Joseph Joubert was a French moralist and essayist, remembered today largely for his Pensées, which was published posthumously.
From the age of fourteen Joubert attended a religious college in Toulouse, where he later taught until 1776. In 1778 he went to Paris where he met D'Alembert and Diderot, amongst others, and later became friends with a young writer and diplomat, Chateaubriand.
He alternated between living in Paris with his friends and life in the privacy of the countryside in Villeneuve-sur-Yonne. He was appointed inspector-general of universities under Napoleon.
Joubert published nothing during his lifetime, but he wrote a copious amount of letters and filled sheets of paper and small notebooks with thoughts about the nature of human existence, literature, and other topics, in a poignant, often aphoristic style. After his death his widow entrusted Chateaubriand with these notes, and in 1838, he published a selection entitled, Recueil des pensées de M. Joubert. More complete editions were to follow, as were collections of Joubert's correspondence.
Somewhat of the Epicurean school of philosophy, Joubert even valued his own frequent suffering of ill health, as he believed sickness gave subtlety to the soul.