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Montaigne and the Origins of Modern Philosophy
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Montaigne’s Essays are rightfully studied as giving birth to the literary form of that name. Ann Hartle’s Montaigne and the Origins of Modern Philosophy argues that the essay is actually the perfect expression of Montaigne as what he called "a new figure: an unpremeditated and accidental philosopher." Unpremeditated philosophy is philosophy made sociable—brought down from the heavens to the street, where it might be engaged in by a wider audience. In the same philosophical act, Montaigne both transforms philosophy and invents "society," a distinctly modern form of association. Through this transformation, a new, modern character emerges: the individual, who is neither master nor slave and who possesses the new virtues of integrity and generosity. In Montaigne’s radically new philosophical project, Hartle finds intimations of both modern epistemology and modern political philosophy.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. pp. 1-1
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  1. Title Page, Copyright Page
  2. pp. 2-7
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. xi-xx
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  1. Note on the Texts
  2. pp. xxi-xxii
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  1. Part One: The Transformation of Philosophy
  2. pp. 3-4
  1. One. Reversing Aristotle
  2. pp. 5-28
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  1. Two. Sticking to the Old Ways: Montaigne and Sacred Tradition
  2. pp. 29-50
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  1. Three. The Philosophical Act (I): Judgment
  2. pp. 51-76
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  1. Four. The Philosophical Act (II): Ending in Experience
  2. pp. 77-96
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  1. Part Two: The Invention of Society
  2. pp. 97-98
  1. Five. Overcoming Natural Mastery
  2. pp. 99-134
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  1. Six. The Primacy of the Private and the Origins of a Free Society
  2. pp. 135-154
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  1. Seven. The Character of the Free Individual
  2. pp. 155-180
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  1. Conclusion: The Invisibility of Philosophy and the Light of the Good
  2. pp. 181-184
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 185-206
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  1. Works Cited
  2. pp. 207-212
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 213-216
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