Download How the French Think : An Affectionate Portrait of an by Sudhir Hazareesingh PDF

By Sudhir Hazareesingh

In France, probably extra so than wherever else, highbrow job is a life-style embraced by means of the vast majority of society, not only a small crew of élite thinkers. and since French concept has additionally formed the Western global, Sudhir Hazareesingh argues in How the French Think, we won't wish to appreciate smooth heritage with no first making feel of the French mind-set.

Hazareesingh strains the evolution of French notion from Descartes and Rousseau to Sartre and Derrida. within the French highbrow culture, he indicates, habitual issues have pervaded approximately each point of French existence, from the rhetorical aptitude as soon as embodied by means of the philosophes to the country's glossy embody of secularism. Sweeping apart generalizations and straightforward stereotypes, Hazareesingh deals an erudite portrait of the commemorated culture of French idea and the folk who embrace it.

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Extra resources for How the French Think : An Affectionate Portrait of an Intellectual People (9780465061662)

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21 In the modern era, the concepts of revolution and rupture have become familiar tropes across the French human sciences, whether in politics, history, literature, philosophy, sociology, linguistics, psychology, or anthropology. The period between the early 1950s and the late 1970s alone gave us the nouveau roman (new novel), the nouvelle vague (in cinema), the nouvelle histoire, the nouvelle philosophie, the Nouvelle Gauche and the Nouvelle Droite, and, let us not forget, nouvelle cuisine (although that concept dates back to at least 1742 and the publication of the third volume of cookbook author Menon’s Nouveau traité de la cuisine (New treatise on cuisine).

The critique of monarchical absolutism was partly elaborated under the universal gaze of writer Guillame-Thomas Raynal’s Philosophical and Political History . . , a scathing indictment of European colonialism that placed the French struggle for a more democratic society in a global context. ” Kantian ideals of moral autonomy played a major role in the transformation of French republicanism in the second half of the nineteenth century, while Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger, and Sigmund Freud were decisive influences on existentialist and structuralist thinkers in the post-1945 decades.

This cultural centralization helps to explain why French ways of thought exhibit such a degree of stylistic consistency—and why even countercultural groups and movements adopt modes of thinking that often seem to replicate those of their adversaries. Hence the Enlightenment radicals’ notion of popular sovereignty, the exact mirror of the precept of absolutist power; the holistic abstraction of nineteenth-century counterrevolutionary thought, which matched the essentialism of its republican rivals; and the irreducible nationalism of the communists in the modern age, despite their doctrinal opposition to this “bourgeois” doctrine.

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