Blondel, François, 1617-86, French architect. In 1672 he became director of the Academy of Architecture. Blondel's writings, which exerted great influence, include Cours d'architecture enseigné dans l'Académie royale d'architecture (2 vol., 1675-83) and Nouvelle Manière de fortifier les places (1684). He advocated a strict adherence to a classical and rationalist doctrine of architecture. His nephew, Jacques François Blondel, 1705-74, opened the first French private school of architecture in 1739. As architect to the king he devised plans for the civic beautification of Metz and Strasbourg. He designed the town hall and Place d'Armes at Strasbourg and the west portal of the cathedral at Metz. His published works include L'Architecture française (1752), valuable for its engraved views of buildings that no longer exist, and Cours d'architecture; ou, Traité de la décoration (6 vol., 1771-77).
Blondel, Maurice, 1861-1949, French Catholic philosopher, b. Dijon. He was a professor at the universities of Montauban, Lille, and Aix-Marseille during his influential career. Like his contemporary Henri Bergson he was antirationalist and scorned science. In his first work, L'Action (1893, rev. ed. 1950), he laid the groundwork for his later thought. Blondel held that action alone could never satisfy the human yearning for the transfinite, which could only be fulfilled by God, whom he described as the "first principle and last term." In his positive affirmation of God he was close to St. Augustine, Plato, and Leibniz; he later also accorded legitimacy to the rational proofs of God's existence. His other chief works were La Pensée (2 vol., 1934-35) and Le Problème de la philosophie catholique (1932).

See study by H. Bouillard (1969).

Blondel's theorem states that, in a system of N electrical conductors, N-1 electrical meter elements, when properly connected, will measure the electrical power or energy taken. The connection must be such that all potential coils have a common tie to the conductor in which there is no current coil.

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