"Patrie et Humanité" (1928): Politique et relations internationales

Translated title of the contribution: "Homeland and Humanity" (1928). : politics and international relations

Michael Sutton

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputChapter


One fundamental question raised by the philosophical works of Maurice Blondel, which were published over a long life, is that of the relation between his early masterpiece L’Action (1893) and the volume of the same name—more precisely, its second tome L’Action humaine et les conditions de son aboutissement (1937)—forming part of the Trilogy of his later years (La Pensée; L’Être et les êtres; L’Action). The treatment of the nature of international relations in the work of 1937 is more developed than that found in L’Action of 1893. For understanding the development of Blondel’s thought on this matter, the key text is "Patrie et Humanité", a paper prepared for the 1928 annual meeting, held in Paris, of the Catholic Semaine sociale movement. It brings out the affinity between his understanding of international relations and that represented by such established thinkers in the canon of international thought as Vitoria and Suarez (in the case of the latter, despite some radical difference in respect of metaphysics). Not surprisingly from the standpoint of the genesis of Blondel’s philosophy, there is also a certain affinity between his view of the importance of justice for international affairs and that of Leibniz (notably in the preface of the Codex Juris Gentium, 1693). Various specialists treating of Blondel’s philosophy have drawn attention to parallels between the phenomenology of the will in L’Action of 1893 and Hegel’s Phänomenologie des Geistes. However, as regards the two philosophers’ understanding of the nature of international relations, there is a considerable gulf, and some of the difference may be related to the Hegelian idea of the Christian Church as found, at least implicitly, in the Grundlinien der Philosophie des Rechts (1821).
Translated title of the contribution"Homeland and Humanity" (1928). : politics and international relations
Original languageFrench
Title of host publicationBlondel entre "L'Action" et la Trilogie
EditorsMarc Leclerc
Place of PublicationBrussels (BE)
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)2-87299-107-7
Publication statusPublished - 8 Oct 2003

Publication series

NameDonner raison
PublisherEditions Lessius


  • politics
  • international relations
  • plurality of nations
  • order of charity
  • international society
  • Vitoria
  • Leibnizian
  • ecclesiology
  • Hegel
  • Blondel
  • political philosophy
  • intellectus fidei


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