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date: 30 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter underscores the unique position of Montaigne’s Essays in the western philosophical tradition. Montaigne’s practice of constantly adding to his previously published essays as his mood and interests changed means that the Essays are an extended exercise in improvisation. Montaigne’s improvised, provisional philosophical approach has broad implications. Politically, it is intimately linked to his undogmatic rejection of the extremism of the French wars of religion. Intellectually, it underpins his relationship to the classical culture that he inherited from Renaissance humanism. And it binds the philosophical enterprise to the mutability and fragility of the body in ways that are strikingly modern.

Keywords: Montaigne, Adorno, philosophy, revision, essay, classicism, citation, body

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