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Thinking Hospitality
The Hotelier and the Philosopher
Gabrielle Halpern
Cyril Aouizerate


«"What if a hotel were more than a hotel? What if it were both a mirror and a blind spot of our society, reflecting and hiding its needs, habits, prejudices, anxieties, fantasies and metamorphoses? As part of a long history of hospitality - which was synonymous with security and survival for travellers - the reinvention of the hotel industry can initiate a new relationship with the living and the non-living, provided that it accepts to play a new role within local areas, society and nature. What if the hotel sector were a good excuse to think about the magnificent question of hospitality?


Faced with the major philosophical questions such as Freedom, Justice, Happiness, Nature or Truth, hospitality might seem like a pale-faced intruder... It isn't on the final year philosophy syllabus, and yet it is a major philosophical question, both universal and timeless. Asking questions about hospitality means asking questions about the relationship with the other; and in life, the subject, the issue - or even the problem - is always the relationship with the other! It also raises the question of borders, of thresholds, of inside and outside, of what's foreign and what's familiar, of giving and depending, of control and letting go. What makes me agree to step outside myself to take an interest in the other? What makes me make a little space within myself to make room for the other? What does it take for me to make room for the other? What does it take to be able to welcome the other?  What does it take for me to overcome my fear of being overwhelmed by the other? Hospitality is part of hybridisation, because it carries within it an ethic of the relationship to the other...".


Cyril Aouizerate is the co-founder of Mama Shelter hotels, founder and president of MOB Republic: MOB Hotel and MOB House

Philosopher et cuisiner :
un mélange exquis
Gabrielle Halpern
Guillaume Gomez
The Chef and the Philosopher


Do philosophy and cuisine have nothing to do with each other? Although their marriage may seem unlikely, it is nevertheless a salient illustration for understanding the concept of hybridisation as a major trend of our time.


Indeed, we are witnessing an accelerated hybridisation of our world, which is reflected in the transformation of professions, working methods, economic models and sectors. This energetic and in-depth conversation between Guillaume Gomez and Gabrielle Halpern tackles various subjects such as education, our relationship with nature, the relationship with others, the place we want to give to our food and also new ways of working.


A rich dialogue between two passionate personalities... who are fascinating!


Guillaume Gomez, the youngest chef to have won the title of Meilleur Ouvrier de France (Best Craftsman in France), Head Chef of the Élysée Palace for 25 years, is now France's ambassador for gastronomy, food and the culinary arts.

The Fable of the Centaur

Gabrielle Halpern
illustrated by Didier Petetin


Grandmother horse laments - "What are we going to do with her? She is a bastard! This is Nature's transgression!  Above the cradle, humans and horses look at each other suspiciously... The young centaur does not fit into any box - she's a hybrid! Tired of prejudice, she decides to go on an adventure. Her many encounters with animals, plants, monsters, and her discovery of science will help her to forge a philosophy of life.


What if hybridisation was an opportunity? What if everything became a "centaur": sciences, objects, materials, products and services, consumer habits and marketing methods, companies, public institutions, professions, buildings, ways of innovating, living and working?


An initiatory comic book to reach out to the Other and understand the world as it is changing.

“The Fable of the Centaur”


Gabrielle Halpern

Illustrated by Didier Petetin

Let’s all be centaurs!
A celebration of hybridisation

Gabrielle Halpern


This essay analyses a major trend in the coming world, namely hybridisation. Hybridisation is defined as 'the unlikely union', i.e. the bringing together of things, sectors, products or services, activities, professions, people, cultures, uses, skills, materials, generations, etc., which, at first sight, had little to do with each other, or which could seem contradictory, and which, when brought together, will give rise to third uses, third places, third objects, third materials, third cultures, third models... new worlds, in short! There are many weak signals that hybridisation could well become the great trend of the world to come, but this trend calls many things into question and requires us to break out of the existing boxes. Nothing escapes it: objects, territories, materials, products and services, consumer habits and marketing methods, agriculture, companies or public institutions, professions, buildings, ways of innovating and working, education, etc. We are witnessing the emergence of new combinations and re-combinations; we are entering an era of unlikely unions!

This creates a certain uneasiness in society, because things, situations and people that used to fit into our boxes no longer do, and all our definitions are shattered... Yet this hybridisation can also be the best engine for creativity and innovation! Yes, hybridisation is a real opportunity for human beings, for companies and public institutions and for society, - provided we learn to tame it....



Some of the thinkers and books that have inspired the philosophy of hybridity and that might be of interest to you

Crowds and power
Elias Canetti


Elias Canetti is one of the greatest European thinkers of the 20th century. The immensity of his work, which is more relevant than ever, deserves to be examined carefully and attentively. A hybrid being "par excellence", a veritable centaur navigating between worlds, languages, cultures and ideas, Elias Canetti's work should absolutely be read and reread. In "Crowds and Power", he questions the phenomenon of crowds and our relationship to them. Normally, there is nothing in the world that human beings fear more than contact with the unknown. All our behaviour is dictated by this phobia. And yet.... An irresistible desire takes hold of us when a crowd appears before us - to join it. But why? What is going on inside us? What do we expect from the crowd? What does it give us that we're lacking? What do we give up to it in return? What is our relationship with others? What role does metamorphosis play? A real gem to be discovered! His other works, such as "Auto da fé", "The human province" and "The tongue set free", have also contributed to the philosophy of the hybrid.

The Devil's Cloth
Michel Pastoureau


The historian and great expert on colour, Michel Pastoureau, has been very interested in the history of colours, their meanings, their symbols, their sociological, economic, moral and religious consequences. In this context, he had the original idea of taking an interest in the history of the stripe. Through numerous examples, he explains to what extent man has always been suspicious of clothing that is not plain. He writes that "there are many individuals in the medieval West - real or imaginary - who are given striped clothing by society, literature or iconography. They are all, in one way or another, outcasts or rejects, from the Jew and the heretic to the jester or the juggler, not only the leper, the executioner or the prostitute, but also the treacherous knight of the Round Table novels, the fool in the Book of Psalms or the character of Judas. They all disturb or pervert the established order." Stripes or variegation, because they create a discontinuity, a break in homogeneity, were associated with very negative imagery; they transgress the chromatic order. The links between stripes and hybridisation are fascinating to explore and Pastoureau's work brings another perspective to the imagery associated with variegation...

Entre le cristal
et la fumée
Henri Atlan


This book by Henri Atlan is a gem! The philosophy of hybridity is very closely linked to contradiction and invites us to cultivate it rather than trying to dissolve or resolve it as if it were a problem... The biologist and philosopher Henri Atlan speaks in this book of the "mortal danger" of "eliminating the first term of the contradiction (and thus the contradiction itself), that is to say, to settle down definitively, to stop, to shrink to the sole dimensions of an alienating particularism"... Hybridisation is this invitation not to settle, not to stop, not to let oneself be reduced, but to constantly seek to increase oneself by going beyond oneself and one's identity.

The origins of totalitarianism
Hannah Arendt


The philosopher Hannah Arendt gives a precise description of how totalitarianism works and on what foundations it can be established. In doing so, she offers us an interesting conception of ideology - one of the roots of totalitarianism - which she defines as "the logic of an idea", preventing us from taking any steps to the side or backwards: "you cannot put down A without putting down B and C and so on, until the alphabet of murder is complete. It is here that the binding power of logic seems to have its source; it is born of our fear of contradicting ourselves (...). The binding force of the argument is this: if you refuse, you put yourself in contradiction with yourself, and by this contradiction, you remove all meaning from your whole life. The A that you posit dominates your whole life through the B and C consequences that it logically engenders. To get out of ideology, we must reconnect with our humanity, our spontaneity. Rather than defining the human being by reason, she invites us to define her/him as an animal of the beginning; one who can introduce the new, the unprecedented, the unusual into the world. This philosophy of initiative is at the heart of the philosophy of hybridity.

connaissance ?
Lionel Naccache


What is the difference between information and knowledge? How do we transform information into knowledge? How does knowledge transform us? The neurologist Lionel Naccache invites us to delve into our brain to better understand the mechanisms at work. At a time when big data is more than ever glorified, when information and fake news have never been so abundant, questioning the real meaning of knowledge is salutary! What if our brain naturally functions in a hybrid way?

Le Iivre du Philosophe
Friedrich Nietzsche

The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche wrote that "the game of art consists in confusing scaffolding, nominations, cells, conceptual superstructures and in establishing new metaphors and metonymies". Hybridisation lies exactly in this definition - creating new intersections (between sectors, between professions, between uses, between companies, between individuals, between public institutions, etc.) to break out of our rigid identities and reinvent ourselves. The philosophy of hybridity is strongly inspired by this proposal of disruption made by the philosopher.

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