Reference : Harmony and Efficiency: Erudite libertinism in Early Modern France
Scientific congresses and symposiums : Unpublished conference/Abstract
Arts & humanities : Literature
Arts & humanities : History
Harmony and Efficiency: Erudite libertinism in Early Modern France
[en] Harmonie et efficacité: le libertinage érudit dans la Première Modernité
Decoster, Sara mailto [Université de Liège > > Bibliothèque ALPHA >]
The Sixty-First Annual Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America
du 26 mars 2015 au 28 mars 2015
Renaissance Society of America (RSA)
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
[fr] harmonie ; politique ; efficacité ; histoire du savoir ; Montaigne ; Gabriel Naudé ; raison ; libertinage érudit
[en] harmony ; politics ; efficiency ; knowledge history ; Montaigne ; Gabriel Naudé ; reason ; erudite libertinism
[en] This paper deals with the idea of reason as it was seen by erudite libertines in Early Modern France. The analysis will draw on the work of Gabriel Naudé (1600-1653) and highlight the influence of Montaigne. Naudé developed an ideal of reason based on autonomous thinking within the humanist tradition. The paper shows that this idea of reason was based on two concepts which have been neglected by scholars in the field of erudite libertinism: harmony and efficiency. These concepts appear to be closely related to the stoic vision of moderation, preventing men to become a slave of their passions. This meant in the first place that knowledge had to go hand in hand with harmony. Exclusive focus on specific theories or small, too erudite, details was considered as inappropriate exaggeration. In the second place, Naudé’s concept of efficiency implied that knowledge had to be useful for civic life.
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