Hazlitt and the Reach of Sense: Criticism, Morals, and the Metaphysics of Power

Hardcover | October 1, 1998

byUttara Natarajan

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The `only pretension, of which I am tenacious,' declares William Hazlitt in The Plain Speaker, `is that of being a metaphysician'; yet up till now his metaphysics, and particularly what is here identified as his `power principle', have not been examined in detail. This book identifies themetaphysical Hazlitt within the other and better-known Hazlitt, long acknowledged as a master of `the familiar style' and more recently celebrated for the fierceness and intensity of his political prose. Studying his development of the power principle as a counter to the pleasure principle of theUtilitarians, it examines the revelation of power in his philosophy of discourse, his account of imaginative structure, his theory of genius, and his moral theory, and asserts the tenacity of this principle throughout his work. Disseminated through the range of his writings, Hazlitt's metaphysicsbecomes a metaphysics of power in more senses than one: it is both argument and example, itself manifesting that force of human intellect that it seeks to explicate.

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The `only pretension, of which I am tenacious,' declares William Hazlitt in The Plain Speaker, `is that of being a metaphysician'; yet up till now his metaphysics, and particularly what is here identified as his `power principle', have not been examined in detail. This book identifies themetaphysical Hazlitt within the other and better...

Uttara Natarajan is a Leverhulme Special Research Fellow, Department of English at University of Liverpool.

other books by Uttara Natarajan

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Kobo ebook|Mar 13 2006

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Format:HardcoverPublished:October 1, 1998Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198184379

ISBN - 13:9780198184379

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. The Shapes of Power: Hazlitt's Metaphysics of Discourse2. The Secret Soul of Harmony: Imagination, Association, and Unity3. The Mighty Intellect: The Self as Focus in Hazlitt's Theory4. A Long-Contested Freedom: Metaphysics and Moral Theory5. Essays Political and Familiar: Two Aspects of Hazlitt's IdealBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

`The book as a whole presents a finely tuned, clearly articulated argument for Hazlitt's consistency as philosopher and critic, remarkable for its erudite and lively engagement with Hazlitt's writings, his contemporary influences, and his critics'John Kandl