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Macron: the president and philosopher

Macron: the president and philosopher
By Damon Embling
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One of Macron's former professors reflects on the roots of the man with a European dream


Disruptor, dreamer, conqueror - Emmanuel Macron rose seemingly from nowhere to seize the French presidency - and now his sights are firmly set on Europe.

His vision is unwavering, but what are the roots of his convictions?

Euronews spoke to one of his former Paris Professors, François Dosse, to get some insight into his inner European psyche.

"It was student brilliance, of course. Brilliance that dazzled through his intelligence, his intellectual dexterity, but also by his sensitivity," Dosse reflected.

'The Philosopher and the President'

Dosse taught Macron in the late 90s and introduced him to French philosopher Paul Ricoeur.

Dosse recently published a book about them both, called "The Philosopher and the President."

"He was 21 at the time, and at 21, he entered into a dialogue with an 86-year-old philosopher who had all of his work behind him," said Dosse, as he recalled their meeting. 

"Obviously, Macron was drawn to this philosophical figure, Paul Ricoeur. And so there was a real dialogue, a real exchange. Emmanuel Macron has said in interviews how much he was reeducated philosophically by Paul Ricoeur."

'A desire for the future'

For Dosse, the French president has a clear vision for the future of Europe - and how he wants to achieve it.

"I think that Emmanuel Macron has a desire for the future, I would say," he said.

"The idea of building a story that is not written but which is to be written, and a project which shifts a Europe that has started a bit like a single market, focused on the economy, by revitalising grassroots democracy. And restarting Europe through culture."

Dosse continued: "To use a term he likes, I would say that he is president at the same time as being a philosopher. That is to say, he said how much action should be preceded by thought, so in this respect I would prefer to use the term 'builder.'"

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