Stendhal: A Study in Philosophy

Shields, James G (1989) Stendhal: A Study in Philosophy. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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A review of critical opinion past and present demonstrates the degree to which Stendhal is perceived as the exponent of a clearly defined philosophical tradition. Generations of scholars have lent support to the assumption that Stendhal made his own the mechanistic materialism of Hobbes and the hedonistic utilitarianism of Helvetius, whilst rallying to the sensationalist Ideology of Destutt de Tracy. The contention of this study is that such a view has been too uncritically endorsed, and that the definition of Stendhal as a 'philosopher' calls for substantial revision. Stendhal is not a philosopher properly so called, namely one engaged in sustained argument; rather he is a philosopher in the popular sense of an intellectual, who brings philosophical concepts to bear upon a range of human, social and moral issues, and who addresses these concepts more from committed standpoints than detached reflection. The revision which the thesis attempts is, similarly, not a philosophical argument; it proceeds by documenting the concepts in question and by examining afresh the treatment which they receive in Stendhal's writings and in the accounts of his commentators.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Philosophy, French literature
Date of Award: 1989
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1989-76936
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2020 09:27
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2020 09:27

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