In Praise of Risk Philosopher Drowns During Rescue Attempt

Anna Dufourmantelle dove into dangerous waters in St. Tropez
By Josh Rosenblatt,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 25, 2017 2:40 AM CDT
Updated Jul 25, 2017 5:21 AM CDT

(Newser) – A French philosopher who wrote about the importance of risk-taking drowned Friday at a beach on the French Riviera while attempting to save at least one child caught in the water. NPR reports that Anna Dufourmantelle, 53, was bathing at Pampelonne, a beach in St. Tropez, when an orange warning flag was changed to red, prohibiting swimming due to dangerous weather conditions. The details of the drowning remain unclear, but NPR says Dufourmantelle suffered a heart attack while attempting to rescue her friend's 10-year-old son. The BBC, meanwhile, says Dufourmantelle entered the water to save two children she may or may not have known but was carried away by a strong current and that the two children were later rescued by lifeguards.

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Dufourmantelle, who earned her philosophy doctorate from the Sorbonne in 1994, wrote numerous essays about the value of taking risks and in 2011 she published a book called In Praise of Risk. "Life is metamorphosis," she said during a 2015 interview with Liberation. "It begins with this risk." In addition to being a philosopher, Dufourmantelle was also a psychoanalyst, a professor at the European Graduate School, and a member of the exclusive Académie Francaise, a council that acts as a caretaker of the French language. Her funeral is scheduled for Tuesday in Ramatuelle in the south of France. (Read more Anna Dufourmantelle stories.)

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