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A French Philosopher Who Encouraged Risk-Taking Died While Saving A Drowning Child

Anne Dufourmantelle wrote a book called In Praise of Risk.

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A French philosopher who encouraged people to take risks in order to help others died on Friday while attempting to save a drowning child.

Anne Dufourmantelle, a philosophy professor at the European Graduate School, went into cardiac arrest at a beach in St. Tropez after she tried to rescue her friend's 10-year-old son, who was struggling in the water, reports Le Monde. The child survived.

The French minister for culture, Françoise Nyssen, said Dufourmantelle "helped us live, to think about the world of today."

Émotions suite au décès d'Anne Dufourmantelle. Grande philosophe, psychanalyste, elle nous aidait à vivre, à penser le monde d'aujourd'hui.

"Emotions following the death of Anne Dufourmantelle. Great philosopher, psychoanalyst, who helped us live, to think about the world of today," the tweet reads.

The BBC reports she was trying to save two children, and that both were fine.

Dufourmantelle, a psychoanalyst whose work focused on risk, dreams, and sex, held a PhD in philosophy from the Sorbonne. She published more than 30 books, with one in 2011 titled Eloge du Risque (In Praise of Risk).

In a 2015 interview with Liberation, a French newspaper, she spoke of the need for people to take risks in order to protect the security of others.

"When there really is a danger that must be faced in order to survive, as for example during the Blitz in London, there is a strong incentive for action, dedication, and surpassing oneself," she said, according to a BBC translation.

"It is said: 'to risk one's life', but perhaps one should say 'to risk life', [because] being alive is a risk," she continued.

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Fellow French philosophers spoke about the loss of their colleague, with Raphaël Enthoven noting his "sadness and shock" at her death, saying that she "spoke so well of dreams."

Tristesse et stupeur d'apprendre à l'instant la mort de la philosophe et psychanalyste Anne Dufourmantelle, qui par… https://t.co/9rfArZzhXU

He later tweeted: "She was wonderful. Her death is a scandal."

Her funeral will be held Tuesday.

Amber Jamieson is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Amber Jamieson at amber.jamieson@buzzfeed.com.

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