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Citizens without Sovereignty

Equality and Sociability in French Thought, 1670-1789
Daniel Gordon(Autor*in)
Princeton University Press
Erschienen am 14. März 2017
288 Seiten
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978-1-4008-8737-8 (ISBN)
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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 société and sociabilité, 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.

Originally published in 1994.

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2 tables
2 tables
978-1-4008-8737-8 (9781400887378)
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Daniel Gordon
	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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