Michel de Certeau

French Jesuit and scholar

Michel de Certeau (17 May 1925 – 9 January 1986) was a French Jesuit and scholar whose work combined history, psychoanalysis, philosophy, and the social sciences. He was known as a philosopher of everyday life and widely regarded as a historian who had interests ranging from travelogues of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries to contemporary urban life.


  • Dancing on a tightrope requires that one maintain an equilibrium from one moment to the next by recreating it at every step by means of new adjustments; it requires one to maintain a balance that is never permanently acquired; constant readjustments renews the balance while giving the impression of ‘keeping it’.
    • The Practice of Everyday Life (1984)
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