Public Figure Profiles

René Girard

René Noël Théophile Girard (25 December 1923 – 4 November 2015) was a French polymath, historian, literary critic, and philosopher of social science whose work belongs to the tradition of philosophical anthropology. Girard was the author of nearly thirty books, with his writings spanning many academic domains. Although the reception of his work is different in each of these areas, there is a growing body of secondary literature on his work and his influence on disciplines such as literary criticism, critical theory, anthropology, theology, psychology, mythology, sociology, economics, cultural studies, and philosophy.

Girard's main contribution to philosophy, and in turn to other disciplines, was in the field of epistemological and ethical systems of desire. Girard believed that human development occurs initially through a process of observational mimicry, where the infant develops desire through a process of learning to copy adult behaviour, fundamentally linking acquisition of identity, knowledge and material wealth to the development of a desire to have something others possess.

All conflict, competition and rivalry therefore originate in mimetic desire (mimetic rivalry), which eventually reaches destructive stages of conflict both between individuals and social groups that requires them to blame someone or something in order to defuse conflict through the scapegoat mechanism. Unable to assume responsibility or engage in self-reflection to recognize their own part in the conflict, humans individually and cross-tribally unite, to defuse conflict, by murdering the king or whoever appears to have the least support in the conflict, and then recognizing when the person has died how much less stress they have, and the unification leads to them eventually thinking of the deposed dead king as a god, i.e. deification or sanctification. Or, guilt is ascribed to an innocent third-party, whose murder permits the creation of a common unifying mythological underlay necessary for the foundation of human culture.For Girard, religion and mythology were therefore necessary steps in human evolution to control the violence that arises from mimetic rivalry and unequal distribution of desirable things. Religion directed the scapegoat impulse on imaginary concepts, such as Satan or demons, the absence of which would see an increase in human conflict, according to Girard. His ideas ran sharply contrary to the post-modernism in vogue through most of his life, and his views of human nature were pessimistic in contrast with the mainstream currents of his time. Girard saw religion as an essential instrument of cohesion, believing that the primary purpose of sacred texts was to end the practice of human sacrifice through ritualistically surrogating for the behaviour triggered by scapegoat mechanism, adopting and expanding many of Nietzsche's ideas.

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Some of their strengths

René Girard has many admirable traits.

Based on spiritual traditions from around the world, they are someone who can be described as Energetic, Loyal, Optimistic, Intuitive, Imaginative, Caring, and Independent.

Smart and Hardworking

According to Mysticism’s Astrology tradition, René Girard is someone who is a smart, hardworking, reliable, and loyal person, who is detail-oriented and orderly, but also generous and optimistic. A person who is ambitious and motivated.

Adventurous and Free

Based on Daoism’s Ba-Zi or ‘Chinese Zodiac’ tradition, people who know René Girard well know them as someone who can be talented, wayward and free, like a big river or the ocean.

Active and Ambitious

According to Hinduism’s Jyotisha or ‘Vedic Astrology’ tradition, many would also describe René Girard as someone who is active, ambitious, bold, and courageous.

A person who is driven and organized, is wise with money, who knows how to tell a good story, likes physical activity, and who loves learning.

Wise and Deep

Based on the Mayan Tzolk’in or ‘Mayan Astrology’ tradition, René Girard is someone who tends to have an internal innate wisdom, and who people tend to see as an "old soul".

They are also someone who is altruistic, tolerant, and sophisticated, and who tends to be a perfectionist who is always working to try and make everything and everyone better.

Patient and Perseverent

According to Judaism’s Kabbalah tradition, René Girard tends to be someone who is patient, faithful, hardworking and persistent, and who wants to achieve a lot in life. Who tends to be rather private when it comes to expressing feelings, enjoys being independent and self-sufficient, and who is not afraid of any obstacle.

Some of René Girard's challenges

While René Girard has many strengths, nobody is perfect. They also have some challenging traits they need to manage.

For example, René Girard can be Stubborn, Impulsive, Suspicious, Emotional, Standoffish, Short-tempered, and Aggressive.

Suspicious and Stubborn

One of René Girard's key challenges is that they are someone who can be suspicious and stubborn.

Impulsive and Aggressive

René Girard is someone who can be impulsive, aggressive, and confrontational, can have difficulty listening to others, be moody and high strung, have conflict with authority figures, be too judgmental of others, and who can be overindulgent and extravagant.

Callous and Stubborn

Finally, René Girard also can come across as cold and unemotional, be too dismissive of others' opinions, and be overly suspicious, selfish and crafty.

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