(b Châteaulin, Finistère, May 22, 1675; d Caen, Feb 26, 1764).
French priest, philosopher and writer. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1693, studied theology in Paris, then philosophy at the Collège de Clermont, and he was ordained a priest in 1706. He was a great scholar, who knew Greek, Latin and Hebrew; he devoted himself to philosophical research and poetry, at the same time teaching for the Society of Jesus in numerous institutions of learning in France. A staunch Cartesian, Père André inevitably incurred the hostility of the Society, which was wedded to Scholastic doctrines and Aristotelian philosophy. His innovative philosophical opinions and his suspect theology caused him to suffer various penalties, including imprisonment (1721). Under duress, he made a submission and in 1726 was appointed Royal Professor of Mathematics at Caen, where he remained for the rest of his life.
Père André is best known for his Essai sur le beau (1741), one of the earliest ...