Montaigne and the Origins of Modern Philosophy

Cloth Text – $80.00

ISBN 978-0-8101-2965-8

Paper Text – $39.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-2932-0
Publication Date
November 2013
Page Count
240 pages
Trim Size
6 x 9

Montaigne and the Origins of Modern Philosophy

Ann Hartle

Montaigne’s Essays are rightfully studied as giving birth to the literary form of that name. Ann Hartle’s Montaigne and the Origins of Modern Philosophy argues that the essay is actually the perfect expression of Montaigne as what he called "a new figure: an unpremeditated and accidental philosopher." Unpremeditated philosophy is philosophy made sociable—brought down from the heavens to the street, where it might be engaged in by a wider audience. In the same philosophical act, Montaigne both transforms philosophy and invents "society," a distinctly modern form of association. Through this transformation, a new, modern character emerges: the individual, who is neither master nor slave and who possesses the new virtues of integrity and generosity. In Montaigne’s radically new philosophical project, Hartle finds intimations of both modern epistemology and modern political philosophy.
About the Author

Ann Hartle is a professor of philosophy at Emory University in Atlanta. She is the author of Michel de Montaigne: Accidental Philosopher (2003); Self-Knowledge in the Age of Theory (1996); Death and the Disinterested Spectator: An Inquiry into the Nature of Philosophy (1986); and The Modern Self in Rousseau’s Confessions: A Reply to St. Augustine (1983).