Pierre-Simon Ballanche (pyĕr-sēmôN´ bäläNsh´), 1776–1847, French philosopher. A frequenter of Mme Récamier's salon, he was elected to the Académie française in 1842. He is regarded as the precursor of both liberal Catholicism and romanticism. In Palingénésie (1827–32) he historically documents his belief in cyclical cultural rebirth. In addition to essays, Ballanche wrote didactic fiction, including a Christianized Antigone (1813) and L'Homme sans nom [man without a name] (1820).