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Michel de Montaigne has always been acknowledged as a great literary figure but never thought of as a philosophical original. This book is the first to treat him 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". This major reassessment of a much admired but also greatly underestimated thinker is for historians of philosophy and scholars in comparative literature, French studies and the history of ideas.Read more
- Important reassessment of Montaigne that takes him seriously as a philosopher
- Broad appeal across history of philosophy, history of ideas and literary studies
Reviews & endorsements
"Hartle [is] an accomplished scholar..."
-David Lewis Schaefer, The Review of PoliticsSee more reviews
"There is much in Hartle's book which is suggestive, and much which is extremely perceptive...she captures the flavour and explains the shapes of Montaigne's thinking really well."
The London Review of Books
"[Ann Hartle's] thesis should make her book of interest to any philosophically inclined reader, and especially to those who desire better to grasp the great temporal or rather argumentative fault lines of philosophy's course through history. It ought also to earn for the book the particular attention of Thomists and other friends of high Scholasticism, who better than most ought to know how much can be learned about one's friends from their foes[...]Hartle's scholarship is a model of its kind."
-John C. McCarthy, The Catholic University of America, The Thomist
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- Date Published: April 2003
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9780521821681
- length: 312 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 21 mm
- weight: 0.63kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
Note on the texts
Part I. A New Figure:
1. 'That is where he got it!': Montaigne's caprices and the humours of ancient philosophy
2. Bending and stretching the categories of traditional metaphysics
3. The essay as philosophical form
Part II. Accidental Philosophy:
4. The circular dialectic of self-knowledge
5. 'What it means to believe'
6. The latent metaphysics of accidental philosophy
Part III. The Character of the Accidental Philosopher:
7. Montaigne's character: the great-souled man without pride
8. What he learned in the nursery: accidental moral philosophy and Montaigne's reformation
9. Christianity and the limits of politics
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