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Michel Onfray is a typically French philosopher: rebellious yet conventional, political but not parti pris, half shaman, half fool. He also promotes lesser known vegetables

By Tim King   December 2007

Michel Onfray is that profoundly French thing: a public and popular philosopher. In France there seems a deep need for such a figure: a rebel contesting ideas we take for granted, whose only credentials are his knowledge and the semi-magical epithet “philosopher,” revered by some, reviled by others, half shaman, half fool. Considered a noble and necessary calling, it stretches back to Voltaire and Rousseau, by way more recently of Sartre and Camus. But the rebel must remain acceptable—otherwise no one listens to him, a delicate balance: L’homme révolté but not revolting Many readers of Prospect will know Onfray through…

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