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The On Being Project

Xavier Le Pichon

The Fragility at the Heart of Humanity

Xavier Le Pichon, one of the world's leading geophysicists, helped create the field of plate tectonics. A devout Catholic and spiritual thinker, he raised his family in intentional communities centered around people with mental disabilities. He shares his rare perspective on the meaning of humanity — a perspective equally informed by his scientific and personal encounters with fragility as a fundament of vital, evolving systems. Le Pichon has come to think of caring attention to weakness as an essential quality that allowed humanity to evolve.
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  • Xavier le Pichon

    Xavier le Pichon

    is Honorary Professor at Collège de France in Paris. He founded La Maison Thomas Philippe that provides retreats for families, including those struggling with mental illness.

About the Image

Image By Estelle BeauvaisXavier Le Pichon with a young woman on retreat at La Maison Thomas Philippe la Pène, behind the scenes at the filming of La Fragilité.

Episode Sponsors

  • John Templeton Foundation

    Funding provided in part by the John Templeton Foundation. The Templeton Foundation supports research and civil dialogue on the deepest and most perplexing questions facing humankind: Who are we? Why are we here? Where are we going? To learn more, please visit templeton.org.

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