its secretary general. Since 1993 he has been in charge of the "Conseil national des programmes", was responsible for the reform of school curricula and kept this post under Jack Lang and Jospin's socialist government. Since May he has been minister of youth, education and research in Raffarin's new centre-right government. Among the aims he has proclaimed — and they will be welcomed in Germany — are improvement of general knowledge up to school-leaving age, better mobility for students within Europe and greater autonomy for the universities.

Prof. Dr. Arnold Rothe

Please address any inquiries to:
Dr. Michael Schwarz
Press Officer of the University of Heidelberg
phone: 06221/542310, fax: 54317

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Updated: 18.09.2002


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