In this Book

New French Thought
summary

The past fifteen years in France have seen a remarkable flourishing of new work in political philosophy. This anthology brings into English for the first time essays by some of the best young French political thinkers writing today, including Marcel Gauchet, Pierre Manent, Luc Ferry, and Alain Renaut. The central theme of these essays is liberal democracy: its nature, its development, its problems, its fundamental legitimacy. Although these themes are familiar to American and British readers, the French approach to them--which is profoundly historical and rooted in the tradition of continental philosophy--is quite different from our customary one.

Included in this collection is a series of reconsiderations of French critics of liberal society (Lévi-Strauss, Foucault, Bourdieu) and of classical European liberals (Kant, Constant, Tocqueville). The continuing controversies over the nature of the modern era and the place of religion within it play a central role throughout the collection. The book includes a debate on the foundations of human rights and on the nature of a liberal political order. The concluding section presents some of the new sociological writing on modern individualism, its pleasures and its discontents. An introduction by Mark Lilla provides the historical background to the revival of French political thought about liberalism, and offers an analysis of what American and English readers might learn from it.

Originally published in 1994.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-x
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xi-xii
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  1. Introduction The Legitimacy of the Liberal Age by Mark Lilla
  2. Mark Lilla
  3. pp. 3-34
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  1. Part 1: Les Adieux
  2. pp. 35-37
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  1. Chapter 1: Levi-Strauss
  2. Tzvetan Todorov
  3. pp. 38-53
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  1. Chapter 2: Foucault
  2. Luc Ferry, Alain Renaut
  3. pp. 54-62
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  1. Chapter 3: Bourdieu
  2. Philippe Raynaud
  3. pp. 63-70
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  1. Part 2: Reconsiderations
  2. pp. 71-73
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  1. Chapter 4: Kant and Fichte
  2. Luc Ferry, Alain Renaut
  3. pp. 74-81
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  1. Chapter 5: Constant
  2. Philippe Raynaud
  3. pp. 82-90
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  1. Chapter 6: Tocqueville
  2. Marcel Gauchet
  3. pp. 91-112
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  1. Part 3: What Is Modernity?
  2. pp. 113-115
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  1. Chapter 7: Primitive Religion and the Origins of the State
  2. Marcel Gauchet
  3. pp. 116-122
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  1. Chapter 8: The Modern State
  2. Pierre Manent
  3. pp. 123-133
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  1. Chapter 9: Ancient, Modern, and Contemporary
  2. Jean-Marc Ferry
  3. pp. 134-144
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  1. Part 4: What Are Human Rights?
  2. pp. 145-147
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  1. Chapter 10: How to Think about Rights
  2. Luc Ferry, Alain Renaut
  3. pp. 148-154
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  1. Chapter 11: Rights and Natural Law
  2. Blandine Kriegel
  3. pp. 155-163
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  1. Chapter 12: Rights and Modern Law
  2. St├ęphane Rials
  3. pp. 164-174
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  1. Part 5: The Liberal Political Order
  2. pp. 175-177
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  1. Chapter 13: The Contest for Command
  2. Pierre Manent
  3. pp. 178-185
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  1. Chapter 14: On Legitimacy and Political Deliberation
  2. Bernard Manin
  3. pp. 186-200
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  1. Chapter 15: Modernization and Consensus
  2. Jean-Marc Ferry
  3. pp. 201-208
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  1. Part 6: The New Individualism
  2. pp. 209-211
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  1. Chapter 16: May '68, or the Rise of Transpolitical Individualism
  2. Gilles Lipovetsky
  3. pp. 212-219
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  1. Chapter 17: The End of Alienation?
  2. Anne Godignon, Jean-Louis Thirie
  3. pp. 220-225
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  1. Chapter 18: The Rebirth of Voluntary Servitude
  2. Anne Godignon, Jean-Louis Thiriet
  3. pp. 226-232
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  1. Notes on the Authors
  2. pp. 233-234
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  1. Select Bibliography
  2. pp. 235-239
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