Abstract

Abstract:

Why would Sade, a staunch enemy of the moral didacticism that characterized late eighteenth-century French literature, write the sentimental novel Aline et Valcour, which is ostensibly foreign to the rest of his thought? A philosophical interpretation of this work allows us to bring to light how, in his novel, Sade skillfully reconstructs the conception of sentimentalist emotion—encapsulated in Rousseau’s thought—and counterposes it with a new analysis of passions that is no longer based on empathy but rather on interpersonal domination. Through peculiar physiological and philosophical premises, Sade succeeds in delineating a paradoxical ethics of emotional restraint.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 366-382
Launched on MUSE
2017-02-23
Open Access
No
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