A Biographical Dictionary of Modern Rationalists/Amiel, Henri Frédéric


Amiel, Henri Frédéric, Swiss writer. B. Sep. 27, 1821. A descendant of an exiled Huguenot family, Amiel devoted himself to the study of German philosophy, and in 1849 he was appointed professor of aesthetics at Geneva Academy. In 1854 he was promoted to the chair of moral philosophy. His famous work, the Journal Intime (published 1883-84), which is familiar to mystical readers all over Europe, is a beautiful expression of a mind that rejects Christianity with pain and regret. He remains theistic and mystic, yet his scepticism is profound. "The apologies of Pascal, Leibnitz, and Secretan," he says, "seem to me to prove no more than those of the Middle Ages." D. Mar. 11, 1881.