The Emergence of Civil Society in the Eighteenth Century

The Emergence of Civil Society in the Eighteenth Century : A Privileged Moment in the History of England, Scotland and France

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In this sequel to "Civility and Society in Western Europe, 1300-1600", Marvin Becker continues his study of the interior life of Western culture. Here, Becker treats the rise of civil society in England and Scotland that manifested itself in a shift in the spaces and practices of human sociability from familiarity toward impersonality, from public toward private, from social solidarity toward self-interest. He shows how these cultural changes from an archaic to a commercial social model called for new approaches to human nature, ethics, and politics, a re-visioning that Becker summarizes as a scaling down of expectations. Writers of the age now viewed society as an abstract entity with a life of its own, independent of personal ties of duty and obligation. Becker traces this transformation in Descartes, Pascal, Hobbes, Grotius, Pufendorf, Locke, and others, culminating in the leading figures of the eighteenth-century Scottish more

Product details

  • Hardback | 196 pages
  • 161.8 x 242.6 x 23.6mm | 547.41g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 0253311292
  • 9780253311290

About Marvin B. Becker

MARVIN B. BECKER is Professor of History at the University of Michigan. His previous books include Florence in Transition (two volumes); Medieval Italy: Constraints and Creativity; and Civility and Society in Western Europe, 1300 1600."show more

Table of contents

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS INTRODUCTION I. Toward an Understanding of Civil Society II. Civil Society and the Case of England and Scotland Epilogue Notes Indexshow more

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