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Disguised Vices – Theories of Virtue in Early Modern French Thought - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Disguised Vices: Theories of Virtue in Early Modern French Thought

Michael Moriarty


The notions of virtue and vice are essential components of the Western ethical tradition. But in early modern France they were called into question, as writers (most famously La Rochefoucauld) argued that what appears as virtue is in fact disguised vice: people carry out praiseworthy deeds because they stand to gain in some way; they deserve no credit for their behaviour because they have no control over it; they are governed by feelings and motives of which they may not be aware. Disguised Vices analyses the underlying logic of these arguments, and investigates what is at stake in them. It tr ... More

Keywords: virtue, vice, pagans, Augustine, La Rochefoucauld, Jansenism

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780199589371
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199589371.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Michael Moriarty, author
Centenary Professor of French Literature and Thought, Queen Mary, University of London