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The Thought and Art of Joseph Joubert (1754–1824)$
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David P. Kinloch

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780198151838

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198151838.001.0001

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Politics and Aesthetics

Politics and Aesthetics

(p.56) 2 Politics and Aesthetics
The Thought and Art of Joseph Joubert (1754–1824)

David P. Kinloch

Oxford University Press

One useful way of approaching the aesthetic dimension of Joseph Joubert's writing on political matters is to examine his attitude to the family and, in particular, to the role of the father in the family unit. This chapter examines in some detail the growing pragmatism of his political beliefs but this is complicated by occasional waves of nostalgia for the type of liberty espoused by the ancient Greeks. During the late 1790s and 1800s, this is sometimes capable of making Joubert sound like Jean-Jacques Rousseau or Benjamin Constant at a time when his politics align him with Louis de Bonald and Joseph de Maistre. It is in examining this apparent paradox that the underlying aesthetic governing Joubert's political preferences becomes clearly visible. Joubert's hostility towards all the possibilities for constitutional innovation which such a position entailed is best defined by looking more closely at what Constant and Joubert understood by the term poésie in a political context.

Keywords:   Joseph Joubert, family, father, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Benjamin Constant, politics, Louis de Bonald, Joseph de Maistre, poésie

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