The Dialectic of the Individual and the Paradox of French Absolutism

The European Legacy 16 (6):717 - 734 (2011)
Abstract
In her seminal book, Philosophy and the State in France, Nannerl O. Keohane uncovered something close to a paradox: French absolutism bred a peculiar form of individualism that manifested disregard for civic involvement, yet by the eighteenth century the passive member of the ancient corporations moved without hesitation into participatory politics. The aim of this article is to clarify this apparent paradox. In order to do so, I revive the medieval dialectic between forum internum and forum externum that for more than a thousand years provided the foundation for individualism all across the Western world. One cannot understand the paradoxes that later will mark the French Revolution if one fails to take into consideration the almost obsessive focus on the forum internum and on the authenticity of the self coupled with a drive toward conformism and unity in the forum externum, which was already in place for more than a century before. Furthermore, one cannot understand why political representation as representation of individual wills was not at all appealing to the early modern Frenchmen. Given today's worrisome disaffection of the typical individual with the formalized political sphere, the dialectic of the two fora is worth reconsidering
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 11,399
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Bhikhu Parekh (2009). Logic of Identity. Politics, Philosophy and Economics 8 (3):267-284.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2011-09-21

Total downloads

9 ( #159,935 of 1,102,968 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #297,509 of 1,102,968 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.