Early Modern French Thought: The Age of Suspicion

Hardcover | December 24, 2003

byMichael Moriarty

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This book is an examination of three major French thinkers of the seventeenth century, Descartes, Pascal, and Malebranche, of whom the latter two are comparatively little studied in the English-speaking world. It deals with a common attitude of suspicion towards everyday experience, which theysee as dominated and obscured by sensation, imagination, and the presence of the body. This attitude, however, obliges them to develop detailed and sophisticated accounts of the shaping of experience not only by the body but by interpersonal and social relationships, and of the tension between humannature as it is and as we experience it. The treatment of Descartes thus challenges the interpretation that sees him as eliminating the body from 'subjectivity', while that of Pascal and Malebranche shows how their critical attitude towards experience (a fertile source for twentieth-century Frenchthinkers) is linked with their religious doctrines, especially their Augustinian emphasis on Original Sin.

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This book is an examination of three major French thinkers of the seventeenth century, Descartes, Pascal, and Malebranche, of whom the latter two are comparatively little studied in the English-speaking world. It deals with a common attitude of suspicion towards everyday experience, which theysee as dominated and obscured by sensation,...

Michael Moriarty is Head of the School of Modern Languages and Professor of French Literature and Thought at Queen Mary, University of London. His previous publications include Taste and Ideology in Seventeenth-Century France (CUP 1988) and Roland Barthes (Polity 1991).

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:286 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.78 inPublished:December 24, 2003Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199261466

ISBN - 13:9780199261468

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Table of Contents

A note on translations and referencesList of abbreviationsIntroduction1. Theology and History in Seventeenth-Century France: Problems and Perspectives2. Descartes forma futuri3. Pascal's Critique of Experience4. Malebranche: 'What is Falsely Called Experience'ConclusionNotesBibliographyIndex