A French philosopher who called life a risk dies rescuing children on a beach near St. Tropez

caption
Anne Dufourmantelle died rescuing two children on July 21.
source
librairie mollat

An award-winning French philosopher, who advocated risk-taking in life, has died trying to save two children from drowning.

Anne Dufourmantelle had been bathing on a beach in Ramatuelle – a seaside commune in France’s Côte d’Azur region – on July 21 when she entered the water to save two struggling children, according to local news site France 3 Régions.

The tide had turned rough due to an easterly wind, and the beach’s warning flag was changed from orange to red – a signal that the water was too dangerous for bathing. Dufourmantelle entered the water as the conditions changed and was swept out to sea in a strong current.

Lifeguards on duty were unable to resuscitate the 53-year-old philosopher, France 3 Régions reported. One of Dufourmantelle’s rescuers was even taken to hospital following his intervention, for stage two drowning – a condition characterised by the presence water in the stomach and breathing difficulties.

The children, however, were saved.

Dufourmantelle’s decorated career

Dufourmantelle earned degrees from Paris-Sorbonne and Brown universities and taught philosophy and psychoanalysis at various universities including New York University.

She was a prolific writer who published works on subjects including the role of mothers, dreams, and sexuality. In 1998, she won the Raymond de Boyer de Sainte-Suzanne prize, an honour given by the Academie Française to authors of philosophy or contemporary religion.

In a 2016 interview with M, Le Monde’s magazine, Dufourmantelle said: “Life, as a whole, is a risk. To live without taking risks is not living.”

Tributes to the philosopher

Dufourmantelle’s funeral is scheduled to take place in Ramatuelle on July 25, according to her partner, the writer Frédéric Boyer. Meanwhile, tributes were paid to deceased philosopher on social media:

Dufourmantelle was a “great philosopher and psychoanalyst” who “helped us live and think about the world today,” wrote Francoise Nyssen, France’s Culture Minister.

“Sad and shocked to learn about the death of the philosopher and psychoanalyst Anne Dufourmantelle, who spoke about dreams so well,” wrote French philosopher Raphaël Enthoven.