Felix Ravaisson's seminal philosophical essay, Of Habit, was first published in French in 1838. It traces the origins and development of habit and proposes the principle of habit as the foundation of human nature. This metaphysics of habit steers a path between materialism and idealism in one of the best and most sophisticated treatments of the topic. Ravaisson's work was pivotal in the development of European thought and has had a significant influence on such key thinkers such as Proust, Bergson, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Derrida, and Deleuze. This edition makes this important work available to an English-speaking audience for the first time. Clare Carlisle and Mark Sinclair provide a comprehensive introduction to Ravaisson's life, works, and enduring influence that clearly situates Ravaisson's text within the European philosophical tradition. The translation also includes a thorough commentary on the text that illuminates its arguments and its context.
Felix Ravaisson (1813-1900) was a French philosopher who held a number of prestigious posts, including that of Curator of Classical Antiquities at the Louvre. His work influenced generations of European philosophers, including Henri Bergson, Martin Heidegger and Gilles Deleuze. Clare Carlisle is Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Liverpool, UK. She is the author of Kierkegaard's Philosophy of Becoming (SUNY Press, 2005). Mark Sinclair is a Research Fellow in Philosophy at Manchester Metropolitan University. He is the author of Heidegger, Aristotle and the Work of Art (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2006) and translator of Jean Beaufret's Dialogue with Heidegger: Greek Philosophy (Indiana University Press, 2006).