Eric Weil Institute
Institute for the History of Concepts and Ideas
Eric Weil Institute

Founded in 2011 following the bequest of Éric Weil’s estate to the Université Lille 3

The Institute Éric Weil is a shared service (service commun) within the University of Lille since 14 March 2019.



The Institute Éric Weil is an Institute for the History of Concepts and Ideas. Its principal scientific activity focuses on the study and diffusion of Éric Weil’s philosophical work, as well as the study and diffusion of work dedicated to the philosophical themes found therein. To this end, the Éric Weil Institute maintains a close working relationship with the Mixed Research Unit Savoirs, Textes, Langage (UMR 8163) while also collaborating with the University’s other research laboratories with the goal of promoting a diversity of scientific research.

Working closely with the University’s Documentation Department and its network of libraries, the Éric Weil Institute’s scientific responsibilities include housing both the “Éric Weil Archives” and the “Éric Weil Library.” Additionally, the Éric Weil Institute manages the rights and authorizations for the publication, reproduction, and translation of Éric Weil’s work.

The Éric Weil Institute develops, participates in, and helps fund a variety of research projects in collaboration with numerous partner institutions and universities. In addition to its the principal institutional partner, the Fondation de l’Université de Lille, this network includes partnerships with various French universities and universities throughout West Africa, Brazil, the United States, Portugal, Germany, as well as Central and Eastern Europe, and Scandinavia.

The Éric Weil Institutes offers numerous research possibilities and participates in numerous activities. These include: on-site access to the Library and the Archives for researchers from the graduate level onwards; the funding of research grants for visiting research fellows; the supervision or co-supervision of doctoral studies within the framework of the Mixed Research Unit Savoir, Textes, Langage; the organization of seminars, conferences, and colloquia. Complementing its research activity, the Éric Weil Institute also funds and participates in numerous publishing activities including, but not limited to: Éric Weil’s unpublished manuscripts; new translations of his work; essays and books dedicated to his philosophical work and the themes found therein.

Éric Weil was born in 1904 in the town of Parchim within the present German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. He studied medicine and philosophy in both Hamburg and Berlin before writing his doctoral dissertation on the Italian Renaissance philosopher Pietro Pompanazzi under the direction of Ernst Cassirer, which he defended in 1928. Following his doctoral studies, Weil continued his research in Renaissance philosophy, notably studying Neoplatonist philosopher Marsilio Ficino while working at the Aby Warburg Library in Hamburg. When Hitler rose to power in 1933, Weil fled Germany and settled in Paris. Once in France, Weil became a regular contributor to Alexandre Koyré’s journal Recherche Philosophiques and regularly attended Alexandre Kojève’s famous seminar on Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit. During this time, he completed a graduate thesis on Giovanni Pico della Mirandola at the École Pratique des Hautes Études directed by Alexandre Koyré. In 1938, Weil became a French citizen and enlisted in the French Army under the false name Henri Dubois to fight in the Second World War. In June 1940, Weil was taken prisoner and would spend nearly five years in a camp as a prisoner of war.


Following his release from captivity, Weil became part of the initial editorial team at Georges Bataille’s new journal Critique, a journal in which he would also go on to author numerous articles. During this same period, Weil wrote his seminal work on “first philosophy,” Logique de la philosophy (1950) [English translation: Logic of Philosophy (forthcoming 2022)], followed by Philosophie politique (1956), Philosophie morale (1961). He additionally published numerous essays and conference papers concerning first philosophy, praxis, the philosophy of history, the history of philosophy, and a variety of other themes. Many of these writings are found in the collections Hegel et l’état (1950) [English translation, Hegel and the State (1998)], Problèmes kantiens (1963), Essais et conférences (1970), etc.

Éric Weil taught philosophy as a member of the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences (Faculté des Lettres) at the University of Lille from 1956 to 1968 before moving to the University of Nice from 1968 until his retirement in 1974. Eric Weil died on 1 February 1977 in Nice.

 Éric Weil’s Timeline

 Éric Weil Archives



Director: Sequoya Yiaueki

Head of Administration: Fatiha Iznasni


Current Projects

Certification CollEx

In participation with the University Library, the Éric Weil Institute Library collection has been certified CollEx.

This certification, awarded by GIS CollEx-Persée, identifies and showcases libraries that promote excellence in research.

Éric Weil in the English-speaking world

A project for excellence backed by the Fondation de l’Université de Lille


The Post-graduate research and educational program in partnership with the Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo

International seminar for post-graduate studies (PUC de São Paulo/UdL) organized by Marcelo Perine in collaboration with the Éric Weil Institute


The OFFRES group (French-speaking Organization for European Research and Education in the Human Sciences) Graduate Student Summer School

Host and Organizer of the 21st OFFRES (Central and Eastern Europe) Summer School in July 04-12, 2022




39th International Symposium – The Tomonobu Imamichi Institute for Eco-Ethica

Host and Organizer of the Tomononu Imamichi Institute for Eco-Ethica’s 39th international symposium from 2 to 6 May 2022.




Institut Éric Weil
Université de Lille
Domaine universitaire du Pont de Bois
Bâtiment A, 3e étage
BP 60149
59653 Villeneuve d’Ascq Cedex


Tél. : +33 (0)3 20 41 71 08

Mail : institut-eric-weiluniv-lillefr