Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

French philosopher ; b. at Martignac (Dordogne), 7 May, 1754, d. at Villeneuve-le-Roi (Yonne), 4 May 1824. At the age of fourteen, having finished his studies in his native town, he was sent to Toulouse to study law, but after a few months joined the Doctrinaires, a teaching order, and was entrusted with the instruction of lower classes. In 1778 he left the order and went to Paris, where he associated with the most famous literary men of the time, Marmontel, Diderot, and d'Alembert, with whose sentiments he was for some time in sympathy. The French Revolution opened his eyes and made him a strong opponent of the doctrines of the eighteenth century. In 1790 he was elected by his countrymen justice of the peace of the canton of Martignac. When his biennial term expired, he refused to accept re-election and returned to Paris, where in the following year (8 June, 1793) he married Mlle Moreau. Disgusted with the tyranny of the Revolutionists, he retired to Villeneuve-le-Roi. Even after the 9th of Thermidor he preferred to live there rather than in Paris. Chateaubriand, Mme de Beaumont, Fontanes, Molé, and Chênedollé were his frequent visitors. In 1809 he was appointed by Fontanes Inspector General of the University of France, and in spite of his poor health fulfilled his duties with the greatest zeal. When he was compelled to give up his inspectorship, he devoted his time to the education of his son and to his literary works. He was one of the first to understand the movement of the Romanticists and to encourage it. Owing to his kind disposition and his delicate taste, as well as his friendly and cheerful character, he had a strong influence over the young men gathered around him. Aiming at what was perfect in literature, he wrote very little and never published anything. He spent his leisure in thinking, and putting down his thoughts for himself. His aim was to note in terse and clear sentences the necessity, utility, and beauty of virtue. After his death, all these papiers de la malle (scraps of paper), as he called them, aroused the interest and admiration of Chateaubriand, who published a short selection of them for private circulation, under the title of "Recueil des Pensées de M. Joubert" (Paris, 1838). This book was re-edited with many additions by Paul Raynal, a nephew of the author, under the new title of "Pensées, Essais, Maximes et Correspondanee de J. Joubert" (Paris, 1842). Many other editions have since been published.

More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 4:7-16
7 On each one of us God's favour has been bestowed in whatever way Christ ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 122:1-2, 3-4, 4-5
1 [Song of Ascents Of David] I rejoiced that they said to me, 'Let us go ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 13:1-9
1 It was just about this time that some people arrived and told him about ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 22nd, 2016 Image

St. Pope John Paul II
October 22: Karol J. Wojtyla, known as John Paul II since his ... Read More