Émile-Auguste Chartier, commonly known as Alain, was a French philosopher, journalist, and pacifist.
Alain entered lycée d'Alençon in 1881 and studied there for five years. On 13 June 1956, the lycée was renamed lycée Alain, after its most famous student.
After Alain qualified at the École Normale Supérieure and received agrégation of philosophy, he taught at various institutions, Pontivy, Lorient, Lycée Pierre Corneille in Rouen, and in Paris. From 1903, he contributed to several journals using his pseudonym, Alain. He was most commonly referred to as "Alain" by his pupils and peers. In 1909, he was appointed a teacher at the Lycée Henri-IV in Paris. He deeply influenced his pupils, who included Raymond Aron, Simone Weil, Georges Canguilhem, and André Maurois. Reviewing the beneficial effect he had on his former pupils Simone Weil and Simone de Beauvoir, professor John Hellman writes that Alain was the greatest teacher of their generation.
He is buried in the Père Lachaise Cemetery.
Among his most important publications are The Dreamer, 81 chapters about the spirit and passions, About Happiness, Mars, and The citizen against powers.