Skip to main content

Hersch, Jeanne


HERSCH, JEANNE (1910–2000), Swiss philosopher. The daughter of the Bundist Pesach Liebman *Hersch, who was a professor of statistics at the University of Geneva from 1921, she studied philosophy in her home city, then in Heidelberg, where she met Karl Jaspers, and in Freiburg. She belonged to a group of Jewish students influenced by Martin Heidegger, as were Hannah Arendt and Emmanuel Levinas. But in 1933, witnessing the negative role Heidegger played as rector of the university during the rise of Nazism, she immediately left Freiburg. Between 1956 and 1965 she was a professor of systematic philosophy in Geneva. Between 1966 and 1968 she presided over the philosophy section of unesco in Paris. A long time Social Democrat, she distanced herself from the party in 1992 when it declared the use of drugs legal. As an "intellectuelle engagée" she fought for human rights and criticized the student movement of 1968 for not having distanced itself sufficiently from Soviet Communism. Her philosophy was also grounded in Jewish ethics. She translated the work of Karl Jaspers into French. Hersch was a highly esteemed philosopher in Switzerland.


Penser dans le temps (1977); Éclairer l'obscur. Entretiens avec Gabrielle et A. Dufour (1986), Kaufmann, Bibliographie, No. 1402f.

[Uri Kaufmann (2nd ed.)]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Hersch, Jeanne." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . 20 Feb. 2019 <>.

"Hersch, Jeanne." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . (February 20, 2019).

"Hersch, Jeanne." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Retrieved February 20, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.