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Bernard SUZANNE

Bernard SUZANNE was born July 23, 1944 in Paris, France. He was admitted in 1964 at Ecole Polytechnique, one of the best institutions in France for high level scientific education, and graduated from it three years later. He worked for 19 years, from 1967 to 1986, for IBM, in various positions in France (Paris) and in the US (Poughkeepsie, NY, from 1972 to 1975 and again from 1983 to 1986). Then, from 1987 till the end of 2005, he worked for a subsidiary of a large French bank as data processing systems' architect. He retired on January 1st, 2006. He lives in Vendargues, a suburb of Montpellier, in the south of France, near the Mediterranean. He has been married from 1970 till her death on May 18th, 2011, with Marie-Anne LIPPERT, with whom he had two children, a son, Benoît (born 1971) and a daughter, Anne-Claire (born 1974), and is a grand-father since October 1st, 2003, date of birth of Adrien, son of Benoît and his wife Sabine (Adrien has a younger sister named Lise since January 13th, 2006, and Anne-Claire and her husband Arnaud have a daughter named Daphné who was born December 7th, 2009).

Though his formation is mostly scientific and his occupations are rather technical, he has always had a deep interest in philosophy, metaphysics and theology. From 1976 to 1983, he attended evening classes in catholic theology for lay people at the Institut Catholique de Paris. It is while attending philosophy classes that were part of this program that he was led from Augustine to neoplatonism and from neoplatonism to Plato, whose dialogues he had read already somes years earlier. Not being tainted yet by scholarly literature, he took a fresh view of Plato's writings and was not satisfied with the theories that were showing up behind the introductions to popular editions of the dialogues, especially as regard the Parmenides and later dialogues, and with the rather crude conception of the theory of forms most people would accept while at the same time paying lip service to Plato's genius. Soon he became convinced that there was something else behind the dialogues, and started developing the view that they might constitute a whole of which each dialogue was a part. He saw in the explicit trilogy Theætetus, Sophist, Statesman, with the Parmenides as a "comic" introduction criticizing what most people, on the word of Aristotle, would mistakenly take as Plato's own "theory of forms", sort of a summary of a broader work. Looking first for a development of the Statesman in the Timæus, Critias and possibly Laws, he later came to see all other dialogues as preparation for the dialectical lessons of the eleatic trilogy. With only one or two differences with the final "map" here proposed, he drafted a first plan of the dialogues viewed as the supposedly never written Philosopher, and from there on, kept simultaneously reading and rereading the dialogues themselves and as much scholarly literature on Plato as he could lay a hand on, refining his views along the way.

Because he was not introduced in Academic circles, but was, owing to his job, quite familiar with the latest in information processing technology, he decided, upon advice from a philosophy teacher he "electronically" met on one of the mailing lists he subscribed to, to try for a web publication of his theories to confront them with other people, in English to reach a larger audience on the Internet. And here we are, thanks to Anthony F. Beavers, from the University of Evansville, Indiana, who accepted to host these pages on his server for several years, before it moved, in 2001, on the servers of a French Internet provider.

Aside from Plato and philosophy, he likes all sorts of music, whether it be Bach, Duke Ellington or Joan Baez, with a special taste for Italian opera, Verdi's in particular. In 1995, he was led to engage in politics, challenging (unsuccessfully) the mayor of Vendargues, the 5000 or so inhabitants suburb of Montpellier, France, he lives in. He has been a member of the city council from 1995 to 2008.

With all that, he doesn't have enough time in his taste to spend working on Plato's dialogues... But, having always had a special taste for teaching (which he did in several occasions on various topics, mostly related to data processing, both professionally and in a college) he hasn't given up becoming some day a teacher in philosophy...


Home address : 9, rue de la Fontaine, F34740 - VENDARGUES, FRANCE
Home phone # : (033) 4 67 87 21 18 (from France : 04 67 87 21 18)


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Last updated June 12, 2011
© 1996 Bernard SUZANNE (click on name to send your comments via e-mail)
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