Stefan Gigacz presented the August ACI webinar on Léon Ollé-Laprune, the French philosopher, who first articulated the method that we today know as the “see-judge-act.”
Born in 1839, Léon Ollé-Laprune studied philosophy at the Ecole Normale Supérieure (ENS) in Paris. As a student, he read the works of Alphonse Gratry, who had been chaplain at the ENS. As a Christian, he modelled his life on that of Frédéric Ozanam, seeking to make himself a “lay apostle.” As a social activist, he followed in the footsteps of Frédéric Le Play, the pioneer sociologist whose method of social enquiry so influenced Cardijn.
As an academic, he influenced a whole generation of future French leaders, including Jean Jaurès, founder of the French Socialist Party, the sociologist Emile Durkheim, and the philosophers, Maurice Blondel and Henri Bergson.
Writing in 1896, he advised students to learn to “see clearly, judge and decide” in order to address the challenges of the time.
Léon Ollé-Laprune died in 1898, 125 years ago this year. The method he inspired would sweep the world with Cardijn’s Young Christian Workers and its sister movements before being adopted by Pope John XXIII in 1961 and by the Second Vatican Council in 1965.
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