Michel Serres

Michel Serres is a philosopher and one of France's leading public intellectuals. The author of four dozen books, Serres has researched and written on the synthesis of the humanities and science, in search of a kind of grand narrative for human life. Known as a stylist whose works have been called "untranslatable," Serres only lectures in French. 

"The more one writes, the less one reads – it’s a question of time. But I stress: an authentically philosophical book is distinguishable from a learned book. The latter, loaded with quotes and footnotes, struts its erudition; it flourishes its credentials in the academic milieu, brandishes its armor and its lances before its adversaries. It is a social artifact. How many philosophies are dictated solely by the preoccupation with being invulnerable to to criticism? They present themselves as fortresses, usually sheltering a lobbying support group. In the wide open spaces of fear, only trepidation reigns. I have come to believe that a work achieves more excellence when it cites fewer proper names. It is naked, defenseless, not lacking knowledge but saturated with secondary naivete; not intent on being right but ardently reachng fortoward new intuitions. A university thesis aims at the imitable; a plain and simple work seeks the inimitable."

– Michel Serres