Michel de Montaigne, the inventor of the essay, has always been acknowledged as a great literary figure but has never been thought of as a philosophical original. This book treats Montaigne as a serious thinker in his own right, taking as its point of departure Montaigne's description of himself as 'an unpremeditated and accidental philosopher'. Whereas previous commentators have treated Montaigne's Essays as embodying a scepticism harking back to classical sources, Ann Hartle offers an account that reveals Montaigne's thought to be dialectical, transforming sceptical doubt into wonder at the most familiar aspects of life. This major reassessment of a much admired but also much underestimated thinker will interest a wide range of historians of philosophy as well as scholars in comparative literature, French studies and the history of ideas.
'I have hitherto been like most other philosophers in supposing that while Montaigne has had a considerable cultural influence that has manifested itself in the work of major philosophers, he is not thought of as a major philosopher himself. I think Ann Hartle has shown … that he is indeed an original philosophical thinker, and that the heterogeneity of his writings and his deliberate unpretentiousness have concealed this from us. She demonstrates this by skillful and erudite use of the texts of the essays and by an assiduous study of the main philosophical themes that appear in them.' Terence Penelhum, University of CalgaryDescrizione del libro:
Montaigne is acknowledged as a great literary figure but has never been thought of as a philosophical original. This book treats Montaigne as a serious thinker in his own right, taking as its point of departure Montaigne's description of himself as 'an unpremeditated and accidental philosopher'.
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