Who is Hippolyte Adolphe Taine?

Who is Hippolyte Adolphe Taine?

June 25, 2021 Off By Felso

Thinker, critic and historian, one of the leading figures of 19th century French positivism. He sought to adapt the scientific method to the study of the human sciences. He tried to bring a scientific approach to literary criticism.

He was the son of a middle-class family. He studied privately at home for a while. Upon the death of his father, who was a lawyer, he went to Paris with his mother. After completing his higher education at the Colege Bourbon and the higher teacher’s college (Ecole Normale Superievre), he could not become a philosophy aggregate in 1851 due to disagreement. He was appointed first as a teacher at Nevers College (1851-1852) and then as an assistant professor of eloquence at the College of Poitiers (1852). He was soon discredited and given the 6th grade teaching position at Besancon High School, and his doctoral dissertation on psychological issues was rejected. He then left his job and returned to Paris. He adopted a rationalist attitude by rejecting Christianity at a very young age, and he was close to the ideology that advocated that all knowledge should be based on sensory experience, observation and controlled experiment. Also, influenced by the metaphysical thoughts of Hegel and Spinoza, he began to think about the causality of life and the universe.

The philosophy education given in Paris was based on the eclectic philosophy of Victor Cousin, which was widely accepted at the time. Taine was eventually denied a degree, as he frequently clashed with the university during his studies. Taine, who showed himself as an extremely prolific writer during his time away from university life, drew attention not only with his polemical style, but also with the subjects of his books. Taine returned to Paris in 1852 for his doctorate in literature in De Personis Platonicis (On Plato’s Characters). He wrote his thesis. He later published a book called La Fontaine et ses Fables (1861; La Fontaine and His Fables). After completing his doctorate in 1853, he published Essai sur Tite-Live (1856; Essay on Titus Livius). Although he was the target of harsh criticism for his philosophical view in this work, he was rewarded by the Academie Francaise. During this period, he also took science courses and gained knowledge on physiology. He would benefit from this information in his future psychology studies. In 1854, taking advantage of his vacation due to illness, he wrote the book Voyage Aux Eaux Des Pyreneese (1855; Journey to the Pyrenean Walls).

Hippolyte Adolphe Taine, who lived between April 21, 1828 – March 5, 1893, was a thinker, critic and historian, one of the leading figures of 19th century French positivism.

He sought to adapt the scientific method to the study of the human sciences. He tried to bring a scientific approach to literary criticism.

He was born on 21 April 1828 in Vouzier in the Ardennes and died on 5 March 1893 in Paris. He came from a middle-class family. After the death of his father, who was a lawyer, he settled in Paris with his mother. After completing his higher education at Ecole Normale Supérieure, he taught for a while. Despite the acceptance of his doctoral thesis in 1853, his opposition to the political regime of Louis Bonaparte prevented him from pursuing an academic career. It was only after 1864 that he established contact with the university, starting to teach aesthetics and history at the Ecole de Beaux Arts in Paris. During this post, which he continued until 1883, he was elected a member of the French Academy in 1878.

He was the son of a middle-class family. He studied privately at home for a while. Upon the death of his father, who was a lawyer, he went to Paris with his mother. After completing his higher education at the Colege Bourbon and the higher teacher’s college (Ecole Normale Superievre), in 1851 he could not become a philosophy aggressor due to disagreement. He was appointed first as a teacher at Nevers College (1851-1852) and then as an assistant professor of eloquence at the College of Poitiers (1852). He was soon discredited and given the 6th grade teaching position at Besancon High School, and his doctoral dissertation on psychological issues was rejected. Thereupon, he left his post and returned to Paris. He adopted a rationalist attitude by rejecting Christianity at a very young age, and he was close to the ideology that advocated that all knowledge should be based on sensory experience, observation and controlled experiment. In addition, being influenced by the metaphysical thoughts of Hegel and Spinoza, he started to think about the causality of life and the universe. The philosophy education given in Paris was based on the eclectic philosophy of Victor Cousin, which was widely accepted at that time. Taine was eventually denied a degree, as he frequently clashed with the university during his studies. Taine, who showed himself as a highly productive writer during his time away from university life, drew attention not only with his polemical style, but also with the subjects of his books. Returning to Paris in 1852, Taine wrote the thesis De Personis Platonicis (On Plato’s Characters) for his doctorate in literature. He later published a book called La Fontaine et ses Fables (1861; La Fontaine and His Fables). Essai sur Tite-Live (1856; Essay on Titus Livius) after completing his doctorate in 1853