Who is Octave Hamelin?

Who is Octave Hamelin?

June 26, 2021 Off By Felso

Octave Hamelin was a French philosopher who lived from July 22, 1856 to September 11, 1907.

Hamelin, who taught as a professor at the University of Bordeaux (1884-) and the Sorbonne University (1905-), was a close friend of the French philosopher Charles Renouvier and the famous sociologist Emile Durkheim.

He contributed to the development of the Neo-Criticism movement founded by Hamelin Renouvier, who is famous for his translations from classical Greek philosophy. For Hamelin, consciousness or design are not separate existences from thought and being. Thought is the name given to both the object and the subject and the activity that is their synthesis. Therefore, nothing exists outside of consciousness. Design or consciousness, on the other hand, does not mean the projection of the seen object within the human being. Consciousness is the highest state of reality. This means that for him hearing and knowing the sensed are equal and one.

Octave Hamelin, in his work titled “Essay on the Basic Elements of Design”, which he wrote in the last years of his life, opposed Bergson and laid the mind on the basis of intelligibility in philosophy. Hamelin, who was influenced by Renouvier in this work, was still able to deal with problems with a completely unique approach. Hamelin agreed with Kant that he brought a very clear answer to the problem of knowledge with his understanding of categories. The five categories Renouvier organized, on the other hand, could not adequately define the concepts as Kant, as they were based on experience.

Hamelin tried to create designs that encompass the field of human knowledge in its own integrity. He developed Renouvier’s categories according to Hegel’s triple dialectic process. The opposing terms in this dialectical process are not contradictory but correlated. The basis of all knowledge consists of these connections. The truth is not in the synthesis of opposites, as Hegel suggests, but in the synthesis of related concepts, says Hamelin. He is of the opinion that all human knowledge can be explained by the dialectic of concepts that are relative opposite.

Hamelin defined the concept of personality as the combination of causality and certainty. Man as a person is conscious of his freedom and can direct himself. Freedom is also a combination of causality and certainty. The necessity for certain acts to be free indicates the existence of causality in the universal order of things. There is also an element of randomness in the world, but everything can be understood in itself. This is done by establishing a universal system of relations in which intelligibility coincides with reality.

Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook