Eileen Cantin

Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

James H. Robb

Second Advisor

Patrick Coffey

Third Advisor

Edward Rousseau

Fourth Advisor

Denis Savage

Fifth Advisor

Joseph O'Malley


One of my favorite books is Antoine de Saint-Exupery's The Little Prince. And one of my favorite passages in that book records an exchange between t he geographer and the little prince.

"Geographies, " said the geographer, "are the books which are most concerned with matters of consequence. They never become old fashioned. It is very rarely that a mountain changes its position. It is very rarely that an ocean empties itself of its waters. We write of eternal things."

"But extinct volcanoes may come to life again, " the little prince interrupted....

"Whether volcanoes are extinct or alive, it comes to the same thing for us, " said the geographer. "The thing that matters is t he mountain. It does not change."*

Obviously the geographer would not approve of the present trend of lumping geography and history into "social studies. " For history is concerned with ephemeral things like roses and people and other living things.

Because Emmanuel Mounier sometimes sounds like the geographer and sometimes like the little prince (more often than not like the little prince), I decided to investigate his philosophy rather thoroughly. You see, I suspected that he might be suffering from a mild case of philosophic schizophrenia-from a kind of split mentality. The reasons for this suspicion are herein recorded along with my detailed diagnosis. Like all diagnoses it is a subjective attempt at being objective.



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