Born in Avignon on Christmas Day 1923, philosopher René Girard is the author of works that are published in more than two dozen languages, including The Scapegoat and Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World. His latest book, Achever Clausewitz, will be published in the United States in 2010 as Battling to the End: Politics, War, and Apocalypse. In 2005, Professor Girard received the highest honor in France, induction as one of the forty members of the Academie Francaise.
First describing the triangular structure of desire -- object, model, and subject -- Girard tells how conflicts are resolved and why human society is not marked by total conflict all the time. He further speaks of the intersection of the universal themes of mythology and Christianity and Christianity's future.
"History...is a test of mankind," says René Girard, and "mankind is failing that test."
René Girard (born December 25, 1923, Avignon, France) is a French historian, literary critic, and philosopher of social science. His work belongs to the tradition of anthropological philosophy. He is the author of several books in which he developed the ideas of mimetic desire and the scapegoat mechanism, and how they relate to the Bible.
René Girard's writings cover many areas. Although the reception of his work is different in each of these areas, there is a growing body of secondary literature that uses his hypotheses and ideas in the areas of literary criticism, critical theory, anthropology, theology, psychology, mythology, sociology, economics, cultural studies, and philosophy.
He is Andrew B. Hammond Professor of French Language, Literature & Civilization & Professor of Comparative Literature, Emeritus at Stanford University.
Peter M. Robinson is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, where he writes about business and politics, edits the Hoover Institution's quarterly journal, the Hoover Digest, and hosts Hoover's television program, "Uncommon Knowledge."
Robinson is also the author of three books: How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life; It's My Party: A Republican's Messy Love Affair with the GOP; and the best-selling business book Snapshots from Hell: The Making of an MBA.