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Montaigne and the Tolerance of Politics$
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Douglas I. Thompson

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190679934

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190679934.001.0001

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Montaigne’s Political Style

Montaigne’s Political Style

(p.16) 1 Montaigne’s Political Style
Montaigne and the Tolerance of Politics

Douglas I. Thompson

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that we can read the Essais as an integral part and product of Michel de Montaigne’s life of political action. Investigating Montaigne’s appropriation and expansion of existing genres of Renaissance political prose, it shows that the form and content of the Essais shift with changes in Montaigne’s political career. The chapter charts Montaigne’s change of focus from the political activity of giving counsel to princes to the political activity of negotiating resolution of civil conflict. It argues that we can read the Essais as a work of political education, which is meant to inculcate in readers the values, skills, and capacities required for negotiating civil peace across volatile lines of disagreement.

Keywords:   Michel de Montaigne, Essais, politics, counsel, negotiation, political education, Renaissance

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