The Laws of Hostility
Politics, Violence and the Enlightenment
By (author) Pierre Saint-Amand
Translated by Jennifer Curtiss Gage
Foreword by Chantal Mouffe
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Laws of Hostility by Pierre Saint-Amand
Book DescriptionThe Marquis de Sade, and not Jean-Jacques Rousseau, may be the truer voice of the Enlightenment. In this reading of the canon of the Enlightenment thinkers from Montesquieu, Voltaire and Diderot to Rousseau and Sade, the author discusses the hostility that lurks beneath the "philosophes'" progressive rationality. Society and sociability take centre stage in the Enlightenment texts and in current interpretations, but Saint-Amand reveals that reciprocity, the principle behind sociability, is always based on imitation, which inevitably degenerates into competition and rivalry. Probing the excesses of the Enlightenment, he exposes at its heart a crisis of law founded on violence. This book specifically addresses the bad faith of the Enlightenment philosophers in their refusal to consisder the violent origins of society. In their ideology of progress, they idealized communication between individuals in a way that masked the rancour beneath the mechanisms of sociability and commerce. As an alternative, this text emphasizes the antagonisms and conflicts in the representation of social life and the understanding of human experience. The book aims to put into perspective the archaic element of violence from which the Enlightenment tried to divorce itself.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780816625857
(234mm x 156mm x 15mm)
Imprint: University of Minnesota Press
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
Publish Date: 15-Aug-1996
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Pierre Saint-Amand
Pursuit of Laziness, Hardback (May 2011)» View all books by Pierre Saint-Amand
We think of the Enlightenment as an era dominated by ideas of progress, production, and industry - not an era that favored the lax and indolent individual. But was the Enlightenment only about the unceasing improvement of self and society? This title examines moral, political, and economic treatises of the period.
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