Born in Auxerre, Yonne, Gouhier's studies led to a doctorate in 1926. He served as the Professor of philosophy at a lycée in Troyes from 1925 to 1928. Then he taught at the Faculty of Arts at the University of Lille between 1929 and 1940; subsequently, he taught at the University of Bordeaux during 1940 and 1941.
Gouhier supervised the undergraduate dissertation of famed sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, a translation of and commentary on Leibniz's Animadversions.
He died in Paris.
- Commander of the Legion of Honor
- Grand Officer of the Ordre National du Mérite
- Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres