Travail de François Jullien – Langue anglaise

Books from François Jullien

The Propensity of Things (Toward a history of Efficacy in China),

“La Propension des choses : Pour une histoire de l’efficacité en Chine”, Editions du Seuil. Translated by Janet Lloyd, Zone Books, 1995

Detour and Access : Strategies of Meaning in China and Greece,

“Le detour et l’Accès : Stratégie du sens en Chine, en Grèce” (Ed. Grasset), translated by Sophie Hawkes, Zone Book, 2000

In praise of Blandness : Proceeding from Chinese thought and Aesthetics,

« Eloge de la fadeur » , translated by Paula M. Varsano, Zone Books, 2004

A Treatise on Efficacy, Between Western and Chinese thinking

“Traité de l’efficacité” (Ed Grasset), translated by Janet Lloyd, University of Hawai’s Press, 2004

Vital Nourishment, Departing from Happiness,

“Nourrir sa vie : A l’écart du Bonheur” (Ed. Du Seuil), translated by Arthur Goldhammer, 2007
The Impossible Nude : Chinese Art and Western Aesthetics, “De l’Essence ou du Nu” (Ed. Du Seuil), Translated by Maev de la Guardia, The University of Chicago Press, 2007

The Great Image Has No Form, or On the Nonobject through Painting, “La grande image n’a pas de forme ou du non-objet par la peinture” (Ed. Du Seuil), translated by Jane Marie Todd, The University of Chicago Press, 2009

The Silent Transformations,

“Les transformations silencieuses” (ed. Grasset & Fasquelle), translated by Krzysztof Fijalkowski and Michael Richardson, Seagull Books, 2011

On the Universal : the uniform, the common and dialogue between cultures,

“De l’universel, de l’uniforme, du commun et du dialogue entre les cultures” (Ed. Librairie Arthème Fayard), translated by Krzysztof Fijalkowski and Michael Richardson, Polity Press, Cambridge, 2014

The Book of Beginnings,

“Entrer dans une pensée, ou Des possibles de l’esprit” (Ed. Gallimard), translated by Jody Gladding, Yale University, 2015

The Strange Idea of the beautiful,

“Cette étrange idée du Beau” (ed. Grasset & Fasquelle), translated by Krzysztof Fijalkowski and Michael Richardson, Seagull Books, 2016

The Philosophy of Living,

“Philosophie du Vivre” (Ed. Gallimard), translated by Krzysztof Fijalkowski and Michael Richardson, Seagull Books, 2016

Our Worlds in Tongues,

“Nos mondes en langues”, Huang Yong Ping et François Jullien, Conversation préparée par Donatien Grau. In French, English and Chinese, English translation by Pedro Rodriguez, Klincksieck, 2016

De-coincidence: Where Art and Existence Come From (Billingual edition),

“Dé-coïncidence, d’où viennent l’art et l’existence” (ed. Grasset & Fasquelle), English translation by Pedro Rodriguez, National Taiwan University of Art, 2018

Living off Landscape : or the unthought-of in Reason,

“Vivre de paysage ou L’impensé de la raison” (Ed. Gallimard), English translation by Pedro Rodriguez, Rowman & Littlefield, 2018

From Being to Living : a Euro-Chinese lexicon of thought,

“De l’Être au Vivre” (Ed. Gallimard), translated by Krzysztof Fijalkowski and Michael Richardson, Sage, 2020

There Is No Cultural Identity (A Defense of Cultural Resources) ; Resources of Christianity, Polity Press, Cambridge, 2021

Books about Jullien’s work

François Jullien’s unexceptional thought, A Critical Introduction, Arne de Boever, Rowman & Littlefield, London/New-York, 149 p., 2020

Articles and Conversations

Critical Inquiry,

  • « Did Philosophers Have to Become Fixated on Truth? », Sommer 2002, Volume 28, Number 4
  • “The Shadow on the Picture: Of Evil or the Negative”, Autumn 2005, Volume 32, Number 1

Thesis Eleven, Notes and Discussion, “A Philosophical Use of China: An Interview with François Jullien”, Number 57, May 1999, 113-130

Diogenes, “China as Philosophical Tool : François Jullien in convervation with Thierry Zarcone”, 2003

Modern Langage Quarterly, “Rethinking Comparison”, Volume 73, Number 4, December 2012

Qui parle, “Thinking between China and Greece: Breaking New Ground”, an Interview with Marcel Gauchet, Volume 18, Number 1, Fall/Winter 2009

Comparative strategy, an International Journal, Paul Dragos Aligica, “Efficacy, East and West: François Jullien’s explorations in Strategy”, Online publication 01 July 2007

Jullien’s Biobliography


An alumnus of the École Normale Supérieure (Paris) and holder (since 1974) of the agrégation, France’s professorial degree, François Jullien studied Chinese language and thought at Peking University and Shanghai University from 1975 to 1977. He received his French university doctorate (doctorat de troisième cycle) in 1978 and his French research doctorate (doctorat d’État) in Far East studies in 1983. Since then Jullien has been head of the Antenne Française de Sinologie in Hong Kong (1978–1981), a guest of the Maison Franco-Japonaise in Tokyo (1985–1987), president of the Association Française d’Etudes Chinoises (1988–1990), director of the East Asia department (UFR) of Paris Diderot University–Paris VII (1990–2000), president of the Collège International de Philosophie (1995–1998), professor at Paris Diderot University, and director of both the Institut de la Pensée Contemporaine and the Centre Marcel-Granet. He was a senior member of the Institut Universitaire de France from 2001 to 2011 and is the current Chair of Alterity at the Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme (Paris). Jullien has edited several anthologies for the Presses Universitaires de France (PUF) and for the Agenda de la Pensée Contemporaine, the latter published first by PUF, then by Éditions Hermann. Several conferences dealing with his philosophy have been held in France and abroad (Germany, Argentina, China, Vietnam). Among the most recent are:
• “Dérangements-aperçus: autour du travail de François Jullien” (conference proceedings published by Hermann, 2011), at Paris Diderot University and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (December 2010)
• “Dialogue au sommet” with Chung-ying Cheng (proceedings published as Sixiang yu fangfa, December 2014), at the Beijing Normal University (December 2012)
• “Des possibles de la pensée, l’itinéraire philosophique de François Jullien” (proceedings to be published by Hermann, 2015), in Cerisy-la-Salle (September 2013)
• A conference at the Academia Sinica, Taiwan (November 2013; proceedings to be published by the Academia Sinica in spring 2015).
Jullien received the Hannah Arendt Prize for Political Thought in Germany in 2010 and the Grand Prix de Philosophie of the Académie Française for his body of work in 2011. Marcel Gauchet has summed up François Jullien’s work in the following terms: “The work of François Jullien seems to me to follow the grand lines of the unwritten but oh-so-influential program of what I shall call the twentieth-century anthropological school. Primarily but not exclusively French, this school came to fruition in the work of Durkheim, Mauss, Granet, Lévi-Strauss, and a few others as well. It is, in a word, the school of Western decentralization. […] These various undertakings have made it possible for us to conceive of an “outside” [“dehors”], to borrow a particularly felicitous term from François Jullien. […] But François Jullien is not content to contribute to this most difficult of enterprises. He has brought the decentralization to its fulfilment, for he has turned it back on the West. In particular, he has done this in the field of philosophy, something no one had ever done before, and by taking on China’s alterity, which, it must be said, provided a privileged standpoint. He has thus carried decentralization further than his predecessors. He has shown us how to look from ‘elsewhere’ at our most theoretical and abstract thought, dealing with the fundamental categories that allow us to apprehend any object spontaneously. He has become the ethnologist of our conceptual universe.”.[1] When Jullien was awarded the Grand Prix de Philosophie of the Académie Française (2011), Angelo Rinaldi presented his work as follows: “The variety of subjects this philosopher-sinologist has taken on could lead one to imagine a scattershot oeuvre. On the contrary, there is in François Jullien’s work a strong unity of thought and a clear progression. Pierre Nora sums it up in a phrase: the thought that lies between China and Greece. The purpose, indeed, is to consider the unthought-of in our thought, which has arisen on the foundations laid by Greece. To this end, China offers an oblique way in, a chance to redirect our gaze upon ourselves and see ourselves from without. The priority for François Jullien is to constitute this exteriority, and the remainder of his work consists of a reevaluation of the foundations of European thought. Awaiting us at the far end of this road are the general questions that interest us all directly: does ‘the universal’ exist, what might we hold in ‘common,’ what is the meaning of ‘unity,’ ‘difference,’ or ‘conformity’? What we now call the ‘dialogue of cultures’ is clearly at the center of this philosopher’s concerns, and it is this ever-present theme that makes him relevant for us today.” François Jullien is among the most translated of contemporary thinkers, with works appearing in some twenty-five countries. More than twenty of his essays have been translated into German, Italian, and Spanish, and a dozen have been translated into English, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Portuguese.[2]


Since first setting out to explore the “écart” between them, François Jullien has been organizing a vis-à-vis between Chinese and European thought, rather than comparing the two, so as to map out a common field for reflection. In so doing he has been led to examine such various disciplines as ethics, aesthetics, strategy, history, and the study of nature. His aim in conducting this “deconstruction” from without (du déhors) is to detect buried assumptions, on both sides, as well as to elucidate the unthought-of (l’impensé) in our thought. This is, moreover, a way to coax forth the fecundities (fécondités) of the two cultures, rather than consider them from the perspective of their “identity,” and a way to launch philosophy anew by extricating it from the bog of its atavisms. The enterprise has not failed to raise hackles in philosophical and orientalist circles. In response to his opposition, François Jullien has argued that starting with similitude (le semblable) is fruitless and that the exploration of “écarts” is what can provide the thinker with a certain remove, bring forth a middle ground (l’entre), reveal a tension between the two sides, and thus produce commonality (le commun). François Jullien has since taken this philosophy of what lies between (pensée de l’entre) and developed a philosophy of life (philosophie du “vivre”), which departs explicitly from the philosophy of being and requires the establishment of a tension (mise en tension). Over the past few years he has in particular developed—in terms both of intimacy (l’intime) and of landscape (paysage)—a philosophy of soaring (l’essor), which he sets in opposition to the slackness (l’étale) of life. For an overview of Jullien’s work, see De l’Être au vivre, lexique euro-chinois de la pensée, Gallimard, March 2015.