Citizens Without Sovereignty: Equality and Sociability in French Thought, 1670-1789

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9780691056999: Citizens Without Sovereignty: Equality and Sociability in French Thought, 1670-1789

In a wide-ranging interpretation of French thought in the years 1670-1789, Daniel Gordon takes us through the literature of manners and moral philosophy, theology and political theory, universal history and economics to show how French thinkers sustained a sense of liberty and dignity within an authoritarian regime. A penetrating critique of those who exaggerate either the radicalism of the Enlightenment or the hegemony of the absolutist state, his book documents the invention of an ethos that was neither democratic nor absolutist, an ethos that idealized communication and private life. The key to this ethos was "sociability," and Gordon offers the first detailed study of the language and ideas that gave this concept its meaning in the Old Regime."Citizens without Sovereignty" provides a wealth of information about the origins and usage of key words, such as "societe" and "sociabilite, " in French thought. From semantic fields of meaning, Gordon goes on to consider institutional fields of action. Focusing on the ubiquitous idea of "society" as a depoliticized sphere of equality, virtue, and aesthetic cultivation, he marks out the philosophical space that lies between the idea of democracy and the idea of the royal police state. Within this space, Gordon reveals the channels of creative action that are open to citizens without sovereignty--citizens who have no right to self-government. His work is thus a contribution to general historical sociology as well as French intellectual history.

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Recensione:

"Gordon has written a sophisticated and original interpretation of how the idea of sociability evolved in French culture from the reign of Louis XIV to the French Revolution. . . . a work of impressive erudition." --Choice

Contenuti:

Acknowledgments
Introduction 3
1 Absolutism and the Ideal Types of Sociability 9
The Well-Policed State 9
Sociability and Democracy 24
Five Ideal Types 33
2 The Language of Sociability 43
The Enlightenment as a Lexicon 43
Historical Semantics 48
The Rise of "Society" 51
The Concept of Latent Sociability in Natural Law 54
The Amalgamation of Natural Law and Politeness 61
Self-Centered Cosmopolitanism 73
The Religion of Society 76
3 The Civilizing Process Revisited 86
The Varieties of Civility 86
The Rules of Irrelevance 94
The Public Sphere in Apolitical Form 107
The Douceur of the Gentleman 116
Politeness and the Lineage of the Enlightenment 126
4 Sociability and Universal History: Jean-Baptiste Suard and the Scottish Enlightenment in France 129
Universal History 129
France and the Scottish Enlightenment 133
Storm over Suard 137
The Virtues of Being Lazy 141
Ossian: The Savage Poet 145
Robertson: The Progress of Refinement 150
Hume: The Elimination of Politics 160
5 Andre Morellet and the End of the Enlightenment 177
Form versus Substance 177
The Rules of Criticism 182
The Quest for Integration 189
Public Opinion and Civility 199
The Philosophy of Grain 208
Revolution and the New Liberalism 226
Conclusion 242
Select Bibliography 247
Index 267

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Daniel Gordon
Editore: Princeton University Press (1994)
ISBN 10: 0691056994 ISBN 13: 9780691056999
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Editore: Princeton University Press (1994)
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