Language and Human Action: Conceptions of Language in the Essais of Montaigne

Overview

Certainly the most elaborate single extant monument of Renaissance French prose literature, Michel de Montaigne's Essais presents a subject matter that often discusses and analyzes concepts of language in general as well as language as a vehicle of its own expression. This study addresses the author's exploration of the dedalus of language as he ambles and rambles its roads, streets, and alleys; draws the portrait of his philosophy of language or philology; and concludes his affirmative and positivistic attitude ...
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Overview

Certainly the most elaborate single extant monument of Renaissance French prose literature, Michel de Montaigne's Essais presents a subject matter that often discusses and analyzes concepts of language in general as well as language as a vehicle of its own expression. This study addresses the author's exploration of the dedalus of language as he ambles and rambles its roads, streets, and alleys; draws the portrait of his philosophy of language or philology; and concludes his affirmative and positivistic attitude toward language and its literary application or the art and artistry of literature. The great Renaissance humanist's depiction of language in the Essais is analyzed in this book on the basis of its division among intellectual, moral, and aesthetic aspects. This threefold reduction, finding its derivation in the critical work of Aristotle, Auerbach, and Bowen, is also related to the few particular and the important general critical studies of Montaigne and his vision and use, creation and re-creation of language.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Finds that the 16th-century French philosopher came to no definitive conclusions about the nature and behavior of language. He seems however to have believed generally that language is essentially organic, sincerely is the foundation of civilized action, a search for knowledge is both satisfying and necessary, and some relative truths may be ascertained about the nature of human action and motivation. No index. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780820419879
  • Publisher: Lang, Peter Publishing, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/28/1997
  • Series: Studies in the Humanities
  • Pages: 97

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
I The Language of Intellectual Action: The Attempt at a Statement of Truth 5
II The Language of Ethical Action: The Expression of Truth 41
III The Language of Esthetic Action: The Appearance of Truth 69
Conclusion 87
Notes 91
Bibliography 95
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