Philosophy Compass 15 (2) (2020)

Russell Ford
Elmhurst College
The Vietnamese philosopher Tran Duc Thao exerted an important influence over the development of 20th century French philosophy. In articles that stretched across the 1940s, Thao sought to employ the concrete insights of Marxism and dialectical materialism in order to correct and critique the dominant philosophical programs of phenomenology and existentialism. Thao’s pervasive concern was the determination of a basis for truthful action. In two essays – one taken from the beginning of his professional career, the other from near its end – this concern is clearly displayed. A member of the General Delegation of Indochina advocating for an end to French colonial rule, Thao’s philosophical work is always undergirded by his political engagement. At the same time, his philosophical work seeks to demonstrate that his political activity is truthful, not merely partisan.
Keywords Tran Duc Thao, phenomenology, existentialism
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DOI 10.1111/phc3.12650
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