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A Virtue for Courageous MindsModeration in French Political Thought, 1748-1830$
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Aurelian Craiutu

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691146768

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691146768.001.0001

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In Search of a Lost Archipelago

In Search of a Lost Archipelago

(p.13) One In Search of a Lost Archipelago
A Virtue for Courageous Minds

Aurelian Craiutu

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines different visions of moderation in the history of French political thought. It first considers the reluctance to theorize about moderation, in part because moderation has often been understood as a vague virtue. It then discusses moderation in the classical and Christian traditions, focusing on the works of Plato, Aristotle, and Cicero, followed by an analysis of the writings of sixteenth-century political thinkers such as Niccolò Machiavelli, Claude de Seyssel, Louis Le Roy, Étienne Pasquier, Michel de Montaigne, Blaise Pascal, and French moralists such as La Bruyère and François de La Rochefoucauld. It also describes the transformation of moderation from a predominantly ethical concept into a prominent political virtue. Finally, it explores the views of authors such as David Hume and Jean-Jacques Rousseau on fanaticism in relation to moderation.

Keywords:   moderation, French political thought, Plato, Aristotle, Niccolò Machiavelli, Michel de Montaigne, political virtue, David Hume, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, fanaticism

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