Luc Ferry

For the writer, see Alain Ferry (writer).
Luc Ferry
Minister for Youth, National Education and Research
Ministre de la Jeunesse, de l'Éducation nationale et de la Recherche
In office
7 May 2002  31 March 2004
President Jacques Chirac
Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin
Preceded by Jack Lang
Succeeded by François Fillon
Personal details
Born (1951-01-01) 1 January 1951
Colombes, Hauts-de-Seine, France
Political party UMP
Profession Philosopher

Luc Ferry (French: [fɛʁi]; born January 1, 1951) is a French philosopher and a notable proponent of secular humanism. He is a former member of the Saint-Simon Foundation think-tank.

He received an Agrégation de philosophie (1975), a Doctorat d’Etat en science politique (1981), and an Agrégation de science politique (1982). As a Professor of political science and political philosophy, Luc Ferry taught at the Institut d'études politiques de Lyon (1982–1988) during which time he also taught and directed graduate research at the Pantheon-Sorbonne University , at Caen University (1989–96). He was a professor at Paris Diderot University (since 1996) but did not teach there.

From 2002 and until 2004 he served as the Minister of Education on the cabinet led by the conservative Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin. During his tenure, he was the minister in charge of the implementation of the French law on secularity and conspicuous religious symbols in schools. He received the award of Docteur honoris causa from the Université de Sherbrooke (Canada). He is the 2013 Telesio Galilei Academy of science Laureate for Philosophy.

He was created Chevalier De La Dive Bouteille De Gaillac on the 20 March 2012 together with Max Karoubi and Francesco Fucilla.


In June 2011, Ferry announced on television that he knew about a former government minister who had sexually abused little boys in an orgy in Morocco.[1][2] According to him, the case was known at the highest levels of the French state, but he provided no specifics as to the persons involved, citing the risk of being sued for libel. A criminal investigation was then opened and he was asked to cooperate with the prosecutors.

In June 2011, Le Canard Enchaîné, Le Monde and other media[3][4] revealed that Luc Ferry, a professor at Paris Diderot University since 1996 (or 1997, depending on sources) had not ever taught there — when he was minister, he was on leave, and when not on leave his obligation to teach was waived in order for him to undertake other official duties, some of which came with compensation pay, while he was still paid as a professor. In 2010, however, the University became financially autonomous (respecting the new legislation created by Valérie Pécresse) and did not want to have professors on its payroll that did not teach; it then required Luc Ferry to do his allocated teaching share, which he declined to do. In 2011, according to some sources, the university is threatening to get him to refund his salary (€4500 per month).


  1. "Minister pedophile: Ferry heard at the juvenile", June 3, 2011. Accessed June 8, 2011
  2. "Former minister's allegation of paedophilia investigated", France 24. June 2, 2011. Accessed June 8, 2011
  3. Le Monde, 7 juin 2011, « Avec la loi sur l'autonomie, Luc Ferry ne peut plus sécher ses cours »
  4. Libération, 8 juin 2011, « Luc Ferry sèche ses cours de philo à la fac »
Preceded by
Jack Lang
Minister of National Education
2002  2004
Succeeded by
François Fillon
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