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Simon, Yves René Marie


Catholic philosopher; b. Cherbourg, France, March 14, 1903; d. South Bend, Ind., May 11, 1961. Yves, the son of Auguste Simon and Berthe Porquet la Ferronnière, received his secondary education at Cherbourg. After one year at the Lycée Louis-le-Grand, he continued at the University of Paris and at the Catholic Institute of Paris to receive his doctoral degree. Among his distinguished professors were Abbé Lallement and Jacques Maritain. Although a man of enormous erudition, it is safe to say that the works of St. Thomas Aquinas and of P. J. Proudhon (180965) exerted a profound influence on Simon. In 1930 he married Paule Dromard, who was studying Thomism at Paris. His concern with the growth of the intellect in the service of moral life are evident in Philosophy of Democratic Government (Chicago 1951) and A General Theory of Authority (Notre Dame 1962), both of which may be regarded as classics in political philosophy. In purely speculative philosophy his greatest work is Introduction à l'ontologie du connaître (Paris 1934). After eight years at the University of Lille, he went to the U.S. to serve as professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame and at the University of Chicago. Most of his students would agree with Simon's widow: "A non-specialized philosopher by principle, he, nevertheless, made his mark principally in metaphysics, logic, and political philosophy" [The New Scholasticism 37 (1963) 501]. Her comment is in an article, "The Papers of Yves R. Simon," that analyzes Simon's philosophical inquiries and proposes the posthumous publication of several major works in varying stages of readiness when death overtook him.

Bibliography: m. hoehn, ed., Catholic Authors (Newark 1948). Data on Simon's manuscripts are available at the Maritain Center, University of Notre Dame, Ind.

[g. j. mcmorrow]

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